BlenderNEURON is a software tool that takes a NEURON simulator model and exports its 3D structure and membrane activity to Blender, an open-source high-performance 3D modeling tool. BlenderNEURON is easy to install and requires no model translation or modification.
Once a model is in Blender, users can inspect or debug cell morphology and network connectivity, re-play, step through, or scrub through compartment membrane voltage over time, and render the model as beautiful images, videos, or animated GIFs.
The tool is useful for debugging biophysically realistic neural models, easily creating visually impressive figures, and as a virtual laboratory for teaching neuroscience concepts. Most importantly, the tool works with a large body of existing NEURON models. The export can be performed via NEURON GUI or automated via Python commands.
The tool consists of two parts:
- The Python/HOC library, which acts as a client
- The Blender addon, which acts as the server
Users interact with the client library, which sends commands to the Blender addon, which then creates the meshes, materials, and animations in Blender. The user can then interact and modify the model in Blender.
Follow these steps to display a NEURON model and its voltage potential propagation in Blender: