Console Text Output

Debug_Console=boolTurn console display of debug info text on/off
+GDSame as Debug_Console=On
-GDSame as Debug_Console=Off
Fatal_Console=boolTurn console display of fatal error text on/off
+GFSame as Fatal_Console=On
-GFSame as Fatal_Console=Off
Render_Console=boolTurn console display of render info text on/off
+GRSame as Render_Console=On
-GRSame as Render_Console=Off
Statistic_Console=boolTurn console display of statistic text on/off
+GSSame as Statistic_Console=On
-GSSame as Statistic_Console=Off
Warning_Console=boolTurn console display of warning text on/off
+GWSame as Warning_Console=On
-GWSame as Warning_Console=Off
All_Console=boolTurn on/off all debug, fatal, render, statistic and warning text to console.
+GASame as All_Console=On
-GASame as All_Console=Off

You may suppress the output to the console of the Debug, Fatal, Render, Statistic or Warning text streams. For example the Statistic_Console=off option or the -GS switch can turn off the Statistic stream. Using on or +GS you may turn it on again. You may also turn all five of these streams on or off at once using the All_Console option or +GA switch.

Note that these options take effect immediately when specified. Obviously any Error or Warning messages that might occur before the option is read are not be affected.

Directing Text Streams to Files

Debug_File=trueEcho debug info text to DEBUG.OUT
Debug_File=falseTurn off file output of debug info
Debug_File=fileEcho debug info text to file
+GDfileBoth Debug_Console=On, Debug_File=file
-GDfileBoth Debug_Console=Off, Debug_File=file
Fatal_File=trueEcho fatal text to FATAL.OUT
Fatal_File=falseTurn off file output of fatal
Fatal_File=fileEcho fatal info text to file
+GFfileBoth Fatal_Console=On, Fatal_File=file
-GFfileBoth Fatal_Console=Off, Fatal_File=file
Render_File=trueEcho render info text to RENDER.OUT
Render_File=falseTurn off file output of render info
Render_File=fileEcho render info text to file
+GRfileBoth Render_Console=On, Render_File=file
-GRfileBoth Render_Console=Off, Render_File=file
Statistic_File=trueEcho statistic text to STATS.OUT
Statistic_File=falseTurn off file output of statistics
Statistic_File=fileEcho statistic text to file
+GSFileBoth Statistic_Console=On, Statistic_File=file
-GSFileBoth Statistic_Console=Off, Statistic_File=file
Warning_File=trueEcho warning info text to WARNING.OUT
Warning_File=falseTurn off file output of warning info
Warning_File=fileEcho warning info text to file
+GWfileBoth Warning_Console=On, Warning_File=file
-GWfileBoth Warning_Console=Off, Warning_File=file
All_File=trueEcho all debug, fatal, render, statistic and warning text to ALLTEXT.OUT
All_File=falseTurn off file output of all debug, fatal, render, statistic and warning text
All_File=fileEcho all debug, fatal, render, statistic and warning text to file
+GAfileBoth All_Console=On, All_File=file
-GAfileBoth All_Console=Off, All_File=file

You may direct a copy of the text streams to a text file for the Debug, Fatal, Render, Statistic or Warning text streams. For example the Statistic_File=s option or the +GSs switch. If the string s is true or any of the other valid true strings then that stream is redirected to a file with a default name. Valid true values are true, yes, on or 1. If the value is false the direction to a text file is turned off. Valid false values are false, no, off or 0. Any other string specified turns on file output and the string is interpreted as the output file name.

Similarly you may specify such a true, false or file name string after a switch such as +GSfile. You may also direct all five streams to the same file using the All_File option or +GA switch. You may not specify the same file for two or more streams because POV-Ray will fail when it tries to open or close the same file twice.

Note that these options take effect immediately when specified. Obviously any Error or Warning messages that might occur before the option is read will not be affected.

Help Screen Switches

+H or +?Show help screen 0 if this is the only switch
+H0 to +H8Show help screen 0 to 8 if this is the only switch
+?0 to +?8Same as +H0 to +H8

Note that there are no INI style equivalents to these options.

Graphical interface versions of POV-Ray such as Mac or Windows have extensive online help. Other versions of POV-Ray have only a few quick-reference help screens. The +? switch, optionally followed by a single digit from 0 to 8, will display these help screens to the Banner text stream. After displaying the help screens, POV-Ray terminates. Because some operating systems do not permit a question mark as a command line switch you may also use the +H switch. Note however that this switch is also used to specify the height of the image in pixels. Therefore the +H switch is only interpreted as a help switch if it is the only switch on the command line and if the value after the switch is less than or equal to 8.

