|3DMOL - A note from the authors|
Three dimensional molecule representation
The following four articles form the report for my 13th grade school
project (2001) in chemistry, mathematics and computer science. A friend (Guillaume Alain) and I (Jason Kealey) wanted to understand how 3D engines on
computers worked. That is why we created 3DMOL, a 3D molecule representation
software; we wanted to understand and be able to use the basic mathematics
behind any 3D engine.
Because this was a school project for our chemistry course, we needed to
respect certain criteria and talk about subjects that you might find to be
trivial. However, this report was to be read and corrected by a computer
illiterate teacher and that is why it was written to allow people without
any computer programming knowledge to understand the general concepts of a
In fact, in the original report, we did not talk much about the actual
programming aspect of the software. Here, on the web, we have added a few
C++ source code examples to enhance the document for people who can program
in this language.
To understand the basic concepts of a 3D engine, you only need to read
the third article of this five part
series. However, to better understand the subject, the fourth article is essential: it presents the
mathematical demonstrations for the equations used throughout the
application. Please note that having studied vector algebra is almost a
prerequisite to completely understand some of the demonstrations that are
presented in the article.
We still recommend reading the next
article and the last one because they are
the report's introduction and conclusion.
For those who wish to know more about coding their own 3D engine, we
invite you to download 3dmol's source code and analyze it. If
you have any specific questions about the application, don't hesitate to
A note from the authors - Introduction - The application
The mathematics behind the project. - Discussion
( 2001-05-24 )
Read this article in French