From: John Stone (
Date: Fri Sep 30 2011 - 12:19:23 CDT

  Sorry for the slow reply, I've been out of town and am just now
catching up on emails. See below:

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 06:43:14PM -0500, Thomas Bishop wrote:
> Dear VMD,
> I have access to a display wall. I haven't tried to use it yet but a quick
> skim of manual says I can't do
> trajectory animations but only rotations etc...(if I read it correclty)

It depends on what kind of display wall you have. Some really don't perform
very well for display of dynamics, others do fine. Tell me more about your
display wall and what software it uses. If it's using WireGL or Chromium,
then displaying trajectories will be "challenging", and the speed will go down
with increasing numbers of display tiles. I've run VMD on a 20 tile wall
(5x4 tile grid) running Chromium, and that was my experience previously.
If your tiled display wall has fewer tiles, or it uses a fast InfiniBand
network, then you might be able to display dynamics with good performance.

> What if instead of a single trajectory or molecular image displayed
> across the entire wall , I want to display results from an ensemble of
> calculations... say
> I have a tiled display wall of 16 monitors and I have 16 simulations
> each w/ nearly identical molecs and trajectory data but DIFF simulations.

If you're running through a single VMD instance, that won't make
any difference. The issue is that the geometry has to be
broadcast to all of the displays, and as the number of tiles increases,
the network usually becomes a bottleneck. The way to avoid this would
be to run independent VMD instances on each display, and control them
from a simple Tcl script. That would give you full performance on each
display tile.

> Is there a simple way to control separate instances of VMD (one for each
> monitor ) w/ a single GUI s.t the rotations, animations, selections in
> one are used for all instances?

Yes, you can write a bit of Tcl to do that. Have a look at this script
as a crude starting point:

  John Stone

> Think campbell's soup& andy warhol meet VMD.
> THanks
> Tom
> --
> *******************************
> Thomas C. Bishop
> Tel: 318-257-5209
> Fax: 318-257-3823
> ********************************

NIH Resource 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       Fax: 217-244-6078