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Revision as of 23:57, 2 January 2006 by Warren (talk | contribs) (→‎Ray-Tracing modes)
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ray creates a ray-traced image of the current frame. This can take some time (up to several minutes, depending on image complexity).


ray [width,height [,renderer [,angle [,shift ]]] 

angle' and shift can be used to generate matched stereo pairs


ray 1024,768
ray renderer=0


cmd.ray(int width,int height,int renderer=-1,float shift=0)


Ray-Tracing modes

ray_trace_mode = 0: normal color

ray_trace_mode = 1: normal color + black outline

ray_trace_mode = 2: black outline only

ray_trace_mode = 3: quantized color + black outline

set ray_trace_mode, 1 # (or 2 or 3; best with "bg_color white;set antialias,2")

These two new modes -- 2 and 3 -- are cool cartoon looking modes.

Here are the example images for the new modes

Black and White (ray_trace_mode,2); click to see full image
# Black and White Script
load /tmp/3fib.pdb;
show cartoon;
set ray_trace_mode, 2;  # black and white cartoon
bg_color white;
set antialias, 2;
ray 600,600
png /tmp/1l9l.png

Color mode (ray_trace_mode,3); click to see full image
# Color Script
load /tmp/thy_model/1l9l.pdb;
hide lines;
show cartoon;
set ray_trace_mode, 3; # color
bg_color white;
set antialias, 2;
remove resn HOH
remove resn HET
ray 600,600
png /tmp/1l9l.png


Perspective Example Images

Example with Perspective Turned Off
Example with Perspective Turned On
Example with Perspective Turned On and Field of View Set High (70).


PyMol 0.97 and prior used orthoscopic rendering -- that is, no perspective. Upon the arrival of 0.98 and later, we get perspective based rendering at a cost of a 4x decrease in render speed. If you want perspective

set orthoscopic, off


set orthoscopic, on

To magnify the effect of perspective on the scene,

set field_of_view, X

where 50<X<70. Default is 20. 50-70 gives a very strong perspective effect. Nb. the field of view is in Y, not X as one would expect.


renderer = -1 is default (use value in ray_default_renderer)

renderer = 0 uses PyMOL's internal renderer

renderer = 1 uses PovRay's renderer. This is Unix-only and you must have "x-povray" in your path. It utilizes two temporary files: "tmp_pymol.pov" and "tmp_pymol.png".

Ray Tracing Stereo Images

See Stereo_Ray.


"help faster" for optimization tips with the builtin renderer. "help povray" for how to use PovRay instead of PyMOL's built-in ray-tracing engine.

USER Comments

How do I ray trace a publication-ready (~300dpi) image using PyMol?

This answer is in the Advanced Issues (Image Manipulation Section).