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Things to consider before making a picture

Things to consider before making a picture

Once you have set up the picture on the screen things you might want to check:


Set up any picture - if you have nothing already try loading rnase.pdb and choosing one of the ribbons styles from the Picture Wizard at the top of the file browser window.

A rendered image can be output in a variety of formats; from the File menu select Render click the Render button. After a while you will be required to enter a file name. A window should appear displaying the new image.

Now try the options for ray tracing and stereo images. Note that for ray-traced shadows to be visible you will need to have a light source somewhere in front of the molecule so that shadows from elements of structure at the front of the model appear on elements of structure further back. There is a button to open the lighting interface which allows moving and changing the light sources.

Ultra smooth ribbons is nice but only sensible if you have a close up of a small section of ribbon/worm.

Beware! Slow in ambient occlusion method really means slow.

Some additional details to help produce images consistent with journal requirements:


CCP4mg can now produce really nice pictures just by taking simple screenshots (File->Screenshot) which in many cases are comparable with the quality are produced by "Render" (and can be better) and produced much more quickly.

To produce high-quality screenshots it is necessary to make sure that shaders are turned on (Edit/QtMG->Preferences->Display->Drawing quality) (and see lighting interface).

One thing which is particularly useful about the screenshot method is that pictures with "occlusion" (again see lighting interface) can be produced in a few seconds, rather than the several hours "Render" might take.

If you are zoomed in close on a small number of spheres, using the "Perfect spheres" drawing style will produce much nicer images.

The notes about high-resolution images for journals mention in the Render section above also apply to screenshots. In fact, low resolution images are not as well anti-aliased (smoothed) with screenshots compared to "Render" so making sure the resolution is high enough is more important for screenshots.

Note that not all features required for high quality screenshots (shaders, ability to create pictures bigger than physical screen, ability to do shadows and occlusion) are available on all systems. This is due to graphics driver limitations. "Render" is available on all systems.