POV-Ray Based Version

The newest version of this technology requires the following components:

The terrain data is currently hosted on a very slow link (128kbs).  Download is ONLY allowed between 0000 and 0700 US Pacific Time zone.


For rendering and installation instructions on use see below.

For the Terrain data I used the 1:250,000 DEM data from the USGS.  The data is freely downloadable.  I converted the DEM data to PNG image files and then used the images as height field objects.

Here's an example.  This is a flight I made on July 10, 2001 by Dan Dunkel and Bob Korves in DuoDiscus 5H (I'm a very happy partner in that glider).  Click on the image for a full size version.

This flight was done by me from Ely NV in 2001 for Diamond Distance:


  1. Install POV-Ray 3.5 on your computer
    Make sure you set "Options->Script I/O Restrictions->Allow Read, Restrict Write"
  2. Download needed terrain data (from above)
    Unzip these files into a directory on your computer (c:\terrain)
  3. Add a line to your POV-Ray rendering settings (click on the "Ini" toolbar button) that looks like:
    this should point at the directory you created to hold the terrain .png files.  This setting can be found in the render settings window ("Render->Edit Settings/Render" menu)
  4. Download a copy of WinIGCtoPOV unzip this and put it someplace convenient for you (your POV-Ray directory?)

To run WinIGC_to_POV:

  1. Launch the exe (WinIGC_to_POV.exe) use the [...] buttons to pick the .igc file you want to convert and the .pov file you want to convert it to.
  2. Hit the convert button (there will be more instructions on how to use the converter here ... someday)
  3. Run POV-Ray and open the file you created and render.  See POV-Ray's help documents for details on this.


Meaning of some of the controls:

Enhancements coming "soon":

NOTE: I will try to monitor rec.aviation.soaring for questions and answers but may no reply to emailed questions. (email comments to rendering@soar-high.com)

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