I get a lot of emails asking about the images I use for the parts on the site. I also get a lot of people trying to download all the images via automated tools which can hurt performance of the site for everyone. I've come up with a solution that I hope addresses both points!
All images are now available for download for free in more easily accessible formats. There is one zip file per color, where each file contains every part that has been generated in that color. Note that I only create images for colors that a part has appeared in.
For those interested in generating their own images, some software you will need to get started:
- The LDraw library for a huge collection of 3D models of nearly all LEGO parts
- Optionally grab the LGEO library for higher quality models of some parts
- The L3P program which converts LDraw models into POV-Ray scripts, and L3PAO is useful for figuring out how to use it
- POV-Ray for high quality image rendering
Now the method to generate the LEGO parts images is as follows:
- Run L3P to convert a single .DAT file into a POV-Ray compatible file. If using LGEO for this part, make sure to use the -lgeo command switch. The L3PAO program is a huge help in figuring out what the L3P command line needs to look like for the options you want to use.
- Run POV-Ray to render an image of the part. As long as you have everything setup correctly (such as include paths), this will create a nearly photo-realistic image with the resolution of your choosing.
Of course it took many tries to get this working well, and now everything is automated with scripts and databases. Since I've done the hard work already, why not just use the free images I'm providing :)
If you do use these images for anything other than casual use, all I ask is that you mention where you got them from.