It’s Time to Collaborate! Bring Designs to Life with SOLIDWORKS Visualize

   By Ray Morrogh on June 23, 2023

SOLIDWORKS Visualize is a part of the product development ecosystem that allows for you to bring your designs to life with photo-realistic renderings. This isn’t without challenges though, as it can be difficult to make some models look realistic and creating outputs can be time consuming and disorganized. With this blog and the associated webinar, I want to show you tips for working within Visualize Connected to create great renders that can be quickly shared with your team and easily associated with your existing CAD data on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.


Connecting to 3DEXPERIENCE with SOLIDWORKS Visualize is a quick and easy process. Simply open up 3DEXPERIENCE and in your available apps, click the chevron next to “Render with SOLIDWORKS Visualize”. After clicking install and following the dialogue, the next time you click Render with Visualize it will open the application with the 3DEXPERIENCE add-in on the left side. We can now load our files from our clock project collaborative space into Visualize to begin making our renders.



In this render, we’ll start by setting our scene. The two distinct scene options are environments, which light our scenes in a realistic manor, and backplates, which provide a static background when we pan and rotate our camera. For environments, these require HDR/HDRI files which are spherical and not as readily available as other file types such as JPEGs. A great workaround for this though, is to utilize available outputs of Visualize to create an HDR environment from a JPEG.

output tools in SOLIDWORKS Visualize

We can drag and drop our jpeg file that will represent our spherical environment into visualize, and then under render options, we can create a radiance HDR from our jpeg that we can use in conjunction with our static backplate for our render.

rendering paused


Rendering glass in a realistic manner can sometimes prove to be challenging to new users. One way that we can resolve this issue is by layering our appearances, and taking advantage of the options available. Adding a bump texture map can bring out character in the glass and add a greater sense of realism to the image.

rendering textures

Besides the default local and cloud appearance library, here are some great resources for finding premade textures:

We can also affect the emissivity of the material to improve the way that light interacts with the glass. Emissive appearances work best on accurate render mode, which will take into account how the light spreads. Accurate mode is a great application for this scene overall, since we’re working on an interior low light scene with emissive appearances. Some sample values in relation to everyday appearances are:

  • 1 is air
  • 1.33 is like water
  • 2.4 is like diamond

Altering this to a value that is a little less than what it should be can create a more realistic render.

Photo-Realistic Rendering

When we render, selecting to do all our cameras at once will basically allow us to do batch processing. One of the benefits of working in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is also that we can also select which cameras we want to render and share those directly to the platform. These will automatically be linked to our project and CAD data and can even go through maturity and approval processes. Collaboration is seamless and integrated, allowing you to share your completed realistic images with the team like clockwork!

In our “It’s Time to Collaborate” webinar series, we demonstrate the end-to-end design to manufacture process for an everyday product and cover a wide range of software tools including visualize, motion, simulation as well as advanced manufacturing. Our team designs a classic alarm clock using 3DEXPERIENCE and SOLIDWORKS, test the design, perform a motion study, 3D print a prototype of the design and create photo-realistic rendering for marketing content.

Related Products

Browse the TriMech web store for SOLIDWORKS software to design, analyze and manufacture your products on your desktop.

Ray Morrogh

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