Contour and Cartoon Rendering with SOLIDWORKS and PhotoView 360 [VIDEO]

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE updated May 7, 2015


You are probably already familiar with the amazing photo realistic renders that are possible using PhotoView 360 in SOLIDWORKS, but what if you want to render a high quality image that looks more like it’s been hand drawn?  Well, PhotoView 360 can do that too!

Starting with SOLIDWORKS 2014, two new options were added to PhotoView 360 for Contour Rendering and Cartoon Rendering.

Photo Realistic Render

Photo Realistic Render


Contour Render

Contour Render (Render Contours and the Solid Model)


Cartoon Render

Cartoon Render (Render with cartoon edges and shading)

These new settings are available by going to the PhotoView 360 menu, selecting “Settings” and expanding the “Contour/Cartoon Rendering” section.

Contour Cartoon Rendering Settings

Contour Cartoon Rendering Settings

There are three options for Cartoon rendering:

The “Render only with cartoon edges” option will render a black and white image with cartoon like shadowing.  This produces an image somewhat similar to the Technical Illustration output that can be produced by SolidWorks Composer (except the render will be a raster image not a vector image).

Detail - Cartoon Line

Detail – Cartoon Line

The “Render with cartoon shading” option produces an image with more cartoon like shading instead of a photo realistic render.  This option does not render any edges.

The “Render with cartoon edges and shading” option blends the other two options into one output.

Additionally the thickness and colour of the cartoon edges can also be controlled.  The line thickness for the edges may be set to a value between 1 to 6.  It may require some experimentation to get the right look depending on the physical size of the model.

To learn more about PhotoView 360

To learn more about rendering you can take our Rendering Tools in SolidWorks and PhotoView 360 training course

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

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