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Graphics Software

POV-Ray 10th Anniversary Contest 216

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the pretty-pictures dept.
erich666 writes "You could win a great computer by making a cool image. POV-Ray is a free multiplatform ray-tracing renderer with source available. To celebrate POV-Ray's tenth anniversary some hobbyists are having a contest, and they convinced a few sponsors to donate some nice goodies. Me, I'm a no-talent slug, but still found their site's hall of fame worth visiting."
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POV-Ray 10th Anniversary Contest

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:30PM (#10018972)
    I NEED the great computer to win the make great work to win the contest.
    • "I NEED the great computer to win the make great work to win the contest."

      Hehe. You wouldn't believe how many times I've heard people blame their computer's speed for their art sucking. Guess they never saw the Last Starfighter.
    • Re:That's backwards (Score:3, Informative)

      by soluzar22 (219097) *
      No you don't, that's just it. POV-Ray is incredibly light-weight on your machine. It works by processing plain text files, which have scene definitions written in a pseudo-code language. If you have a machine that is sucky, it will just take that much longer to process your final image. You have used POV-Ray before?
      • "No you don't, that's just it. POV-Ray is incredibly light-weight on your machine. It works by processing plain text files, which have scene definitions written in a pseudo-code language. If you have a machine that is sucky, it will just take that much longer to process your final image. "

        I haven't used POV Ray so take what I'm saying with a grain of salt, but I think the idea is that you're supposed to use a GUI that creates that text file for you. I doubt the samples of art in their gallery were create
        • You could be right... When I last used POV-Ray, it was back on the old Atari ST, and in those days, you would crank out the text file by hand. I managed to get a few simple scenes done, even so.
        • Re:That's backwards (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          "but I think the idea is that you're supposed to use a GUI that creates that text file for you."

          Not really. While you might use a GUI modler to make some of the 3D models, it's easier to do most of the stuff in the text files.

          The easiest examples to demonstrate this that I can think of are the Povray Short Code Contest [swin.edu.au] Where 256-byte(!!!) programs make incredible 3D scenes including realistic landscapes, pottery collections, urban landscapes, jungles, red-blood-cell closeups, etc.

          With a few more tha

      • Re:That's backwards (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Solder Fumes (797270) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:03PM (#10019128)
        Well, editing a text file is indeed lightweight. But rendering is a different story...and if you have a slow computer, you can't render as many times to tweak everything just right.

        For example, this [rr.com] takes quite a while to render on a 1.2GHz machine, even though those are just speckle shells and not individual hairs. This [rr.com] wasn't too bad, I think 10 hours on a 233MHz laptop. Likewise with this one [rr.com]. But this [rr.com] one took a couple days on a 1.2GHz machine due to all the internal reflections and focal blurring. Also, this Megatokyo fanart [rr.com] took a day or so to render. Nothing really complex as far as the actual objects go, just a lot of light and atmospherics.

        I also kind of like it for roughing out mechanical parts, though of course it's no AutoCAD. This [rr.com] was part of something I was trying to put together with rollerblade wheels. And here [rr.com] was the furniture set I modeled while planning out a dorm layout one year in college.

        None of this stuff involved modelers at all, just typed in, using macros and recursion where possible. You start with a simple sphere statement, and then it gets addictive.
        • Re:That's backwards (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Short Circuit (52384) *
          I never really messed with POV-Ray, but I do know you can change your rendering resolution, to render faster. That won't capture all the detail, though.

          Perhaps you can render only specific regions of an image at its final resolution?
          • Re:That's backwards (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Solder Fumes (797270)
            Yes, in the Windows GUI you can start a render at your final settings and then stop it. Then you can click on the image and select a rectangle which can then be rendered by itself. However on files like the Seraphim one, even a little 50x100 sliver can take several minutes. I usually use very small sizes to check how atmospherics and reflections look overall at the final quality settings, I use low-detail rendering at full or half-size to place objects, and I render selected areas at full resolution to che
      • I remember that I used to run POV *animations* in a DOS box in Windows 3.something back when I still used that. Must have been on a 386/33 or possibly a 486/50 at the end.

        It ran fine while I worked on Word in the foreground (well tried to work in Word, but that was Word's fault because it was quite broken at the time, even when running by itself).

        I only did very low resolution but had lots of fun at the time. POV was a great tool even back then.
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gma i l . c om> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:44PM (#10019056) Homepage Journal
      I NEED the great computer to win the make great work to win the contest.

