Converting LDR Files to POV Files

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What your reading now is a beginners guide to LDView and POV-Ray. It assumes you have some knowledge of and experience with LDraw and one or more of its editors (such as MLCAD, Bricksmith, SR 3D Builder etc) and creating models. This will provide is a step by step guide of converting LDraw models to POV files and rendering them and what options you have when converting or rendering. What you won't find here is how to create models or parts.

Some areas are on the practical side; you will do things after reading it. Other areas are more theoretical, for example about cameras and lenses or color and light. Please read these chapters too. We try to make them as short and "light" as possible but they are important to understand some of the functions and options of LDView and POV-Ray.

Introduction

So you have made some models; your own or existing Lego models. Now you want to have a nice picture of it, like the ones you see on Brickshelf or on other people's websites. However, your editor for LDraw can't so how do people do that? What you need is three programs and some additional files:

  • LDView: a program for viewing LDraw files and can convert .DAT, .LDR and .MPD files to .POV (the native file format for POV-Ray)
  • POV-Ray: a freeware program to ray trace POV-files
  • The LGEO-files for POV-Ray.

<<Blurb about LDView here>>

POV-Ray is a freeware program to create and render computer generated pictures or animations. POV-Ray has no graphical interface in the sense that you see what you create; it has a source window where you type text commands and you can see what you created when you render the picture. Luckily, you don't have to learn all these commands; LDView creates a ready to render POV-file!

The LGEO-files for POV-Ray are files that POV-Ray uses to substitute some of the LDraw parts. The LGEO-files look better; cylinders are rounder, sloped bricks have that sandpaper structure, etc. They are also harder to render for POV-Ray; you will need lots of memory to use them.

However, before you can make a nice rendering of your model you have to download the above mentioned software. Best place to start is http://www.ldraw.org/download/win/. Go to the download section and click the appropriate links. We going to guide you with installing the programs but please read the installation guides of each program carefully!

Downloading and installing LDView, POV-Ray, LGEO

Visits the repective software page