Particle tracking using IDL
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Running POV-Ray from Linux
This is a supplement to my main page on how
to interface IDL and POV-Ray. This page explains some
details on how to use POV-Ray on a linux computer.
The key thing is that there is a file called povray.ini
which needs to be in the directory that you are running POV-Ray
from, that is, the directory containing your file.pov that
you are trying to visualize. povray.ini in turn needs to
have information in it that points to where, on your linux
system, you have stored various POV-Ray files -- in other words,
wherever POV-Ray has been installed.
- povray.ini (stored in a zip
file) -- works for
me, but mostly you should consider this just an example. If you
have a more recent version of
POV-Ray, it will probably come with
its own version of this file. I'm still using version 3.1, as of
today (June 2005) they are up to version 3.6. I should probably
update my version, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I tend to run x-povray from the command line in IDL:
IDL> $x-povray +Iimg01.pov +D +H300 +W400 2>err
WHEN X-POVRAY DOESN'T WORK: You have probably
forgotten to place a copy of povray.ini in your current
directory, or else povray.ini hasn't been updated for your linux
system to point to the POV-Ray libraries.
- $ tells IDL this is a linux command,
not an IDL command.
- +Iimg01.pov says that the input file is called img01.pov.
- My povray.ini file is set up to have the default output
style be a PPM file, which would be named img01.ppm in this
- +D requests that the image be displayed as
it is calculated. Click on the image to make it go away.
- 2>err is a shell command that redirects
stderr to a file called err. This can be left off if it doesn't
work for you. It works for me; I use the BASH shell. The bottom
line is that all it does is avoiding printing a bunch of POV-Ray
messages to the screen.
- +H300 +W400 says the picture should be 300
pixels in heigh, and 400 in width. These numbers need to have a 3:4
ratio, otherwise the picture looks incorrect. (Which is fixable
by doing some fancy POV-Ray stuff, which I don't know how to do.)
If you'd like a bigger picture, you could say
+H720 +W960 for example. The default is set by
your povray.ini file.
Otherwise, try typing "which x-povray" at a linux prompt and see
if x-povray is installed on your system.
weeks(at)physics.emory.edu (He wrote this page, and