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The Persistence of Vision(tm) Ray-Tracer creates three-dimensional, photo-realistic images using a rendering technique called ray-tracing. It reads in a text file containing information describing the objects and lighting in a scene and generates an image of that scene from the view point of a camera also described in the text file. Ray-tracing is not a fast process by any means, but it produces very high quality images with realistic reflections, shading, perspective and other effects.

The Persistence of Vision(tm) Ray-Tracer was developed from DKBTrace 2.12 (written by David K. Buck and Aaron A. Collins) by a bunch of people, called the POV-Team(tm), in their spare time.

On-line documentation is available locally, as well as at the POV-Ray website.

An out-of-date simple worked example is available to get the idea.

After running setup for POV-Ray, the environment variable $POVSAMPLES points to a directory with various specialized example scripts.

POV-Ray may be used as a rendering engine for RIBBONS and VMD output.

A web interface to POV-ray, designed with O plot files in mind, is available at The Molray Homepage.

To use POV-Ray in the CSB core, type:

setup povray (or source /srv/local/setup/povray.set)

and then the specific povray commands such as,

povray +Icommandfile

Note: One of the most uses of command-line flags is to set the output image type. The SGI and Linux versions of the program often end up with different defaults, so it is useful to specify the file type. Some sample settings are:

See the manual for more detail on file output settings, especially setting the color depth.

Note: POV-Ray uses files to store common configuration settings, such as output format, image size, and library paths. Upon startup POV-Ray will try to read a file called ".povrayrc" in your home directory; failing that it will read the file defined in /srv/local/setup/povray.set. You can copy this defined file (/srv/local/povray/current/etc/povray/current/povray.ini) to your home directory as .povrayrc and edit it.

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 12-Oct-2004 09:13:51 EDT by M. Strickler