Rendering the Frames Using POV-Ray

Because the frames for movies don't have to be generated in real time we can take advantage of using ray-tracers such as Pov-Ray to render the individual frame images. This takes more time for the computer than taking screenshots but POV-Ray offers greater control over the lighting in our scenes. With it we can make beautifully complex shadowy scenes with very little errort on our part. Pov-Ray is free and can be downloaded from povray.org.

For this tutorial you will need POV-Ray, Seamless3d and the FFmpeg installer for Seamless3d installed.


Create the frames for POV-Ray

The simple animation created for the nurbs lathe avatar demo will be used as an example for this tutorial. You can download the example file from this link: nurbs_lathe_av.smls. Put the nurbs_lathe_av.smls file in a new empty folder and double click it to open it into Seamless3d:

Select the Scene node in the scene tree:

In the Scene node's control panel check the outputPovRay field:

if a PovLight has not already been added, this causes a PovLight node to be inserted as the first node in Scene:

and causes fields specific to PovRay to be shown in the ColorEffect's control panel when the ColorEffect is selected.

To output the povray files right click on the Anim node and select output povray movie:

 

When done we will get a message showing we have created the following files:


and we are prompted to open the ini file in Pov-Ray, click Yes:




Render the frames

Set POV-Ray's resolution to 640 by 480 and make sure AA.03 is selected:

AA (Anti Alias) smooths out the pixels very nicely.

Click Run and sit back and watch POV-Ray render the 49 frames one by one or go for a health walk to pass the time.




Convert the png files to an avi file

Open the folder containing the files using windows explorer and Run the build_av.bat file by double clicking it:

The batch file will run FFmpeg with the command to create our file build_av_movie.avi from the png files.

When done:

the movie file will be added to the folder that contains the png images:



High Definition YouTube Using POV-Ray

When making High definition videos for YouTube you must set your screen to 1280 by 720 pixels or 1920 by 1080 the same as when outputting screenshot movies and you must in addition match POV-Ray's render resolution. Because POV-Ray does not have 1280x720 or 1920x1080 already set up we must edit one of POV-Ray's ini file but fortunatly this is very easy to do. Open the folder My Documents\POV-Ray\v3.6\ini and open the file quickres.ini into a text editor (the POV-Ray text editor will do). Copy the folowing text:

[1280x720, AA 0.3]
Width=1280
Height=720
Antialias=On
Antialias_Threshold=0.3

[1920x1080, AA 0.3]
Width=1920
Height=1080
Antialias=On
Antialias_Threshold=0.3

and paste it into the end of the ini file.

Save the file and now when you open Pov-Ray (you must close POV-Ray before opening it) you will be able to select 1280x720 or 1920x1080 resolutions:


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