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Suggestions needed for making a skeletal formula interesting

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Sorry about the somewhat cryptic thread title, but I couldn't think of another way to describe it in any other way that made sense, if that makes any sense at all... :lol:

What I have is a "skeletal formula" for a drug (see below) which I'm wanting to use on my forum banner, but just the lines and the letters is kinda boring, and I've spent the afternoon desperately trying to think how I could make it look more visually appealing. I was thinking possibly along the lines of something like the "glowy lines" tut, with glowy lines around the lines joining the different chemical elements, but I think maybe that might make it too complicated (especially as the finished thing's going to display fairly small as it'll be on my forum banner (height = 160px)). Then I thought maybe to it 3D like the molecule models you sometimes see in school science labs, using S3D for the elements and putting the letters on the 3D spheres, but that's kind of been done before, and I'm wondering if anyone can think of a way I could make it look more "interesting" somehow?


(Source: Wikipedia)


- The forum's a medical support forum.

- Images I'm already using on the banner are a syringe, medication capsules, sticking plaster, fork/tape measure (all in my gallery), and possibly the paperchain globe (again in my gallery), and also possibly a 3D cube (using the "cube with different images on each side" tut, but I'm in two minds about the cube, as the version of it I did that I was thinking of using blends in with the banner background too much and doesn't show up that well)

I've been googling images this afternoon to see if I could see anything that inspired me at all, but can't see much except the usual line diagrams like the one I have, and 3D wire models. Any ideas from all those creative brains out there?

Edit: the only thing I've come up with so far, as the molecule's the forumula for a diuretic drug (water tablet), is to use the water reflection plugin somehow to have it kind of melt into the banner background with a wave effect, but any other suggestions gratefully received, as the inspiration bit of my brain seems to have taken an unscheduled holiday today. :lol:

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Here is my suggestion:


Made the picture using:

- A glass effect with rounded corners

- Glow on the black

- A gradient using Orange as primary color & black as secondary color. Then deleting everything outside the letters & inside the letters (like O)

- Feather on the gradient layer

EDIT: looks much better on black or dark grey, than this light blue board color :wink:

EDIT 2: I think it needs some more rounded corners, but you can edit the pdn that the image links to :)

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I've not had any time to work on this unfortunately this week due to an idiot on my forum who's incapable of reading the rules and has caused a ton of grief and I've spent half the week picking up the pieces from the fallout :x

I'm going to work on it this weekend though. I did make a start on a 3D version in chrome with glassy balls for the molecules, which is looking good, but it'll be no good scaled down for the banner, but I can probably use it larger elsewhere on the site.

I'll have a play this weekend though and see what I come up with.

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