POV-Ray Blobs

April 25, 2007

This tool renders the displayed atoms as a collection of POV-Ray blobs. The resulting image is similar in appearance to a molecular surface computed using smaller atomic radii. More information about blobs may be found in the POV-Ray documentation as well as other tutorials.

Installing this extension adds an entry PovBlob to the Tools->Depiction menu, as well as a povblob command.


This tool may be invoked from the command line using the following syntax:

povblob [ options... ]

Each option consists of a keyword and an associated value. Supported keywords are:

smaller threshold values make the blobs larger. Default value 0.3.
higher strength values make the blobs more spherical. Default value 1.0.
name of output PNG image file. Default value blob.png.
name of POV-Ray input file. If not supplied by the user, the input file is discarded.

PovBlob may also be invoke from the graphical user interface. Selecting PovBlob from the Tools->Depiction menu will bring up a "save" dialog with some options below; displayed atoms in all displayed molecules will be included in the image. Selecting the pov blob from the Model Panel will also bring up the same interface, but only the displayed atoms from the selected models will be included in the image.

The top portion of the dialog is the save panel where the user may select the name for the output image file. Options corresponding to threshold and strength as described above are displayed as counter widgets. If the Add .png suffix if missing check box is selected, a ".png" suffix will be added to output file names that do not have the extension. If the Save POV input check box is selected, the POV-Ray input file will be saved under the same name as the output image file, but with a ".pov" extension.


April 25, 2007.
Inspired by the suggestions of David Konerding.