Paddy McGee's POV-Ray page

This page displays some of the results of fiddling around with the rendering package POV-Ray (Versions 3.1 and 3.5 were used). Most of the detailed models used here were taken from various POV-Ray or other 3-D model sites which can readily be found on the Web. Many of these were adapted slightly where it was considered necessary or desirable. This usually involved re-texturing at the least (especially for 3DS conversions by Crossroads, where all texturing is lost), and often slight refining of various details. A (nearly complete) list of Model authors is given at this link, and apologies to anyone I have inadvertantly left off that list, or for any errors therein.

The Star Wars models come from sites on the SWMA web-ring. Note that in converting to JPEG format for these pages, some loss of detail occurs in an image, especially if it contains a star-field background.


General Objects



Space Objects




Cordwainer Smith stories



Star Wars objects





Generating the star-field background

For the space-based images, the star background was generated using the star-field option in Winfrac. In early POV-Ray images, such as Duo, Trio and the Thistles, the star field was added in post-processing, using PicLab. The star fields thus produced are very dense (as given by Winfrac) , and are not suitable for all scenes.

For later images, such as those based on the Star Wars models, a Winfrac star field was contrast- and brightness-modified using IrfanView, in order to reduce the apparent density of stars and to increase the range of brightnesses thereof. This produces a more generally usable star background. This image was then mapped onto a sky sphere in POV-Ray, as part of the general scene file which contains the code for the models. With this method, the generation of the background in the POV-Ray image is part of the rendering process, and is not done in post-processing. Furthermore, since the star field is mapped onto a sky sphere during the rendering process, the position of stars in such a background will faithfully respond to the motion of the camera if one does an animation with a moving or rotating camera.

It was found that a linear mapping of the image onto the sky sphere (the default; map_type = 0) produces a distortion around the "equator" of the sky sphere, which can be offensive if it is in the field of view. One may rotate the image map as projected onto the sky sphere as required to get it out of view, however. This is O.K. for stills, but is a problem in animations.

A spherical mapping (map_type = 1) gets rid of this distortion, but the quality of the stars deteriorates noticably (at least when I tried it...). There may be some other way of getting around this, but I have not yet found it.




POV-Ray animations