Documentation:Mac OS Section 1

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Welcome to POV-Ray 3.5 for Mac OS! This software is called a ray tracer. It may be a little different from other 3-D software you are used to, but you will soon find that the images and movies you can create 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 it or redistribute it. For more information on the usage and distribution policies of POV-Ray, please see POVLEGAL.DOC included with this distribution.

New Features in POV-Ray 3.5/3.6

The list is in no particular order.

  • Multiple open source files
  • Carbon compatibility
  • Easier to use Render Settings dialog
  • Extended preferences dialog
  • Improved text editor window with popup menus to jump to markers, declares, macros and includes and show dependent files
  • Search Menu (Find, Replace, etc) with regular expression searching
  • Faster syntax coloring
  • Symbol coloring
  • Faster image preview window
  • Batch render multiple files with the extended Render Quene window
  • Preview and search templates in POV-Ray (requires CarbonLib 1.6 and later)
  • Render progress dialog
  • Improved message window to show statistics, errors and warnings
  • New preferences format that will never again be lost in a new version, it will not destroy 3.1 preferences, too!
  • New about box and startup screen
  • New application and file icons
  • Optional control of POV-Ray rendering via command-line arguments used on other platforms in Render Settings dialog
  • Rendering runs in its own thread and no longer locks the user interface while rendering
  • Built-in just-in-time compiler for "function" generating native PowerPC code more than doubling speed of isosurfaces in many cases
  • More control over POV-Ray via AppleScript


Just copy the "POV-Ray 3.6" folder to your harddisk. Note that POV-Ray does not run on read-only volumes.


The Macintosh version runs under Apple's Mac OS operating system version 8.6 (it may run on 8.1 and 8.5 as well, but we do not support POV-Ray 3.6 running on Mac OS 8.1 and 8.5) or newer with CarbonLib 1.6 or newer installed. Note that we no longer support 68K based Macintosh computers. POV-Ray 3.6 requires a Power Macintosh!

A Power Macintosh is any iMac, iBook, Mac G3, Mac G4, Mac G5, Cube, any older Mac with a four digit model number (i.e. 5200, 6300, 7200, 8100, 9600) and any third party computer running Mac OS 8.6 or later. Mac OS X 10.2 or later are supported but for maximum render speed it is not recommended to use Mac OS X.

Required hardware and software: Power Macintosh computer with at least 16 MB of free RAM. Mac OS 8.6 or newer with CarbonLib 1.6 or newer installed. About 20 MB free disk space to install and an additional 5-10 MB free space for your own creations (scenes and images). Graphic file viewer utility capable of viewing Mac PICT, GIF and perhaps TGA and PNG formats (the shareware GraphicConverter applications is good.)

Required POV-Ray files: POVPMAC.SIT or POVPMAC.HQX - a StuffIt archive containing the native Power Macintosh application, sample scenes, standard include files and documentation.

Recommended: Power Macintosh G4 with 128 MB or more of free RAM. Mac OS 9.2.2 or newer with CarbonLib 1.6 (works with Mac OS 8.6 or newer) to access all features of the Mac frontend. CarbonLib 1.6 is available for free download from Apple in the software update section of the Apple website. Color monitor with millions of colors.

Introduction Getting Started

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