improve your rendering


For generating a realistic image in SolidWorks photo rendering, we often use default photo rendering settings. Still there are some more tips to be followed for our improvement. Here are 6 rendering technics to be followed in SolidWorks Photoview 360 to generate highly realistic images.

1. Adjusting the Image quality:

Before starting rendering do some initial setup by going to tools>options>document properties>image quality, by sliding draft quality to high we get smoother curves in both modelling & rendering.

Adjusting the Image quality



Adjusting the View (Camera Perspective) Adjusting the environment & background

2.  Apply Appearance to the Model (Material):

Apply Appearance to the Model (Material)

Next step is choosing a right material to your model. The appearance to part or assembly can be set by select face, body, features, or assembly or else drag and drop appearance from task pane on to the part.

If drag and drop appearance on assembly is done, the top level appearance (assembly appearance) will override the lower level appearance (part appearance), and below image is the example that illustrates the problem,

top level appearance


Here, even though we give appearance in the part (lower levels) the assembly (top level is replacing all of them.

This top level appearance can be removed by left click on top level appearance and remove all the appearance. This is illustrated in the image below,3.

top level appearance can be removed    3. Adjusting the lighting to the model:

Even though you choose a material to the model, the reality can be achieved by providing proper lighting to the model. There are many options like spot light sun light etc. Below are the examples,

Model without proper lighting Mode; with proper lighting

From the above illustration we can see clearly that without proper lighting the colour of the component also changes.

4. Adjusting the environment & background:

              Once we have chosen proper material and lighting, we have to give correct background scenes for good rendering. Remember depending on the direction of lighting, shadows of the model on the floor changes. You have to compare which background scene that best suits your model appearance and lighting. To change the background scenes go to the display manager tab on the left side bar, right click on environment and then select edit scene. Near the bottom, you will see the floor settings. . You can select the plane you want your floor to be and offset it to fit your needs.

Adjusting the environment & background

Adjusting the floor offset allows you to move the floor to the desired location of the model.

Another interesting feature comes in the advanced tab inside the Edit Scene Dialog; here you can add a little more adjustment to the Scene, setting the Environment size and orientation. All of these setting, however, will not be seen in the SolidWorks window. To see adjustment to the floor, the floor size and rotation and the illumination, you will need to bring up the PV360 Preview Window or use the Integrated Preview. Both of the options can be toggled on and off from the Render Tools tab or the PhotoView 360 menu.

Integrated Preview

5. Adjusting the View (Camera/Perspective)

You have the option in SolidWorks to adjust or create a Camera to change Target Point, Camera position and rotation, as well as your field of view. This is also done in the DisplayManager tab on the left sidebar. However, one quick way to add realism to your image is to simply enable Perspective and Shadows. To do this, go to the Heads-up Display (the toolbar at the top of the screen), and on the View Setting tab, select both Shadows in Shaded Mode and Perspective.


Adjusting the View (Camera Perspective)

Perspective and Shadows Enabled

6. Setting up to Render

From the DisplayManager Tab, select Photoview 360 Options.

Setting up to Render


Display Manager Tab.

Display Manager Tab

Photoview 360 Options

Under Output Image Settings you can select an image size for the final render (the higher resolution the longer the Rendering process will take!) as well as the image format and default location for saving them.

For render quality, I typically set Preview render to Good and Final Render quality to Best (or Maximum) with a Gamma between 1.2 and 1.8.

Even though the Preview rendering is decent, there is no option to render part of an area, so if you want to want to do some faster test renderings, just reduce your Final rendering to Good.

The other settings below these, like Bloom, Contour rendering and Direct Caustics are additional effects you can add to the final rendering, but are not enabled by default. Bloom ads glow around emissive materials, Contour adds a line around your edges, and Caustics adjust the reflections of spot or point lights. Little effects that can really add spectacle to your image depending on what you’ve selected for Appearance and your Scene.

Now, just click the green check at the top of the Display Manager and you’re ready to render your Scene! Select PhotoView 360, Final Render and the rendering process will begin.

All of this goes hand-in-hand to help you get a sense of all the adjustments you made above to see if the outcome is what you desire. You’ll find that you’ll be making a lot of little adjustments, tweaking the view to get the angle just right. It’s part of the creative process and is how you’ll become faster and better at creating drop-dead gorgeous 3D images.