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Creating your Visualize environment can make the difference between rendered and real images

Have you ever tried to create a realistic image from the SOLIDWORKS rendering software but struggle to figure out why it doesn’t appear to be completely realistic?  It has happened to me as well.  I quickly found out that the scene was the main contributor to this.  You can’t physically take a picture of your product floating in a generic environment, so it stands to reason that it won’t look realistic. Follow along as I show you the technique I used to get rid of the dreaded “rendered” look.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize is a recent addition to the SOLIDWORKS ecosystem of products, and it has the ability to create stunning realistic rendered images.  I attempt to be a photographer in my spare time, so I thought I would give it a shot to see what the hype was about as well as attempt to actually create my first photorealistic image.

After installing, I had Jesse Sprague (our resident photo expert) give me the quick run through of the software and I was ready to begin rendering images.  I was trying to create a rendering of an electric carving knife but this is where I ran into my first issue.  The product does render out nicely but the exported image still has that rendered look.


Camera Techniques in SOLIDWORKS Visualize – 5 Easy Shots to Recreate

Minimize effort and maximize impact. It’s what we’re all aiming for isn’t it? We all want to expend as little effort as we can and get as much for it as possible. There is something satisfying about optimizing your time. As the old saying goes, time is money.

Rendering is a great way to get more from your models. With PhotoView 360, I always pushed for people to just create static images. With Visualize becoming available, I’ve changed my tune. With the speed and consistency that Visualize provides, I think a rendered video with simple camera motion has the most “bang for your buck.” It has all the signs of making you an all-star when it comes to minimizing effort and maximizing impact.

To me, it’s a no-brainer. That being said, not everyone thinks like a videographer. So to that end, I’ve created these resources for you. In our last session, we talked about how a camera works and in this session we’ll cover some common video moves that you can re-create in your digital world. In this article I hope to give you some concepts you can use to simply add life to your renderings using Visualize Professional.


Camera Techniques in SOLIDWORKS Visualize – How a Camera Works

Minimize effort and maximize impact. It’s what we’re all aiming for isn’t it? We all want to expend as little effort as we can and get as much for it as possible. There is something satisfying about optimizing your time. As the old saying goes, time is money.

When it comes to rendering, many people see it as that optional last step that will get done if there is time. But I think the world is shifting. The request is on the rise to see a product in its environment before signing off on a project or committing to purchase. And why shouldn’t it? It just makes sense.

My stance has always been to encourage users to make their CAD data work harder for them. How much time do you suppose goes into any given model by the time it gets completed? It varies given the scale of the project but it’s a significant percentage of engineering time spent. It’s worth it, no doubt. The benefits of 3D modeling far outweigh the time it takes to do so. However, we all want to be smart with our investments. If that time investment could be paying greater dividends, I say, LET IT!


Win a Free SOLIDWORKS Bag! Rendering Contest

I knew I’d get your attention with that. Often I hear, “Jesse, how can I become the snazziest guy or gal in the cube-block?” My answer is always the same. You need a SOLIDWORKS bag.

Well, today is your lucky day because I’d like to give you this one! (If you recognize my model, tell him how handsome he is the next time you have a support case or training class with him!)

However, if you want it, I am going to make you work for it. The good news is, I’ll let you keep your assignment!

This year, CADimensions is hosting a rendering contest! Here’s how it’s going to work.


In an Instant

Much like Katy Perry, who kissed a girl and liked it, I too have a confession to make. I used Instant 3D… and I liked it. If you’re too much of an engineer to get pop culture references, Katy Perry is a singer who claims via the magic of song to have kissed a girl and, as the story goes, liked it. It’s on the internet.

It’s not that Instant 3D is a bad tool, but I always felt like it was an inaccurate tool for the job. It feels like loosening a nut with pliers, when you should be using a wrench. Did it turn? Or did I just slip? 

Full disclosure here, I have used Instant 3D in the past. In fact, if you came to the 2015 Roll Out event, you actually saw me use it in a demo to quickly illustrate the updating capabilities of “Up to Reference” in the Linear Pattern. However, it is a tool that I recommend leaving off by default and turning on when it’s services could be of use. 

Such a time came over the weekend. My wife and I recently had hardwoods installed in our first floor. Sounds glamorous doesn’t it? It might have been if the new floor hadn’t been a result of an overabundance of water bursting forth onto our previous floor (may it rest in pieces). I prefer my water living in the pipes where it belongs. Seriously, it was like a scene straight out of Free Willy. But I digress. 

I can’t let a good piece of wood go to waste so I thought I might make a little coat rack for the wall using the off-cuts from the floor. I thought it might make a nice little accent to pull things together and make things feel a little more cohesive. And of course by that I mean, “we’ve been watching too much HGTV and now I think I’m an interior designer.” 

At this point, my engineering instincts kicked in, as I felt instant project-paralysis, without first consulting SOLIDWORKS. I also have a limited quantity of scraps to work with so as the saying goes, “model in SOLIDWORKS once, cut once.” I’m pretty sure that’s the phrase. 

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