Molecumentary: Adaptable Narrated Documentaries Using Molecular Visualization


David Kouril, Ondrej Strnad, Peter Mindek, Sarkis Halladjian, Tobias Isenberg, Ivan Viola


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.



David Kouril, Ondrej Strnad, Peter Mindek, Sarkis Halladjian, Tobias Isenberg, Eduard Groeller, Ivan Viola. Molecumentary: Adaptable Narrated Documentaries Using Molecular Visualization. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), 2021. [KAUST] [BibTeX]