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The Rendering section of the solidThinking Evolve® online help describes how to render realistic images of your models. Rendered images are much easier to understand than line-drawn images, which are familiar to engineers but not to managers and other non-technical people. The shading of geometry according to its orientation to the light sources in a scene provides the viewer with important visual clues to the arrangement of the objects in three-dimensional space, even though they are rendered onto a two-dimensional image.

The rendering process is divided into two distinct stages. The first stage is known as visible surface processing, during which the renderer establishes, for every pixel of the image, what surface or surfaces are visible. Evolve supports a number of choices for visibility processing in the form of alternative rendering methods.


The second stage of the rendering process evaluates the contribution made by each of the visible surfaces to the final shade of the displayed pixel. This second step, known as shading, encompasses all of the calculations that must be performed in order to determine each pixel's intensity. These include accounting for every light source in the scene and calculating how much light falls on the visible surfaces, as well as determining the color of the visible surface.


Rendering typically involves assigning some combination of the following effects:


Materials: Used to define color, reflectance, transparency, and displacement.

Textures and labels: Used to apply images to a surface, such as logos and barcodes.

Environments: Used to add mirror-like reflections that make images look much more realistic, and to simulate the environment surrounding the model using background and foreground shaders.

Lights and shadows: While Evolve automatically assigns two default lights to your scene, defining your own lights and shadows will create a far more realistic rendering. More advanced rendering techniques such as global illumination will can greatly increase the quality of your renderings as well.

Cameras: Placement of multiple cameras and camera effects such as depth of field and lens flares can create a more photorealistic effect.


See Also:

Basic Rendering

Shading Manager


Textures and Labels


Lights and Shadows


Advanced Rendering Techniques