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”.
Step 2: This link will take you to another SolidWorks site that contains another link, “SolidWorks Asset Sharing”.
Step 3: This will launch the Luxology PhotoView 360 asset sharing site. Click on “Take me to the Assets >>” to access the library site.
In the Luxology library the appearances are called Materials, you can browse through various categories to find the Materials/Appearances you wish to use.
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.
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.
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.
The Luxology library opens up a huge variety of really impressive options for PhotoView 360 users.
Watch this video for a demonstration of this technique: