SOLIDWORKS PhotoView 360 Surface Finish Overview

Article by Rob Rodriguez updated March 24, 2011


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 PhotoView 360 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.

Before we start up the video keep this in mind.  Surface finish is a way to add to the realism of your rendered image through the use of texture and depth.  It’s an easy way to add intricate detail to your image without having to model anything more than smooth geometry.  It’s a powerful tool that is essential for professional quality renderings.  If you’re using the default PhotoView 360 appearances you are already using surface finish to some degree.  We’re going to go beyond the stock appearances and look at how to customize surface finish to meet your needs.  We’re also going to have a look at some of the enhancements found in SolidWorks 2011 SP3.0 that take surface finishes to another level. Enjoy the PhotoView 360 video.

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Rob Rodriguez

Rob Rodriguez is a SolidWorks and PhotoView360 expert and the owner of Axis CAD Solutions LLC a CAD services company providing visualization services in the form of renderings and animations to clients in a variety of industries. Click here to learn more about Rob.