I am currently following a tutorial for Blender, but came across POV-Ray mentioned as a renderer. After having researched it a bit, i took a look at it's scene description (scripting) language, which kind of fascinated me. But, after even more googling of the topic, i am still wondering: What are the main and key differences between working with 3D in resp. Blender and POV-Ray?

PS: I suspect this might not be the best place for a question such as this, but it seems to be the most suitable.

2 Answers 2


Blender's main focus has been around providing a strong 3D design surface / editor with support for a wide array of uses (everything from rendering static images and movies through to game creation).

POV-Ray, on the other hand, has always had the singular goal of providing a solid ray tracer. Whilst a text editor is usually supplied and 3rd party 3D editors are available, the core engine functionality (exposed via the language) has been the focus of the development effort.

It's also worth noting that while Blender still enjoys an active developer community, POV-Ray's small but dedicated development effort seems to have all but stalled for at least a few years now.

If you're looking for contemporary photorealistic renderer, then POV-Ray may not be the best choice... but if you're after an interesting little exploration into quite a powerful little ray tracer that can be controlled relatively easily by hand written scripts, then POV-Ray can be a lot of fun.

  • Thanks, just the kind of clarification i needed. Could you elaborate a bit on the main workflow differences? What is your opinion on CSG (constructive solid geometry)?
    – Magnap
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 8:11
  • The differences in workflow really come down to whether you choose to utilise a 3D modelling package "over the top" of PovRay. With the addition of a 3D editor then the workflow can be as similar or a different to Blender as you choose. Without 3D editor (i.e. just a text editor) then then the process of constructing a scene takes on a style a lot closer to software development (where for any reasonably complex scene you start building it up component by component). I love using CSG at the PovRay language level but that's mainly because I don't tend to rely upon a 3D editor.
    – lzcd
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 0:05
  • Thanks a lot. I am still in two minds about deciding which one, but am so far leaning to the Blender side. The software development workflow and CSG do seem very alluring, though.
    – Magnap
    Commented Dec 22, 2012 at 21:37

The biggest advantage of a text based modelling and texturing and animation scenario is that you can begin to design scenes, even animated ones with pen and paper.

The second-biggest advantage is that your scenes, especially animations, are not limited to the framework of a gui based editor.

Thirdly, since the renderer works at the command line, it can run as a back end process for a Web front end application.

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