VMD (Visual Molecular Dynamics) is designed for the visualization and analysis of biological systems such as proteins, nucleic acids, lipid bilayer assemblies, etc. It may be used to view more general molecules, as VMD can read standard Protein Data Bank (PDB) files and display the contained structure. VMD provides a wide variety of methods for rendering and coloring a molecule: simple points and lines, CPK spheres and cylinders, licorice bonds, backbone tubes and ribbons, cartoon drawings, and others. VMD can be used to animate and analyze the trajectory of a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. In particular, VMD can act as a graphical front end for an external MD program by displaying and animating a molecule undergoing simulation on a remote computer. VMD uses OpenGL and OpenGL Programmable Shading Language for high performance rendering of large structures.
The Chemistry Development Kit (CDK) is a library of Java classes for chemo-, bioinformatics, computational chemistry, and chemometrics. It provides important algorithms like substructure search, SMILES, Gasteiger charges, QSAR descriptor calculation, 3D structure generation, 2D layout and rendering, many IO formats, atom typing, and more.
Jmol is a Free, Open Source molecule viewer and editor. It is a collaboratively developed visualization and measurement tool for chemical scientists. Jmol is an active project, and there are new features being added to it on a daily basis. Users are encouraged to modify it to fit their needs and to contribute their changes to the project.
BALLView is an extensible viewer for bio-molecular structures. It provides all standard models and offers rich functionality for molecular modeling and simulation, including molecular mechanics methods (AMBER, CHARMM, and MMFF94 force fields), continuum electrostatics methods employing a Finite-Difference Poisson Boltzmann solver, secondary structure calculation, molecular editing and docking. Since BALLView is based on BALL (the Biochemical ALgorithms Library), it is easily extensible on the level of C++ code. In addition, it provides a Python interface with Integrated Development Environment features to allow interactive rapid prototyping.