POV-Ray : Newsgroups : povray.newusers : advice for improving scenes : advice for improving scenes Server Time10 Dec 2023 21:22:28 EST (-0500)
 From: Shane Date: 30 Apr 2018 12:25:00 Message:
```
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I am a mathematician and I have been using povray for making pictures of 3D
surfaces which are fairly complicated. The results are much more beautiful than
what I can make using matlab or similar software but I feel like I am still
missing a great deal of potential.

I typically choose things like lighting, camera angles, colors, refraction, etc
etc almost arbitrarily. I lack the artistic training to have a good
understanding of the choices involved and I typically just change these choices
almost randomly to try and improve the picture. The resulting pictures are nice,
but still lacking quality and I want to learn how to get better.

As a typical example, I uploaded a rendered picture here:
https://imgur.com/KWl6oEy

In this sample, the background sky, lighting, and essentially every choice other
than camera placement is pretty much arbitrary. I don't have a great
understanding of how to use transmittance, reflection, lighting, etc to make
shadows and produce a nice texture. I can change these things and I get
different pictures, but I don't know how to make "intentional" changes to create
specific effects.

The images themselves represent objects with some mathematical relevance (called
manifolds for those interested). The green/red surfaces are generated as unions
of triangles (about 500,000 in this picture). The blue curves are generated as
unions of cylinders. There is probably a better way to use povray to generate
both types of object but this is likely the least of my issues.

Just a couple examples of things I would like to learn how to improve:

1. There is a great deal of fine detail here. Both the red and green surfaces
actually fold over themselves very sharply (like folding a piece of paper in
half) many times. However, I can't see this detail because the surfaces lack