SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, Tech Tips

Favorite Tips for Rendering in PhotoView 360

By Chris Joren on May 2, 2019

While most users now have access to SOLIDWORKS Visualize, it can be a daunting task to switch to a different platform to render your parts. PhotoView 360 is included in the SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium seats, and lets you set up a quick rendering without having to switch programs. In this week’s Video Tech Tip, we’ll share with you our favorite tips for rendering in PhotoView 360.

You’ll first want to turn on the PhotoView add-in. This will give you the render tools toolbar which has everything you need to use PhotoView. I recommend turning on perspective view, as this will change the viewing angle of the part from one that’s great for modeling to one that looks a lot more like how we’d see the actual item. It’s a slight but noticeable difference.

Next, you’ll want to change the part appearance. If you’ve chosen a material, chances are the material has an appearance associated with it. If not, click the beach ball on the right side of your screen to access appearances. Find one you like and drag it to your part. Pay special attention to the pop-up here, since it allows you to assign that appearance to the face, feature, body or part.

SOLIDWORKS PhotoView360 Rendering

Now, take a look at the background. This is called the scene in SOLIDWORKS terms, and there are quite a few to choose from. You can even import your own pictures! Imagine a rendering of your new conveyor perfectly placed on a background that is your actual shop floor. To add a scene, simply drag it into the empty space. If it looks a little weird at first, wait for the next step to change it.

Once you have the major components set, you can turn on integrated preview from the render tools toolbar. This will take a few seconds to get fully operational, but it will display a good indication of what your render will look like. This fixes the weird scenes about 99% of the time because they are made for PhotoView, not modeling.

Finally, click on Options to set your image size and quality, and then click Final Render. This will take anywhere from 30 seconds to two days depending on the complexity of the part appearances, the image quality and your machine’s capabilities. Most take just a few minutes. You’ll then need to click save image and you now have an amazing render to show off your new design. There are, of course, many other nuances to PhotoView – lights, cameras, motion (action!) that can’t be boiled down to 5 minutes, but this will get you started. Happy rendering!

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