« Simple F# interop with Visio example | Main | Delayed starting, skips, stuttering in Windows Media Player 11 »

Bar Chart Explorations with POV-Ray

A few samples of how one could apply the ray-traced rendering goodness of the Persistence of Vision Raytracer (POV-Ray) to the task of displaying data. My goal was to create a "rich" feel to the charts using light and shadow, rather than explore alternatives to bar charts.

Below are several samples. All were hand-crafted .POV files except for the one with the 5 bars. This was generated by a Python script.

All POV files and the Python script are attached.





[Update 2007-05-14] Approximate Render times

with radiosity (as shown in samples above) 

  • 1280x1024 = 32s
  • 1024x768 = 23s
  • 800x600 = 16s
  • 320x200 = 4s

without radiosity (samples not shown)

  • 1280x1024 = 5s
  • 1024x768 = 3s
  • 800x600 = 2s
  • 320x200 = 1s


Thoughts about future explorations

"Data cube" concept: Use the faces of a cube to render more information.

"Data crystal" concept: Like the data cube except an external lightsource shines through the cube to produce an image on the table surface that represents a "view" or "slice" of the cube data. For example, one could use this to filter out kinds of data, or to scope the cube to a time span, or to identify only the "critical" items from the data set.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>