[Chimera-users] pub preset: Chimera vs. ChimeraX silhouettes

Elaine Meng meng at cgl.ucsf.edu
Wed Jan 5 10:17:40 PST 2022

Hi Ralph,
It looks like the difference between the pub presets of Chimera and ChimeraX is all in the silhouette edges (black outlines), and that what you want is for them to be thicker and drawn in more places.  These are the silhouette linewidth and depthJump parameters, which can be controlled in the ChimeraX "graphics silhouettes" command:

E.g. to make them fatter in ChimeraX

graphics silhouettes width 3

....and drawn in more places

graphics silhouettes depthJump 0.01

As I understand it, the reason the preset can't make these exactly 1-to-1 between the two programs in all situations is that it depends on the graphics windowsize, the size of the image that you save, and depth (Z-range) of the data that is shown, since depth jump is a fraction of that rather than a specific distance.  So if you had a smaller protein it would be better about drawing the silhouettes around individual parts of the ribbon.  

I hope this helps,
Elaine C. Meng, Ph.D.                       
UCSF Chimera(X) team
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of California, San Francisco

> On Jan 5, 2022, at 9:56 AM, Ralph Loring <rhloring at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I've been trying out ChimeraX v. 1.3 vs. Chimera v. 1.15 on the same computer and notice that the publication presets for Chimera (Preset publication 1) look to my eye far superior to the preset publication setting for ChimeraX.  This is really noticeable when comparing side by side at 400% enlargement.  The attached tif file was created from powerpoint at 300 dpi comparing the same set of pdbs superimposed using Matchmaker from similar vantage points (but colored differently) and saved as tiff files or copied using screenshots.  To my eye, the screenshot of the Chimera image is better than the ChimeraX tiff and the Chimera tiff is the best of all.  The alpha helices in ChimeraX look washed out and the shading is less defined.  Is there any way to get comparable images to the Chimera preset publication 1 in ChimeraX?
> Also, although these images are from the same pdb sources, it seems that the backbone ribbon is much more jagged in ChimeraX.  Is there more smoothing in the algorithm for Chimera? Not that it matters that much, but I'd just like to know.
> Thanks,
> Ralph Loring
> Associate Professor of Pharmacology
> Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
> 166 TF
> Northeastern University
> 360 Huntington Avenue 
> Boston, MA 02115 USA
> 617-373-3216 office
> 617-373-8886 fax
> r.loring at northeastern.edu

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