Pov-Ray releases version 3.7, but can they get back in the game?

Apparently, from what I have read, Pov-Ray in some sense is considered the original free render engine at one point, because at one point is was one of the only options out there if you wanted to create 3D images without spending a dime.

Take a look at the long list of changes the new version brings, this to me is a pleasant surprise because I almost would’ve thought it became a dead project years ago.

Now while it does seem like a nice fact that this project is still alive, I am left to wonder. When you consider the fact that there are now a number of other comprehensive free render engines that may or may be part of 3D software (Cycles, Yafaray, Luxrender, and BI), you’re left to ask, can Pov-Ray get back into the rendering game (as a competitive solution) or is it too late for it to reinvent itself to where it’s not left as a product of a bygone era?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all suggesting that Pov-Ray should be abandoned as a project, but its website for example is incredibly outdated and some parts like its change log reads like a laundry-list of points written in a highschool journal, they also seem to be heading down the GPL software route when other free engines are switching to more permissive licenses (the license for Cycles has already changed and there’s some hints that Luxrender may be re-licensed in the future as well).

So, what are your thoughts as to the future of Pov-Ray and its potential as render software, I personally think that its code nature definitely gives it a market for procedural image generation so there’s potential there, but what about the rest of the industry, how likely are they to getting back into the game?

The core of POV needs a pretty hefty rewrite if it wants to be competitive. I haven’t tried it in a year or so, but it was SLOOOOW even for simple scenes back in the day.

POV-Ray was my first experience in the 3D rendering world. I kept looking for modelling software because the text based scene creation was insane. I haven’t used it since Moray was a usable UI for scene creation, and then was able to get a student version of 3DS Max. If it is an option vs. Cycles or LuxRender to deliver fast quality renderings, then I would consider it.

By the way, they released 3.7

It’s great that they’re doing it but the 3D world has really moved into a plugin/addon conversion system - are they working on plugins for any packages, especially Blender?

The gallery is full of decent examples but the most recent one is 4 years old, and none of it could be considered technically impressive today. http://hof.povray.org/

I don’t know if it will go away or die, but it’s certainly past the point where it was very relevant to the OSS 3D software community or even the amateur arts community as a whole.

It could just mean that no one is maintaining the gallery. I thought a few of those renders were impressive.

To quote from the Lux Forums:
"The plan for LuxRender 2.0 has been defined during the summer and one of the major components is going to be a new LuxRender C++ and Python API. The old C API suffer of many limitations when it come to modern features like dynamic scene editing and iterative rendering so it has been decided to write completely new API instead of improving the old one. Along the path has been taken few other important decisions.

All the code included in LuxRays repository (i.e. LuxRays, LuxCore, LuxCore implementation aka SLG, LuxMark) will be released under a new license: Apache Licence 2.0. It is a very liberal license allowing the use of the code inside commercial products too. This is a quite big departure from old GPL license and all its constrains. For obvious practical reasons (i.e. the impossible task of contacting all old authors), all the old code under Lux repository is still under GPL."

Although I’m guessing you may have read that as the source of your info?

The betas for 3.7 started in spring 2005, EIGHT AND HALF years ago. What was cutting edge (at least for the budget of hobbiest) then is painfully obsolete now. Add that nowadays even professional renderers can be bought for a few hundred dollars and the picture is complete.

A fond memory of my introduction to 3D graphics, not something that would be my tool nowadays.

Blender comes bundled with povray support, and has done for some years.

Povray is a legendary renderer.
I don’t think it can be taken into consideration in these day for real work but the approach was really interesting.
He can trace a lot of primitives(iso surfaces,quadrics and other mathematical shapes like fractals,and even bezier patches if I remember well),all the engines now trace boring triangles…

It is still the only package with perfect CSG Booleans. Polygon Booleans look really awful compared to mathematical counterparts. It does have merits nobody with only polygon modeling background can see.

POV-Ray is THE most SDL based 3d tool ever. Because of this, be aware that Blender needs POV-Ray more than POV needs an interface.
Stop the cold feet, just try it, report the bugs, and it will be worth it. The POV community is extremely responsive and active, but for the Blender exporter we need developers and user feedback and more than anything now, your images!
Prove the POV-Ray users that Blender can offer them leverage. (go sculpt as hell and vertex paint now that it’s possible (since the latest commit)). Mix your procedural animations as background to Blender’s organic or physical simulations (thanks to Markku’s patch). Composite the images and cheat them further with Blender’s compositor, using a native vector pass to polish your anim with vector blur. Wake it all up, blow the horn! Hit the 3D world with dazzling pictures never before seen, create the need for this frontend Blender already is and has been all this time (Thanks to Campbell and other developers).

Thanks for the quick reply Ideasman! I meant to ask really is the new version of PR still compatible with the same export addon as before.
Edit: found it - 3.7 exporter - in the graphicall build.

Shoot - no OS X version.

There has been, and probably will be again, some patches for OSX around in the newsgroups and forums.

and HERE is a more recent version of the modified source code.

HERE: Not Found

The requested URL /data/povray.zip was not found on this server.

But did find this: http://megapov.inetart.net/povrayunofficial_mac/

Very cool thanks ! does it work?

It will need to wait until I’m at home - and I can’t figure out what to do with the files in the zip - so I need to post a question on that thread.

TBH it’s a small miracle that Povray is still around after all this time. I remember we tinkered w/ it quite a bit back in the 90’s. Good ole times.

But seriously Blender is the panacea. I think sooner or later it will cure cancer lol. This software is just that good.

I like the comments on how old POVray is.

Blender is 20 years old. I remember trying Blender when I was first starting my adventures in product rendering.

I switched to POVray soon after, and started rendering very nice product renderings right off the bat.

Which is one of the strengths of the POVray/Moray software, ease of use. Which I understand is a unpopular phrase in
the Blender world.