Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Snapshots of SolidWorks Add-On PhotoView 360: The Basics

Snapshots of Photoview 360

Part 1: The Basics

Read the Entire Series: (Part One: The Basics, Part Two: Appearances)

What is PhotoView?
Photoview 360 is a rendering tool that works with SolidWorks to create images that can be used for marketing purposes or presented to customers; it is an add-on within SolidWorks Professional or Premium.

Photoview 360 has numerous options to create renderings that add a feel of realism to your model. In this series, Snapshots of Photoview 360, we will explore six main aspects of rendering with Photoview: The Basics, Appearances, Scenes, Lighting, Viewpoint, and Advanced Options. This should give any new user to Photoview 360 a good basic understanding of rendering within SolidWorks. The model that we will be working on as an example is below.

A Basic Photoview 360 Tutorial

Click "Read More" below to continue to the tutorial

The first thing to do is turn on Photoview 360 via the following path: Tools > Add-ins… > Check Photoview 360

The left column will enable it for this session of SolidWorks; the right column will enable it from start-up every session of SolidWorks.

    TIP: Another thing I would recommend is turning on dynamic help in the property managers. This will give a description of each setting as you hover over it.
When Photoview 360 is added, a new Render Tools tab appears in the Command Manager. The first 3 icons - Edit Appearance, Edit Scene, and Edit Decal can also be navigated to from the DisplayManager. The same icons appear on the DisplayManager Tab. Another icon appears on both the Command Manager in Render Tools and the DisplayManager. These are the Photoview 360 Options.

In the Photoview 360 Options, the render quality and output image size can be set for your render. There are other options as well, and we will cover them in greater detail later in this series.

Output Image Settings
Output Image Settings is the first group of settings in the Photoview 360 options. It allows the user to pick the size in pixels per inch (ppi) - NOT dots per inch (dpi).

Converting DPI to PPI: If the image to print needs to be 300 dpi and the size is 4in x 6in, just multiply the 300 dpi by (4 in x 6 in) to get the pixels per inch for the output image size. In this example, it would be 1200 x 1800 ppi. (Source: S-02581)

Other options in these settings include properties like image formats (.jpg, .bmp, .tif, etc.), and the path where these images will be saved is chosen here as well, in the "default image path" setting.

Render Quality
The render quality allows the user to choose separate qualities for preview renders and final renders. The render quality affects the anti-aliasing quality, number of reflections calculated, number of refractions calculated, and indirect illumination rays. As you increase the render quality from good to maximum, the calculations get more precise, but the image also takes longer to render.

8 samples
16 samples
32 samples
128 samples
Indirect Illumination Rays

Anti-aliasing: the way diagonal lines appear as pixels on the screen
Number of Reflections: As light is bounced off one surface to another, this control how many surfaces are be calculated into the reflection.
Number of Refractions: Same as number of reflection, except for refracted light
Indirect Illumination Rays: Light effect from surrounding geometry; the higher the rays, the more accurate
(Source: SolidWorks and Photoview 360 Self Study Guide)

    TIP: Increasing the render quality would be necessary for lots of transparent or clear appearances with lots of reflections and refractions being calculated.
The gamma value determines the brightness level of the overall render. (1.6 is the default value) Some other getting started icons on the render tools command manager are:
    The Preview Window: Opens a rendered preview image in a new window.

    Integrated Window: Opens a rendered preview image in the SolidWorks graphics window

Use the integrated and preview windows to check your Photoview 360 renders before creating a final render.
    Final Render: Creates a final render that can be saved as the specified image file.

These are the tools needed to get started with Photoview 360. In the next Snapshot, we will discuss adding appearances so that when we render an image, the texture, color, and illumination settings of our model are applied.

For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, please feel free to look through our Webcast Archive, register for an upcoming webcast or event, or look into our 3DU SolidWorks Training and Certification courses.

1 comment:

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