      Cry me a river. When I first started using POV-Ray, I had a 486 w/4MB of RAM and a puny 200 meg hard drive! The program came on three 5.12" disks, and I had no TARGA Viewer to see the output! I had to put up with grainy previews just to see what the heck I was rendering!

      Bah, kids these days. 16 million colors, Three-Dee graphics cards, hundreds of megabytes of RAM, not to mention math COPROCESSORS! And you think you NEED a faster machine?! You're all a bunch of whiners, that's what you are! ;-)
      • by BollocksToThis (595411) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:22PM (#10019219) Journal
        The program came on three 5.12" disks

        Now that's hardship - shipping you software on disks that don't properly slot into a 5.25" drive!
      • Got Ya Beat (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2004 @11:37PM (#10019785)
        I'm one of the 2 original developers of POV-Ray. Originally, it was called DKBTrace. I actually coined the name "POV" for it, and did the initial port to IBM-PC from Amiga, as well as wrote the orginal display preview routines and many of the internal textures.

        When I co-developed POV-Ray, I did it on a 20 Mhz 286, with a '287, That right, a 286!! It had about 8 MB of extended memory. It ran 4 60 GB Full-height 5-1/4" MFM Hard Drives - 2 with an old XT controller and the main 2 with the standard AT controller. The VGA card had just been introduced and we needed more colorful apps badly!

        A simple test trace of a sphere and checkerboard would take 2-4 hours. A moderately complex scene would take 2-3 DAYS at 640x480 and AA on.

        POV-Ray was developed between the two of us over the period of about 3 years, transferring files via MODEM at 2400 baud back and forth. A friend set us up a Raytracing BBS to distribute it, called "You Can Call Me RAY". Eventually, Compuserve gave us a complimentary development area to use there (and that was back when they were charging $$$ by the MINUTE, that was nice of them!).

        After 5 yars of intense development, the original author and I burned out and let the current group continue to develop and distribute the program. All this was several years before "The Internet" became a thing. It is really gratifiying to see what some of the true artists have done with "my baby".

        • Thanks for the info! That's really interesting stuff! Could you answer one question for me, though? There's some argument over whether POV originally stood for "Persistence of Vision" or "Point of View". (I was always partial to the former, myself.) Did POV actually stand for the later and get morphed into the former, or are all these "Point of View" people just making this stuff up?
          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 20, 2004 @12:16AM (#10019966)
            Hehe... Well, I guess this is a Slashdot exclusive; it's been a long asked and wondered about question. It's Persistence of Vision. It was named in homage to my favorite Salvador Dali painting, "The Persistence of Memory", the one with the melting clocks. There, now you have it, the real story.

            It was later pointed out to me that it was a nice double entendre for "Point of View" as well. We were worried maybe the TV show "POV" might get mad (well, not really). Actually, there was another copyrighted program called POV. I can't remember exactly was it was for, but it wasn't rendering or visualization, but that's why we called it "POV-Ray" instead of just "POV".
        • I actually coined the name "POV" for it, and did the initial port to IBM-PC from Amiga

          I remember POV-Ray for the Amiga back in the late 80's. So what exactly is this a 10th anniversary of?
  • by soluzar22 (219097) * <soluzar@hotmail.com> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:30PM (#10018973)
    Seriously, POV-Ray is a great piece of software, but if it's not changed since I last used it, then you need to be some kind of math/spacial-relationships/geometry god to create anything cool. Muchos Respect going to those who can do that stuff.
    • by Solder Fumes (797270) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:34PM (#10018999)
      Yeah, that helps, and it's the way I prefer to do it. But many modelers export to POV-Ray, and there are modelers specifically for it like Moray [stmuc.com].
    • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:40PM (#10019037)
      A free graphical front end for POV-Ray is Moray [stmuc.com].

      Also check out Art of Illusion [artofillusion.org] which is a full-featured cross-platform modeler/raytracer but has a POV-Ray export feature. I know the author from work and he is a genius.

      • by ShinmaWa (449201) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:04PM (#10019129)
        A free graphical front end for POV-Ray is Moray [stmuc.comx].

