POV-Ray Projects

Last Updated on 2021-05-06 by Michael Horvath

Virtual scenes, macros and animations I’ve created using the freeware raytracer, POV-Ray. Many of my illustrations can be found on my Wikimedia Commons user page. More POV-Ray-generated scenes can be found on my GearHead RPG page.



ImageMagick Sprite Assembly Tutorial:
A tutorial on assembling and compositing sprites into contact sheets using ImageMagick for the video game GearHead RPG.
ImageMagick Dithering Tutorial:
A tutorial on how to dither an image/scene’s transparency information using ImageMagick for the video game GearHead RPG.
Anatomy of a Sprite:
A tutorial on how sprite graphics are structured in the video game Jagged Alliance 2. Includes POV-Ray examples.
LDraw to SimCity 3000 Unlimited Tutorial:
A tutorial on how to import renderings (in this case of LDraw models) into the video game SimCity 3000 Unlimited.
Polarized Glasses Tutorial:
A tutorial on how to render scenes (again of LDraw models) so that they can be viewed in 3D using polarized glasses.
High Precision Heightfields:
An (almost) working tutorial describing how to generate and then re-import high precision height fields using POV-Ray alone.
Object Collection Migration:
An article describing efforts to migrate compatible or abandoned scenes to the POV-Ray Object Collection.
How to turn a continuous function into a stepped function:
A tutorial describing how to turn a linear function or gradient into its stepped variant.
How to configure your favorite text editor to work with POV-Ray:
A tutorial describing how to integrate POV-Ray with your favorite text editor (only SciTE at the moment).
How to fix old scenes to work with the new gamma system:
A tutorial describing how to migrate old scenes to new versions of POV-Ray that use assumed_gamma 1.0. Based on previous discussion.
Extract 2D screen coordinates from 3D scenes:
A tutorial describing how to record precise (to many decimal places) 2D screen positions of 3D POV-Ray objects so that you can then import them into other image editing programs.


Updated "screen.inc":
An updated version of "screen.inc" with better support for different camera types. Also features the capability to retrieve the precise two-dimensional screen coordinates of any three-dimensional point in space. (For instance, for overlaying 2D elements on top of a 3D image in another application.)

Object collections

There’s a good chance the GitHub versions are more up-to-date.

Grid & Axes Include:
An include file that renders a grid and axes onto your scene with options to select its overall size and detail, as well as to choose to hide or show a particular plane.
Cube Fonts:
A macro to create text characters that intersect to form 3D blocks, called “ambigrams”, with letters on the each face.
Shape Grid Objects:
A macro that creates objects in the shape of a grid of longitudinal, latitudinal and radial lines. The objects can be used within CSG operations (e.g. intersections and differences), or as an object pattern (e.g. a pigment). An advantage over other techniques is that the thickness of the grid “lines” remains constant.
Lego Road Macros:
A set of macros for creating Lego (or LDraw) style roads.
Random Solar System Generator:
An include file for generating random solar systems. Uses Chris Colefax’s galaxy macros for the backgrounds.
Earth-like Planet Texture:
A WIP texture for creating Earth-like planets.
Game Sprites:
A collection of objects and scenes (initially created for GearHead RPG) and intended for use in 2D, isometric video games. The special effects “add-on” is available from this page as well. The “GearHead Game Sprites” on my GearHead RPG page are newer and better developed, but also include lots of stuff created by other people.

Wikipedia illustrations

A planet-sized Outer Space megastructure based on the Ringworld series of novels by Larry Niven.
Graphical Projection Comparison:
Side-by-side comparison of different types of graphical projection.
Fractal Objects:
A collection of fractal objects including the Menger Sponge, the Sierpinski Pyramid and the Sierpinski Tetrahedron. All three objects can be used in CSG operations.
Color Solids:
Pigments including the HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness), HSV (Hue, Saturation, Value) and RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color models.
Munsell Color Solid:
Approximated rendering of the 1943 renotated versions of colors appearing in the 1929 Munsell Book of Color.
(sRGB gamut)
(Real gamut)
Graphical Projection Examples:
Illustration of various types of graphical projection, and how they are produced. Modeled in POV-Ray and then converted to SVG.
Fallout Camera Angles:
A mockup of the camera and lighting angles used in the video games Fallout and Fallout 2. These games use an unusual form of trimetric projection that is tileable in six directions.
CIE Color Solids:
The sRGB and human-visible gamuts plotted within the CIELAB, CIELCHab, CIELUV, CIELCHuv, CIExyY and CIEXYZ color spaces.
Generating Cubemaps:
A demonstration of how to create cube-mapped panoramas.
Camera Focal Length:
A demonstration showing how adjusting a photographic camera’s distance and focal length, while keeping the target object in frame, can introduce geometric distortions (called foreshortening) into the image. The top number is the camera angle. The bottom number is the camera distance.
Camera Focal Blur:
A demonstration showing the effect of changing a camera’s aperture over time. The distance of the camera from the focal point (i.e. the center of the scene) is a constant 16 units. Each gray tile is 0.25 by 0.25 units. The top value is the aperture valure (AV). The bottom number is the f-stop.
Solar System Orrery:
A model of our solar system with Sol at the center. Planets rotate around the sun along their orbital paths according to the time of year.
Surface of Latitude:
Different representations of the Earth’s latitudes.

Fig. a. A naive approach to specifying a surface of latitude would be to cut through the Earth in a straight line to form a plane.

Fig. b. However, it would be more accurate to say that on a spherical Earth, a circle of latitude forms a cone pointing toward the Earth’s center.

Fig. c. But the Earth deviates from a perfect sphere, and instead roughly forms the shape of an ellipsoid (greatly exaggerated in this image), causing this cone to become truncated. This representation corresponds to "geodetic latitude".

Fig. d. Ellipsoidal coordinates are used in the calculation of the Earth’s gravitational field. Within the confines of the reference ellipsoid the gravitational field lines very nearly form a truncated hyperboloid.

Fig. d. Maclaurin spheroid. To do.

Offset/Parallel Surface:
A surface whose points are at a fixed normal distance from a given surface. Or, the envelope of a family of congruent spheres centered on the surface.


Colony Ship:
A 2km long interstellar ark built to carry humanity to new worlds. The download also includes other scenes created for the video game GearHead RPG.
Shows the development of the colony ship model over time
Shows how the colony ship’s buildings can be rolled up into a tube or flattened
POV-Ray program icons:
A few program icons for POV-Ray rendered within the program.

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