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Section - 4 - Utilities and Other Software

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Subject 4.1 - Image Display/Conversion Programs

  * IMAGEMAGICK - An X-Windows based image display program (source
    distribution), that also allows simple editing of images, such as
    color modification, scaling, rotating, text annotation, etc.  PNG
    format images are now supported by ImageMagick.  Available at:
    (Cristy, 1995)

  * NEOPAINT - A useful DOS shareware paint package (registration US
    $45) for creating images, height fields, etc, or just touching up
    finished artwork.  Available from wuarchive and mirrors.

  * NETPBM - A collection of command-line utilities for most platforms
    (source distribution).  Executables available for most other
    platforms like DOS, OS/2, Linux, and others.  NetPBM utilities
    convert practically any format to any other by using a common
    intermediate file format, as well as allowing quantization,
    cropping, combining, blur, and many other effects.  Available at:
    (Poskanzer et al., 1991-1994)

  * PICLAB - An excellent package for converting and post-processing
    images for DOS.  (Crocker, 1990)

  * QPV - The Quick Picture Viewer.  A great utility for displaying and
    converting images for DOS/Win systems.  Formerly QPEG, QPV has been
    improved, and has new features, such as the ability to read and
    write PNG format images.  (Fromme, 1995)

  * XV - An X-Windows image display program (source distribution),
    with simple image editing facilities, such as color editing,
    scaling, rotation, and also filter effects for blurring, edge
    detection, and others.  A patch is available for XV 3.10 to support
    PNG images via libpng and libz.  (Bradley, 1995)


Subject 4.2 - Format Conversion Utilities

  Much of the following sections area taken from Amanda Osbourne's
  <> "Raytrace Utilities for DOS/Windows"
  list.  All are IBM PC based unless otherwise specified.

  Various utilities for converting from one 3D file format to another:

  * 3DSPOV - Reads 3d studio mesh files. Writes out to Raw, POV-Ray
    (1 & 2), Vivid and Polyray.  (Anger & Bowermaster, 1993)
  * 3DS2POV V1.80 - This free program can convert your binary 3D Studio 
    3DS file in POV 1.0, POV 2.0 including basic material parameters 
    (color, ambient, diffuse, reflection, transparency) and smoothing. 
    It also supports the output of RAW (useful for POVLAB), Vivid and   
    Polyray. Supports animation ! BySteve Anger

  * 3DWin - Likely the most versitle shareware 3D conversion 
    utility that you will find anywhere. It is actively maintained and 
    developed and has support for most major 3D file formats. It also 
    include direct support for POV-Ray and Moray plus the author has 
    plug-ins available for Moray for direct import capabilitites.

  * DEM2POV - This program (source distribution) converts US Geological
    Survey (USGS) Digital Elevation Maps (DEM) to the TGA format
    heightfields used by POV-Ray 2.2.  Includes a large DEM file of the
    region around the Grand Canyon.  (Kirby, 1995)

  * DXF2POV - DXF to POV-Ray 1 conversion program.
    (Collins, Wells, Farmer & Gibeson, 1992)

  * DXF2RAW - DXF to Raw conversion program.
    (Coy, Barber, Daigle & Shiffman, 1992)

  * DXF2V - DXF to Vivid conversion program.
    (Coy, Barber, Daigle & Shiffman, 1992)

  * DXF3DS - DXF to 3DS conversion program.  (Yost/Autodesk, 1991)

  * HUTIL101c - A set of utilities (source) for converting  between
    various POV-Ray heightfield formats (16-bit TGA, GIF, POT) as well
    as OCT and Matlab 32-bit MAT files.  In addition, it can combine
    heightfields using arithmetic operators, join them together, scale,
    and create spherical and cylindrical heightfields with triangle
    meshes.  See also HF-Lab.  (Beale, 1995)

  * IV2RAY - Converts SGI OpenInventor 2.0 (VRML 1.0) files to RayShade
    files.  Freely available from Cow House Productions web page at: (Cow House Productions, 1996)

  * MRYPLY - Converts Moray files to PolyRay files.

  * OBJ2ASC2 - Wavefront object to 3d studio ascii converter.
    (Knight, 1993)

  * RAW2PV - Excellent utility that allows the user to adjust the
    level of smoothing to apply to raw data as it is translated to
    POV-Ray (1 & 2.x), Polyray or Vivid 2. It can also add a camera
    and light to the scene, making things fairly easy for the novice
    user.  (Anger, 1993)

  * RAYL210 - Helpful utility to convert uLathe (an object creator
    program for windows) files to RAW, POV-Ray 1 & 2.x or Vivid 2
    format.  (Koehler, 1993)

  * SPD - The Standard Procedural Database isn't a conversion package,
    per-se, but rather a set of tools for storing objects in a
    platform netutral format.  It can convert from NFF, simple DXF, and
    Wavefront OBJ to a multitude of formats (about 14 at last count).
    It is often used by ray tracing researchers for measuring ray
    tracer speeds.

