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Rendering with SOLIDWORKS: Illuminate Your Designs with SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Monday September 18, 2023 at 8:00am

The illusion of realism is shattered by poor lighting.

If there’s one thing to focus on when creating product renders with SOLIDWORKS Visualize, it’s getting your lighting right.

The Crucial Role of Lighting

Lighting sets the tone and mood of a render. It can evoke emotions, create atmosphere, and guide the viewer's focus. Properly implemented lighting ensures that your design communicates your intended message effectively.

Look at photos of real objects and observe how subtle lighting nuances can leave a lasting impression, either for the right or wrong reasons. Without realistic lighting, your products can look flat, lifeless, and out of place.

Realistic lighting plays a pivotal role in making your designs look like they exist in the physical world. To achieve photorealism in your visuals, aim to imitate a real lighting setup and pay close attention to shadows and reflections.

Why Does Photorealism Matter?

Photorealistic visuals bridge the gap between abstract concepts and tangible understanding to create a clear path of communication.

In design and engineering, that clear communication is key to reduce the risk of misunderstandings with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders.

Visualising your designs in a realistic manner allows you to validate them more effectively.

By simulating how a product will appear and function in the real world, you can identify potential issues early in the design process, saving both time and resources.

Beyond the design phase, photorealistic visuals play a pivotal role in marketing and sales efforts. They help potential customers visualise how a product will benefit them, and get a feel for their customer experience.

Engaging, realistic visuals capture attention and leave a lasting impression.

5 Ways to Add Realism with SOLIDWORKS Visualize

To create realism in your renders, you need a straightforward tool: SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

This powerful rendering software allows you to work in tandem with SOLIDWORKS to achieve high quality renders in a relatively short amount of time.

While every version of SOLIDWORKS Visualize offers the opportunity for realism through environments and emissive appearances, SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional and Visualize Connected offer advanced lighting techniques to help you generate authentic renders even more easily.

Here are 5 ways you can enhance your renders:


    Emissive appearances allow you to add lights directly to geometry. They emit light evenly, providing straightforward brightness control.

    With just a few clicks, you can recreate complex lighting conditions, making your visuals photorealistic.

    Why not learn how to create realistic lighting in SOLIDWORKS Visualize with this tutorial?


    SOLIDWORKS Visualize Pro provides the capability for adding configurable lights.

    Intuitive controls make it easy to replicate various lighting setups, including spotlights and directional lights. You can adjust parameters like brightness and colour temperature, and animate positional and lighting properties to tailor the lighting to your specific needs.

    This feature is incredibly useful for simulating intricate photography studio lighting setups and creating a story within your shot.


    IES profiles are data files from light manufacturers containing precise light distribution maps. This data ensures that your digital twin accurately represents real-world lighting conditions.

    You can download these profiles from manufacturers and simply drag and drop them onto your models for instant realism.

    So, whether you're aiming for the perfect downlights in a kitchen or streetlamp illumination, SOLIDWORKS Visualize Pro has you covered.


    Volumetric lighting, often referred to as "God rays”, adds depth and realism to your visuals.

    Unlike your keyboard, SOLIDWORKS Visualize doesn't contain dust particles, but you can recreate this effect by adding transparent subsurface appearances with scattering elements.

    Combined with camera filters like bloom, you can produce striking visual effects that captivate your audience.


    SOLIDWORKS Visualize is a powerful tool for industries like Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) as it allows you to recreate sunlight conditions accurately.

    By inputting location, date, and time parameters, you can transport your design anywhere in the world, saving time and resources compared to traditional methods.

    You can even animate sun studies, so you can watch the sun rise over your business.

So Why Choose SOLIDWORKS Visualize?

SOLIDWORKS Visualize equips you with professional-grade tools that are designed to enhance your visualisation capabilities.

Whether you're an engineer, product designer, or architect, SOLIDWORKS Visualize offers the precise controls you need to create photorealistic visuals that communicate your designs effectively.

With its user-friendly interface, advanced lighting options and intuitive controls, you can spend less time wrestling with software and more time perfecting your designs for ultimate persuasion.

Empower your marketing and sales teams with photorealistic visuals to get your products in front of customers before you have any physical prototypes to show them.

Explore 3D renders, walkthroughs, and visualize your products in VR for the ultimate ‘WOW’ factor.

Ultimately, SOLIDWORKS Visualize's ability to recreate real-world lighting conditions and environments saves you time and money, and brings the world to your designs.

Take the Next Steps...

Don't settle for static representations when you can breathe life into your designs with SOLIDWORKS Visualize.

Illuminate your designs, captivate your audience, and elevate your visual communication with this game-changing software. Make the switch today and experience the power of photorealistic visualization at your fingertips.

Reach out to us at Solid Solutions to embark on this illuminating journey.

To learn more about SOLIDWORKS Visualize and how you can create stunning realistic product renders, why not book on to one of our CPD-accredited training courses?

Whether you’re a beginner or already intimately familiar with CAD, our friendly and expert trainers are ready to help you get the most out of SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Visualize, either online or in a classroom local to you.

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