POV-Ray Buttons and Logos

Eric Bainville - Mar 2007

In this page I present some experiments on the creation of 3D buttons/logos using POV-Ray, the Persistence Of Vision Raytracer. POV-Ray is a wonderful tool to generate automatically 3D realistic buttons. All Cabri 3D tool icons were generated using POV-Ray, providing an uniform and mathematically exact set of icons.

POV-Ray setup

We will focus on the creation of a square icon. The first thing to do is setup a camera, global settings, and resolution file. The rendered area will be the [-1,+1]×[-1,+1] XY square, with the Z axis pointing towards the viewer.

You will neeed to add the following block in the quickres.ini file (within POV-Ray, select menu Tools:Edit resolution INI file. Selecting it will generate a square PNG file with transparency enabled.

[128x128, No AA]

Create a new button.pov file, containing the following:

#include "colors.inc"
#include "metals.inc"
#include "textures.inc"

global_settings {
  assumed_gamma 1
  ambient_light White

camera {
  location <0,0,1000>
  right 2*x up 2*y direction -z

box { <-1,-1,0>,<1,0,1> pigment { color Red } }
box { <-0.2,-0.2,0.5>,<0.8,0.8,3> pigment { color Yellow } }

Select the [128x128, No AA] render options, then Run. The result should be this image. Colors are a little ugly because there is no lighting yet, what we see is the result of the default ambient light settings.

In the next section (Shapes) we will add some light, and define a few button shapes.