POV-Ray/Printable version

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The current, editable version of this book is available in Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection, at

Permission is granted to copy, distribute, and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Set up

POV-ray is a freeware program with the source code available. For users of the microsoft windows or mac OSX operating system who do not have POV-Ray already installed, you will have to download it from the POV-Ray [website]. For users of any major Linux distribution (Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, etc.) you can obtain it directly from your software repository.

If you already have a copy of povray installed, you may skip this section.

Installation[edit | edit source]

For Windows[edit | edit source]

Povray installers can be obtained from the website, here. To install this software, you will need to select either the 32 or 64 bit "binary", depending on whether you are running windows in 64 or 32 bit mode.

For Mac OSX[edit | edit source]

Stuff-it compressed archives of pov-ray can be found on their website. You will need stuff-it expander in order to be able to access the files.

For Linux[edit | edit source]

Linux users may install this either through the software repository, or via the command line. You must have a connection to your software repository, such as via the internet.

Ubuntu/Debian[edit | edit source]

Graphical method:

From the title bar select System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager. Enter the administrator password when prompted. In the search box, type "povray", then select the povray package. Once selected press install. You may be prompted to install supporting software. The software will be downloaded and installed.

Command Line:

The package may be installed using the installer "aptitude". Simply type:
sudo apt install povray
You may be prompted to confirm the install, after which the package manager will proceed to install POV-Ray.
If the packages don't appear in the repositories for your distribution, they are available from the Ubuntu repositories.

Fedora[edit | edit source]

Povray packages are not available for Fedora due to its non-free license [1]. But packages are maintained by the ATrpms 3rd party repository [2].

Graphical method:

From the title bar select Applications -> Add remove software, then search for povray. Select it then select install.

Command Line:

Simply type:
sudo yum install povray

You will be prompted to confirm, at which point yum will download and install povray.

Getting Started

Lesson Plan Outline[edit | edit source]


  • Computer/POV-Ray
  • Sample Artwork
  • Sample Animation


  • Introduce the Big Goals to motivate
  • Launch the application create first drawing


  • Show sample artwork
  • Show sample animation


  • Talk about elements camera, light, objects
  • Create the first program
  • Change the color of the object
  • Change the light
  • Change the camera


  • Question: What three things do we need
  • Question: What does rgb stand for


  • Create a picture with three different cones in three different locations not touching