Documentation:Tutorial Section 5.1
This document is protected, so submissions, corrections and discussions should be held on this documents talk page.
Which Version of POV-Ray should you use?
POV-Ray can be used under Windows 9x/NT/2000, Apple Power PC, x86 Linux, UNIX and other platforms. The latest versions of the necessary files are available on our web site and through various CD distributions. See section "Where to Find POV-Ray Files" for more info. Dos, Windows 3.1, Windows for Workgroups, SunOS and Amiga are no longer supported. If your platform is not supported and you are proficient in compiling source code programs written in C/C++, then you may like to retrieve the source for POV-Ray from our website and attempt to built it yourself. Note that the POV-Team provides absolutely no support for building POV-Ray from the source code, especially on platforms that we do not officially support.
Microsoft Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP
The 32-bit Windows version runs under Windows 95, Windows 98, NT, 2000 and XP or newer. Required hardware and software: Minimum - 486/100 with 32mb RAM and Windows 95. Disk space - 20 megabytes. Recommended - Pentium 4 or equivalent with at least 256mb of RAM running Windows 2000 or XP, equipped with an XGA display (or better) running in true color mode.
The forthcoming 64-bit Windows version will initially run under Windows XP 64-bit edition on AMD64-based machines, or those compatibile with them. The recommended configuration has not yet been determined but as a rule of thumb we would suggest at least 256mb RAM (512mb preferred).
Note: accelerated graphics hardware will not improve performance. Nor will MMX or 3D Now. These technologies are not aimed at raytracing. SSE2-equipped CPU's (such as the Pentium 4) will enhance performance if and only if an SSE2-enabled version of POV-Ray for Windows is installed. If we make such a version available it will be provided on our website and FTP server using a different name than that mentioned below.
Required POV-Ray files: User archive POVWIN36.EXE - a self-extracting archive containing the program, sample scenes, standard include files and documentation.
Optional: The source code is not needed to use POV-Ray. It is provided for the curious and adventurous. POVWIN_S.ZIP --- The C/C++ source code for POV-Ray for Windows, contains generic parts and Windows specific parts. It does not include sample scenes, standard include files and documentation so you should also get the executable archive as well. POV-Ray can only be compiled using C/C++ compilers that create 32-bit Windows applications.
We currently support VC++ v7 (v6 will not work due to compiler issues with certain C++ features), Borland C++, Open Watcom, MinGW, and DJGPP (BJGPP 2.04 or later), and the Intel C++ Compiler version 8. Support for both Intel and Microsoft's C++ compiler for AMD64 is also in the works and will be forthcoming in a later source code release (once we release an official 64-bit version of POV-Ray for Windows).
Note that no matter which compiler you use, you will need to obtain the HTML Help API toolkit from Microsoft's web site (unless you already have it installed). This toolkit contains header files and libraries required to compile POV-Ray for Windows.
Note: while we know for certain that the code will work with VC++ v7 and the Intel compiler v8, the others mentioned above may need some tweaking since we do not regularly test with them and it is possible some later code changes may have broken the build.
Linux for Intel x86
The PC-Linux version should run on any GNU/Linux distribution based on the kernel 2.2 series or above using the ELF 32-bit format for executables. The binary is fully static, meaning that it has no external dependencies to system or third-party libraries. It includes support for two kinds of display: the standard text-based display and the graphics display using either the X Window System or the SVGA library.
Required hardware and software: An Intel Pentium-compatible CPU (i586 or better) and at least 32 MB of RAM. About 20 MB of disk space to install the program, its documentation, scenes and standard include files. A text editor capable of editing plain ASCII text files. Graphic file viewer capable of viewing image formats such as PNG, TIFF, PPM or TGA.
Required POV-Ray files: povlinux-3.6.tgz or povlinux-3.6.tar.gz - archive containing an official binary combining text, SVGALib and X Window displays. Also contains sample scenes, standard include files and documentation in HTML and plain ASCII text.
Recommended: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon XP (faster the better) with 128 MB (text console) / 256 MB (X Window running a window manager) or more RAM. A recent GNU/Linux distribution with kernel 2.4.x or above running KDE 3.x for full POV-Ray integration in the window manager. Alternatively, SVGA display preferably with VESA interface and high color or true color ability.
Note: accelerated graphics hardware will not improve performance.
Optional: povray-3.6.tgz or povray-3.6.tar.gz - archive containing the generic UNIX/Linux C++ source code of POV-Ray for UNIX. The source code is not needed to use POV-Ray. It is provided for the curious and adventurous. The archive contains generic Unix parts and Linux specific parts (namely: support for SVGAlib). This package does also include sample scenes, standard include files and documentation. For displaying purposes, the SVGAlib and X11 (X Window) includes and libraries can be used by the source code of POV-Ray for UNIX. See the section related to the generic Unix source code package for further details.
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 1.0.4 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 8.1 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 1.0.4 or newer installed CarbonLib 1.0.4. 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 G3 with 64 MB or more of free RAM. Mac OS 9.0.4 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.
Optional: The source code is not needed to use POV-Ray. It is provided for the curious and adventurous. POV-Ray can be compiled using Metrowerks CodeWarrior Pro 7.2 (for other compilers no project or make files are provided). Read the file "How to compile!" before compiling. There is no other support or help for compiling the source code! POVMACS.SIT or POVMACS.HQX - The full C source code for POV-Ray for Macintosh. Contains generic parts and Macintosh specific parts. It does not include sample scenes, standard include files and documentation so you should also get the executable archive as well.
