The winners of POVCOMP 2004 will be determined by a panel of judges, whose identity will not be made public until after the judging ends.

The handling of the submissions will be done by a separate submission panel. Their task is to receive the submissions, sort out possible rules violations and prepare the entries for judging.

Judging will be done 'blind' meaning the competition organisers will not supply the name of the entrant with the entry. Each entry will have a unique ID which is what the judges refer to them by. All submitted files are renamed based on this ID. The descriptions and other texts supplied with your submission should not reveal your identity.

  General Guidelines  

Here are some guidelines that should help you to create a suitable entry for the competition. In contrast to the competition rules they are not binding.

The files to submit

The rules require you to submit various information in addition to the actual image. It is recommended to make descriptions informative and elaborate. The additional information (except the author identity) will be made available to the judges who will use them to better evaluate the entry.

You are required to list all tools and data files used for creating the image. It is important to give correct information here. You are allowed to use any tool you want for modeling, texturing etc. but if you neglect to mention this you will be disqualified. If you use 3rd party data files like meshes and textures you need to take care of the licensing issues. You need to obtain the rights to use those in your image when they are not free to use. The winning entries will need to submit the complete source code but this is only for screening purposes and usually does not require a special license. If in doubt ask the owner of the data file.

The images

The main purpose of the rules for the image itself is to ensure a high and comparable quality. The judges should be able to assess the author's work mostly by viewing the image. Therefore there is a minimum size and you should take care of not using too strong jpeg compression.

In addition we also want to make sure that the scenes are detailed enough to look good when printed in large. Therefore we require the entrants to submit two detail views. You are of course free to render the whole scene in large but since this can take a long time with a slow scene we only require two small views. To render the detail views you can use POV-Ray's +sr/+sc/+er/+ec options but note that the images generated by those are not readable by most imaging programs. We prepared a unix shell script to turn a partial render in PPM format into a correct PNG image. You can also use the following include files:

Subject: ZoomIn include file
Date: Sat, 11 May 2002 17:40:53 -0400
Newsgroups: povray.binaries.scene-files

which allows to set up a camera for a partial render. This has the disadvantage of not allowing use of vista buffers because of non-perpendicular camera vectors and it only works with perspective cameras. Since the purpose of the detail views is to show the detail level of the scene you can also just change the camera manually to point at the right region of the scene and reducing the camera angle as required. The small difference in perspective will not be considered critical.

If you submit a larger render this will be scaled down to screen size (1600x1200) for judging and the large version will be used as additional information for the details just like the separate detail views.

The image has to be submitted as rendered without modifications. A lot of people might find this restrictive so you can submit an additional post processed version if you want to but the purpose of the competition is to feature 3D renders made with POV-Ray, not 2D processing.

We allow use of custom modified versions of POV-Ray but be careful when making use of this. As the rules say you have to make sure the scene can be rendered for verification in case your submission wins. Therefore you will have to ensure a sufficient quality of your patch. Use of extensions that are still buggy, platform specific or otherwise problematic would not be recommended. Also make sure your patch complies with the POV-Ray license. If you intend to use a patched version it would be a good idea to discuss it in the POV-Ray newsgroups.

  Judging Criteria  

Here is a list of criteria the judges will use to rate the images. This list is not exhaustive but can be taken as a guide for what is important for a good submission.


Are scene elements well placed, interesting camera perspective?

Render Quality

Possible problems with antialiasing quality, radiosity artefacts, grainy focal blur, insufficient max_trace_level etc.

  • Negative: low detail meshes in foreground, figures floating above ground or penetrating it, sharp edges where rounded ones are expected in nature, obvious use of bump mapping, etc.

  • Positive: detailed selfmade models, realistic algorithmically generated stuff like trees, plants, cloth, etc.

Special focus on how much is self made and what scene elements are based on 3rd party models.


This is a broad area and an important part of any 3D scene. In a scene aiming for realism surfaces have to be as realistic as possible and the lighting should look plausible and consistent. In any case objects should look as one would expect, for example a stone wall should not appear as if made of plastic.

Technical Novelty

It would be interesting if submissions feature new methods and techniques that have not been used for scene design before. POV-Ray is very flexible and there are countless possibilities for creating shapes and textures with the POV-Ray scene description language. However this goal should not be attained at the expense of neglecting any of the other guidelines.

Visual Attraction

It is reasonable to say that any image that is a serious candidate for 1st prize will be visually attractive and not jarring or uninspiring. It need not be photorealistic, though if it is not then it will need to have some other quality to substitute for the lack of photorealism.

Copyright 2003-2004 Persistence of Vision Raytracer Pty. Ltd.