Alignex Blog

Create Photorealistic Renderings with SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Dean Schley on January 27, 2017 at 9:25 AM


Since the release of the new external rendering software SOLIDWORKS Visualize in early 2016, there has been a bit of confusion as to where PhotoView 360 fits into the SOLIDWORKS family of products. 

Wait, there is a new external product for rendering your parts and assemblies? Don’t we have PhotoView 360 already? Well yes, but SOLIDWORKS Visualize helps both non-technical users and CAD users leverage 3D CAD data to create photo ‘catalog’ quality renderings and content.

What is the difference between PhotoView 360 and SOLIDWORKS Visualize?

SOLIDWORKS Visualize is not a replacement for PhotoView 360, but a complementary tool that delivers more of what the SOLIDWORKS community has been asking for in visualization.


PhotoView 360 is best for designs that are continuously undergoing changes. The direct link and bi-directional updates optimize rendering of work that is still in progress. Users can create CAD models and remain within SOLIDWORKS for basic visualization, providing immediate feedback on rough reflections, surface changes, etc., to evaluate the form and make rapid surface adjustments.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize picks up where PhotoView 360 leaves off by introducing an environment that is more similar to photography, versus technical rendering, with a focus on 3D data. Because results are indistinguishable from photos, they can be used directly for marketing or other areas where physical prototypes don’t exist or add too much cost.

In addition, SOLIDWORKS Visualize doesn’t tie-up a SOLIDWORKS license, allowing the photorealistic visualization to be completed by someone else within the organization, providing a seamless dynamic design workflow and collaborative environment.

In the example below, a new user created a final image from the exact same dataset on the same machine in both PhotoView 360 and SOLIDWORKS Visualize.  


SOLIDWORKS Visualize is available in two packages—SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional, which is sold to the market through the Professional Channel, and SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard, which is included with each maintained seat of SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium 2016 or later.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize products are standalone products.

Visualize allows for the importing of various datasets to be used above and beyond your SOLIDWORKS files.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize delivers:

    • “The Camera” for SOLIDWORKS and other CAD data, enabling users to create, communicate, and collaborate with visual, emotional content to drive innovation, design decisions, and business solutions
    • Convincing, lifelike movies and images for product comparisons, print, web, and design reviews, or even interactive experiences
      • High-resolution detail images
      • Exploded views directly from SOLIDWORKS configurations
      • Interactive web content (VR and Panorama)
      • Captivating feature animations
      • Camera fly-by videos
      • One-click 360-degree spins
      • Interactive presentations
    • An intuitive interface with almost no learning curve and an easy-to-use drag & drop workflow
    • Real-world lighting simulations and advanced materials
    • Multiple visual configurations for your product with different scenes, lighting, and artistic filters
    • Easy scalability for blazing-fast performance and results to meet even the most demanding schedules and timelines
    • Industry-leading GPU (graphics card) support for break-neck render speeds, much faster performance than the competition
    • Movement, 360-degree spins, or animate cameras, materials, models, or even the sun
    • Real-time changes for maximum flexibility and speed

Learn more about the product features and benefits of the Professional and Standard packages in this SOLIDWORKS Visualize product matrix.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize Online Product Trials



Leave a comment