From: Josh Vermaas (
Date: Wed Jul 10 2013 - 15:01:07 CDT

Hi Hunter,

Technically the tutorial isn't lying. Linux is free. :D

On a more useful note, if you are just looking to do a simple trajectory
movie on windows (go through each frame and render a frame), something
like the following should work, but will take some TCL scripting and
external programs. Basically, you'll need to render an image for each
frame in your movie, and then combine them. That is what the movie-maker
plugin does for you, but on windows it requires VideoMach to stitch
together the frames into a movie. Instead, you can just make a purpose
built script to spit out each individual frame, and use an external
program to combine the frames.

#Pick a size for the images. This is more or less arbitrary, and depends
on what looks good. The images will be as big as your OpenGL window
display resize 600 480
set totalframes [molinfo top get numframes]
for { set f 0 } {$f < $totalframes} {incr f} {
    #Goto the right frame.
    animate goto $f
    render snapshot $f.bmp

This gives you a bunch of individual images, which you then need to
combine together into a movie. I'm most familiar with a program called
ffmpeg which will work and has windows binaries available, but a bit of
googling should help you find the option that works best for you. Note
that if the images look terrible, you may want to consider using a
better renderer like Tachyon (snapshot is the cheapest, and best for
just making prototypes quickly). See the documentation for a bit more
info (

Good luck!
-Josh Vermaas

On 07/10/2013 01:22 PM, Hunter Brown wrote:
> I am trying to make movies in VMD, however, VMD says I need MovieMach.exe. MovieMach is not free, contrary to what the 'Using vmd' tutorial states.
> See the tutorial text below:
> "Software requirements. If you cannot successfully make
> movies with VMD, it’s possible that you’re missing some
> softwares required for generating movies. All the required softwares are freely available, and to find what software you need, please see the VMD Movie Plugin page at
> -Hunter
> Hunter Brown
> Bassoonist, Contrabassoonist, Composer, Chemical Engineering Major
> University of New Mexico