        Well, to be clear, Moray is not free. Its nagware. A fully registered license costs 80 Euros. However, the unregistered version is not crippled. It does nag a lot though.
      • Is Midnight Modeller still being developed? I remember using that quite a while back. I don't think that was much easier to use than the scripting language, though.

        sPatch was a fun little program too - great for those organic shapes I couldn't script. I don't know how much help these programs are though -- it's been several years since I've done any raytracing.
        • You might want to check out JPatch [jpatch.org], a patch modeler implemented in Java. Although it's still in beta, it goes way beyond the capabilities of what sPatch could do. It even handles 5 point patches (ala Animation:Master [hash.com]. It's a great little modeler, and it'll eventually support animation.

          And yes, it exports to POV-Ray.

      • I've used moray dos version since 3.0 days. It's useful on Dos but the windows version is more useful for most. looking at the current download site [stmuc.com] all windows versions are shareware only and must be registered for any useful work.
    • The scripting language is really not all that bad (especially compared to VRML, the other graphics scripting language I've used). You can build complex objects by generating them within loops or recursive macro calls - you can make a halfway decent looking tree in less than a page of code. If you're used to pointing and clicking, it can be a pain, but some things that would be near impossible to create in gui modeller are easy to program.

      CSG helps the user friendliness quite a bit. With ray tracers, it

    • if it's not changed since I last used it, then you need to be some kind of math/spacial-relationships/geometry god to create anything cool.

      Hardly. You need to remember some school geometry and have a reasonably visual imagination.

      I think it's far more fun than the GUI graphics toys. Perfect for programmers, who are used to building abstract descriptions in order to create concrete end results.

  • Also check out... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:31PM (#10018976)
    Also check out http://www.irtc.org/ [irtc.org].

    Internet Ray Tracing Competition
    • Speaking of which... (Score:5, Informative)

      by aquasheep (681072) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:19PM (#10019204)

      One of the hall of fame pictures featured, The Wet Bird [povcomp.com] was the March-April 2001 IRTC Winner.

      This is an amazing piece of artwork. One of the other artists [oyonale.com] (scroll to bottom) even mentions that "The Wet Bird" was accused of being a photograph when it was submitted.

      Unbelievable stuff.

      • by Chazmati (214538) on Friday August 20, 2004 @07:00AM (#10021192)
        Ive seen this image. It's great. I never saw accusations of the entire image being a photograph, the comments [irtc.org] were more like
        "What city did you take this photograph in? (:"
        The author, however, describes the process here [irtc.org], and you soon realize that many photographs were as texture maps to make it.
        ...The bird is an image map with an alpha channel put on a box...

        ...The first building on the left is derived from pictures I took from a real one in New York. It is pure CSG (with some help of my windows macro), textured with an image map painted directly on an orthographic view of the model. The second building on the left is made of a CSG frame textured with 30 different small image maps of windows and wall panes (scanned from a photo)...

        ...The street lamps and traffic lights are a mix of CSG constructs and sPatch models. The shapes, sizes and proportions were (clumsily) derived from several detailed photos. The "Don't walk" image is a photo of the real thing. The signs are photos of real NYC signs, heavily retouched and sometimes
        rewritten...
        Not that any of this diminishes the artistic and technical ability of the author to 'put it all together' and produce an excellent image. If I could be so talented. :)
  • by suso (153703) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:32PM (#10018984) Homepage Journal
    There are a couple of binary groups for povray on their own news server and some of the things that the people do there are really neat. They experiment with making povray do cloth effects and glowing. It's neat to see them develop these functions over time. Some of the early tries are kinda funny. Plus, there is a lot of cool stuff on the newsgroup that never makes it into the IRTC contest or POV-Ray hall of fame.
  • by Kris_J (10111) * on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:33PM (#10018992) Journal
    A red and white checkered ball next to a Roman arch with a background of stormclouds. It's going to kick arse.
  • by oostevo (736441) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:34PM (#10018995) Homepage
    Don't get me wrong, POV-Ray is a wonderful renderer.

    I'm getting a bit sick, though, of having to use a conversion script every time I want to render something from Blender in POV-Ray (if even just to test the camera angles or lighting).

    Any word on either the Blender or POV-Ray project getting a bit of compatibility between the two biggest open source 3D projects?

    • Well, Blender has it's own renderer built into it...and it now has built in Yafray compatibilies, which both are better renderers than POV-Ray IMHO.

      I'm not sure if they're going to be pointing it anymore toward POV-Ray as they seem to be heading down the Yafray path. But since anyone could write a plug-in for it, I don't see it being impossible for POV-Ray to be better intergrated.
      • Last time I looked, Blender's renderer, while decent, couldn't hold a candle to raytracers; it was mainly good for previewing. However, that was back before the whole open source blender thing, so it may be improved.

