Scene Description Language
Reference

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This section describes the POV-Ray scene description language. It is supposed to be used as a reference for looking up things. It does not contain detailed explanations on how scenes are written or how POV-Ray is used. It just explains all features, their syntax, applications, limits, drawbacks, etc.

The scene description language allows you to describe the world in a readable and convenient way. Files are created in plain ASCII text using an editor of your choice. The input file name is specified using the Input_File_Name=file option or +Ifile switch. By default the files have the extension .pov. POV-Ray reads the file, processes it by creating an internal model of the scene and then renders the scene.

The overall syntax of a scene is shown below. See Notation and Basic Assumptions for more information on syntax notation.

SCENE:
  SCENE_ITEM...
SCENE_ITEM:
  LANGUAGE_DIRECTIVE |
  CAMERA             |
  LIGHT              |
  OBJECT             |
  ATMOSPHERIC_EFFECT |
  GLOBAL_SETTINGS

In plain English, this means that a scene contains one or more scene items and that a scene item may be any of the five items listed below it. The items may appear in any order. None is a required item. In addition to the syntax depicted above, a LANGUAGE_DIRECTIVE may also appear anywhere embedded in other statements between any two tokens. There are some restrictions on nesting directives also.

For details on those five items see section Language Directives, section Objects, section Camera, section Atomospheric Effects and section Global Settings for details.

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