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Accessing Additional PhotoView Appearances [VIDEO]

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE created/updated April 12, 2013

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.

To gain access to the additional appearances available from Luxology, you will need access to the SolidWorks Customer Portal.

Step 1:  From within the Customer Portal, click on the link for “PhotoView 360 Appearances”.

Customer Portal

Customer Portal

Step 2:  This link will take you to another SolidWorks site that contains another link, “SolidWorks Asset Sharing”.

PhotoView 360 Appearances

PhotoView 360 Appearances

Step 3:  This will launch the Luxology PhotoView 360 asset sharing site. Click on “Take me to the Assets >>” to access the library site.

Luxology Website

Luxology Website

In the Luxology library the appearances are called Materials, you can browse through various categories to find the Materials/Appearances you wish to use.

Select Material

Select Material

When selecting the Material/Appearance you will be prompted to download the file.  This will be in the form of either a .zip file or a .lpk file.  If you download a .lpk file, simply rename the file extension to .zip and Windows will be able to extract the contents.  Inside you will find a Luxology Material file with an .lxp extension.

Create a folder where you will store the downloaded appearance files, then in SolidWorks, go to Tools > Options > System Options > File Locations  and from the drop list for “Show folders for:” select “Custom – Appearances”.  Click the “Add” button and browse to the folder that you have created to store your downloaded appearance files.

File Locations

Set File Location

Any .lxp files that have been put in that folder will appear in the “Custom Properties” folder on the Appearance tab of the Task Manager.

Custom Appearance

Custom Appearance

When these appearances are applied to the SolidWorks model you will notice they don’t look like they are supposed to, that’s ok, they’ll look right in the Final Render.

Appearance in SW

Appearance in SW

The Luxology library opens up a huge variety of really impressive options for PhotoView 360 users.

Happy Rendering!

Example Rendering

Example Rendering

Watch this video for a demonstration of this technique:

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

Andrew is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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