User:Owen Burgoyne/POV-Ray Tutorial
The purpose of this guide is to take an already-built LDraw model and then render it in POV-Ray to create a near-realistic image. The guide itself will not necessarily give you all the answers on how to create exactly what you want, but will hopefully get you started in the right direction and perhaps even lead you on to investigating and mastering certain rendering techniques.
For the purposes of this guide I have used the following:
- The LDraw library
- MLCad 3.40
- LDView 4.2 beta 1
- The LGEO library and my own LGEO Parts Pack (zip file)
- POV-Ray 3.7 RC6
The first four can all be obtained directly from the LDraw All-In-One-Installer (AIOI), although my LGEO parts pack requires manual installation.
The LDraw AIOI currently contains POV-Ray 3.6, but I recommend uninstalling this if you already have it and installing POV-Ray 3.7. Although still currently in beta, I have had no issues using it and it contains the ability to use more than one CPU, allowing for much faster rendering when using a multi-core system.
Installation and setup
Although the AIOI can automate a lot of the installation, there are still a few tweaks that need to be made to the default installation to optimise the setup.
The LGEO library
POV-Ray includes its own resolution definitions, which allows you to quickly set your desired image output size. These are accessed via a drop-down box shown at the top left of the window, but the available options are fairly limited.
To alter these settings, within the POV-Ray menu go to Tools > Edit resolution INI file and the file should then open up as a text file. You should see a number of different resolutions, mainly set to the 4:3 ratio (640x480, 800x600, etc.), along with anti-alias switches. For example:
[800x600, No AA] Width=800 Height=600 Antialias=Off
[800x600, AA 0.3] Width=800 Height=600 Antialias=On Antialias_Threshold=0.3
This rather limits the available ratios, such as 16:9 (widescreen) or 2.35:1 (anamorphic widescreen). Therefore you need to specify your own. To make it easier to pick out which aspect ratio I need, I often specify this in the preset, as in the below example:
[800x340 2.35:1, No AA] Width=800 Height=340 Antialias=Off [800x450 16:9, No AA] Width=800 Height=450 Antialias=Off