SOLIDWORKS Live Design: Fool Your Eyes with Visualize

Join Michael Steeves and Jesse Sprague for SOLIDWORKS LIVE Design as they explore how to create splash screen-worthy renderings with SOLIDWORKS Visualize. You’ll learn how Jesse adds detail and context, uses a real-world camera, configures the environment, and even adds motion and life to sprocket renderings to fool viewers with its realism.


This episode shows how you can take your Visualize renderings from good to great with tips that demonstrate “the little things” that can be difficult to see but make renderings truly lifelike. You can easily leverage 80% of the power of Visualize. And with an extra 20% of learnable techniques and functionality you can make outstanding renderings.


Jesse demonstrates how you can build detail into a 3D CAD model or build in surface detail with appearances, including how you can build in detail with appearances inside Visualize. Jesse also provides an overview to the many benefits of this approach.

A good approach for establishing reliable feedback on your rendering skills is to take a photo of a real object and try to render the real object as close as possible in 3D CAD. What strikes you as different as you scrutinize the rendering?

Jesse shows how to model in context within your renderings to give the viewer a sense that your renderings are realistic. He also shows how you can change the environment, add in components (like hardware) to promote realism, and even use a Physics tool in Visualize to naturally randomize the positioning of components, such as hardware.

Michael and Jesse discuss the vast concept of modeling in seemingly random imperfections. If some aspects look too perfect, they can be an obvious giveaway that the image is a computer graphic and not a photograph of a real object.

Lighting is crucial to a rendering. The setting and lighting need to be appropriate to the rendered object. Pay special attention to how natural light would fall on a model. Jesse demonstrates some of the many ways to optimize lighting effects in Visualize.

Check It Out

Visualize Standard comes with SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium. Visualize Connected (which Jesse demonstrates) comes with 3DEXPERIENCE® SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium with extra features included. If you’re looking to impress your customers (or managers) with renderings, check out this episode to learn more.

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Sean O'Neill

Sean O'Neill

As an Industry Process Consultant, Sean's role is to help amplify the 'best of' both our products and our community, via the stories we showcase on our livestreaming programs (like SOLIDWORKS LIVE) and other digital outlets. Sean is also the creator of both the SOLIDWORKS Champions Program and the SOLIDWORKS Influencer Program.