From: Bjoern Olausson (
Date: Wed Apr 21 2010 - 08:34:00 CDT

On Wednesday 21 April 2010 12:57:11 Jennifer Williams wrote:
> Hi,
> I am using tachyon to get high quality still pictures by generating a
> .dat file, changing the render numbers and then typing this command in
> the window
> "N:/myhome/VMD1.8.7/tachyon_WIN32.exe" -aasamples 12 plot01.dat
> -format -o plot01.tga
> This gives great images but now I am stuck on generating movies as I
> don?t seem to have much choice when using the movie-maker and am
> clueless at scripting. I need a movie file in .mpg or .avi for
> submission to a journal (and not bigger than 10MB).
> Whenever I choose tachyon as the renderer within the movie maker I get
> frames generated in .dat which I can?t do anything with and when I use
> tachyon internal the files are automatically written in .bmp. I can?t
> seem to get my frames in targa or any format other than .bmp.
> Is there a script command which could give me high quality snapshots in
> .tga?
> If I continue with my frames in .bmp and generate a movie in videomach
> the image quality is very poor (I do this via preview movie and select
> the highest quality (fast 400x400). TO avoid this I have been using
> convert in unix to stick frames together but this won't give me a mpg
> or avi file!
> Can anyone give me some advice or a script line similar to the one
> above which would work on a whole trajectory rather than a single
> frame?.
> Thanks
> Jenny

If you are familiar with Linux, you can run this script to generate movies
which use different codecs (the one that will run without hazel on every bare
Windows machine is the wmv codec, though I am not sure if the container is the
right one.)

To generate the tachyon (.dat) files, I trick out VMD (don't know if there is
a TCL command to just write out all .dat files). Instead of using the internal
Tachyon, you should use external tachyon and configure a wrong path to the
tachyon executable. VMD will fail to run tachyon on the .dat files, but still
generates all the .dat files. I'll render those files then on our cluster.
"tachyon -aasamples 12 -format PNG frame01.dat -o frame02.png > frame01.out"
Then I just run my script ( on the PNG files.

Hope this helps

Bjoern Olausson
Martin-Luther-Universitšt Halle-Wittenberg 
Fachbereich Biochemie/Biotechnologie
Kurt-Mothes-Str. 3
06120 Halle/Saale
Phone: +49-345-55-24942