MovieMaker: A web server for rapid rendering of protein motions and interactions

Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Nucleic Acids Research (Impact Factor: 9.11). 08/2005; 33(Web Server issue):W358-62. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gki485
Source: PubMed


MovieMaker is a web server that allows short ( approximately 10 s), downloadable movies of protein motions to be generated. It accepts PDB files or PDB accession numbers as input and automatically calculates, renders and merges the necessary image files to create colourful animations covering a wide range of protein motions and other dynamic processes. Users have the option of animating (i) simple rotation, (ii) morphing between two end-state conformers, (iii) short-scale, picosecond vibrations, (iv) ligand docking, (v) protein oligomerization, (vi) mid-scale nanosecond (ensemble) motions and (vii) protein folding/unfolding. MovieMaker does not perform molecular dynamics calculations. Instead it is an animation tool that uses a sophisticated superpositioning algorithm in conjunction with Cartesian coordinate interpolation to rapidly and automatically calculate the intermediate structures needed for many of its animations. Users have extensive control over the rendering style, structure colour, animation quality, background and other image features. MovieMaker is intended to be a general-purpose server that allows both experts and non-experts to easily generate useful, informative protein animations for educational and illustrative purposes. MovieMaker is accessible at

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    • "While quality of software and images produced have been increasing steadily, the complexity of concepts and of software can make the task of producing these high-quality pictures or movies difficult to the inexperienced user. To overcome this difficulty, several online services such as Aismig (4), Indie Molecular Movies (, Molray (5), MovieMaker (6), pdb2mgif (7), POLYVIEW-3D (8) or Protein Picture Generator (PPG) (9) have been developed. They are based on various molecular graphics programs, such as PyMol, RasMol (10), or Dino (, that are coupled to free 3D rendering engines such as Molscript (11), Raster3D (12) or POV-Ray ( to improve the quality of the pictures in terms of photorealism. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Protein Movie Generator (PMG) is an online service able to generate high-quality pictures and animations for which one can then define simple storyboards. The PMG can therefore efficiently illustrate concepts such as molecular motion or formation/dissociation of complexes. Emphasis is put on the simplicity of animation generation. Rendering is achieved using Dino coupled to POV-Ray. In order to produce highly informative images, the PMG includes capabilities of using different molecular representations at the same time to highlight particular molecular features. Moreover, sophisticated rendering concepts including scene definition, as well as modeling light and materials are available. The PMG accepts Protein Data Bank (PDB) files as input, which may include series of models or molecular dynamics trajectories and produces images or movies under various formats. PMG can be accessed at
    Nucleic Acids Research 08/2007; 35(Web Server issue):W483-8. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkm277 · 9.11 Impact Factor
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    • "Dichas imágenes se corresponden normalmente con las posiciones de equilibrio de la misma siendo extremadamente complicado la obtención de imágenes de la proteína durante su movimiento. En la actualidad existen algunos algoritmos que permiten estimar el movimiento que ha realizado la proteína entre dos imágenes de una misma proteína aplicando diferentes funciones de interpolación [6]. En este artículo, el procedimiento presentado se aplica a la simulación del movimiento de una proteína entre dos posiciones conocidas. "
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    ABSTRACT: Macromolecular visualization as well as automated structural and functional annotation tools play an increasingly important role in the post-genomic era, contributing significantly towards the understanding of molecular systems and processes. For example, three dimensional (3D) models help in exploring protein active sites and functional hot spots that can be targeted in drug design. Automated annotation and visualization pipelines can also reveal other functionally important attributes of macromolecules. These goals are dependent on the availability of advanced tools that integrate better the existing databases, annotation servers and other resources with state-of-the-art rendering programs. We present a new tool for protein structure analysis, with the focus on annotation and visualization of protein complexes, which is an extension of our previously developed POLYVIEW web server. By integrating the web technology with state-of-the-art software for macromolecular visualization, such as the PyMol program, POLYVIEW-3D enables combining versatile structural and functional annotations with a simple web-based interface for creating publication quality structure rendering, as well as animated images for Powerpoint, web sites and other electronic resources. The service is platform independent and no plug-ins are required. Several examples of how POLYVIEW-3D can be used for structural and functional analysis in the context of protein-protein interactions are presented to illustrate the available annotation options. POLYVIEW-3D server features the PyMol image rendering that provides detailed and high quality presentation of macromolecular structures, with an easy to use web-based interface. POLYVIEW-3D also provides a wide array of options for automated structural and functional analysis of proteins and their complexes. Thus, the POLYVIEW-3D server may become an important resource for researches and educators in the fields of protein science and structural bioinformatics. The new server is available at
    BMC Bioinformatics 02/2007; 8(1):316. DOI:10.1186/1471-2105-8-316 · 2.58 Impact Factor
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