VR Module for Biology Communication Framework



Virtual Reality has been used in many application scenarios and no matter the disadvantages of the current generation of hardware, its potential in future applications is undeniable.

So far, most of the VR experiences are focusing on replicating real-life activities and the world we encounter on daily bases. However, to use the full potential of a technology that can create a virtual reality environment, we want to apply it on worlds that humans cannot see without such technology.

In this topic you will be working on creating a VR module for a state-of-the-art framework for communicating biology on the smallest scales of life. On the level of atoms, molecules, and cells, we rely on imaging technology (like microscopy) to give us an idea of how the structures and processes behind life work. There is an enormous amount of data available and in our research we work on methods integrating these datasets into a cohesive, holistic, and interactive experience.


  • Getting familiar with our code base
  • Designing an integration of OpenVR library into our framework
  • Designing interaction schemes for multiscale and dense biological environments
  • Implementation of the OpenVR library integration, implementation of the navigation/interaction
  • Implementation of an example application using the VR features


  • Knowledge of English language (source code comments and final report should be in English)
  • Knowledge of C++ is necessary, knowledge of Qt is advantageous but you can learn on the way
  • Previous VR programming experience very welcome
  • Self-driven and ambitious students will be given preference
  • You do not need previous biology knowledge but interest in the topic is an advantage


An important part of the topic is the integration with our framework, called Marion. This framework offers methods for fast rendering of biological datasets, namely volume scans of cells and large molecular scene in atomistic detail.

This is a crucial part of the project, you will NOT be able to use any popular game engine like Unity or Unreal.


You will guided by your daily supervisor David Kouřil. David will help you with development setup, any implementation specific questions, and will provide you with the motivation and direction for the project. Official supervision will be covered by assoc. prof. Ivan Viola, who will help with the overall direction of the project and govern the project from the academic standpoint. 

There is a VR setup (HTC Vive) in our institute which you will be able to use.

There will be many opportunities to present your work to both visualization and biology experts. Depending on the outcome, future co-operation with a spin-off company Nanographics is possible.


For more information please contact David Kouřil (dvdkouril@cg.tuwien.ac.at) or Ivan Viola (viola@cg.tuwien.ac.at).