Illustrative Rendering, Visualization, and Human-Computer Interaction > AVIZ > Inria Saclay / Université Paris-Saclay > Inria

Molecumentary: Adaptable Narrated Documentaries Using Molecular Visualization



We present a method for producing documentary-style content using real-time scientific visualization. We introduce molecumentaries, i.e., molecular documentaries featuring structural models from molecular biology, created through adaptable methods instead of the rigid traditional production pipeline. Our work is motivated by the rapid evolution of scientific visualization and it potential in science dissemination. Without some form of explanation or guidance, however, novices and lay-persons often find it difficult to gain insights from the visualization itself. We integrate such knowledge using the verbal channel and provide it along an engaging visual presentation. To realize the synthesis of a molecumentary, we provide technical solutions along two major production steps: (1) preparing a story structure and (2) turning the story into a concrete narrative. In the first step, we compile information about the model from heterogeneous sources into a story graph. We combine local knowledge with external sources to complete the story graph and enrich the final result. In the second step, we synthesize a narrative, i.e., story elements presented in sequence, using the story graph. We then traverse the story graph and generate a virtual tour, using automated camera and visualization transitions. We turn texts written by domain experts into verbal representations using text-to-speech functionality and provide them as a commentary. Using the described framework, we synthesize fly-throughs with descriptions: automatic ones that mimic a manually authored documentary or semi-automatic ones which guide the documentary narrative solely through curated textual input.

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Main Reference:

David Kouřil, Ondřej Strnad, Peter Mindek, Sarkis Halladjian, Tobias Isenberg, M. Eduard Gröller, and Ivan Viola (2022) Molecumentary: Adaptable Narrated Documentaries Using Molecular Visualization. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2022. To appear.

BibTeX entry:

@ARTICLE{Kouril:2022:MAN, author = {David Kou{\v{r}}il and Ond{\v{r}}ej Strnad and Peter Mindek and Sarkis Halladjian and Tobias Isenberg and Gr{\"o}ller, M. Eduard and Ivan Viola}, title = {Molecumentary: Adaptable Narrated Documentaries Using Molecular Visualization}, journal = {IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics}, year = {2022}, doi = {10.1109/TVCG.2021.3130670}, doi_url = {}, oa_gold_url = {}, oa_hal_url = {}, arxiv_url = {}, url = {}, url2 = {}, pdf = {}, }

Other Reference:

David Kouřil (2021) Interactive Visualization of Dense and Multi-Scale Data for Science Outreach. PhD thesis, TU Wien, Austria, April 2021.

BibTeX entry:

@PHDTHESIS{Kouril:2021:IVD, author = {David Kou{\v{r}}il}, title = {Interactive Visualization of Dense and Multi-Scale Data for Science Outreach}, year = {2021}, school = {TU Wien}, month = apr, address = {Austria}, doi = {10.34726/hss.2021.91703}, doi_url = {}, url = {}, url2 = {}, }

This work was done at and in collaboration with the Research Unit of Computer Graphics at TU Wien, Austria. Also see the project page at TU Wien.


This work was supported through the Illustrare project, funded by ANR in France and FWF in Austria.