From: Axel Kohlmeyer (
Date: Fri Apr 24 2009 - 11:26:58 CDT

On Fri, 2009-04-24 at 23:14 +0800, YangMingjun wrote:
> Dear VMD users,

> I plot a figure in porcupine style of a protein system in VMD. But
> when I zoomed in the saved figure, the edge became unclear. Could
> someone please tell me what to do to plot a figure in publication
> quality? Can the dpi, e.g. 300dpi, be set when saving the figure?

yes and no. it depends on what renderer option you are using.

> I used the following procedure to save my figures:
> file -> render -> render using snapshot->ImageMagick:snap.tga-> file -save

in this case your resolution is restricted by the resolution of
your screen. you can make the OpenGL window as large as possible
to increase the number of pixels. with other renderers this using
a correspondingly scaled up number of pixels is needed as well.
once you have generated a (bitmap) picture you cannot zoom in
without losing resolution, this is just the nature of bitmap data.

there are some vector output formats, but they are somewhat limited
and for printing you still need to convert those into bitmaps
at some point (in the printer at the latest).


p.s.: please have a close look at the VMD (mini) tutorials. there are
examples to teach you how to do stunning images with VMD using external

> many thanks.
> Mingjun

Axel Kohlmeyer
   Center for Molecular Modeling   --   University of Pennsylvania
Department of Chemistry, 231 S.34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323
tel: 1-215-898-1582,  fax: 1-215-573-6233,  office-tel: 1-215-898-5425
If you make something idiot-proof, the universe creates a better idiot.