        Unfortunately, Yafray has some of the weirdest compilation requirements I've ever seen. And glancing at their page, it looks like they've gotten even worse than last time I looked -- now you not only need a particular point release of g++, you also need some weird build tool called scons. An

        • you should take a look again at Blender.

          Also, I haven't had any problems with Yafray and Blender 2.3.4...which is the latest release that integrats Yafray into Blender.

          But I also compiled it all from scratch since I'm on Gentoo...and "emerge blender" took care of everything really. But your milage may vary.
          • you should take a look again at Blender.

            I want to like Blender. I really do. Every so often I have another look, try and make it do what I want, and give up.

            The user interface is fine, I can cope with that. The problem I have is it's so weird and inconsistent under the hood. Admittedly, most of these problems stem from using the scanline renderer; I haven't investigated Yafray.

            For example:

            I want to make a planet. Fine, I create a sphere for the planet and a omni light source for the sun. That works.

            Now I want an atmosphere. I create another sphere, a bit bigger than the planet. Doesn't work. Do some investigation... Blender doesn't do volumetric effects. Damn.

            I look into halos. Eventually I manage to get something in roughly the right place, although it looks crap. It's also being lit by the sun even when it's behind the planet.

            After more investigation, eventually I find out that I have to turn on shadows on the planet and the atmosphere; and shadows only work if you're using spotlight lamps! This strikes me as incredibly broken.

            So I switch to a spotlight lamp. Now most of the features of my planet are there, although it looks really awful. One of the problems is that the lamp is too close to the planet, so that the light isn't parallel. I move the lamp away... and everything goes black.

            More investigation reveals that spotlight lamps seem to stop illuminating anything more than 40 units away. Just dead. At one stage I had half the planet illuminated and the other half in complete blackness.

            It was at this point that I gave up. In Povray, however, I was happily rendering entire solar systems to scale, so that my planet was 12000 units in diameter, the sun was 150000000 units away, my camera was 0.002 units above the planetary surface, and it worked perfectly. Plus, I had a whole bunch of programmatic macros to map a latitude and longitude on my planet onto my universal coordinate space for any given date and time, which was cool.

            Another thing I hate about Blender is its insistence on using meshes for everything. Meshes are grainy, eat memory, and look naff if you zoom in too far (like on my planet). Oh, it does have basic CSG support, but what happens if I create a complex model and then decide that I want to move one of my primitives a little to the left? I can't, that's what. Once you've applied the CSG operation that's it; if you want to change something, you have to start from scratch. Povray's script-based system means that you just change one coordinate and rerender.

            There is stuff I like in Blender; the texture system is really nice, and I wish I could find a way of exporting a Blender texture and using it in Povray. Being able to just point at things instead of searching through your script is useful, and being able to position stuff visually rather than typing in coordinates is wonderful. The inverse kinematics would be cool, too, if I could ever make it work.

            Plus, at my level of skill, Povray looks so much better than Blender. I never managed to make Blender's scanline renderer produce anything halfway decent. But Povray, with its mathematically perfect shapes, looks wonderful every time. I can focus on the scene content, and not have to keep adding hacks to improve the image quality.

            • Try this in blender:

              1. Create a level 3 icosphere
              2. Go to the object edit tab
              3. Set it to smooth
              4. If that is not smooth enough for you, enable subdivision surface, and bump it to 6 (not the editor value, but the render value.

              That should look close to a povray sphere primitive. Also, if you texture the planet, you can add a deform to that (high point due to subdivision) mesh you just created are really get a lot of bang out of your sphere.

              Blender can't do volumetric stuff just yet. Tough, with as far as it's co

            • At one stage I had half the planet illuminated and the other half in complete blackness.

              Sounds about right to me!

        • Why do you want to build any of them from source?

          As somebody said here, on Gentoo you can get them through e-merge.

          On Debian you can "apt-get install blender [debian.org] " or "apt-get install yafray [debian.org] " (or even "apt-get install scons [debian.org] " if you insist on building from source).

          I'm sure you should be able to do the same on your favourite distro, just have a look, read some docs or ask your fellow users.

      • More specifically, in addition to having a built-in zBuffer renderer, Ton added in his old raytracer code.

