The basic rendering options of
Swiss-PdbViewer is a wireframe mode, without depth sorting.
I didn't bother implementing this because this mode is good
enough to work with proteins. But sometimes (for
publications), you will need better images. Therfore, I
support two other rendering modes: Quickdraw3D, and Pov-Ray.
To give you a better idea of the kind of
images that can be generated, have a look at a page containing the same scene rendered with
QuickDraw3D can generate very good images fairly quickly,
and that can be accelerated by hardware. Besides, it is also
availaible on PC, which lets me share the same code among
Mac and PC versions.
You can modify some rendering parameters such as the
bonds radius, the atom radius, the rendering smoothness, and
so on... with the Q3D menu items of the Preferences menu.
Increasing the smoothness will only divide a sphere with
more facets, which improves the look of your image, but also
dramatically increases the rendering time. Therefore, a good
idea is to set-up your scene with low resolution controls,
and increase the rendering parameters only when everything
Smoothness Nb of facets used to
describe one sphere:
Note that at this point, you may also want to render in
background while working in an other application. You should
be able to work without even noticing that an image is
calculated since I have assigned a very low priority to the
Note that you don't necessarily need a high number of
facets to describe a good-looking sphere, provided you
enable the "use meshes" options.
Smoothness = 3
Smoothness = 6
- Labels are not rendered yet (but they can be rendered
with POV-Ray 3).
- When you want stereo views, you have to render the
image twice (one for each eye) and then assemble it
manually with your favourite painting program.
- Images appear in 256 colors on screen, but will
always be saved in millions of colors.
- You will have to allocate enough RAM to the program
so that the entire image (24 bits) can reside in RAM. I
will add a "render huge images to disk" option later.
If you want a better image quality than the default view
or the Quickdraw3D rendering can provide, you can export a
POV scene description of the current
view. You will get Ray-traced quality images (it means you
can add reflections, refractions and transparencies and
shadows to your views). Of course, Ray-tracing is quite
expensive in computationnal time, so it would be a good idea
to use the other modes to set-up the view.