Customize Background for SOLIDWORKS Visualize

In SOLIDWORKS Visualize, background contains of two kind of background: 3D Environment and 2D Backplate.

2D Backplate: Load a high resolution 2D image in the background of a project

3D Environment: The software maps an HDRI onto a spherical environment that envelops models like a bubble


A list of 3D Environment is stored in the default SOLIDWORKS Visualize library. We can choose a suitable environment directly from the library. An 3D Environment already included a convincing background or to project real-world lighting or reflection data onto a model surface. Additional option can be found in the Cloud library.

However, the default library might not best fit for our model or requirement. 2D Backplate can provide us a more customizable background to represent our model. Backplate is like inserting a backdrop right behind our model. All the lighting and reflection data will still be using the 3D Environment data. Sometimes the backplate does not match the reflection on the model, as the below image.

We can see the backplate is representing the interior of a building. However, the reflection on the car is sky and building, which is not quite match the backplate.

In order to improve our result quality, I would like introduce you to create your own 3D Environment. Firstly, we would need to capture a panorama picture for our Environment.


Secondly, open a new project in SOLIDWORK Visualize and insert the panorama picture as Backplate.

Then, we can go to Output Tools > change the Image Format to “Radiance HDR (“.hdr)

It will fold the 2D backplate into a bubble as 3D Environment.


One last step is to open the CAD model, and insert the new HDR Environment into the project.

Finally, we have created our own background and a correct reflection on the shiny surface of our model. If you have your own 360 camera, it is a great way to film and make your own 3D Environment.

Written by Benjamin Cheung, Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd.

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