Inserting A Background Image in SOLIDWORKS PhotoView 360

Article by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE updated October 11, 2011


In past versions of SolidWorks inserting a background image into a model was a fairly difficult operation requiring changes to system options, creation of special files and normally at least two cups of coffee.  The new “Display Manager” introduced in SolidWorks 2011 however makes it very easy to superimpose your SolidWorks model on any image of your choice.

The “Display Manager” is the tab furthest to the right in the Feature Manager area of the SolidWorks interface.   Activating the tab gives three further options, view Appearances, view Decals and view Scene, Lights and Cameras.  This last tab, view Scene, Lights and Cameras is where we can control the background image.

Scene, Lights and Cameras Tab

Scene, Lights and Cameras Tab

Double click on “Scene” or right click and select “Edit Scene”.  Under Background select Image in the pulldown box and browse to the image file you wish to use.  You can select from a wide range of image file types, including .bmp, .jpg, .png, .psd and .tiff as well as many others.

Edit Scene

Edit Scene

You can now position your model against the background for best effect.

You can learn more about background images and using PhotoView 360 with the reference book Photorealistic Rendering Using SolidWorks & PhotoView 360 Step-By-Step Learning Guide

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Andrew Lidstone, CSWE

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