SOLIDWORKS Visualize Service Pack 2 is Here!

SOLIDWORKS Visualize is the fastest, most accurate and easiest to use rendering tool in the world.

If SOLIDWORKS made rendering tools… oh wait we do! When SOLIDWORKS Visualize was brought out just over a year ago, we were amazed by how it took the quality of our photorealistic images to a whole new level with very little effort.SOLIDWORKS Visualize Headphones

However for many images we were reaching for “Accurate” mode which while it does what it says on the tin in achieving amazing results it could take a bit longer to churn out those stunning images. Now almost like a birthday present to celebrate 1 Year of Visualize, we have the new improved “Fast Mode” in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2017 SP2 in March.

This is now suited to most situations/ products, even those with lots of transparent appearances, scenes where light must bend and bounce to give a better representation of the product.

I’m going to let the results do the rest of the talking from here. All renders done at 1920×1080 using GPU mode on Dell Precision 7710 Laptop with NVIDIA Quadro M3000M

Example 1 – Engineering Product

Fast Mode – 2017 SP1 and Previous Versions

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Render Time – 32 Seconds

Fast Mode – Quality 2017 SP2 Onwards

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Now the main difference between Fast mode and Accurate is the light from the LEDs on the handle do not reflect off other objects. In fast mode emissive (light appearances) do not contribute light to the scene but will glow realistically.

Render Time – 26 Seconds

Accurate Mode – 1000 Passes

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Render Time – 3 Mins 25 Seconds

Again, spot the difference vs Fast mode, the main difference being the lights, this could be compensated for in Visualize Professional using the Bloom post processing filter to blur the bright areas.

2017 SP2 Fast Mode – Speed

We even have a new option for “Speed” mode within options which makes “Fast” mode even quicker, albeit with some compromises

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Render Time – 12 Seconds

Even this produces a passable result in a mere 12 seconds albeit with some additional shadowing that isn’t true to life.

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Example 2 – Products with multiple transparent parts

Fast Mode – 2017 SP1 and Previous Versions

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Render Time – 52 Seconds

Note the dark areas where light is not bending  to travel through the casing,

Fast Mode – 2017 SP2 Onwards

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Some improvement over Fast quality however if you weren’t looking for the differences you may not spot them

Accurate Mode – 1000 Passes

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Fast Mode – Speed 2017 SP2 Onwards

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Clearly this new mode isn’t suited to complex items with lots of transparency the compromises in the bends and bounces of light mean this object isn’t lit correctly.

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Example 3 – Product Design Render

Here is where you will see least difference, hard bodied plastic/painted and many metal products were just fine with Fast mode already. So I’ve chosen some a model with emissive appearances and reflective floors I know will show differences.

Fast Mode – Versions 2017 SP1 and Prior Versions

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Render time – 60 Seconds

Fast Mode – Quality 2017 SP2 Onwards

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Render Time – 55 Seconds

Accurate Mode – 1000 Passes

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Render Time – 4 Mins 23 Seconds

Note how we get the LED emissive appearance bouncing off other objects giving a much more realistic effect and a better blurry reflection on the floor.

Fast Mode – Speed 2017 SP2 Onwards

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Render Time – 23 Seconds

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Example 4 – Interior Scene

Fast Mode – 2017 SP1 and Previous Versions

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Render Time – 39 Seconds

Fast Mode – Quality 2017 SP2 Onwards

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Render Time – 54 Seconds

Fast Mode – Speed 2017 SP2 onwards

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Render Time – 25 Seconds

Clearly this is a less realistic representation however it is nice and bright, just lacking shadows and details to make things seem realistic. However could be useful for live presentations and when quick representations are required

Accurate Mode – 2000 Passes (interiors typically require 2000-5000 passes to reduce noise)

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Render Time – 31 Mins 20 Seconds

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Now clearly accurate mode still has its place for certain situations, such as interiors however now the results from fast mode are much improved these suit the vast majority of products especially when quick results are required, this is likely to only improve over time.

Other additions to 2017 SP2 include faster viewport interactions so your zooming, panning and rotating will be much smoother and improvements to the update system so that if a SOLIDWORKS model is updated SOLIDWORKS Visualize will prompt you the next time you open the file to see if your wish to update your Visualize Project also.

Alan Sweetenham
Elite Applications Engineer

Solid Solutions Technical Team
Solid Solutions Management Ltd was founded in 1998, originally as a SOLIDWORKS training and support provider. Now a Group with over 20 offices across the UK and Ireland, Solid Solutions is not only the leading SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD reseller in both regions, it also offers expert professional design solutions and consultancy services to more than 15,000+ customers. With over 200 employees and the largest SOLIDWORKS technical team in the world, Solid Solutions is focused on growth and on its customers’ development and success.
Solid Solutions Technical Team
Solid Solutions Technical Team