From: Charles McAnany (
Date: Mon Jul 27 2015 - 11:59:29 CDT

The photographer in me has been having too much fun with the DOF features
in the lastest VMD, and it got me thinking about the camera. There are two
things I haven't been able to figure out how to do:

1. Change the focal length of the camera. As it stands, the focal lengths
available are 'perspective' and 'orthographic'. Sometimes, the
'perspective' is too wide-angle and the molecule gets heavily distorted
when I fill the screen with it. The orthographic projection, however, is
too flat and doesn't convey the sense of depth I want (and also I can't use
DOF with the orthographic projection). It seems that zooming in VMD is
similar to moving the molecule relative to the camera, so the only way to
get the perspective I want is to push the molecule away, then render, then
crop the rendered image.
If it's not currently possible, I think a simple slider in the display
settings box that lets the user select a focal length (maybe a slider from
'perspective' to 'orthographic' to keep it straightforward) would be very
handy for many users.

2. Tilt the lens relative to the film plane (see For example,
yesterday I was rendering a dimer and I wanted the interface to be in
focus. However, with the current DOF tool, I couldn't figure out a way to
skew the plane of focus to move it where I want. This is, to be sure, an
unusual need, and if it'd be hard to implement in Tachyon then I totally
I can't think of a time when I've wanted to shift the lens when rendering
proteins, but, again, if it's easy to implement, then it'd be a cool
feature to have.