After one year of developing, we're happy to publish a new workbench for creating photorealistic images with POV-Ray. The workbench is aimed at both beginners and advanced users in raytracing. With this workbench you will be able to create easily photorealistic pictures of your model, even if you are not familiar with rendering. If you're an advanced user with more knowledge, you can get the full control about all detailed settings by combining the FreeCAD model with POV-Rays scriptig language.
In contrast to the other rendering solutions of FreeCAD we are focused on using POV-Ray as the only renderer and tryed to support as many POV-Ray features as possible. The workbench uses solid primitives and other mathematic describable objects as long as they are implemented in POV-Ray and translation is not too elaborate in programming. But meshes are also supported so you will always get a result even for not supported objects. (Take a look at Supported.md to see a list of the supported features.)
- easy applying of textures including a preview
- easy inserting and configuration of different types of lights
- easy use of indirect lightning to create realistic images
- easy inserting of HDRI Environments (is in progress, see post below)
⇨ simple handling and operation
- power users can get the full control about the whole configuration with the user inc file (see Power User Section)
⇨ offering all settings for advanced users
- the model is not converted into meshes, the model will be converted into a mathematical way of describing the object shape, so you will get a better object and a better picture
- very good readability of the created files → easy editing of these files
- WYSIWYG - You can pan your model and render and you will get this point of view from FreeCAD
This workbench should become part of the Addon Manager soon. Currently, you have to download the repository from https://gitlab.com/usbhub/exporttopovray and unpack the zip in the Mod folder of your FreeCAD config folder. You can find detailed description here: How to install additional workbenches.
You will need a POV-Ray installation to run the workbench. How to install POV-Ray is explained here: POV-Ray Wiki.
After adding the POV-Ray Executable Path to workbench setting you can start your first rendering.
Have fun! We are looking forward to your feedback.