What do I need a surface mesh for?

OVITO allows you to generate a geometric representation of the outer and inner surfaces of an atomistic solid by constructing a polyhedral surface mesh around the particles. This does not only look nice it can also used to obtain quantitative information about the surface area and the solid volume or porosity of an atomistic structure. Triangulated surface meshes generated by OVITO also appear in the Visual elements editor, which gives you as a user quite some control over their visual appearance.
The goal of this tutorial is to show you how to generate and manipulate such a surface mesh and to render an image of a porous nanoparticle that’s half surface representation and half atomistic model as shown below.

How can I do this?

  • Download and import the example file porous_particle.data. From the four viewport windows now choose the Perspective view and enlarge it by clicking on the Maximize Active Viewport button.
  • Now add a Construct surface mesh modifier to your pipeline. Play around with the values of the Probe sphere radius and the Smoothing level to understand their influence on the resulting surface mesh.
  • You probably already know that you can show or not show certain visual elements by enabling/disabling them in the Pipeline editor under “Visual elements”. Try e.g. to only show the surface mesh and not the atoms.
  • However, in order to recreate the picture below we need to apply some more modifiers.

That’s it. Well done!



Further reading