GFP as a Hat

The latest in fluorescent fashion.


Brady Johnston


August 16, 2019

As I was drifting off to sleep one night, the thought hit me:

People love face filters, people love GFP, what if we combined the two?
- My brain, late at night.

The next morning I had a quick look around and wasn’t able to find any evidence of anyone doing anything before. There has been a bit of effort into making AR protein apps and experiences, but we have all of these 3D models from all of the structural information that biology gathers, but nobody has put it into an instagram filter yet?

I cranked out the old Blender, imported some models from PyMOL and quickly had a nice looking model of eGFP glowing bright green.

To skip the technical details, this was the rather successful result:

As for how it was done, I won’t go into too much detail but the basics was this:

usdzconvert gfp.obj gfp.usdz -color_map green.png

I want to do a lot more with this. There is more potential for using a cross-platform approach using SparkAR to compose Instagram face filters rather than having to build a whole app. We’ll see where that goes in the future.