We present a method for the approximation and real-time visualization of large-scale motion of protein surfaces. A molecular surface is represented by an expansion of spherical harmonic functions, and the motion of protein atoms around their equilibrium positions is computed by normal mode analysis. The motion of the surface is approximated by projecting the normal mode vectors of the solvent-accessible atoms to the spherical harmonic representation of the molecular surface. These surface motion vectors are represented by a separate spherical harmonic expansion. Representing the surface geometry and the surface motion vectors by spherical harmonic expansions allows variable-resolution analysis and real-time display of the large-scale surface motion. This technique has been applied to interactive visualization, interactive surface manipulation, and animation.