Non-Linux FOSS: Persistence of Vision Raytracer (POV-Ray)

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Back in the mid-1990s, a college friend (hi Russ!) and I would put our old 8088 computers to work rendering ray-traced images for days—literally. The end result would be, by today's standards, incredibly low resolution and not terribly interesting. Still, the thought of a computer system creating realistic photos from nothing more than math equations was fascinating. As you probably already guessed, Russ and I weren't terribly popular.

This image is completely computer-generated, created by Gilles Tran, released into public domain.

All these years later, the same ray-tracing software we used back then is now up to version 3.7, and it has been released as free, open-source software. The developers kindly have created a downloadable Windows installer for those folks stuck on a Microsoft operating system. If you think the world is nothing more than math, and you'd like to prove it with ray-traced images, head on over to http://www.povray.org and download your copy today. I can't promise it will make you popular, but at least by my standards, it will make you cool!

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Shawn Powers is an Associate Editor for Linux Journal. You might find him chatting on the IRC channel, or Twitter

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Topic confusion

Geoffrey's picture

POV in this case does NOT stand for Persistence Of Vision.
I believe it is Point Of View which is generally associated with ray-tracing.

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