  * TDDD2ASC - TDDD (Imagine) to 3D studio ascii file converter.
    (Knight, 1993)

  * WCVT2POV - Although wcvt2pov (MS-Windows) started out converting 3D file 
    formats to POV-Ray, wcvt2pov has become a generic 3D file format conversion 
    utility, with support for importing 3d studio, Wavefront, NFF, DXF, TrueType 
    Fonts, RAW triangles and some other formats, and exporting 3ds, asc, POV-Ray, 
    NFF, DXF, VRML, Wavefront, Open GL 'C' code fragments, RAW triangles, and some 
    other formats.  (Rule, 1995)

  * Blender Python Conversion Scripts - Python scripts for converting 
    Blender models to other formats including POV-Ray.


Subject 4.3 - Creation Creators

  Utilities to aid in the creation of ray tacing objects:

  * BOXER - Object generator for POV-Ray 1 (makes things like bathroom
    tiles and such based upon user input).  (Miller, 1993)

  * BRANCH - Tree creator for POV-Ray 1. (Weller, 1992)

  * CHAIN - Generates interlocking chain links for POV-Ray 1.0.
    (Koehler, 1992)

  * CM - CircleMaster utility for working with quadric spheres and
    ellipsoids; writes output to POV-Ray 1.0. (Brown, 1992)

  * COIL - Creates coiled objects for POV-Ray 1.0. (Kirby, 1992)

  * COILV - Creates coiled objects for Vivid 2. (Kirby & Cox, 1992)

  * CTDS - Connects a series of xyz dot coordinates. Though this may
    not sound like much, this is an extremely helpful utility.
    Supports POV-Ray, Vivid and Polyray. (Brown, 1993)

  * FORM - All sorts of shapes can be generated with this program.
    Form files consist of both shapes and commands (like twistx and
    bend) and output may be POV-Ray 1, 2 or .plg. Interesting program,
    complementary to LPARSER.  (Rowbottom, 1993)

  * FRACTINT - The ultimate fractals generator for DOS, X-windows
    source code, and distributed with the Linux Slackware games disks.
    Great for creating height fields, colour maps, viewing gifs or just
    creating fractals.  (The Stone Soup Group, 1990-95)

  * FRGEN - Fractal Landscape (and other shapes too) Generator.
    Though the program supports Vivid and POV-Ray 1 & 2 directly, by
    selecting raw output you can smooth triangles out with RAW2POV to
    create nice hills and dales. (Anger, 1993)

  * GEODOME - Utility for generating geodesic domes.  Output to
    POV-Ray 2.x format as either facets or a mesh of pipes and joints.
    IBM PC executable, with source included. (Wardley, 1994)

  * GFORGE - Graphical Fractal Forgery (source, DOS exe).  Generates
    16-bit heightfields for POV-Ray, using a high-quality algorithm:
    the IFFT of 1/f noise.  File formats include PGM, PNG, POV TGA
    heightfield, and Matlab bin.  Several parameters give you control
    over the appearance of the output, which can range from sand to
    hills to mountains.  Useful also for 2D textures; the image always
    tiles perfectly.  Now also supports craters.  (Beale, 1995)

  * HFLAB - Heightfield Lab (DOS/Unix source, DOS exe).  Generates and
    manipulates 16-bit heightfields for POV-Ray, using a variety of
    mathematical and procedural algorithms.  Has a graphical interface
    for both DOS and X Windows.  Allows the combination of two or more
    heightfields by addition, multiplication, or side-by-side joining,
    and many other operators.  File formats include PGM, PNG, POV TGA
    heightfield, and Matlab 32-bit floating point.  (Beale, 1996).

  * LEVCON - Level Connector.  This takes an input image in PGM format
    and does mathematical "smoothing" on the data to generate smoothly
    varying surfaces.  The input image tells LEVCON which levels are to
    stay at their given height and which ones can change, and you tell
    LEVCON how to go about connecting the fixed levels.  See the classic
    image "kkteaset.jpg" at the Hall Of Fame to get an idea
    of what LEVCON can do (it made the tiles).  (Kivisalo, 1995)

  * LEVELLER - A heightfield/terrain object modeller/editor for
    Windows 95/98/NT. Strengths are ease of use, intuitive realtime
    navigation, visualization and editing, and strong POV-Ray support.
    Demos and beta versions are free; registered versions cost below
    $40 US. Available at

  * LPARSER - L-system creator and mutator. This program is
    particularly strong in the creation of organic looking forms. Many
    example data files are included with the program.  The language of
    l-systems is not intuitive but the results can be truly stunning.
    Outputs to DXF (both R12 and 3D faces), POV-Ray 2.x, RAW and
    Renderstar VOL.  A wire-frame viewer that reads .3DS, .RAW,
    Fractint .RAY, ARE-24 .POL and Lparser/Renderstar .VOL files is
    included.  (Lapre, 1993)