Section 6.2.6
Tracing Options

There is more than one way to trace a ray. Sometimes there is a trade-off between quality and speed. Sometimes options designed to make tracing faster can slow things down. This section covers options that tell POV-Ray how to trace rays with the appropriate speed and quality settings.

Quality Settings

Quality=nSet quality value to n (0 <= n <= 11)
+QnSame as Quality=n

The Quality=n option or +Qn switch allows you to specify the image rendering quality. You may choose to lower the quality for test rendering and raise it for final renders. The quality adjustments are made by eliminating some of the calculations that are normally performed. For example settings below 4 do not render shadows. Settings below 8 do not use reflection or refraction. The values correspond to the following quality levels:

0,1Just show quick colors. Use full ambient lighting only. Quick colors are used only at 5 or below.
2,3Show specified diffuse and ambient light.
4Render shadows, but no extended lights. 5 Render shadows, including extended lights.
6,7Compute texture patterns.
8Compute reflected, refracted, and transmitted rays.
9Compute halos.

The default is 9 if not specified.

Radiosity Setting

Radiosity=bool Turns radiosity on/off
+QRTurns radiosity on -QR Turns radiosity on

Radiosity is an additional calculation which computes diffuse inter-reflection. It is an extremely slow calculation that is somewhat experimental. The parameters which control how radiosity calculations are performed are specified in the radiosity section of the global_settings statement. See section "Radiosity" for further details.

Automatic Bounding Control

Bounding=boolTurn bounding on/off
+MBTurn bounding on; threshold 25 or prev. amt
-MBTurn bounding off
Bounding_Threshold=nSet bound threshold to n
+MBnTurn bounding on; bound threshold to n
-MBnTurn bounding off; for future threshold to n
Light_Buffer=boolTurn light buffer on/off
+ULTurn light buffer on
-ULTurn light buffer off
Vista_Buffer=boolTurn vista buffer on/off
+UVTurn vista buffer on
-UVTurn vista buffer off

POV-Ray uses a variety of spatial sub-division systems to speed up ray-object intersection tests. The primary system uses a hierarchy of nested bounding boxes. This system compartmentalizes all finite objects in a scene into invisible rectangular boxes that are arranged in a tree-like hierarchy. Before testing the objects within the bounding boxes the tree is descended and only those objects are tested whose bounds are hit by a ray. This can greatly improve rendering speed. However for scenes with only a few objects the overhead of using a bounding system is not worth the effort. The Bounding=off option or -MB switch allows you to force bounding off. The default value is on.

The Bounding_Threshold=n or +MBn switch allows you to set the minimum number of objects necessary before bounding is used. The default is +MB25 which means that if your scene has fewer than 25 objects POV-Ray will automatically turn bounding off because the overhead isn't worth it. Generally it's a good idea to use a much lower threshold like +MB5.

Additionally POV-Ray uses systems known as vista buffers and light buffers to further speed things up. These systems only work when bounding is on and when there are a sufficient number of objects to meet the bounding threshold. The vista buffer is created by projecting the bounding box hierarchy onto the screen and determining the rectangular areas that are covered by each of the elements in the hierarchy. Only those objects whose rectangles enclose a given pixel are tested by the primary viewing ray. The vista buffer can only be used with perspective and orthographic cameras because they rely on a fixed viewpoint and a reasonable projection (i. e. straight lines have to stay straight lines after the projection).

The light buffer is created by enclosing each light source in an imaginary box and projecting the bounding box hierarchy onto each of its six sides. Since this relies on a fixed light source, light buffers will not be used for area lights.

Reflected and transmitted rays do not take advantage of the light and vista buffer.

The default settings are Vista_Buffer=on or +UV and Light_Buffer=on or +UL. The option to turn these features off is available to demonstrate their usefulness and as protection against unforeseen bugs which might exist in any of these bounding systems.

In general, any finite object and many types of CSG of finite objects will properly respond to this bounding system. In addition blobs and meshes use an additional internal bounding system. These systems are not affected by the above switch. They can be switched off using the appropriate syntax in the scene file (see "Blob" and "Mesh" for details). Text objects are split into individual letters that are bounded using the bounding box hierarchy. Some CSG combinations of finite and infinite objects are also automatically bound. The end result is that you will rarely need to add manual bounding objects as was necessary in earlier versions of POV-Ray unless you use many infinite objects.

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