Morphing in POV-Ray

Bernhard Freund Various Leave a Comment

A few days ago I created a 3D-animation with POV-Ray. I had played around with this ray-tracer some fifteen years ago, but only scratched the surface. Now I wanted to create a somewhat sophisticated animation including a scene where some text would appear out of a particle cloud. Thus, I needed to transform one object into another using particles. To my dismay, I discovered that POV-Ray as such doesn’t provide any functionality in this respect. I also couldn’t find any suitable code snippets or templates on the internet.

With Google’s help I discovered that the world had moved on and tools like Blender nowadays offer a lot more than POV-Ray does. Youtube has several Tutorials on creating text effects using particle systems in Blender. However, I still preferred using the good old POV-Ray, partly because I had already started building the animation with it, partly because it is in a certain way more elegant to mathematically describe a scene in POV-Ray’s language than to create it with Blender’s visual interface.

Finally I found a Youtube-Video by David Littlepage that proved that particle effects could be created with POV-Ray. David kindly pointed out to me that he had created this animation using “splines” and POV-Ray’s “inside”-function. With this help, I was able to write a small framework for POV-Ray that allows to morph any object into another.

You can download my code here, I provide it as free software under the license GNU GPL v3.

 

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