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In AutoCAD 2011 New Features, instructor Jeff Bartels highlights productivity and creativity enhancing additions to the AutoCAD toolset. This course covers improved functions for selecting and creating geometry, updated modification tools for hatches and polylines, simplified parametric constraint tools, and the new dynamic surface modeling techniques for creating complex shapes. Exercise files accompany the course.
If a rendering was only a momentary image that showed up on screen, it wouldn't be very helpful. Fortunately, AutoCAD allows us to save our rendered images such that we can display, print or share them with others. In this lesson we are going to learn how to save our finished rendering as an image. As you see I am still working on our assembly drawing. I have just rendered my composite model. So we are picking up right where we left off in the last session. If we look down here you can see that the size of my rendered image is 320 by 240, that's the pixel resolution, and this resolution is about the same size as the screen on an iPod or a cell phone.
So this image is quite small. In fact, if I click on this and then roll my scroll wheel forward, we can zoom in, and you can see just how low quality the image is. Let's back up little bit. I would like to save this image. You may be wondering why I want to do that. Well the next rendering I create is going to be time consuming. In fact, depending on the speed of your computer, it might take as long as half-an-hour. The process for saving a small image is the same as saving a large one.
So I will show how to save this small image now, so when your final rendering finishes, you'll know how to save it to your computer. To save the render I am going to the File button and I'll select Save. I am going to save this inside the Chapter 7 folder, insider our Exercise Files directory. I am going to call this thumbnail_image. If I click the flyout here under Files of type, you can see that we can save our renderings as several standard image formats. I am going to select JPEG.
I'll Save and then I can adjust my slider to determine the quality. I am going to drag this up to best and click OK. So that's how we can save our rendered image. Let's close the render window and we'll talk about how we can create a high quality, high resolution rendering. First I want to talk about a system variable. I am going to click down here on my command line and type facetres and I'll hit Enter. This system variable controls the smoothness of your solid geometry.
The default setting for this variable is 0.5. We can set it anywhere from 0.1 all the way up to 10. The higher you set the value, the smoother your geometry appears in the rendering but the longer the rendering takes. Now I am not going to change the value. I am going to leave this at 4 but if you are working on your own drawing, you may want to increase your facetres from the default of 0.5. I am going to hit Escape to cancel. Let's move up and open the Render panel. I can use this flyout to set my render output size.
Now I have several resolutions I can choose from. these represent standard monitor sizes. If I click Specify Image Size, I can set whatever resolution I want. The higher you set the resolution, the longer it's going to take to render. Now the native screen resolution on the monitor that I am using is 1680 by 1050. So I am going to enter that and click OK. Let's open up the Render panel again. Notice there is another slider here we can use to adjust Render quality.
I am going to leave that at 2 for right now. Take a look at this menu. If I open this up, we have a choice of Draft, Low, Medium, High or Presentation. The settings we are going to be using are little bit higher than Presentation. I have made some modifications. If you want to get in the nuts and bolts of renders settings, click Manage Render Presets and you can see and adjust your settings here. Now if you have any questions about what these settings do, you can hover over the option and AutoCAD will give you more information.
This is just another opportunity for experimentation. Let's click Cancel. I am now ready to create my final rendering. Like I said, this is going to take some time so as soon I click Render and the Render window pops up, I am not going to have you sit and watch the entire render process. We'll just cut to the final image. The image on screen is an example of the final rendering. Even though our comprehensive project is now finished, you don't have to stop here. Try experimenting with different colors and textures, try different camera angles and views.
A good rendering is never truly finished. There's always some small nuance you can change to enhance the appearance of your 3D model.
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