Join Thom Tremblay for an in-depth discussion in this video Rendering, part of Fusion 360: Designing for Metal.
- [Thom] A picture can be worth 1,000 words. A high quality image of a design can help others understand the vision and contribute. To create a rendering inside of Fusion 360, we'll need to change the workspace to the render workspace. Changing to the render workspace will automatically update the appearance of the model, change the toolbar, and open the rendering gallery at the bottom of the interface. The rendering gallery incorporates views generated from the initial model. As you make changes to the model, these views will not be updated unless you drag them off to the left, and as we create renderings using the local system, or the cloud services, those renderings will appear here so that we can download them or preview them.
To begin setting up the rendering environment, I'll go to the scene settings. In the scene settings, let's review what the current settings are. Presently, we're seeing the background is a solid color, we can change what that solid color is using the swatch to apply a different color, or even going all the way to the upper right to use white. I'll click OK to use that background, which is great if you need to create printed images. I can choose whether or not the ground plane will be displayed, that will choose whether or not the shadow is shown, or I can choose to show a reflection of the view as well.
We can change the camera type, including changing the focal length. We can also change the exposure level, and incorporate depth of field. If you find that you favor a certain collection of settings, you can save those as your personal default. The background of the rendering can also be changed from a solid color to reflect the environment that's generating the lighting. Rotating the model around will expose the lighting sources in this environment.
Depending on the model and the finish it has, the model can even reflect portions of that environment. The environment can be changed by going to the environment library tab, selecting a different environment option, and dragging it up to the current environment or dragging it onto the canvas. Going back to the settings tab, you can change the position of the model in the environment to change where the highlights are coming from and how the shadows are developed.
I will turn the position back off by re-selecting the icon, and now I want to take a second look at the finishes on my model. I'll open the appearance dialogue, and it's the same appearance overrides that you would see in the model workspace or any other workspace, and you can search the library for other finishes. I'll expand metal, and expand aluminum, select anodized glossy blue, and simply drag it on to the component.
Maybe select a different color for the bottom. When I'm finished, I'll close the appearance dialogue, and take a look, at the rendering options inside of Fusion 360. The first rendering option is in canvas render. In canvas render will generate the image on the screen and allow you to make modifications while it's doing so. I'll start the in canvas render tool, and you'll see the view starts to generate and refine the view with each iteration.
The iteration count is listed below on the right, and the type of machine and graphics processor you have will change the speed in which these iterations occur. There's a slide bar where you can change the final quality, between excellent, final, or you can even choose infinite. It's important to note that any change to the position will start the rendering over. You can also make modifications to the appearance.
This is part of the value of the in canvas render. So if you're not an expert on rendering, or don't know exactly what you want, you can make changes and have the rendering update in preview though the in canvas renderer, so you can make choices on how you want the appearance to be. Once you have the lighting and the model the way you want it, you can stop the in canvas renderer and go to the traditional render tools.
But even within the standard rendering, you have great options. The first, as I mentioned previous, is to use the local renderer, this will use your system hardware to generate a view. You can use a standard quality level, final quality level, or go to the advanced options. You can also switch to the cloud renderer. Depending on your account, you'll have different numbers of cloud credits available, and the number of cloud credits required to generate the rendering will change based on the resolution and the size of the rendering.
There are presets for mobile, print, video that you can select, and you can also choose custom. Cloud rendering is also extremely beneficial for people with modest hardware, where a local rendering could take hours, or be simply impossible if you need a super high resolution, high quality, lossless PNG file. With cloud rendering, you simply set the settings that you need and choose render. This rendering will be saved out to the cloud, and the image of it calculated and downloaded when it's complete.
You also have the option using the in canvas render tool, if that gives you the quality that you need to use the capture image tool, and save the image out to your local drive or to your cloud project. If you need a rendering to share an idea with a friend, or to create a printable brochure, the rendering tools in Fusion 360 can service any of the needs that you have.
- Setting up parameters
- Joining components
- Animating and rendering the design
- Testing alternative materials
- Creating the setup
- Publishing and posting the design