From: John Stone (
Date: Thu Dec 01 2016 - 15:06:03 CST

  You can use the built-in GPU-accelerated TachonLOptiX renderer
(either batch, or interactive flavor) on that machine and it should
perform extremely well for the rendering itself. You can run batch
renderings remotely using the GPU ray tracer even when running VMD
in text mode with "-dispdev text", this is how we use the GPU ray tracer
when doing large movie renderings on remote parallel computers like
Blue Waters or Titan, for example.

If you want to do the rendering interactively, then you'll first
need to resolve your remote display issue. In our lab, we have used
a variety of remote display software, but our favorite is Nice DCV,
because it provides excellent performance for both simple desktop
apps like graphing utilities and it uses H.264 video streaming to
provide very high speed remote OpenGL (30 FPS is quite common for
moderately sized windows). We have DCV servers running on Linux workstations
and most of the scientists use Mac laptops, and that has been an
excellent combination. If you don't want to use DCV, then I would
recommend looking at one of the various VNC options (tightvnc, turbovnc, etc),
or other low cost commercial remote desktop implementations like FastX,
NX, or others.

Once you get your remote desktop issue resolved, using one of the interactive
ray tracing engines is pretty straightforward, and they provide a WYSIWYG
interactive rendering window with a variety of mouse and function key
controls to adjust the key lighting features, depth of field focal distances,
and so on. I can help you use these features once you get the remote
desktop issue solved.

  John Stone

On Thu, Dec 01, 2016 at 07:41:59PM +0000, Eiros Zamora, Juan wrote:
> Dear all,
> I usually use VMD for quick visualisation purposes on an OSX machine. I have access to a host with CentOS 7.2 and 4 GTX TITAN cards. Since I've seen that there have been rendering upgrades with the new version of VMD, I was wondering if I could use that to render images with Tachyon with high quality for publication (since it takes a long time on the Mac). What version/release should I download to get full advantage of those GPUs?
> (Aside note: I've thought about logging into the Linux machine via ssh with X11 forwarding and use VMD there, but for some reason I can't do ssh -X to any host from my Mac as the command does nothing and hangs. Just wondering if someone else has experienced this)
> Thanks for any comments on the matter,
> Juan Eiros

NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801           Phone: 217-244-3349