From: Ky Wildermuth (
Date: Wed Aug 31 2016 - 15:37:42 CDT


What works for me is rendering with Tachyon and choosing the option
*-lowshade* such as in the example below:

*render Tachyon $filename "/vmd/vmd-1.9/lib/tachyon/tachyon_LINUXAMD64"
$filename -lowshade -format BMP -o $filename.bmp*

This is a low quality rendering option that produces no shading at all (at
least for the systems I have been working with). I am not sure if it would
make a difference but I render the images using lights 0 and 1 on (and all
others off) and I use the surf representation.

I use this to quantify areas of selections based on color via a python
computer vision script and it works well to identify entire selections of a
specific color. You can try some other rendering options if this isn't
exactly what you are looking for; there is a comprehensive list of Tachyon
options on a previous post that you can find here:


I hope this helps.


On Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 2:52 PM, Eric Smoll <> wrote:

> Hello VMD community,
> VMD representations of chemical systems in with a style like VDW shows
> complex shading. This shading is dependent on the lighting scheme and shows
> the curvature of each atomic sphere. I am interested in generating an image
> with no shading. If the system contains two types of atoms coloured red and
> blue, the image should only contain pure red and pure blue at any viewing
> angle. I want an image with no contrast between atoms of the same type.
> Can this be done in VMD? If not, does anyone know of a visualization tool
> that might be able to accomplish this?
> Best,
> Eric