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Ray Tracers

To make really high quality animations (or stills) that consist of more than dots or line drawings, you need a ray tracer. A ray tracer allows you to construct a world seen from a specific viewpoint, using complicated geometrical shapes and carefully arranged light sources. A very easy-to-use public domain package is the Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer, POV-Ray:
(be sure to check out the Hall of Fame pictures!) POV-Ray accepts text-format descriptions of worlds that can be quickly transformed into high-quality images.

Massimo Ricotti 2009-01-26