The Persistance of Vision
Raytracer, or just POVray, is a powerful raytracing package, which is freely
available and runs on all major platforms. Being a raytracer, it allows the
creation of complex three dimensional scenes with stunning realism and
incredible artistic beauty, achieving effects that a realtime 3D rendering
system cannot or only with difficulty achieve. The increase in quality is payed
by a decrease in rendering time. A single image can take minutes or hours to
render, and raytracing is therefore not suited for interactive work.
DINO can generate a POVray
scene from its current objects. This scene can be improved, modified, adjusted
and tweaked with all the myriads of options POVray has to offer. This tutorial
attempts to introduce the interested DINO user into the amazing possibilities
offered by POVray. For a complete treatment, please consult the POVray manual
and the numerous tutorials found on the POVray
A patch to improve POVrays usability for scientific visualization (by
adding color interpolation between triangle vertices)
is available here.
In a nutshell: A POVray scene is exported
from DINO, resulting in two files: a
.pov file and a .inc file. The latter is usually quite large
and contains the descriptions of all 3D primitives that make up the scene. The
former file contains all user editable parameters: scene related settings
depth effect) and - for each object - the material settings.
It is easy to get carried away with the infinite number of possible adjustments
offered by POVray. One should attempt nevertheless to maintain a careful balance
between artistic ambition and scientific message. The beauty of an image can
always be improved, its scientific content not.
(c) 2001-2005 Ansgar Philippsen