Virtual Worlds With POV-Ray
POV-Ray is the 3D graphic software which allows you to create 3D world with lightings, reflections, shadows, color gradients, materials, textures and so on. I’d read about it about 5 years ago and almost ignored it - until just few days back I decided to gave it a whirl one more time (I think it was a sudden urge to create some 3D graphics). Just after a quick simple installation and spending 15 minutes on beginner’s tutorial, I was totally in to it. Just a couple of hours more and I’d my very first 3D image which is cool enough to show off. By the time night fall, I already had an AVI movie with a virtual walkthrough in my 3D world (by making camera move along a specified trajectory). This thing is addictive and it rocks. I can now calculate 3D coordinates and linear transformations in my head! The scripting language it uses is C like and very intuitive. Sure there were many other ray tracing programs including 3D Studio but this open source free program is much more “programmer oriented” rather then “artist oriented”. Don’t forget to check out Internet Ray Tracing Competition for some truly mind blowing virtual images.
Source code for my above first image is now at Github