This book provides a tutorial 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
This book is divided into five main parts:
This introduction which explains what POV-Ray is and what ray-tracing is. It gives a brief overview of how to
create ray-traced images.
A "Beginning Tutorial" which explains step by step how to use the different features
An "Advanced Tutorial" which contains more advanced
"POV-Ray questions and tips" gives answers to many
frequently-asked questions about POV-Ray.
In the "Appendices" you will find some tips and hints,
where to get the latest version and versions for other platforms, the POV-Ray licence, information on compiling
custom versions of POV-Ray, suggested reading, contact addresses and legal information.
POV-Ray runs on Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP, Macintosh Mac OS and Mac OS X, x86 Linux, UNIX, and other platforms.
We assume that if you are reading this document then you already have POV-Ray installed and running. However the
POV-Team does distribute this file by itself in various formats including online on the Internet. If you do not have
POV-Ray or are not sure you have the official version or the latest version, see appendix "What
to do if you don't have POV-Ray".
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 this introductory section
then read the platform-specific information before reading this tutorial.
The platform-specific docs will show you how to render a sample scene and will give you detailed description of the
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
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