Home » What is SolidWorks Photoview 360?

When advertising products, you will often take pictures of your models once they have been completely fabricated and upload those high-resolution images to your websites or brochures. In today’s fast-paced environment, you must be one step ahead of your competition to reach out to the market first, which is impossible to do using the old method of developing marketing collateral. Before prototyping, Solidworks users may utilize PhotoView 360 to produce photorealistic representations of designs. Users can use the photographs for marketing purposes. There are a lot of factors that may go into drawings that you probably don’t understand unless you’re into photography. I indeed didn’t when I initially began rendering.

What is Solidworks Photoview 360?


PhotoView 360 is a software program that creates lifelike digital pictures (photorealistic images) from SolidWorks files. PhotoView 360 is a simple and quick way to create photorealistic photographs of excellent quality. Solidworks Professional and Premium come with PhotoView 360, a visualization and rendering tool. It’s a Solidworks add-in that turns Solidworks models into photorealistic representations. The produced image includes the model’s appearance, lighting, setting, and decals. Solidworks Intelligent Feature Technology is at the heart of everything (SWIFT). It has an easy-to-use interface and provides an interactive environment for examining designs and producing photorealistic renderings to show off your work. Technical users may utilize PhotoView 360 to make advanced, high-quality representations of their plans inside SolidWorks. 

It allows users to exhibit and interact with CAD models in 3D. This allows them to see views that would be impossible to see in 2D. From the 3D CAD model, users may apply effects, backdrop scenery, decals, and more. Solidworks Photoview 360 comes with several features and tools that help to make our models more realistic. You may customize the model with appearances, lighting, sceneries, and decals. We may also use SOLIDWORKS Task-scheduler to schedule our render at a later date, allowing us to do so during off-peak hours. It also has an integrated preview window that will enable us to understand how our model will appear before we render it. 

PhotoView 360 allows you to create lifelike renderings and animations in Solidworks in seconds. Enhance your proposals, submissions, and presentations with PhotoView 360’s high-quality, realistic animations and photos. With a growing focus on aesthetics across sectors, PhotoView 360 allows you to take your product visualization to the next level, engaging with your product in specific contexts and settings while ensuring that your visuals represent real-life colors and materials. It allows users to import a variety of predefined HDR (high dynamic range) scenes. 

These sorts of scenes provide incredibly accurate lighting for your model in Solidworks. Photoview 360 also designs and alters lights, making photo-realism very simple and quick to execute. It gives users more control over camera effects and allows them to swap between perspective and orthogonal views to get the rendering to appear as they want it to look. Depth-of-field adjustments will enable you to construct renderings in which specific areas of the picture are in focus while others are not. Apply a bloom effect to the final render to generate a glow for emissive appearances or areas of very bright environmental reflections. 

How to use Solidworks Photoview 360

To learn how to use Solidworks Photoview 360, you have to understand what is SolidWorks Photoview 360. With Photoview 360 you can render your Solidworks models in a photorealistic manner. You can turn it on and access it directly from the Solidworks User Interface and use it to render models still in the design phase. Users can generate models that are still in progress using the direct connection and bi-directional update functionality. 

PhotoView 360 is integrated within the Solidworks window. The user does not need to jump between windows to see a photorealistic representation. 

As a result, it gives direct input on the visualization and aids in rapid surface modifications. Here is a guide to using Solidworks Photoview.

Step 1: If you’re using Solidworks Photoview 360 for the first time, go to Tools > Add-Ins to activate the Solidworks Photoview 360 Add-In. Select Solidworks Photoview 360 from the Solidworks Add-ins menu.

To guarantee that Solidworks Photoview 360 loads the next time you start it, click the Start-up box. 

Step 2: Solidworks Photoview 360 is equipped with many features and tools that help make our models more realistic. The model may be customized with appearances, lighting, sceneries, and decals. Edit Appearances lets you fine-tune model characteristics such as color, texture, and lighting. At the same time, Edit Scenes allows you to customize the atmosphere of your product, including control rooms, sunlight exposure, and more.

Step 3: You may configure rendering parameters in Solidworks Photoview 360. The first consideration is the image size. You may pick from predefined aspect ratios or construct your own. After that, we select the image format and render quality. The preview render rate is set to “Good,” the lowest setting. Faster previews are possible as a result of this. 

The following parameter is gamma, which is set at 1.6 by default. It has a direct correlation with brightness.

Step 4: PhotoView 360 provides two ways to preview renders: the graphics area (Integrated Preview) and a separate window (Preview Window). Both approaches allow you to review modifications before rapidly committing to a complete render. You may experiment with controls that alter rendering without completely knowing the function of each management since updates are constant. You may execute a full render after you’re happy with the parameters. As you make changes to the model, the preview updates in real-time, gradually improving the model. Real-time updates are made to appearances, decals, scenery, and rendering settings. When you make changes to the model, the preview only refreshes for those changes, not the entire display.

The following options are available in the PhotoView 360 Preview Window: Click Pause to pause all updates to the preview window. Click Reset to refresh the preview window and restart Solidworks updates. While Extended Refinement continuously refines the preview picture quality, the Save Preview Image button opens the Saving Image dialog box, allowing you to save the preview image without doing a final render. You may utilize this option to acquire the finest possible quality in a short amount of time. To save the image in its present condition, click Save Image. Full Resolution Preview when clicked Regardless of the size of the preview window, it renders the full resolution set in Output Image Size in PhotoView 360 Options. When you wish to save a preview image rather than generate a final render, utilize Full Resolution Preview.

Step 5: The Final Render window allows you to make fine tweaks to your renderings, compare two renders, and check to render statistics. To access the Final Render window, follow these steps: Enable PhotoView 360 and go to PhotoView 360 > Final Render or go to the Render Tools tab of the CommandManager and click Final Render Tools to render final render.png. You may also open the Final Render window without creating a new render. Click the render tools_render_recall_last_render.png to extend the Final Render window without creating a new render.


That’s all there is to it. That’s how you render in PhotoView 360, and I hope you found this guide helpful.