3.1 Introduction

This book provides a reference for the Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer (POV-Ray). The documentation applies to all platforms to which this version of POV-Ray is ported. The platform-specific documentation is available for each platform separately.

This book is divided into these main parts:

  1. This introduction together with a complete reference on "POV-Ray Options" which explains options (set either by command line switches or by INI file keywords) that tell POV-Ray how to render the scenes.
  2. A complete reference on "Scene Description Language" in which you describe the scene.
  3. A complete reference on the "Standard Include Files" that come with the POV-Ray package, to be used in your scenes.
  4. Finally, a consolidation of the POV-Ray Scene Description Language in the "Quick Reference".

This book covers only the generic parts of the program which are common to each version. Each version has platform-specific documentation not included here. We recommend you finish reading the tuorial book then read the platform-specific information before using this reference.

The platform-specific docs will show you how to render a sample scene and will give you detailed description of the platform-specific features.

The Windows version documentation is available on the POV-Ray program's Help menu or by pressing the F1 key while in the program.

The Mac platform documentation is available via the "Help" menu as well as for viewing using a regular web browser. Details may be found in the "POV-Ray MacOS Read Me" which contains information specific to the Mac version of POV-Ray. It is best to read this document first.

The Unix / Linux version documentation can be found at the same place as the platform independent part. Usually that is /usr/local/share/povray-3.?/html

Section Contents