High resolution rendering and image saving

The ViewMol3D can generate high resolution pictures of the viewing molecules and save it to the BMP and PNG-24 formats. To do that it can use either build-in renders or external program the POV-Ray.

To create BMP or PNG file just press key 'p' or choose 'SaveBMP' menu item. There are three different ways to render the saving image in the ViewMol3D:

  • Window rendering - content of the viewing window is saved to the file with better "presentation" quality. The resolution of the picture corresponds to size of the viewing window.

  • Software offscreen rendering - software OpenGL emulation is used to generate the image. The resolution is set in the INI file. It is rather slow rendering, but very portable, can work on any system with the Microsoft Windows installed. Note that only Microsoft OpenGL dynamic link library support this rendering, which is exist by default in the system. However if you have the SGI OpenGL32.dll installed instead standart DLL in your system the error can occur.

  • Hardware offscreen rendering - acceleration possibilities of the videocard is used to create the picture, namely the Pixel Buffer extention. The resolution is also set in the INI file. Note that resolution of the image is restricted by size of the available video memory. For example, if your video card have 16 Mb onboard or shared memory the image with 4096x4096, that is 12 Mb, resolution can be created. However bigger image, like 8192x8192, that is 192 Mb, can not be rendered, because it does not fit into the video memory and obtained file will be complitely black. So, if large picture is necessary use software rendering, which is limited only by available main memory. This method of rendering is very fast, however it does not work on very old hardware. You need to have at least NVidia RIVA TNT2, ATI RAGE 128 Pro or Intel 810 video card. If a error message: "Necessary extensions were not supported" appears during saving of the image you have unsupported videocard and should choose another option for the rendering.

The method of rendering of the picture can be choosen in INI file as well as format to save it, either BMP or PNG. PNG format have two main advantages, it occupy much smaller space due to used lossless compression (usually about ten times) and have transparent background, so anybody can insert very easily such pictures into a web page or a presentation, as it showed on the right. Please note that some Internet browsers do not support transparent PNG-24 images, even so widely used Microsoft Internet Explorer. In such case, you need to convert PNG-24 images to PNG-8 format with indexed colors instead true colors.

To generate POV-Ray file choose 'SavePOV' menu item. Obtained pov file can be edited in any text editor or in the POV-Ray GUI to change colors, lights, background, transparency, etc.

Some examples of generated pictures:

Sucrose molecule Sucrose molecule
Picture of the sucrose molecule generated by the internal OpenGL render Picture of the sucrose molecule generated with help of the POV-Ray
Fragment Fragment
Fragment of the above picture Fragment of the above picture


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