POV-Ray, also called Persistence of Vision Raytracer, is a cross-platform ray tracing application developed by The Persistence of Vision Raytracer Pty. Ltd. The program was initially based on DKBTrace. It is particularly developed for creating three-dimensional graphics.
The program features a Turing-complete SDL (Scene Description Language). Turing complete means that the SDL can be simulated to a single-taped Turing machine. This feature also provides supports for loops and macros. Aside from these, POV-Ray also features a complete library composed of objects, textures, and scenes. The program supports different types of objects and three types of textures (i.e. layered, patterned, and plain). It also supports different geometric primitives, as well as constructive solid geometry. Users can also use different kinds of light sources.
Other features offered by POV-Ray include the following:
• Atmospheric Effects (i.e. clouds, fog, smoke, etc.)
• Refractions, Light Caustics, and Reflections
• Surface Patterns (bumps, wrinkles, ripples, etc.)
POV-Ray also offers support for third-party plug-ins. These plug-ins consist of tutorials, scenes, textures, tools, and models. Aside from geometric shapes, the program also offers support for primitives like isosurface, polynomial, Julia fractal, and others. Various Scene Settings are also available in the program. These settings include Camera Placement, Projection Types, Camera Identifies, and more.