Because Unix runs on a wide variety of hardware and CPUs, the POV-Team cannot provide executable versions for every kind of Unix systems. We distribute a generic, portable C++ source code suitable for running on Unix or Unix-like platforms. You will need a recent C++ compiler which follows the ISO C++ standard as close as possible, and (optionally) the X11 and/or SVGA include files and libraries (SVGAlib is for GNU/Linux based systems). Although we provide source code for generic Unix systems, we do not provide technical support on how to compile the program. Support may be obtained from the POV-Ray user community on the dedicated POV-Ray newsgroups (povray.unix at news.povray.org).
Required hardware and software: A UNIX operating system with 32 MB of RAM. A recent C++ compiler, a working make utility and Bourne-compatible shell; see the INSTALL file in the package for details. Graphic file viewer capable of viewing e.g. PNG, TIFF, PPM or TGA formats. A text editor capable of editing plain ASCII text files.
Required POV-Ray files: povray-3.6.tgz or povray-3.6.tar.gz - the C++ source code of POV-Ray for UNIX. Contains generic parts and UNIX/Linux specific parts. The package includes sample scenes, standard include files and documentation in HTML and plain text ASCII format.
Recommended: Math co-processor. 128 MB (text console) / 256 MB (X Window running a window manager) or more RAM.
Optional: The X Window System (e.g. XFree86) to be able to display the image while rendering. The X Window System is available on most UNIX platforms nowadays. On GNU/Linux platforms, the SVGAlib library can be an alternative to the X Window System, as it allows to display the rendered image directly on the console screen.
Each executable archive includes full documentation for POV-Ray itself as well as specific instructions for using POV-Ray with your type of platform. All versions of the program share the same ray-tracing features like shapes, lighting and textures. In other words, an MS-Dos-PC can create the same pictures as a Cray supercomputer as long as it has enough memory. The user will want to get the executable that best matches their computer hardware. In addition to the files listed above, the POV-Team also distributes the user documentation in two alternate forms. Note this is the same documentation distributed in other archives but in a different format. This may be especially useful for MS-Dos or Unix users because their documentation is plain ASCII text only. POVUSER.PDF - Tutorial and Reference documentation in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader available for Windows 3.x, Windows 95/98/NT, Mac and some Unix systems. POVHTML.ZIP - Archive containing Tutorial and Reference documentation in HTML for viewing with any internet browser.
See the section "Where to Find POV-Ray Files" for where to find these files. You can contact those sources to find out what the best version is for you and your computer.
Where to Find POV-Ray Files
The latest versions of the POV-Ray software are available from the following sources.
World Wide Website www.povray.org
The internet home of POV-Ray is reachable on the World Wide Web via the address http://www.povray.org/ and via ftp as ftp://ftp.povray.org/. Please stop by often for the latest files, utilities, news and images from the official POV-Ray internet site. The POV-Team operates its own news server on the internet with several news groups related to POV-Ray and other interesting programs.
Books, Magazines and CD-ROMs
If you would like to print our documentation, it is available in a number of formats that are designed for printing. In particular, PDF, postscript, and TeX. See the POV-Ray website for more details.
Unfortunately all English language books on POV-Ray are out of print and there are no plans to reprint them. However there are now several POV-Ray books available in Japanese. Many popular computer magazines have been authorized to distribute POV-Ray on cover CD's. From time to time we, the makers of POV-Ray, will ourselves make CDROM's available, either direct from our website or from authorized distributors. See the our website for more information, as that location will always contain the most up-to-date details.
Beside the POV-Ray material mentioned in "Books, Magazines and CD-ROMs" there are several good books or periodicals that you should be able to locate in your local computer book store or your local university library.
- "An Introduction to Ray tracing" Andrew S. Glassner (editor)
ISBN 0-12-286160-4; Academic Press; 1989
- "Realistic Image Synthesis Using Photon Mapping" Henrik Wann
ISBN: 1568811470; AK Peters; July 2001
- "3D Artist" Newsletter, "The Only Newsletter about
Affordable PC 3D Tools and Techniques")
Publisher: Bill Allen; P.O. Box 4787; Santa Fe, NM 87502-4787; (505) 982-3532
- "Image Synthesis: Theory and Practice" Nadia Magnenat-Thalman
and Daniel Thalmann;
- "The RenderMan Companion" Steve Upstill;
Addison Wesley; 1989
- "Graphics Gems" Andrew S. Glassner (editor);
Academic Press; 1990
- "Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics" J. D. Foley
and A. Van Dam;
ISBN 0-201-14468-9; Addison-Wesley 1983
- "Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice (2nd Ed.)" J. D.
Foley, A. van Dam, J. F. Hughes;
ISBN 0-201-12110-7; Addison-Wesley; 1990
- "Computers, Pattern, Chaos, and Beauty" Clifford Pickover;
- "SIGGRAPH Conference Proceedings";
Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics
- "IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications"; The Computer
10662, Los Vaqueros Circle; Los Alamitos, CA 90720
The POV-Team no longer recommends books from CRC Press. Go read Eric's commentary to find out why.
|What to do if you don't have POV-Ray||Table of Contents|
This document is protected, so submissions, corrections and discussions should be held on this documents talk page.