I spent some time improving the POV-Ray destination for object graphics I talked about in a previous article. I can now produce visualizations of actual data (like the one on the right) using this destination and its related library of classes.

My goals for this destination are two-fold:

1. Create better renderings of pure IDL object graphics scenes (with no POV-Ray knowledge necessary).
2. Ability to use POV-Ray specific features using custom object graphics classes. These classes render in some way in IDL, but produce effects in POV-Ray that can’t be completely replicated in IDL.

I think the current VISgrPOVRay class supports objective 1 common 3-dimensional object graphics scenes, but lacks support for every property provided by the IDL library. Support for most properties can be easily done as needed.

The second objective requires creating new subclasses of classes in the IDL library with additional properties. For example, there is a VISgrPOVRayLight class which inherits from IDLgrLight class, but also provides support for the POV-Ray area light type. There is a VISgrPOVRayView which provides for features like focal blur in addition to the properties of the IDLgrView. There are also subclasses for grid planes, streamlines, and POV-Ray polygon graphics atoms as well as a finish attribute class. More classes can be added to support additional POV-Ray features as necessary.