        People are working on adding distributed raytracing and photon mapping, so I expect that the internal renderer will be very cool in a few releases.

  • 3D for the masses (Score:5, Informative)

    by michaelbuddy (751237) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:36PM (#10019008) Homepage
    POV RAY is not for the feint of heart, that's for sure. I don't know about most slashdotters, but I have a great challenge as it is, learning blender and YAFRAY to create and render 3D scenes.

    Go To blender.org and download 2.34, you won't be disappointed. OK, I maybe you will be disappointed, but at least you'll have GUI to learn.

    • I keep trying to learn blender because my copy of 3DS is, um, educational, and I would rather have something OSS. I've scoured the Internet but have not been able to find any good tutorials on the latest version of blender. My biggest problem is the default view. There has to be a way to get the standard 4 pane view going in blender somehow. Im sure someone will mod me as flaimbait and tell me I need to get with the times and 4 pane views are for wussies but I find them really helpful when modeling. Any adv
  • Dangerous (Score:3, Funny)

    by kaleco (801384) <`greig.marshall2' `at' `btinternet.com'> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:37PM (#10019019)
    POV-Ray is clearly a weapon of deception and should therefore be banned.

    And the artists responsible for that hall of fame should be shot for being better than me.

  • What a coincidence! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pope Raymond Lama (57277) <gwidion@mpc.c o m .br> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:43PM (#10019053) Homepage
    I had just used POV-Ray today, after many months. Just because I needed certain texture detail GIMP lightning effects could not do for me.

    I use POV since 80386/DOS days...and while working my way through it today I concluded that nowadays I would never have gotten the resources (time/persistence) to learn it.
  • 1,2,3 (Score:4, Funny)

    by michaelbuddy (751237) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:47PM (#10019063) Homepage
    1. Learn POVRAY = 68 Years
    2. ENTER CONTEST and beat the other guy who knows POVRAY
    3. PROFIT!!
    • Re:1,2,3 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Tablizer (95088)
      Learn POVRAY = 68 Years

      I once played with POVRAY for a few weeks between contracts during the depth of the dot-com slump, and had a great time. However, you are right that to know most of it probably takes many years (unless you are a rare super-wiz).

      However, one "trick" is to find an interesting idea, not so much finding the ultimate effect or ultimate tweak. For example, use combinations of a few simple shapes and ideas to construct an otherwise complex or interesting object. You can make up for your
  • IRTC (Score:2, Informative)

    by Thomas Charron (1485)
    Another location too see amazing Pov-Ray images is http://www.irtc.org

    Alot of the hall of fame images are actually winners of that ongoing competition
  • the image of the train station with the jade tiger that was in the shareware catalogs back in the day advertising POV?
  • I'm confused (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sinner (3398)
    Is this the same mirrored-sphere-on-infinite-checkboard POV-Ray? The one where you have to describe all your objects and light sources in a big text file which then takes all day to render? How the hell did they get it to do those amazing things?
    • Re:I'm confused (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aelbric (145391)
      4 words.

      Hell if I know.

      I swear to god, either I'm getting old, these people are absolutely brilliant, or it's time to turn in my Geek Membership card.

      Kudos to all the talent.
    • Is this the same mirrored-sphere-on-infinite-checkboard POV-Ray? The one where you have to describe all your objects and light sources in a big text file which then takes all day to render? How the hell did they get it to do those amazing things?

      Yes. In exactly the same way C++ is that "hello world" language, and HTML is the language that was used to make the hamsterdance page...
      Just because poor quality things are made with a language doesn't mean that's all it's capable of.
    • Re:I'm confused (Score:3, Informative)

      by grumbel (592662)
      Easy, they didn't. Stuff like trees, grass and landscape can be generated with fractals and macros of course, but when it comes to humans, special textures or other kinds of objects that you can't easily express via scripting they fall back to textures taken from photos, 3d modeles, modeled in 3dmax, Poser or wherever and other stuff outside of Povray. Povray is than of course used to link anything back together and render the final image, but Povray is by no means the only application that played a role in
  • by gtoomey (528943) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:44PM (#10019297)
    You can make complex scenes with Povray in 256 characters or less [swin.edu.au]
  • by Graemee (524726) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:59PM (#10019357)
    Use POV to render your lego creations. Check out www.ldraw.org
  • Amazing (Score:2, Funny)

    by michaelbuddy (751237)
    More amazing than the images from the contest are the fact that people have been using this program for 10 years making such beautiful images and the documentation is like 50% complete.

