From: John Stone (
Date: Wed Nov 26 2014 - 13:49:51 CST

  Both the CPU and GPU-accelerated Tachyon ray tracing engines
in VMD currently implement mirror reflections, however this feature
is not exposed in VMD itself (well it can be done, but only by setting
some magic environment variables).

It would be relatively easy for me to add a new VMD material property
control to allow rendering of mirror reflections when using ray tracing
engines like Tachyon, as well as programs such as POV-Ray, etc.
I never added reflections before because they're poorly suited for OpenGL.
Now that we have interactive ray tracing in VMD, it seems like it might be
more plausible that people might want mirror reflections and other more
advanced material properties. Reflections are clearly useful for making
"pretty" pictures, but I had previously assumed that's only a very very
small part of the usage of VMD. Do people think that would be useful
enough that they'd want it added into the VMD material properties controls?

  John Stone

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