Illustrate: Non-photorealistic Biomolecular Illustration

Illustrate is a small Fortran program for creating non-photorealistic illustrations of molecules, with cartoony colors and outlines, and soft ambient shadows. I originally developed it during postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Arthur J. Olson at the Scripps Research Institute, and have tinkered with it ever since. I have used it to create materials for my books and for PDB-101, the outreach portal of the RCSB Protein Data Bank, most notably, for the “Molecule of the Month.”

With the help of Ludovic Autin, I am finally releasing a version of the program that is (hopefully) generally useable. Ludo has designed a great web interface (below) that allows you to position a molecule from the PDB using NGL, and then create an illustration. I am also releasing the Fortran code (for free use and with many apologies) for users who want to get their hands dirty and customize their illustrations.

I hope you enjoy creating these illustrations as much as I do!

David S. Goodsell

Development of Illustrate has been kindly supported by Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund Fellowship DRG 972, the US National Institutes of Health R01-GM120604 and the RCSB Protein Data Bank.

Complex of tRNA with EF-Tu, PDB entry 1ttt.