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- Prepping the model
- Applying materials and textures
- Working with glass
- Positioning the camera
- Adding lighting
- Rendering from multiple angles
- Outputting an image
- Animating your scene
Skill Level Intermediate
Solidworks has a nice variety of materials pre-loaded into the software, and if the material you want isn't there, you can make your own material or modify an existing material to suit your needs. Physical, visual and lighting properties can all be adjusted and saved. To get started, let's open the Material Properties tab in the left hand corner. Notice it's the beach ball in the upper left. And you can see the different materials here. If I click on the beach ball there you can see all the different various materials that are applied to the different surfaces. Notice we're looking at them in a history-based viewer. I can also go down to alphabetical or I come down to hierarchy.
If I click on Hierarchy and go to the end under Parts I can see satin finish titanium has been applied. To that material as well as this gold colour. And I want to overwrite that so what I'm going to do is I'm going to over here to the right choose Appearance>Metal>Titanium and I want this brush titanium look to be put it on there, so I'm going to grab that material, drag it over here, place it on that surface. And as soon as I do notice I can apply it to either the face, the surface cut, the body, the entire part, or the assembly.
I actually want to put on the body, so I will click on that notice it shows up. Now that I have that chosen if I go back up here to History I can see that it's at the very bottom there. I can adjust that material by just double-clicking it. I'm applying it at a part level. At this point in time, I've got a lot of different options as far as what colors I see, how they're applied. I'm lookin' at, hey, I'd like to maybe make this a little bit darker. So I can actually keep the same textures and surfaces. But make 'em a little bit darker by choosing something like that. Which will give me that little bit darker shading look on the material.
When you're happy with that, you click OK. You can get out of that. If you want to come back, you can always double-click on it again, and get back into that view, so you can see it. So down at the bottom, I can adjust what colors those are. If I come over to Mapping, I can adjust how this is actually applied to the part and where it's actually placed. I can change the aspect ratio. The height, scale, all these options I have available to me. So you can really get quite in-depth when you're dealing with these different things. You click on surface finish, it gives me an ability to change that brush titanium.
I can change those surfaces right here, if I want to look something different. So if I change to like, sand-blasted, that surface will change when I actually do the final rendering. And if you want to get a look what it's going to look like when you actually do the final render, what we can do is click on the integrated preview or preview window. I'll choose the Preview window so we can actually see what's going to kind of happen here when we actually run the rendering. How it's going to show up for us. Okay that gives us a little bit better view of it. Now when I come back to that material and edit the material, those things should show up quite a bit more.
I can do bump mapping so I can adjust like the texture of the material a little bit more. I can come down here and displacement distance, I can move how that light is going to be reflected, how that surface is going to show up when I do that final rendering to kind of give it a little rougher surface if I need too. I can also go over here to illumination. And choose how much this is being diffused or how much the specularity is being changed. So if I roll these values down, I can take some of the specularity out or I can change how these are actually diffused. So I kind of want a little bit darker look for this, so I'm going to less diffusion, kind of come up with the look I'm looking for.
Once everything's looking pretty good and you're happy with what your final product is going to look like, the next thing we want to do to get rid of, and this is actually going to be our first rendering we're actually going to do. Is, I want to actually do a final render here. So what I want to do is make sure that, whatever I have here in the View window, is what I'm going to get rendered. So, I need to move this model around. Whether I scroll in and out. And if I hold down the Ctrl key I can pan. So, I want to make sure that this is looking kind of in the center of this. And let's go ahead and make it fill most of the window.
And we could go back and change the size of the render window. We're going to be doing that in the next several movies, but for right now let's just get our first rendering going inside of the software and so we can actually see what it's going to look like. So things are looking pretty good, obviously we need a few more changes to make this thing really pop but let's get our first render. Come up here to Final Render. (SOUND) And as soon as I do that, you can see that I get a screen that comes up, and it starts processing through the image. I'm going to expand that out to the full screen, and you can see I got these little orange boxes that are jumping around the screen rendering my image.
And the more cores that you have to your processor, the more little boxes you'll have rendering away on you. And there's our first image we're looking at and what it looks like. So, my recommendation is kind of starting with a low-res image at first and then bumping it up to a higher res. Image as we go further into the design. So now that I've rendered this for the first time, I'm looking at this material and I'm saying well this really doesn't look like the material that I wanted to have for the body of that shape, so that's a good way to kind of look at these things and kind of go around and around. So what I want to do is to make that smaller and we'll come back to this and say hey this is obviously the wrong material for that.
Now let's come in here and maybe do a matte titanium, see how that looks, and apply that to the body. That should then update in the Render window over here and I can do a final render again. (NOISE) And we'll see if that looks a little better. I'm just making a pretty small render at this point in time just so I can see how it's going to look. When I finally do a top end render, it's going to take a lot more time. We're making sure we're getting the right look and feel for the material, before we spend all that time to do it. And there it is. Choosing materials for a product is an important part of a design process.
And I recommend using this right from the beginning. In fact, you can set up part templates with materials and scenes pre-chosen for all your common types of parts, so it makes it easy to get into. Add materials and render out final designs.