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I'm looking for a tool or script that takes a 3D object (any format) and makes multiple renders of it automatically (using a raytracer or other high-quality offline renderer). It would then save the output as a series of PNG files.

Example: let me render a car from angles 0,90,180,270 and save the images to car0.png, car1.png, car2.png and car3.png with a single command.

Is there such a tool?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

How about POVRay? It's free and can be automated.

http://www.povray.org/documentation/view/3.6.0/792/

See this page for info on generating several different images:

http://www.povray.org/documentation/view/3.6.0/109/

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Looking at that page, is it possible to set the camera angle as a parameter or would I have to generate a separate scene file for each? –  TomA Jan 6 '12 at 10:45
    
I haven't used it myself, but i guess the camera location is in the pov file, so you'd need to create as many files are there are camera locations. –  George Duckett Jan 6 '12 at 10:47
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You can use the clock variable to automate it povray.org/documentation/view/3.6.0/109 –  Adam Jan 6 '12 at 11:28
    
Aha! The clock variable looks like it's exactly what I need. Thanks! –  TomA Jan 6 '12 at 12:32
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Checkout Blender, it's an OSS 3D modeling and animation suite scriptable with Python

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There is a nice tutorial for Blender on TigSource –  thalador Apr 9 '13 at 15:08
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3D Studio Max ,

Maya

Both are quite expensive though

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You forgot to mention that both can be scripted, using MaxScript for 3ds max, MEL or Python for Maya. I've written scripts to do this exact task. –  jhocking Jan 6 '12 at 13:01
    
Thanx for the comment, I knew scripting was possible to some degree, but not that it would be possible to do exactly this –  Thomas Jan 7 '12 at 16:31
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