1.4.3.3 Can I get a wireframe render of my scene?
"Is there a way to generate a wireframe output image from a POV scene file?"
Short answer: No.
Long answer:
You have to understand the difference between a modeller like 3DStudio and POVRay in the way they handle objects.
Those modellers always use triangle meshes (and some modellers use also NURBS which can be very easily converted into
triangles). Triangle meshes are extremely simple to represent in a wireframe format: Just draw a line for each
triangle side.
However, POVRay handles most of the objects as mathematical entities, not triangle meshes. When you tell POVRay
to create a sphere, POVRay only handles it as a point and a radius, nothing else (besides the possible matrix
transform applied to it). POVRay only has a notion of the shape of the object as a mathematical formula (it can
calculate the intersection of a line and the sphere).
For wireframe output there should be a way to convert that mathematical representation of the object into actual
triangles. This is called tesselation.
For some mathematical objects, like the sphere, the box, etc, tesselation is quite trivial. For other entities,
like CSG difference, intersection, etc, it is more difficult (although not impossible). For other entities it is
completely impossible: infinite nonflat surfaces like paraboloids and hyperboloids (well, actually it is possible if
you limit the size of the surface to a finite shape; still the amount of triangles that needs to be created would be
extremely high).
There have been lots of discussions about incorporating tesselation into POVRay. But since POVRay is just a
renderer, not a modeller, it does not seem to be worth the efforts (adding tesselation to all the primitives and CSG
would be a huge job).
(Of course tesselation could give some other advantages, like the ability to fake nonuniform transformations to
objects like most triangle mesh modellers do...)
If you just want fast previews of the image, you can try to use the quality parameter of POVRay. For example
setting quality to 0 (+q0) can give a very fast render. See also the rendering speed question.
More about "the rendering speed question"
