Join Thom Tremblay for an in-depth discussion in this video Rendering, part of Fusion 360: Designing for Plastics.
- [Instructor] Communicating the look and feel of the design can be done effectively with a rendering. In this video, we will update the appearance of the design and generate a rendering to share it with others. Before I render the model, I want to change the way it looks. By default, Fusion 360 uses a standard steel finish for its models. What I'd like to do is use an appearance override to give the model the texture and color that I anticipate it will have in the real world. To do this, I'll start the appearance overrides.
I can right click and select appearance from the context menu. Fusion 360 includes a large library of appearance overrides. If I look at the library, I can sort down through glass and metal, other paint, and I'll find plastic. Clicking on the plastic folder, I'm presented with more options as opaque, textured, translucent. I'll select textured and when I see the arrow on the right, that means that this appearance is not currently installed on this machine.
One of the things that helps Fusion 360 be quick to install is that it doesn't install all of the materials, textures, and rendering environments automatically. When you need them, you download them and use them. So I'll choose the arrow next to plastic texture random. And in a few seconds that appearance override will be available. To use it, all I need to do is drag it out onto the model. Now my model has the appearance of having a texture. I can make modifications to the texture just by double clicking on it.
Changing the color by dragging. And then, I can get a closer look at the model and perhaps even adjust the scale, change the roughness, and also control the reflectance level as well as the rotation of the texture. If you go to the advanced settings, you could even modify what bump map is being used to create the texture. For now, this looks good and I'll move into the rendering workspace.
As soon as I connect to the render workspace, the appearance of the model changes. You'll see shadows are developed, lighting is different, and I even have the rendering gallery along the bottom that will give me a set of stock images that, if I wanted to, I could drag to the left and have updated every time I save the file. I'll start out first, by taking a look at the scene settings. The scene settings control the camera and control the environment that generates the lighting.
I can change the position of the model in the scene by selecting the position icon and dragging the slide bar. I can change the color of the background by changing it from a solid color to taking on the environment. If I take a moment and pan around, I can see the lights that are being used in the environment to create the shadows of my model. You can change whether or not the ground plane is on which will remove the shadow or perhaps go the other direction and even add a reflection of the model, changing the roughness to obscure how that reflection appears.
If I go back to the solid color background, I can change what that color is. Perhaps taking on something a little more bold or going with something that would work well for a published document. There are additional camera settings farther down the dialog that will allow me to change the focal length, to change the exposure level, and even include a depth of field if I like. Going to the environment library, I can drag another environment onto the canvas to update the scene.
After making that change, I might need to reposition the model in the environment to get the correct shadows and lighting. But once I think I have the scene that I want, I can then start to take a look at how to generate a rendering. There are two primary rendering tools built into Fusion 360. The first is the in-canvas render. This is a great tool for people who aren't experts in rendering. It will allow you to see the image generate on the screen in real time. I'll select this tool and immediately, the render will start to generate.
As it's being developed, I can judge whether or not I'm getting the appearance that I like. And if I'm not, another great benefit of in-canvas render is the ability to go back to the scene settings, while the rendering is running, change the environment, and have it update the render, make modifications to the overall brightness of the scene, change the position of the model once again, until I start to get the look that I want.
I can close the scene settings and then focus on the quality level of the rendering that's being generated. If I decide that an image is developed to the point that I want to share it with others, I can pause the in-canvas render and export the image. Another option for creating the rendering inside of Fusion 360 is the render tool. Selecting the render tool will give you preset options for web, mobile, print, or video as well as the ability to set up custom resolutions and pixel depths.
You can also choose whether or not the rendering will be developed using the local processors or using the cloud. If you need a large scale rendering, with a high resolution, but have a modest computer, cloud rendering will allow you to generate the high end rendering you need without even having to use your computer. All you have to do is set the values that you want, set the quality level you want. It will tell you how many cloud credits are required and then launch the render.
While the rendering is running, I could go back to the in-canvas render, maybe update my scene settings again, going with the environment option, and take a look at how I might decide to change what I'm rendering for the next cloud rendering. Using the render workspace in Fusion 360, it's amazing how quickly a high quality image can be created and made available for others.