7.9 Save the image

VEGA ZZ allows to save the current 3D view or the molecule in the current workspace to 2D sketch both in bitmap and vector-based files. This function is useful to insert images in documents (e.g. Microsoft Word,   Html, etc). To show the following dialog window, you must select File Save image in main menu or click the camera picture of the Tool bar 1:


Save image requester


The following table shows the file formats written by VEGA ZZ: the first column is the format name, the second one is the file extension, the third one is the type (V2 = vector-based 2D, V3 = vector-based 3D and B = bitmap) the fourth one is the image type (2D = 2D sketch and 3D = 3D view) and the last one indicates if the effects are applicable:

Format name Extension Type Image type Effects
Bitmap bmp B 2D/3D Yes
GIF gif B 3D No
Encapsulated PostScript eps V2 3D No
Enhanced Metafile emf V2 2D No
JPEG jpg B 2D/3D Yes
LaTex tex V2 3D No
PCX pcx B 2D/3D Yes
PDF pdf V2 2D/3D No
Portable Network Graphics (PNG) png B 2D/3D Yes
PostScript ps V2 3D No
POV-Ray pov V3 3D No
Pnm pnm B 2D/3D Yes
Raw Data raw B 2D/3D Yes
Silicon Graphics sgi B 2D/3D Yes
SVG svg V2 2D/3D No
Targa tga B 2D/3D Yes
TIFF tif B 2D/3D Yes
VRML 2.0 wrl V3 3D No
VRML 2.0 gzipped wrz V3 3D No

The Rendering modes and the Effects are available for the 3D bitmap formats only. The Snapshot mode does an exact copy of the current view with the same resolution. If you want to obtain an image differing from the size of the current view, you must use Hardware or the Software modes. In both cases, you can choose a pre-defined (320x240, 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x720, 1280x1024, 1600x1200, 1920x1080 and 2048x1536) or a custom resolution. The Hardware rendering is performed directly by the GPU (Graphic Processing Unit)  installed in the graphic card and uses its memory. The resulting rendering is better than the software-based, because it applies the enhanced hardware anti-aliasing and the texture filtering (if they are available). You must remember that the this feature is available in high-performance graphic cards with a strong OpenGL support (e.g. ATI, NVIDIA and Matrox). If your display adapter doesn't support this rendering mode, an error message is shown.  Another problem afflicting this mode, is the memory installed on the graphic card that influences the maximum rendering resolution. For this reason, if you try to render a bitmap larger than the graphic memory, an error message is shown. Graphic cards with at least 128 Mb of RAM are recommended for this operating mode. The Software rendering mode works with all graphic cards, because it uses the system memory instead of the hardware features. In this way, it's possible to render very large images, but the quality isn't so good, even if often it's comparable to that of a cheap graphic card. The real limit of the Software rendering is inside the Microsoft OpenGL driver: it supports one light source only and so it's impossible to render all four light sources that VEGA ZZ can manage. To improve the Software rendering, you could activate the AntiAlias option reducing the jagged edges. The algorithm oversamples the image (4x or 16x) increasing its size to 2x or 4x, performing a more precise rendering. Finally, it resizes the image to the user-defined dimension applying  a smoothing pixel algorithm. The 16x AntiAlias generates better images but it requires a lot of memory.


If the output format is a true-color bitmap file, it's possible to apply some Effects:

No effects   Picture without effects
Gaussian blur Gaussian blur
Emboss Emboss
Gray scale Gray scale
Gray scale + emboss Gray scale + emboss

Notes about the vector file formats:
The conversion of an OpenGL scene to a 2D vector scene is very complex and requires some computational time. Not all OpenGL objects can be rendered and so is possible that some details are missing in the rendered file (e.g. transparencies, smooth vectors). Please remember that VEGA ZZ doesn't require the expensive Adobe Acrobat to create the PDF file. Click here to see an example of a PDF file.
The conversion to the VRML format is provided by the Gl2Vrml library that reconstructs the three-dimensional scene decoding the OpenGL feedback buffer and this operation is very fast thanks to the code optimization (SSE, 3DNow! and parallel code). To show the VRML world, a VRML viewer is required (e.g. ParallelGraphics Cortona VRML Client or Cosmo Player).


Download a VRML 2.0 plug-in to show the 3D object

VRML 2.0 output example


The POV-Ray output is provided in order to render the scene with the Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer. You must remember this implementation is experimental and the polygons outside the OpenGL view port are cut-out from the final scene creating uncompleted objects.


Rendered image

POV-Ray rendering example