A great new feature in SolidWorks 2013 is the ability to use Luxology native appearances for PhotoView 360 renders. This opens up to SolidWorks users the ability to make use of the huge selection of additional appearances in Luxology’s online library.
But even better, for customers with an active SolidWorks Subscription contract, the subscription now includes free access to that library. Here is how you can get access to that library and make use of the appearance files available there.
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For this blog post I am going to show you how to take existing CAD data and render it using 3DVIA Composer. For this example I am going to use a model that already has texture on it.
The first thing I am going to do is adjust the lighting. I prefer to create custom lighting so that I have more control of the final render. To do this you go to the Render tab and choose lighting mode, and turn on Per-Pixel and Shadows. Read More »
Old School Labyrinth
I’ve been a fan of the game of Labyrinth for a while. I spent hours as a kid mastering the X-Y controls to move the steel sphere from Start to Finish to Start to Finish, back and forth continuously. It was almost an obsession.
I started helping at a youth group and found that they have no games. What could be better than a giant Labyrinth game! And why not use SolidWorks to design this latest innovation in gigantic fun! If only I had a workshop. Building this in a one bedroom apartment has its disadvantages. Click “More” for details of the project and the virtual solution with SolidWorks Motion.
PhotoView 360 Render of Giant Labyrinth
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When you have layers of transparent materials in your model (like a glass containing water), you get a better result when rendering with PhotoView 360 if the “liquid” body interferes by a small amount with the “glass” body.
Take a look at two renderings showing both results. Fig. 1 shows the real-life condition, where we have just “contact” between glass and water, while fig. 2 depicts the case where there is a small “interference” between the two. Which one do you like more?
As a side note, you should never leave a gap between the two transparent bodies.
Fig. 1 - Contact between glass and water
Fig. 2 - Small interference between the glass and water bodies
A very short tip that can save you a lot of time:
If you use the Preview Window in PhotoView 360 and you find out it takes too long to finish rendering, you can “brush” with your mouse over areas of interest and they will get priority over the rest.
Apparently this new functionality was added in SolidWorks 2011 SP 4.0.
"Brush" over areas of interest to speed up the rendering
Getting your Expert Certification in SolidWorks (CSWE) can be compared to winning a Gold Medal in a top competition!
There is only one very small, but somewhat important difference, though: Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation will not present you with an actual gold medal. Nope, no medal for you!
I suspect that is not because they do not have the resources for coining the medals, but because they know how hard it is to please you, their user. Give a SolidWorks Professional a medal and, instead of smiling for the camera, he or she will analyze its imprint, check its reflectivity and, after a while, will say ‘Thanks… but I can design a better one’.
Knowing that, SolidWorks gave you something better: the tools to “coin” your own medal. Remember the PhotoView 360 video posted by our guest blogger Rob Rodriguez? All these tools are described there in great detail.
As you know, my colleague Andrew Lidstone is Javelin’s newest CSWE. Why don’t you practice coining a gold medal to celebrate his achievement? This way, when you get your own CSWE, you will know how to do yours. Something like this:
Fig. 1 Gold Medal for Andrew
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One of the most underutilized feature sets of PhotoView 360 is the appearance surface finish tab. Why is it underutilized? For a couple of reasons I think, those being:
- It’s found in the appearance advanced settings that some users may never activate.
- Most users don’t fully understand the settings and controls found there or how they can be used.
I could explain surface finish with text and pictures here in the post but I thought the best way to show the controls was to create a short video so you could see them in action.
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Author: Rob Rodriguez
Author’s Description of his Blog:
RobRodriguez.com is a way for me to give back to the SolidWorks community in the forum of tutorials and information revolving around visualization. Most engineers lack the experience or know how to effectively communicate their designs to the rest of the world. I provide them with information they can use to effectively reuse their engineering CAD data as a visual communication tool.
Three reasons why we read the blog:
- We always want to learn from the best and Rob is the uncontested Rendering Guru of the SolidWorks community. He was actually hired as a consultant for the two major rendering books SolidWorks released in the past 3 years:
- Everything on his blog is current and up to date. When the 2011 version of PhotoView 360 was released, there was almost no documentation available. The only place that had an in-depth expert dissection of the new software was Rob’s blog. At that time, whenever a customer asked about what is new with PhotoView, we would direct him or her to http://robrodriguez.com/wordpress/Video/PV360-2011-Sneak-Peak/PV360-2011-Sneak-Peak.html .
- You cannot just write about rendering tools and techniques, you need to demonstrate them. Rob created a large library of videos covering most of the workflows available in SolidWorks and PhotoWorks or PhotoView 360. Watching these videos is like having a personal tutor guiding you through all the trails of the rendering world.
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