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Prism Object

The prism is essentially a polygon or closed curve which is swept along a linear path. We can imagine the shape so swept leaving a trail in space, and the surface of that trail is the surface of our prism. The curve or polygon making up a prism's face can be a composite of any number of sub-shapes, can use any kind of three different splines, and can either keep a constant width as it is swept, or slowly tapering off to a fine point on one end. But before this gets too confusing, let's start one step at a time with the simplest form of prism. We enter and render the following POV code (see file prismdm1.pov).

  #include ""


  camera {

    angle 20

    location <2, 10, -30>

    look_at <0, 1, 0>


  light_source { <20, 20, -20> color White }

  prism {



    0, // sweep the following shape from here ...

    1, // ... up through here

    7, // the number of points making up the shape ...

    <3,5>, <-3,5>, <-5,0>, <-3,-5>, <3, -5>, <5,0>, <3,5>

    pigment { Green }


A hexagonal prism shape.

This produces a hexagonal polygon, which is then swept from y=0 through y=1. In other words, we now have an extruded hexagon. One point to note is that although this is a six sided figure, we have used a total of seven points. That is because the polygon is supposed to be a closed shape, which we do here by making the final point the same as the first. Technically, with linear polygons, if we didn't do this, POV-Ray would automatically join the two ends with a line to force it to close, although a warning would be issued. However, this only works with linear splines, so we mustn't get too casual about those warning messages!

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