All posts for the month February, 2008

A few weeks ago one of the podcasts I subscribe to (FLOSS Weekly) had a episode about a ray tracing program called POV-Ray. The people being interviewed in that podcast were so enthusiastic about their software that I decided to give it a try.

It’s a free, open source product and I found it has good documentation too. Anyway, I’ve been playing with it for a while, mostly going through the tutorial and doing the examples. Finally I decided to try something original and here is the result.


This is a very simple image though I hope to embellish it as I learn more about the program and how to use it.

The great thing about POV-Ray (at least to me) is that it is all done with software and written in a “scene description language.” It’s very much like programming in any other language except that the output is rendered into an image. I’ve tried creating images from scratch using Photoshop or other image editors but I never could get the hang of that. With this I can work in a way I am familiar with.

All the images created are 3-dimensional and it’s easy to change the viewpoint and lighting to get the best looking results. Also there are many pre-defined elements such as the background stars and the planet’s sky in my little example.

Anyway, if any of you are interested, you can download the program for most OS’s (Windows, Mac, Linux and others) and just play around with it. It comes with a lot of pre-coded examples that you can have fun with. If you want to listen to the podcast that got me hooked you can download it here. It is an MP3 about 32MB in size.

This summary is for the first half of the game only, I presume that the second half was similar. I don’t know, I didn’t watch. I saw a football game once.

(The following list came from Jan )

● 5:15 (CST), New England came out of the tunnel – 5 commercials followed
● Star Spangled Banner sung – 7 commercials followed
● Coin toss – 2 commercials followed
● Teams come onto the field; no action – 1 commercial
● Kick off; with 14:55 left first qtr. – 1 commercial
● Player down with 10:47 left first qtr. – 3 commercials
● Field goal with 6:12 left first qtr. – 4 commercials
● Kick off; New York to New England – 3 commercials
● End of first quarter – 5 commercials
● NE touchdown with 14:57 left 2nd qtr. – 4 commercials
● Kick off to NY – 4 commercials
● Interception with 11:53 left 2nd qtr. – 5 commercials
● Giants stop NE with 10:00 left – 5 commercials
● With 8:36 left 2nd qtr. – 3 commercials
● With 6:59 left 2nd qtr. – 3 commercials
● With 5:00 left 2nd qtr. – 1 commercial
● With 2:30 left 2nd qtr. – 5 commercials
● Giants punt to NE with 1:50 left – 3 commercials
● Time out Giants with 1:35 left – 2 commercials
● Time out NE with 0:59 left – 1 commercial

They said there were 64 commercials in all; each must have played at least once during the first half with some playing twice. Of course, I did not keep track until the teams started out of the tunnel… can you imagine how many played before that in the pre-game show???

If you want to see all the commercials, you can go here.

Thanks Jan

So, what is claimed to be the biggest sports broadcast of the the year consists of more commercials than game time. This does not compute!