I first encountered POV-Ray in the early 90s when I downloaded it from a BBS. As
a programmer I loved the unique scene description language approach and I was
able to create awesome 3D rendered images and animations that impressed my
friends and family. I've continued to tinker with it periodically for decades.
However, I haven't actively used it for some time.
In recent months I started tinkering with POV-Ray again. I naturally opened up a
scene file in Visual Studio Code, which I basically use for everything there
days. In case you haven't heard of it, Visual Studio Code is a free, open
source, cross-platform code editor created by Microsoft. It features a powerful
extension API. Users have created extensions to add support for just about every
programming language and file type under the sun. It has become one of the most
popular and powerful code editors available. And it represents a major shift at
Microsoft toward a more open, cross-platform approach.
Usually when I open a new kind of file, VS Code prompts me to install extensions
for that for type. But not with .pov files. Apparently nobody had created a
POV-Ray extension. So I decided to learn how to write a VS Code extension and I
created a POV-Ray extension.
Since I only tinker with POV-Ray, I don't know if it would be useful to the
average POV-Ray user, but I thought I'd share a link just in case anyone wants
to give it a try. It includes:
* Rendering the current .pov or .ini scene file in the VS Code integrated
* Syntax Highlighting and Snippets for common scene elements
* Settings to control the output image format, dimensions, and output file path
* Running POV-Ray as a Docker Image
You can download Visual Studio Code from https://code.visualstudio.com/
The extension is available in the VS Code Marketplace and can be installed
directly from inside VS Code:
If anyone opens a .pov scene file in VS Code they will be notified about the
extension and given the option to install it.
The extension is open source and available on GitHub under an MIT license if
anyone wants to fork it or submit pull requests for improvements or bug fixes.
Compatible POV-Ray docker images are here:
I have tested it on Windows 10 using the standard Windows command prompt,
Powershell, and WSL Ubuntu Bash as my integrated shell. I have tried it out on
Mac OS X. And I have run it using Docker and POV-Ray docker images on both
Windows and Mac. I believe it will work on Ubuntu and probably other Debian
based linux distros that can run VS Code and POV-Ray or Docker.
Thanks for all of the years of enjoyment I have had using POV-Ray.
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