API documentation for visualization library

Michael Galloy


POV-Ray overview

POV-Ray is an open source ray tracing tool capable of making high quality images of 3-dimensional scenes. See povray.org for more information and examples of POV-Ray generated scenes.

The POV-Ray destination class VISgrPOVRay is an object graphics destination class. Object graphics views can be drawn by it in the same way IDLgrWindow or other destinations are used:

pov = obj_new('VISgrPOVRay', file_prefix='halfcell') pov->draw, view
This will produce an .ini file, a .pov file, and one .inc file for every graphics atom in the object graphics hierarchy. These files are meant to be input files for the povray command line utility, which can be executed from within IDL via the VIS_POVRAY routine.

Many object graphics scenes can be drawn in this manner with no extra work or knowledge of POV-Ray. IDLgrView, IDLgrModel, IDLgrPolygon, IDLgrSurface, IDLgrPolyline, and IDLgrLight currently supported (though not all of their properties are currently used when rendering the POV-Ray input files).

Other classes are provided, like VISgrPOVRayView (a subclass of IDLgrView), VISgrPOVRayGrid (a subclass of IDLgrPoygon), VISgrPOVRayLight (a subclass of IDLgrLight), and VISgrPOVRayTubes (a subclass of IDLgrPolyline), to attain functionality supported by POV-Ray, but not IDL. These classes will render normally under IDL using the standard properties of their parent class, but will provide additional functionality when rendered with POV-Ray.

The VIS_XPOVRAY GUI utility provides a convenient way to interactively position a view/model for rendering with POV-Ray. A view to render and a model to rotate are passed into the utility. The scene can then be viewed and manipulated until the desired orientation is achieved, at which point the view can then be rendered with the POV-Ray destination.