POV-Ray 3.62

Free Creates and designs 3D graphic objects and shapes
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POV-Ray is an abbreviation for the Persistence of Vision Raytracer and is a software tool for designing 3D graphics. Unlike other 3D tools, POV-Ray provides individuals - professionals or 3D enthusiasts - a command-line editor interface that can be used to enable object and shape creation.

Its interface looks a bit outmoded and resembles API's from older Windows versions. The menu icons have a decent size but are very poorly crafted. The navigation through the menu is quite intuitive but at times the buttons become sluggish.

By having a built-in CLI for constructing 3D shapes and objects, the application manages to increase flexibility because the image parameters can be manually adjusted using numerical values and iterators.
An important function is represented by the Macro Recording feature that allows users to save their actions for later use. This option can be activated as many times is necessary.
Also, individuals can set up rendering priorities, when dealing with complex 3D images, to reduce the CPU usage.

In conclusion, POV-Ray is a smart software solution for users who want to design 3D graphic with the aid of a CLI. However, it does require some coding knowledge so the learning curve might be a bit complicated.

JS Senior editor
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Review summary


  • Comes with a built-in CLI
  • Includes a Macro Recording feature
  • Allows rendering prioritization


  • Has poorly crafted menu icons
  • Requires coding knowledge
  • Has an outmoded interface

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You need to be at least somewhat familiar with programming. It is a very powerful tool in the right hands since it is a very mature programming language.
The biggest downside is absence of SMP (present in 3.7 beta though) whitch does not allow to use multicore machines in full. Because complex scenes require a lot of calculations, rendering them may take a lot of time which is a necessary price for realistic results.

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