Rendering a Jack-O’-Lantern with SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Article by Brent Rodgers updated October 28, 2022

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With fall upon us, depending on your geographical location, the weather is likely cooling and the leaves on the trees are displaying a beautiful assortment of orange, yellow and red. Football season is back in action but most exciting of all, Halloween is quickly approaching!

An opportunity not only for fun with the family, but a time to be creative with costumes and decorations. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at how we can render a Jack-o’-lantern in SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

Jack-o'-lantern created in SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Jack-o-lantern created in SOLIDWORKS Visualize

SOLIDWORKS Visualize is an incredibly powerful rendering engine with a vast amount of configurability. Having very limited experience with the program myself, I set out to render a Jack-o’-lantern in the spirit of Halloween. Thanks to the simple user interface and library of preset elements such as environments, textures and lights, achieving professional results was fast and easy. Most of all, the process was incredibly fun! Whether your goal is to render a candle lit pumpkin of your own, or something else entirely, here’s a quick overview of the general process.

Jack-o'-lantern render setup in SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Jack-o-lantern render setup in SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Step 1 – Import your 3D model(s)

It’s possible to import multiple models. Each model can be positioned relative to the floor as well as one another. Additionally, each model can be scaled up or down as desired.

Step 2 – Apply Appearances [Presets available in library]

There are a ton of options available when it comes to configuring your appearances. A good starting point might be to utilize the library presets and adjust from there.

Some of the appearance attributes that I played around with to achieve my desired pumpkin look included the following:

  • General:
    • Appearance Type
    • Colors
    • Textures
    • IOR (Index of Refraction)
    • Roughness
  • Texture
  • Texture Mapping

Step 3 – Build the Scene

As with appearances, a variety of preset environments and lights are also available in the program library. Of course, you have the ability to create your own custom environments as well. These can be as simple as a solid background color, through to an HDR image, mapped onto a spherical environment that envelops models like a bubble.

A major component used to create the scene for the candle lit jack-o’-lantern, was lighting. Numerous lights can be positioned and directed as desired, anywhere in the environment. The lights can be adjusted for different color temperature (K) and brightness in order to achieve desired results.

Step 4 – Place the Camera(s)

Once again, there are an abundance of options available when configuring your camara views. With little to no tweaking required, it’s possible to achieve great results. However, if you are an expert and want to adjust the lens focal length or the cameras depth of field, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Once you’re happy with your camera positioning, you can lock it in place for a repeatable perspective on multiple renderings.

Available SOLIDWORKS Visualize Options

  • SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard – Available for individual purchase or included with an active Subscription of SOLIDWORKS Professional or Premium.
  • SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional – Available for individual purchase, or accessible through Visualize Connected. A role included with SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Professional and SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Premium, providing installation of the full version of the SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional application on your computer from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

View a detailed comparison of SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard vs. Professional

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Brent Rodgers