This is a supplement to my main page on how to interface IDL and POV-Ray. This page explains some details on how to use POV-Ray on a Windows computer. Rut Besseling at the University of Edinburgh figured these details out.
The way we've found that works is to have a batch file in your working directory that will correctly call the program. Our batch file looks like this:
IDL> spawn, 'povray'
The latter is needed from within an IDL program, the former can be done only at the command line. And, you may want to see some notes on running povray on Linux computers.
Alternatively, Hetal Patel suggests within an IDL program you could do something that looks like:
spawn,'C:\TMP\POVray\bin\pvengine.exe +I"F:\Hetal\IDL Files\blah.pov" +H300 +W400 -O"F:\Hetal\IDL Files\blah.ppm" +FP'
which lets you specify quite a bit of details. You'd want to set up POV-Ray to auto-render and auto-close, most likely, if you want to generate a bunch of pictures.