Here are some notes on my preferences for rendering with VMD’s tachyon. For example, this comparison of some proteins was made with the Space Filling method below:

Space Filling (good for proteins)

  1. Choose VDW Drawing Method with AOChalky as the material (Graphics->Representation…).
  2. Turn ofo axes (Display->Axes->off)
  3. Enable shadows and ambient occlusion (Display->Display Settings…)
  4. Make carbon gray (Graphics->Colors). Choose name “C” and change it to gray.
  5. (Optional) Change background to white (in colors, Display->Background)
  6. Render (File->Render…) and choose Tachyon as the rendering engine. See how to change image size
  7. (Optional) The default colors in VMD are over-saturated. You can open with Gimp and choose Colors->Saturation… Turn it down to about 0.8

Cartoon Style (good for organic molecules)

  1. Choose CPK Drawing Method with AOEdgy as the material (Graphics->Representation…).
  2. Increase bond radius to 0.5
  3. Turn of axes (Display->Axes->off)
  4. Enable shadows and ambient occlusion (Display->Display Settings…)
  5. Make carbon gray (Graphics->Colors). Choose name “C” and change it to gray.
  6. Modify material (Graphics->Materials). Change Specular to 0, Shininess to 0.2, Outline to 3.0, OutlineWidth to 0.75
  7. (Optional) Change background to white (in colors, Display->Background)
  8. Render (File->Render…) and choose Tachyon as the rendering engine. See how to change image size
  9. (Optional) The default colors in VMD are over-saturated. You can open with Gimp and choose Colors->Saturation… Turn it down to about 0.8

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