We are Studio Molekuul. We make images. Of molecules.
Team. Our team is headed by Pieter, a scientist with extensive international scientific experience. After obtaining his Pharmacist's Degree at the University of Leuven (Belgium), he performed research in the field of Medicinal Chemistry for five years. After obtaining his PhD degree, Pieter worked for more than five year at Maastricht University (The Netherlands) in the field of protein biochemistry. Currently he works as an expert in the fields of medicinal products and medical devices in a Belgian federal government agency.
Scientific Illustrations. Renderings of molecules are often used to illustrate scientific articles, mass media articles and educational works. However, good quality images of molecules are hard to come by. We thought we could do better and set out to build an extensive portfolio of images of all kinds of molecules: pollutants, insecticides, common small molecules, crystals, medicinal drugs, plastics, virus capsids, skeletal formulae, etc. For each of these illustrations, we try to find an optimum between science and aesthetics, both of the underlying model used to make the rendering and of the accompanying caption. This has resulted in a diverse portfolio of thousands of images, broadly available through a number of established stock agencies. These include Alamy, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock and Science Photo Library. Our portfolio includes both raster and vector based work.
Tools. Typically, preparing scientific illustrations of molecules is done in several steps. The first step is generating a model of the molecule. This is done by combining commercial and open source molecular modelling software with public structural databases. Software used includes Crystalmaker® (www.crystalmaker.com) and PyMol (www.pymol.org). Following verification and cleaning of these models, they are rendered using state of the art molecular visualization software or general 3D rendering programs. Digital post-processing is done in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
Attributions. Some of our works include molecular models from the AlphaFold DB used under CC-BY 4.0 license.