From: Ben Lowe (
Date: Tue Nov 15 2016 - 12:44:53 CST

Dear Josh,

Thank you for this information, particularly its useful to know there
is no obvious binary for the OptiX implementation.

It is a shame that rendering to custom resolutons requires sacrificing the GUI.

My issue with doing this non-interactively is that saving the state
with VMD does not produce exactly the same image as my interative
session, as you put it, it "tries its hardest" though!

Kind Regards,

On 12 November 2016 at 22:46, Vermaas, Joshua <> wrote:
> Hi Ben,
> My understanding is that there isn't a standalone GPU-enabled Tachyon
> binary. The tachyon binary you are calling actually comes from John's
> independent passion project (,
> which was CPU-only. John might have an OptiX variant that can be called
> independently, but otherwise you are stuck with whats inside VMD.
> Happily though, the most common request (arbitrary resolution) can be
> done through a non-interactive VMD session pretty easily.
> Basically you set up the view as you like at a smaller resolution but
> with the same aspect ratio, and save the VMD visualization state (lets
> say state.vmd). This is just a plain Tcl script that tries its hardest
> to recreate the scene you've setup (although for whatever reason leaves
> the axes as the default). Then you add some things to the end of the script.
> axes location off; #Turn off the axes. I wanna see molecules, not 3 arrows
> render TachyonLOptiXInternal test.ppm; #Does the actual rendering
> exit; #Tell VMD to quit after rendering. Super useful for batch jobs
> that otherwise waste node-hours
> Then you call this non-interactively from the terminal. The VMD
> command-line options are handy for this
> (
> vmd -dispdev text -e state.vmd -size 4800 4800
> In non-interactive mode, whatever you pass as the argument for size is
> the rendered size (in pixels), and is how you can get sizes *greatly* in
> excess of you monitor resolution.
> -Josh
> On 11/11/2016 11:23 AM, Ben Lowe wrote:
>> I would like to render using the GPU-enabled TachyonLOptiXInternal,
>> and custom options (such as a high resolution).
>> I have managed to do this succesfull for the CPU Tachyon using the
>> following command:
>> render Tachyon scene.dat
>> "/local/scratch/bml1g12/Software/vmd-1.9.2/install/vmd/tachyon_LINUXAMD64
>> -aasamples 12 -trans_max_surfaces 1 %s -format TGA -res 846 626 -o
>> %s.tga"
>> But this relies upon passing the PATH of the executable for the the
>> CPU Tachyon (/local/scratch/bml1g12/Software/vmd-1.9.2/install/vmd/tachyon_LINUXAMD6)
>> and as I do not know the PATH of the GPU enabled Tachyon, I cannot use
>> this for TachyonLOptiXInternal. How can I find the path for the GPU
>> enabled tachyon (TachyonLOptiXInternal)?
>> Or alternatively, how can I run TachyonLOptiXInternal with options?
>> My question seems similar to the unanswered question last year from
>> Parker de Waal :
>> Kind Regards,
>> Ben