Introduction to the Scene Description Langage (SDL) of the POV-Ray Raytracer         - page 0 -
by Friedrich A. Lohmüller

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- POV-Ray Tutorials
  POV-Ray Introduction
  Content  -  INDEX
  1. Working with POV-Ray:
     "Insert Menu Add-on".
  2. Basics on
      How To Make a Scene.
      3D Coordinates,
      Floats and Vectors
  3. Scene Structure
      Basic example.
  4. Scene File Header,
      #include files,
      camera, light_source.
  5. Basic Geometric Objects
      sphere, box, cylinder,
      cone, torus, plane.
      and other shapes
  6. Transformations
      Streching, Turning,
      Moving and others.
      CSG: union,
      difference, intersection.
  7. Colors on Surfaces
      texture, pigment, normal, finish
  8. #declare, #local, #macro,
      placeholders + flexible objects.
  9. #while Loops
      Basic examples.
 10. #include, include files,
      re-usable objects.
 11. Efficiency,
      speed, flexibility,
      modulare working
      adapting from 3.1 to 3.5;3.6
      adapting from 3.5;3.6 to 3.7
      POV-Ray + Windows Vista.
  - Insert Menu Add-on
    & Download

An Introduction to the Scene Description Langage (SDL)
of the POV-Ray Raytracer

Click for higher resolutione of this POV-Ray sample

1.   Using the Program.
How to avoid writing by using the "Insert Menu Add-on".
2.   Basics on How To Make a Scene About writing the text, "//" und "/* ... */".
xyz - Three-Dimensional Coordinates: Floats, Vectors (< , , >), Calculations.
3.   Scene Structure - What belongs to a Scene?
A basic example of a scene description.
4.   Scene File Headers:, #include files, camera, light_source.
5.   Basic Geometric Objects (sphere, box, cylinder, cone, torus, plane)
and other shapes (, height_field, text, isosurface).
6. Transformations (scaling, rotation, translation and others) and
CSG - union (merge); difference; intersection.
7. Colors on Surfaces. texture, pigment, normal, finish.
8. #declare, #local, #macro, - About placeholders and flexible objects.
9. #while - Mass production deluxe with loops.
10. #include. - Include files and re-usable objects. Don't build everything from nothing!
11. Tips and tricks for efficient working.
Speed hints, flexibility, how to keep track, modular working,
Adapting POV-Ray 3.1 scene files to POV-Ray version 3.5/3.6.
Adapting POV-Ray 3.5/3.6 scene files to POV-Ray 3.7.
Using POV-Ray 3.6.2 and 3.7 with Windows Vista.

The following short introduction gives an overview on POV-Ray, the Persistance Of Vision Raytracing Programm. It does not intend to be complete!
This description aims to give a fast help to beginners by explaining the basic rules.
For advanced raytracing users it is absolutely recommended to turn to the original documentation
for more detailed information. It would be also a good idea to study (by rendering in small size)
the original sample files of POV-Ray (see the subdirectory "scenes"!).
For feedback and ideas to enhance this tutorial, just drop me some lines by email - thanks!

  NEWS: 08-Nov-2013: POV-Ray 3.7.0 released!
  Update: 16-Nov-2014: POV-Ray 3.7.0 Unofficial for Mac
  Update: 08-Oct-2014
  Also updated my Insert Menu Add-on for POV-Ray 3.7 (20-Nov-2014)
Essential innovations recommend the using of POV-Ray 3.7:
The ability of SMP (Symmetric multiprocessing) with today very common multicore processors speeds up rending process enormously ( z.B. Intel i7 -> 4 cores -> 8 threads parallel -> ca. 8 times faster! ).
In addition POV-Ray 3.7 has a revised 'Insert Menu', which now contains most of the important parts of my old 'Insert Menu Add-on' for POV-Ray 3.6.2 . Also some include files for new shapes come with 3.7.0.
New among others are the for-loop (#for(COUNTER,START,END,STEP) .... #end), diverse new pattern functions and also the possibility to make images in JPEG format (space-saving!) as well as in .hdr format. And we can now use HDRI images for indirect Illumination of our scenes (HDRI environment mapping).
My former include file '' is replaced by the enforced file '' with POV-Ray 3.7.0. This file and the according template textes of the Insert Menu (optional in HTML) already can be downloaded from my Download Page.
Happy Raytracing with POV-Ray!
Friedrich A. Lohmüller

part 0 | part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5 | part 6 | part 7 | part 8 | part 9 | part 10 | part 11


© Friedrich A. Lohmüller, 2014

(since May-1999)
Thanks for your visit!