LEGO Raytracing Tools

The LEGO raytracing project has exercised the features of many tools. The ones I could remember are listed below:
POV-Ray 2.2
All of our current work is created with the Persistence of Vision Ray Tracer with the Faster Than POV patches applied and some other local enhancements. Walnut Creek sells Raytrace! The Official POV-Ray CDROM which includes POV-Ray and other useful programs and cool images (including BJTOYS.JPG).
xli 1.17
My image viewer of choice is xli 1.17, which is a recent release by Smarasderagd available from his programming page. For years I used a modified version of xli 1.16, based on xloadimage 3.01 and enhanced by Graeme Gill ( It's available for ftp as xli.1.16.tar.gz.
The ghostscript PostScript interpreter is useful for creating imagemaps and text overlays. It's a GNU tool, available as ghostscript-2.6.2.tar.gz and requires some basic fonts, ghostscript-fonts-2.6.2.tar.gz. For viewing large documents, it's easist to drive it with ghostview-1.5.tar.gz.
The netpbm package is a huge collection of image conversion and manipulation filters which are invaluable to anyone who works with image files. The netpbm project started when Jef Poskanzer decided to stop work on PBMPlus. After the 1mar1994 release, he announced that he was going to take over the project again and asked the netpbm group to quit making releases. The last official netpbm release is available from several places as netpbm-1mar1994.tar.gz. A patched version created after more than a year of waiting for Jef to make a realease contains many of the updates sent to the mailing list and is available as netpbm-1mar1994.p1.tar.gz.
Utah Raster Toolkit 3.1b
The Utah Raster Toolkit is a collection of small, specific image conversion and manipulation programs that's similar to PBMPlus/netpbm. It works with RLE images, which is the format output by Rayshade. The latest version is available as urt-3.1b.tar.Z.
jpeg library
In order to create an manipulate JPEG images for archival and distribution, I use the "sample applications" which come with JPEG library, cjpeg/djpeg, which interface with the PBMPlus/netpbm toolkit. The library is available for ftp as jpegsrc.v6.tar.gz.
xpaint 2.1.1
Most of the early image map work was done with xpaint, a "DonateWare" paint program for X written by David Koblas ( It desperately needs updating, but with a few patches it is fairly stable. It was submitted to the X11R5 contrib distribution as xpaint-2.1.1.tar.Z.
Aldus Freehand 4.0
Jer does most of the image map work in Aldus Freehand, a powerful Windows based drawing program. He then exports the images as Windows BMP files which are moved to UNIX and converted to GIFs. Aldus was sold to Macromedia. The current version is Freehand 5.5.
A tool for making animated GIFs. It has its own home page with lots of information about the program and links to other gif animation related pages.
XAnim is a program for viewing a wide variety of animation formats under X11. You can find out about features and releases at The XAnim Home Page, maintained by Mark Podlipec, the author.
Xfig is a powerful drawing program for X which I occasionally use to create image maps. Transfig is the back end which exports xfig drawings in various formats. Both are available for ftp as xfig.3.1.4.tar.gz and transfig.3.1.2.tar.gz.
Quick window projects are easy with Tcl/Tk by John K. Ousterhout. Now that Dr. Ousterhout is at Sun Microsystems there is a new Tcl/Tk home page at Sun which has ftp information. The minifig poser is written in Tk, and uses a cheezy extension I wrote to render the wireframe minifig.
For quick scripting projects Perl is extremely handy. It is also used to construct completed minifig objects from a description list.
Most of our work is done under FreeBSD. You can get FreeBSD on CDROM from Walnut Creek.
xv 3.10a
I occasionally use xv by John Bradley to play with the color maps of GIF images. It's also handy for finding the coordinates of points in an image. It is available for ftp as xv-3.10a.tar.gz.

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