Raytracing with POV-Ray

1x95 Nucleotides example

The Persistence of Vision Raytracer (POV-Ray) is included with Chimera. POV-Ray images can be saved:

Only the PNG (*.png) image format can be saved. In addition to images, files for POV-Ray containing the scene (*.pov) and the raytracing options (*.ini) may be generated. Various raytracing parameters can be set in the POV-Ray Options preferences.

Chimera includes two light sources, key (dominant) and fill (secondary). Their directions and intensities, which can be adjusted in the Lighting tool, are propogated to POV-Ray for raytracing. By default, only the key light produces shiny highlights in Chimera and highlights and shadows in the raytraced result. Decreasing the key-to-fill ratio will decrease the contrast between shadows and unshadowed regions in raytraced images.

See also: exporting a scene, tips on preparing images


Using transparency or per-model clipping may increase rendering time significantly.

A raytraced image from POV-Ray may differ from the view in Chimera in several ways. Some differences are desirable, such as the presence of shadows. Others reflect current limitations of the POV-Ray format and/or its implementation in Chimera:

UCSF Computer Graphics Laboratory / June 2008