One of the great new enhancements that we have seen with the release of SolidWorks 2013 is the ability to utilize Luxology custom appearances for rendering within PhotoView 360. SolidWorks recently has updated the customer portal with the links you will need in order to access the Luxology appearance assets to start downloading and using these fantastic appearances for you SolidWorks renders.
The Luxology appearance assets are located on the Luxology website (Luxology is the partnering company that has created the software for the PhotoView 360 add-in), but don’t be fooled and try to create an account with Luxology, you will not be able to download any of the assets from their site if you do so (unless you have a license of Modo). Further more if you have already created an account for the Luxology website, make sure you are logged out before accessing it through the SolidWorks customer portal.
Login into the customer portal through www.solidworks.com, you will see a login link on the upper right hand side. Once you have logged in, click the customer portal link to access the main page of the customer portal, here you will see a new link that is added for PhotoView 360 appearances.
This link will bring you to another page with another link to get you to the SolidWorks Asset Sharing:
This will bring you to another page with one more link:
Finally you are on the Luxology assets page; from here you can look through their library and download appearances for all of your rendering needs! Keep in mind that some of these appearances will actually render off of the surface of your model, giving a much more realistic final render than what we saw with previous appearances in Photoview 360. There is an example at the end of this blog that has ‘Chipped Paint’ as an appearance which gives an extra 3D feel.
So now that you are logged into the assets site for Luxology, how do you start downloading and using these appearances for your rendering? One method is to download and unzip directly to the default location for SolidWorks <Installation Drive>/Program Files/SolidWorks Corp (2013)/SolidWorks/data/graphics/Materials.
Or create a specific location for your Luxology appearances to separate these appearances from the standard appearances that came from the installation. I created a Luxology folder in my working drive, with sub folders similar to the default folders in SolidWorks. Either way works just fine!
Be sure to add the folder location to the SolidWorks system options if you do it the second way. Tools>Options>Folder Locations>Custom – Appearances
Now you are set to start applying these appearances to your part/assembly for rendering. If you start applying appearances and it doesn’t look anything like what you thought, don’t worry! The Luxology assets for PhotoView 360 are generally only visible in the preview and final render windows. When I went to create a Christmas Snow Globe the view from the SolidWorks window is far from what PhotoView 360 will see:
But when you create the final render, you get amazing appearances!