Molecular Animation

What is Molecular Animation?

Unlike molecular illustrations, molecular animations provide an intuitive look into the motions of molecules. The viewer can immerse themselves in the path and actions of the molecule in question. Such an experience includes:

  • display of molecule in an animated movie
  • visualization of subunit interactions, residue-residue interactions, atomic interactions, including electrostatic, polar, hydrophobic and more
  • manipulation of molecule in real time, as during a simulation
  • visualization of the normal modes of vibration - "molecular breathing"
  • monitoring of geometries, include distances, volumes, bond angles, etc..
  • visualization of conformational space
  • visualization of ab initio molecular simulations (either you provide the molecular dynamics simulation or Symmation can carry out the computation for you)


  • EcoRV restriction enzyme-catalyzed cleavage of palyndromic double-stranded DNA.
  • Assemblzy of type IV collagen monomers into protomers, and protomers into hexamers.

Styles of molecular animation

Molecular animations have had the reputation of being "too scientific" (nice way of saying they were unsightly). No longer is this true! Any style is possible: from cartoon-style to photorealistic renders. See our customization wizard for examples of what can be achived.

How are science and entertainment integrated?

Science and entertainment aren't typically used in the same thought. However, we strive to reach a well-balanced hydrid animation that is scientifically accurate and at the same time entertaining to the viewer. "Traditional" animations can tend to be rough, choppy, confusing, or simply not professional-looking. The reason is that the principal scientist behind the research is not typically trained in the arts and skills of animation. Symmation staff is trained in the sciences and animation/graphics. We merge your ideas and concepts with our proven technology and artistry to provide a mixture of science and entertainment.

What animation services does Symmation offer?

We are pioneers in molecular animation. We are not talking about simple rotations of a molecule but rather animations of molecules assembling, molecules performing their function, molecules interacting, and such. Read through our testimonials. Symmation has trained expertise in the area of structural biology - we understand molecules at an atomic level. We can talk to you on a scientific or generalized level. We can make your molecules come to life, helping you convey your important ideas to your audience.

One of our largest productions was a 9-minute (8 shots) animation of Type IV collagen assembly that was shown in front of thousands of attendees at the American Society of Nephrology in San Diego, for the recipient of the coveted Homer Smith Award in 2003.