Create Smooth VR Animations with SOLIDWORKS Visualize

By Michael Souders on June 1, 2017

In this blog, we show you how to create beautifully smooth animations in SOLIDWORKS Visualize, giving your designs the precise representation and attention to detail that they deserve. They can rotate as desired in a smooth animation that will showcase all angles of the design.

Side View Espresso Maker Smooth VR Animation in Solidworks Visualize

Creating Animations

We’ve all shopped around for products online before. The photos of the item we’re considering often help us to make a decision on whether or not we’d like to make a purchase. Sometimes they’re limited, though, and don’t give us the entire perspective. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to rotate that item on the screen and view it from all angles?

SOLIDWORKS Visualize gives designers that capability. Even before your design has been finalized and manufactured, you can create a VR animation that allows your customers or collaborators to rotate your design on their screen, in a photo-realistic rendered format.

There are a few options to consider when creating this content. If you’re not careful, the result can be a “choppy” animation. The key is to understand how SOLIDWORKS Visualize is creating this content.

Side by Side Still Images of VR Animation in Visualize

In order to create the VR animations, SOLIDWORKS Visualize is actually utilizing a number of still images that give the illusion that the design is rotating in a 3D environment. The number of images will be determined by the VR settings within the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Output Tools. 

Smoother VR Animations with SW Visualize image 1.png

Adjusting Settings for Smoothness

SOLIDWORKS Visualize breaks the images down by how many orbits you’ll utilize, and how many images per orbit will be rendered. Orbits are defined by the vertical angle from the horizon.

For instance, in my settings shown in the image to the left, you’ll see I’m utilizing 5 orbits between 0 and 30 degrees. So in this case, I’ll have orbits at 0 degrees, 7.5 degrees, 15 degrees, 22.5 degrees, and 30 degrees.

I’m also using 180 images per orbit. This means that at each of those vertical angles, I’ll have a polar angle of 2 degrees between every image.

By using a smaller gap between your orbits, and more images per orbit, you can create much smoother VR animations. However, the more images you use, the longer they will take to render.

To see the sample animation render, please download the html file here.

To learn more tips and tricks when using SOLIDWORKS Visualize, visit our blog.

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