Thursday, November 8, 2012

LDD to POV-Ray Converter

I explained in a previous post how to take a model in Lego Digital Designer and through several steps, create a realistic looking picture of your Lego creation via POV-Ray. While perusing MOCpages recently, I came across a very helpful article (LDD models rendering tutorial) that explains an easier way to achieve, in my opinion, better results. The method used in that article uses a program called LDD to POV-Ray Converter which, shockingly, converts LDD files into a format that POV-Ray can then use to render an image. It's very streamlined and you can setup almost everything you want (quality, lights, colors, etc.) in the Converter instead of fiddling with endless text files in POV-Ray. Once you have all the settings the way you want it, you just click Convert and let the program work its magic. Once it successfully completes, the Converter will even automatically launch POV-Ray and start rendering the scene right away. It's a great tool for both POV-Ray pros, and people who are intimidated by POV-Rays minimal interface. Depending on your quality settings and how big you make the final picture, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to an hour or two. With just a little fiddling with the controls, I turned this Turkey creation in LDD...
...into this glamour shot.
Not bad. Not bad at all. Now instead of the flat, shadowless colors in LDD, we now have shadows, textured surfaces on the sloped bricks, visible seams, and that shiny, plastic Lego brick sheen we all know and love. My favorite part of the finished results is that the light on the wing makes the LEGO logo easilty visible on the studs.

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