    It does look a lot like CSS or perhaps SVG would be more accurate.
  • by Tablizer (95088)
    Me, I'm a no-talent slug

    Damn! I was going to do a slug. You took my creative idea. Somebody already beat me to a slashdotted sky-server [povcomp.com] also. Great job they did on that fiber-optic cable coming out of the front.
  • by fejikso (567395) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @10:32PM (#10019519) Homepage
    Yes, it takes a while to learn the syntax, as in any other language... but with a little geometry notion you can do very nice things.

    Here are a few of my POV experiments:
    Cut glass [deviantart.com]
    Dice [deviantart.com]
    Three balls [deviantart.com]
  • only 10 years? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by photon317 (208409) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @11:13PM (#10019680)

    I remember buying a povray book at the bookstore, which came with a version of povray on CD, when I was in high school, and I graduated in '94. I suppose it's remotely possible I'm not remembering clearly, or that I got the book just before I graduated and what was on the CD was the first release or something.... Still, I would have guessed at least 12 years, if not much longer. I seem to remember povray having origins in compuserve back before I was using it (I had no compuserve at the time, just FidoNet).
    • Re:only 10 years? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by photon317 (208409) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @11:17PM (#10019692)

      Ok, I found the book, it was a Waite Group Press book called "Ray Tracing Creations", copyright is 1993, and it did include povray on CD. I also just hit povray.org to see if they said something about the date they're claiming is the 10th anniversary - it's the povray.org *website*'s 10th anniversary, not the 10th anniversary of povray itself. Fix the damn article :)
      • I have that book, too, although I bought my copy in 1995 or 1996. However, I do remember ordering a 4-floppy disk set (1.2MB 5.25" floppies) with POV-Ray in 1993, and having fun using my 386SX computer render spheres over checkerboards. So I agree, POV-Ray has definitey been around for longer than 10 years.
      • You're right. POV Ray, the renderer, is actually 13 years old; my 10th aniversary keychain says 1991-2001.
  • Geeky pr0n! (Score:3, Funny)

    by penguinoid (724646) <spambait001@yahoo.com> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @11:46PM (#10019817) Homepage Journal
    As you might be aware, pov-ray can be used to make pr0n. Since us geeks only get to see pictures of pretty girls but never touch them, why not take the next logical step and look at pictures of pretty girls that don't even exist?

    And even better, if the source for the picture is available, you can even modify the picture so she looks like you want her to. Geek heaven! Finally a girl we can all understand!
  • It's great because it's a nice renderer.

    It sucks because they are so paranoid about having their precious user interface hidden (which user interface pretty much sucks) that it's against the license to integrate it in a seamless fashion into anything else.

    Yes, I know they're pissed about that magazine in the UK including some of it on a CD, but still.
  • gds2pov (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oojah (113006) on Friday August 20, 2004 @04:27AM (#10020772) Homepage

    This seems as good a place as any to plug my gds2pov program.

    It takes a gds2 file (integrated circuit layout information) as an input and outputs a POV-Ray scene file with the circuit in 3D.

    Of limited interest I realise (how many people design chips?), but there you go.

    For downloads (Solaris, Linux, Window) and some pretty pictures go to http://www.atchoo.org/gds2pov/ [atchoo.org]

    Cheers,

    Roger

  • Some of the renderings in the Hall of fame are fantastic.

    But sadly, it seems that no POV-ray artist has succeeded in creating a proper human form.

    When they try, they have that creepy not-quite-right look that was common in professional computer graphics a few years ago.

    I attribute this to the lack of powerful graphic modelling programs used in the pov toolchain. To make realistic human shapes, one needs to be able to quickly and easily nudge these forms thousands of times before its right.
  • by CJ Hooknose (51258) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:25AM (#10022689) Homepage
    I had a bit of free time in Sep. 2000, so I spent an entire day tweaking the following dumb animation of a spaceship flying around. Invader, try 5. [comcast.net] I had hardly any POVRay skill, the animation was created without any modeling tools at all, and the stupid thing took all day to render on the 400MHz K6-2 I had at the time. And the source file got deleted in an unrelated accident later on. If I didn't have a Real Job, I'd probably spend a lot of time working on POVRay junk. As it is, I just look at the real artists in the POVRay Hall of Fame and think, "Wow. Nifty!"

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