Rendering Liquids In PhotoView 360

So close…yet so far. This should look perfect, but it doesn’t. What’s the problem?

It is not uncommon, when using PhotoView 360 to portray liquid in a glass, to create the liquid as a second feature in the part file. Perhaps you even used the Convert Entities command to project the existing glass silhouette edges into your sketch to ensure accuracy. Then you used the Revolve command (Fig. 1) to create the liquid (or, in the case of a more irregular shaped vessel , perhaps you’ve discovered the new-for-2013 Intersect functions).

Well, you’ve probably already figured out the first part of the equation – the “liquid” needs to be a separate 3D body so it can be given a different appearance (no matter how similar it may appear, as in the examples here). This can be easily accomplished by deselecting “Merge Result” upon creation (again, refer to Fig. 1).

Fig. 1

Yet, something doesn’t appear quite right…there seems to be streaks or splotches that aren’t a result of the viewing angle (Fig. 2). Why, they’re even apparent in the nearby reflection!

Fig 2.

So, here’s the tip: This is actually a situation you might encounter with any number of rendering softwares – we simply have two surfaces taking up the same space at the same time. How, in fact, should it look? So, the best practice in cases such as these is to scale one of the bodies by a small factor. In SolidWorks we use the Scale feature for this purpose (Fig 3).

Fig. 3

In my example I down-scaled the “water” about its own centroid by a factor of .99. However, it would not have been illegitimate to upscale the liquid either without any undesired side effects, despite the overlap. See Fig. 4 for the finished result.

 Fig. 4

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Sam Hochberg is Technical Services Engineer at Graphics Systems, a SolidWorks Value Added Reseller with locations across Wisconsin and Illinois. He is a regular contributor to the Graphics Systems’ blog:, your source for SolidWorks, Simulation, Data Management, & Product Communication Tips & Tricks.

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