512 bytes of text to create a movie
February 16, 2008 1:29 AM   Subscribe

POV-Ray Short Code Contest #5 - The animation round! This time the competitors were allowed 512 bytes of POV-Ray code to create a (short...) animation. The rules of rounds 2 and 3 (previously on Mefi) allowed 256 bytes but to create stills.

And the winner is: #local C=clock*pi;#macro B(N,F)sphere{0F/7 1scale 1-pow(I.5)translate-I*F*x rotate y*N*90rotate-N*x*pow(5I)*10*sin(I*2-C*8+i)scale.2+x*.8translate-x}#end#local i=C;#while(i<2>translate*2rotate x*37pigment{slope y}}#local i=i+pi/8;#end light_source{<0>1spotlight}media{intervals 6scattering{2rgb<>/99}}
posted by elgilito (11 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
This is great.

I started playing with POV-Ray in high school, when it took 14 hours to render a 120 x 120 pixel still of a chromed sphere.

POV-Ray was what finally showed me how awesome computer programming can be. Awesome with capital awe. I would stay late in school to get some rendering done on the server and to use the full color terminals reserved for EE majors. I would walk around late at night, red eyed, doing compulsive computer graphics aerobics and mumbling coordinates to myself. My mom went crazy trying to find the drugs in my room.

Of my two friends that played with POV-Ray, one is a PhD in topology working at Google, the other one is coding hardcore graphics at Bioware. My humbler achievement is that I won a scanner in college, when scanners cost more than a good bike, with a biologically correct animation of swimming flagellated cells. BUT I was the first one to have a girlfriend.
posted by Dr. Curare at 2:25 AM on February 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

Sweet. POV-Ray got my college account suspended for *ahem* appropriating a closed for the night lab full of Sun computers to do distributed ray-tracing. grrrr. Now my desktop is faster.
posted by zengargoyle at 3:20 AM on February 16, 2008

Here's to remembering the old days of having a 386 and desperately dreaming to get that 387 (that's the floating point coprocessor for you youngins) in order to render chrome spheres on chess boards in less than 36 hours.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:03 AM on February 16, 2008

It's a shame the Internet Raytracing Competition seems to be on permanent hiatus, but it's good to see stuff like this is going on. Nice find.
posted by Jimbob at 4:15 AM on February 16, 2008

college account suspended for *ahem* appropriating a closed for the night lab full of Sun computers to do distributed ray-tracing. grrrr. Now my desktop is faster.

Heh. With me it was distributed.net. 40 minutes a block. I remember playing with POV-Ray on a P75... wrote a C program that generated sequential POV-Ray scripts and handed them off to the raytracer. I then compiled them by hand into an animated GIF. Hell of a lot of work to get a ball to bounce.
posted by Leon at 5:16 AM on February 16, 2008

Jimbob: the IRTC has been unofficially replaced by the TC-RTC (This Is Not a CHeckered Plane Ray-Tracing Challenge).
For more POV-Ray nostalgia, David K. Buck (father of DKB Trace) and Chris Cason (POV-Ray's current lead developer) were discussing the 20 year history of POV-Ray on TWiT.tv last week (1 hour podcast).
posted by elgilito at 5:55 AM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I still have two POV-Ray pieces that I was lucky enough to print on a really nice dye-sublimation photo printer. (They still look awesome to me. My visual art talents are pretty negligible, but I did manage some cool stuff with POV and the printing just makes it look better than it is.) One of them has a model of a little porcelain collie figure (that was handed down to me and sits in the window by my desk), and the modeling was all done with CSG. I don't have the code any more, and it certainly wasn't under 256 bytes, but I was prouder of that than many, many other accomplishments in life that I theoretically should care about.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:46 AM on February 16, 2008


These look incredible and I even installed povray just to try them myself, but the site is so slow I can't get them. :(
posted by DU at 8:57 AM on February 16, 2008

They load slow for me.
posted by pointilist at 10:41 AM on February 16, 2008

Brilliant stuff. Seeing this sort of thing (and more particularly some of the stuff done with Processing) makes me want to work at being a better programmer.
posted by The Monkey at 2:15 AM on February 17, 2008

+1 for the ray pun.
posted by Hubajube at 6:08 PM on February 18, 2008

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