Why is my JPEG file not being displayed in SOLIDWORKS Composer?

Article by Ben Crisostomo, CSWE updated January 7, 2020


When working in SOLIDWORKS Composer, it is not uncommon to use other media such as pictures to add a personal touch to the project for branding or actor texture purposes. Once in a while, you may run into a situation where your JPEG files are not displaying in SOLIDWORKS Composer. Hours have been spent wondering if there was something wrong with Composer, or the file itself, which simply leads to doubt and frustration. In this article, you will learn how to identify an unruly JPEG file, and how to correct it.

Symptoms your JPEG is not working

Jpeg images can be added to backgrounds, ground textures, and 2D image actors. You will notice that for ground textures & 2D image actors, a file path for the desired image will be in the Texture > Map Path (called Ground Texture for Ground images), but no image will display. For the background, when trying to select a file path, no path is added after selecting the image as seen below. If this is the case, what do we do next?

Properties for Image Actors, Backgrounds, & Ground Textures respectively

Checking Image Properties

After the symptoms above have been identified, it is a good idea to take a look at the properties of JPEG files themselves. This can be done by opening the file location in the Windows explorer. From there, right-click the JPEG file and select properties from the dropdown menu. Under the details tab in the image section, there is a property called bit depth as seen in the image below.

For SOLIDWORKS Composer, JPEG images must have a Bit depth of 24 or below. Anything higher will not work!

JPEG Properties: Bit depth

Formatting JPEG Images

There are several ways to change the bit depth of a JPEG image, but a solution that will work for most users will be to use Microsoft Paint, as it comes standard for all Windows users. Simply open the JPEG image and save a copy of it. By default, Microsoft Paint will save the JPEG with a Bit Depth of 24. From there, all images will work in Composer as seen below.

Custom JPEG added to Background & Ground surface

Customization is key when it comes to marketing. When JPEG files are not working in SOLIDWORKS Composer, value is potentially lost, but as long as you remember to check the Bit Depth, this problem can easily be resolved.

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Ben Crisostomo

Ben is a SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Application Expert based in the Javelin Oakville head office