Documentation:Mac OS Section 1

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Welcome to POV-Ray 3.7 for Mac OS

POV-Ray is a ray tracer. It may be a little different from any other 3-D software you've used before, however, you will soon find that the images and animations created with POV-Ray can rival those commercial packages costing thousands of dollars!

POV-Ray reads a text file that describes the objects and lighting in a scene, and it generates an image of that scene from the view point of a camera, also described in the text file. The creation of these images and animations by ray tracing is not a fast process by any means, but it produces very high quality images with realistic reflections, shading, textures, perspective, and other effects.

This program is Copyrighted Freeware, which means you may use it for free, but it does have special restrictions on how you can modify or redistribute it. For more information on the usage and distribution policies of POV-Ray, please see POVLEGAL.DOC included with this distribution.

What's new in POV-Ray for Mac OS

For technical reasons the Mac OS graphical user interface was not ready at the time of the version 3.7.0 release. For that reason, the Official distribution is a command-line only version.

Note: A graphical user interface is planned for future release.

See the section Changes and New Features Summary for information about non-platform specific changes.


This version of POV-Ray runs on any Intel based Macintosh computer with Mac OS version 10.6.8 Snow Leopard or later.


Download one of the following distributions. See the README file for more information.

  1. Official
  2. Unofficial
  3. Source Code

Most users will want to choose either the Official or Unofficial distributions because they contain a universal 32/64 bit binary and support (application scene and include) files. The Unofficial distribution offers a very stable alternative to the command-line only Official release. It comes with a complete GUI, editor and templates, it even supports Retina® displays. Choosing the source code distribution assumes an adequate environment (compiler and support libraries) and the expertise to build your own package.

Note: POV-Ray does not run on read-only volumes.

Bug Reporting via our Bug Tracking System

Bug reports may be lodged about povray by using the bug tracking system. The bugtracker is monitored regularly by the POV-Ray development team and they will address any properly-lodged bug reports in the most timely manner possible.

Note: Bug reports related to any Unofficial distribution should be lodged with the maintainer!

You may like to remember, however, that no matter where you end up getting assistance from, users who show that they have looked in the documentation and read the POV-Ray Questions and Tips first, will be much more likely to receive the response they want than someone who obviously has not done their homework. It's also important to check that the bug hasn't already been reported - if it has, and is still open, don't add a new report - if you have relevant information not already in the existing report, consider adding a comment.

Any messages or reports sent to us may (not necessarily will, but may) be re-posted in our newsgroups, on USENET, or on our web site, if we consider it appropriate to do so.

You should not expect any reply to bug reports. If you wish to follow the progress of a bug, it's best to use the bug tracker (be sure to configure your account to receive notifications of replies to your bug). You can also request to be emailed when there are replies to an existing bug report.

The minimum information to include in your bug report is:

  1. The version number of POV-Ray for Mac OS.
  2. Your operating system or distribution and version. It's surprising how many people fail to provide this basic piece of information. We need to know what version of operationg system you are running.
  3. Your computer; what processor and how much memory.
  4. A complete description of the problem and what led up to it. It will make it a lot easier to track down if you can include a scene file that will cause the problem. If the file is large, try removing parts until you have the minimum scene file that will cause the problem.

Note: If posting on the news group or emailing someone for support, do not include file attachments without asking first. This particularly applies to email (for security purposes, emails with unsolicited attachments may be deleted unread). Reasonably-sized file attachments on the bug tracking system are permitted.

Introduction Getting Started

This document is protected, so submissions, corrections and discussions should be held on this documents talk page.