  * LV20POVID - Newer and more powerful than LV2POV, this program
    reads an lviewer info file and generates data files in POV-Ray
    (1 & 2.x) and Vivid formats. The program's main strength lies in
    landscape generation. (van der Mark, 1993)

  * TRMK - Terrain Maker (DOS) uses a triangle midpoint subdivision
    algorithm to generate a variety of GIF heightfields.
    (Jorgensen, 1995)

  * PLANT - Fractal plant generator. Outputs supported are POV-Ray
    (1 & 2), Polyray and CTDS (Connect the dots smoother).
    (Bryerton, 1993)

  * SUDS - Random positioning of lots of spheres (or other objects)
    based on a variety of selections. (Farmer, Wegner & Schwan, 1994)

  * TORPATCH - This program creates a rope/wire object that passes
    smoothly through supplied points out of a series of clipped tori.
    Available as DOS EXE, and Turbo Pascal or C source.  Can also
    create a random tangle of wires. (Mackey & Beddes, 1996)

  * TWISTER - Utility that will create spirals, coils, etc., of
    blobs, cubes or sphere.  IBM PC executable with source, output to
    POV 2.x format.  (Wardley, 1994)


Subject 4.4 - Texture Editors

  * CMAP - Interactive color map creator for POV-Ray.
    (Lutz & Kretzschmar, 1993)

  * TCE - The color editor for POV-Ray 1. (Farmer, 1991)

  * TCEV - The color editor for Vivid. (Farmer, 1991)

  * TEXMAKE - Early version of a utility to assist in texture
    creation in POV-Ray 2.x. (Sigler, 1993)

  * TXMAG - Texture Magic is an interactive, 32-bit MS-Windows based
    texture editor for POV-Ray 2.x, Assymetrix 3D F/X, and Autodesk
    3D-Studio. (Pultz, 1996)


Subject 4.5 - Animation

  * AERO - AERO is a X-Windows based physical simulation environment
    suitable for making complex, realistic animations.  Objects
    (including the camera) can be given properties like mass,
    velocity, and acceleration, constraints like springs and dampers
    can be specified between objects, and then AERO performs
    collision detection, position, and orientation calculations.
    Output is to POV-Ray 1.0 or 2.x scene files.
    (Keller, Stolz, Ziegler, Braunl, 1995)

  * AWKANI - AWK script to output POV-Ray animation data.
    (Farmer, 1992)

  * DTA - Dave's Targa Animator (DOS) converts .PNG, .TGA and many
    other single image format frames into .FLI's and .FLC's and
    back again.  It can also do useful things like finding the best
    256-color palette for a whole series of images.  (Mason, 1995)

  * MPEG_ENCODE - MPEG_ENCODE (source distribution, also many
    executables) can take images in PPM and JPEG formats (as well
    as other formats, if a ...toppm converter exists) to produce
    a fully compliant  MPEG 1 animation.  It is possible to run
    the encoding on multiple processors. It is available in many
    locations (see 2 - FTP Sites, Web Sites, Mailing Lists)
    (Rowe, et al, 1995)

  * MPEG_PLAY - MPEG_PLAY (source distribution, also many executables)
    displays MPEG 1 encoded animations on a large variety of systems.
    (Rowe, et al, 1995)

  * PPP - The POV and PolyRay Preprocessor allows scene files to be
    created with conditional statements, loops, math functions,
    vector math, and more to generate one or more scene files for
    animation and complex object creation. (Wind, 1995)

  * PVQUAN - PVQUAN (source) is a set of tools that allow you to create
    .FLI creations on many platforms including Unix and DOS.  Source
    code is provided and includes a hosts of useful functions like
    quantisation, .GIF read, display, etc.

  * RAYSCENE - Set of animation utilities, not raytracer specific.
    (Jarik & Hassi, 1991)

  * RTAG - Ray Tracing Animation Generator (not raytracer specific).
    A powerful program with its own language which supports, amongst
    other things, spline path generation. (Sherrod, 1993)

  * SCEDA - SCEDA is a descendant of the SCED X-Windows modeller,
    with enhancements to allow generation of multiple scene files
    for an animation.  (See also 3 - Modelling Software)
    (McLaughlin & Chenney, 1996)

  * SP - Spline paths for animations.  Many output formats (POV-Ray,
    Vivid, Polyray, 3DV, Wire 3D) and acceleration and deceleration
    are supported as well. (Mason, 1992)

  * ZOOM - Interpolates steps between two positions for POV-Ray 1.0.
    (Brown, 1993)


Subject 4.6 - Miscellaneous Utilities

  * POVMODE.EL - Emacs mode to handle POV-Ray syntax.  Available at:

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