If this is your first
visit, you may want to start on the Path of Learning
below. Or, if you are interested in specific information, you may want to
browse through the Exploration Toolkit, Reference Shelf and Libraries
below. You can also read about the
If you're not sure where to find what you want, try the Help Desk.
NEW!: A word about the release of
The Path of Learning
The Path of Learning is meant to lead you, step by step, from a
ray-tracing novice to a full-fledged POV-Ray expert. If you are a beginner,
we recommend you start at Step 1. If used other ray-tracing programs before,
or just can't wait any longer, jump ahead to step Step 3.
- Step 1: Introduction to POV-Ray and
- What is ray-tracing? What is POV-Ray? If you've never
done any ray-tracing before, this is a good place to start reading. It
provides a brief overview of what ray-tracing is, how it works, and how it's
used. This section will also tell you what exactly POV-Ray is, how it
relates to the rest of the ray-tracing world, where to find it and how to
set it up.
- Step 2: POV-Ray Basics
- What do I need to know before I start? This section
covers all the vital information you need to know before you can start
creating your own scenes in POV-Ray, including the mathematical background
necessary (yes, there is a little) and information about source code.
- Step 3: Creating Simple Scenes
- How do I get started? This section covers the basics of
scene creation in POV-Ray. If you're anxious to get going, start here.
- Step 4: Advanced POV-Ray
- What else can POV-Ray do? This section covers some of
the more powerful (and complex) elements of the language, including advanced
objects, attributes, lighting techniques and camera options.
- Step 5: Conclusion
- What now? A few words of advice, and some
congratulations on your new-found skills. The (sigh) end of the Path of
If you need quick access to specific information, one of the resources below
may be able to help you.
- POV-Ray Language Reference
- A searchable glossary of all keywords and directives of the POV-Ray
language. Covers the meaning, syntax and usage of all POV-Ray terms.
- Glossary / Index
- A combination glossary and index containing
ray-tracing, POV-Ray, and other technical terms, as well as references
to the Tutorial and Language Reference.
- Command-line Parameter Reference
- A complete description of all command-line parameters that POV-Ray takes,
what they do, and how to use them.
- Tips and Tricks
- Tips and tricks covering the practical and the artistic sides of
ray-tracing. Find out how to save yourself time in ray-tracing, as well as
what makes your scene look realistic, artistic and, of course, cool.
The libraries below contain useful bits of information. You can browse
through each of them, or even submit your own for the rest of the world to
- Texture Library
- A library of included and contributed textures. Contains source code and
sample images for all textures included with POV-Ray releases, as well as
textures contributed by other readers.
- Object Library
- A library of built-in, included and contributed objects. Contains source
code and sample images for all non-primitive objects included in POV-Ray
releases, as well as objects contributed by other readers.
- Scenes Library
- A library of nifty scenes, with source code! Feel free to contribute your
own, if you think you've got something worth sharing.
- Resource Library
- A library of contributed POV-Ray resources: web pages, programs, and
anything that can be of use to POV-Ray artists.
These tools are provided in order to give you a quick and accurate
"look-and-feel" of many of POV-Ray's features. Note that if your web
- Color Tool
- Displays the color corresponding to a particular RGB vector. The vector
elements are selected by the user. Helpful in finding the right color for
- Normal Tool
- An explorable interactive graphical demonstration of all the normal attributes:
bumps, dents, ripples, waves, and wrinkles.
- Finish Tool
- An explorabale interactive graphical demonstration of all the finish attributes:
ambient, brilliant, crand, diffuse, phong, reflection,
refraction, roughness, specular.