How to Use PhotoView 360 to Create Stunning Renderings of Your SolidWorks Models
If you are a SolidWorks user who wants to create photo-realistic renderings of your models, you might be interested in PhotoView 360. PhotoView 360 is a SolidWorks add-in that produces high-quality images of your designs with realistic lighting, shadows, reflections, and materials. PhotoView 360 is available with SolidWorks Professional or SolidWorks Premium.
In this article, we will show you how to use PhotoView 360 to render your models and save the images in different formats. We will also give you some tips on how to improve your rendering performance and quality.
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Step 1: Activate PhotoView 360
To use PhotoView 360, you need to activate it first. To do this, open your SolidWorks model and click Tools > Add-In. In the Add-Ins dialog box, check the box next to PhotoView 360 and click OK.
Step 2: Preview Your Rendering
Before you perform a final render, you can preview how your model will look like in PhotoView 360. There are two ways to do this: in the graphics area (Integrated Preview) or in a separate window (Preview Window).
The Integrated Preview lets you see the rendering effects in real time as you make changes to your model. To start the Integrated Preview, click PhotoView > Integrated Preview on the Render Tools toolbar.
The Preview Window shows you a larger and more detailed view of your rendering. To open the Preview Window, click PhotoView > Preview Window on the Render Tools toolbar. You can resize and move the window as you like.
Both methods help you assess changes quickly before performing a full render. You can experiment with different settings and see how they affect your rendering.
Step 3: Edit Appearances, Scene, and Decals
One of the most important aspects of rendering is to apply realistic appearances, scenes, and decals to your model. Appearances control the color, texture, transparency, and reflectivity of your model's surfaces. Scenes control the background, environment, and lighting of your rendering. Decals are images that you can apply to specific faces or features of your model.
To edit appearances, click PhotoView > Edit Appearances on the Render Tools toolbar. This will open the Appearances tab on the Task Pane. Here you can drag and drop predefined appearances from the Appearances library or create your own custom appearances.
To edit scenes, click PhotoView > Edit Scene on the Render Tools toolbar. This will open the Scene tab on the Task Pane. Here you can choose from various scenes that provide different backgrounds and lighting effects for your rendering.
To edit decals, click PhotoView > Edit Decal on the Render Tools toolbar. This will open the Decals tab on the Task Pane. Here you can browse for image files that you want to use as decals and apply them to your model.
Step 4: Edit Lights
By default, lighting is off in PhotoView 360. This means that you can use the realistic lighting provided by scenes, which is usually sufficient for rendering. However, if you want to add more light sources or adjust their intensity and color, you can edit lights in PhotoView 360.
To edit lights, click PhotoView > Edit Lights on the Render Tools toolbar. This will open the Lights tab on the Task Pane. Here you can add point lights, spot lights, directional lights, or area lights to your scene and modify their properties.
Step 5: Edit PhotoView Options
The PhotoView Options control various settings for PhotoView 360, such as output image size and render quality. To edit PhotoView Options, click PhotoView > Options on the Render Tools toolbar. This will open the PhotoView Options PropertyManager.
Here you can specify the width and height of your output image in pixels or as a percentage of your screen resolution. You can also choose from four render quality levels: Good (fastest), Better (default), Best (slowest), or Maximum (custom). The higher the quality level, the longer it takes to render but the more realistic it looks.