11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 26, 2016 7:05 PM by Paul Salvador

    Comparison of Visualize Std and PV360?

    Dennis Dohogne

      We have seats of SWX Professional and apparently that now includes Visualize Standard in addition to PhotoView 360.  What is the comparison of the two?  Surely there are advantages of one over the other, but I'm not seeing a comparison on the matrix website (3D CAD Matrix | SOLIDWORKS ) even when I dive into the two separately.


      We don't do very many renderings so this isn't our wheelhouse, but it would help if we knew why and where to put our effort.  Thanks in advance.

        • Re: Comparison of Visualize Std and PV360?
          Michael Lord


          Personally, rendering is rendering. There are many different programs which can do so!

          Like all rendering programs they both use "Environments" to provide the lighting and "Material" to create the effects/ finishes

          PV360 uses only CPU for processing.   Where Visualize has the advantage of being able to use both CPU & GPU (or a combination of both)


          Visualize has the advantage of being able to be installed on a different computer than the one SOLIDWORKS/PV360 is installed on.

          Visualize comes with a few more/ wider range of "Material"

          Visualize camera has a little more adjustment

          The "Environments" provided with both programs are interchangeable between each other.


          PV360 can do animated renders, Visualize Standard cannot. (Requires Visualize Professional)


          Personally I find PV360 handles "Large Assemblies" better than Visualize


          Visualize 2017 can be set to the same keyboard/ mouse functions as SOLIDWORKS/ PV360 for Pan, Zoom, Rotate.  Therefore much nicer when switching between programs


          Most people couldn't pick which program produced which render!

          • Re: Comparison of Visualize Std and PV360?
            Greg Hynd

            PV360 is easier to use.

            Visualise gives better results, but its hit and miss if it even works I've found...


            Probably something to do with me, but sometimes it works fine, other times it struggles to do anything, constantly jamming up and constantly thinking about everything you ask it to do. I have pretty much stopped using it.


            Once I get a bit of free time I will try investigate it further, I am sure it must be better then I think it is..

              • Re: Comparison of Visualize Std and PV360?
                Andreas Olofsson

                Hi Greg,

                I felt the same way until I upgraded my graphics card to one that's supported by Visualize. It increased my productivity drastically. Before that I would have to wait minutes for the most simple operations. I've now got a Quadro M4000 if anyone's interested.


                As for the topic:

                I've spent much time in both renderers and I would choose Visualize over PV360 any day of the week. Visualize has got a much wider array of shaders (metallic paint, SSS, plastic, matte etc) whereas PV360 only has got two - color and texture. But as they both consist of the same parameters (except for color/texture) I don't think it's fair to think of them as two different shaders.

                Even though there are some slightly more advanced types of shaders in the PV360 appearance library (such as SSS) they consist of parameters that are not available for tweaking by the user. I suspect you'd have to get MODO (PV360's dad) in order to get some sort of freedom with your shaders.

                Also, the PV360 shader does not allow you to plug in any sort of texture other than diffuse and bump/normal map. Which is really, really poor. Your materials will most certainly look like crap up close.


                And most importantly - the speed! If you've got a graphics card that's up for the task it's quite a pleasurable experience tweaking materials in Visualize and getting instant feedback.

                In PV360 you'll have to manually re-render to see every little change you make. And each time you'll have to wait for it to send the render job over to the render engine which can take a while when you're rendering big assemblies.


                Plus: during my two years of working within PV360 there weren't any real improvements being made. I got the feeling that the developers had given up on it.

                But that's just my two cents.

              • Re: Comparison of Visualize Std and PV360?
                Brian Hillner

                Thank you everyone for responding with your unbiased feedback. Our goal with the Visualize product is to accelerate the design & engineering process, to help our users make educated product decisions earlier in the design process...while trying to keep it as easy to use as possible!


                Please continue to submit all SOLIDWORKS Visualize enhancement requests through your Reseller, so we can continue to improve this new product.


                Dennis, here are 2 links that might help you understand the capabilities of the Visualize product line. To my knowledge, a detailed matrix like this does not exist for PV360.


                SW Visualize main site: SOLIDWORKS Visualization Products | SOLIDWORKS

                SW Visualize product matrix: SOLIDWORKS Visualization | Visualize Matrix | SOLIDWORKS

                  • Re: Comparison of Visualize Std and PV360?
                    Dennis Dohogne

                    Brian Hillner, Thanks.  It sounds like you have the dot for Visualize.  It is nice to see you chime in.  The first link is good information and the second link is the same as on the main matrix I referenced.


                    Since you are the (or one of "the") people at SWX tied into these products I'm very surprised a more direct comparison does not exist.  Simply put, I don't spend my time in the rendering area so when I need to render something I'd like to know where I'm going to get the best results for my effort.  When we only had PV360 the decision was easy.  It is nice that we actually have two programs to use, PV360 and Visualize Std., but which one should I use?  Evidently I'm not the only one scratching their head with this question.


                    How about a Venn diagram or a decision tree?

                      • Re: Comparison of Visualize Std and PV360?
                        Brian Hillner

                        Hi Dennis,

                        All valid points, and thank you for this feedback.


                        As some have mentioned on this forum thread, there are a ton of 'renderers' out there. Which one people gravitate to might be the one they were first taught or feel they work the fastest in. Just like trying to decide between 3 cars in the same category, semantics can play a role in deciding which renderer to use as well.


                        IMO, it all comes down to the interface, ease of use, and overall experience that allows a visualization product to shine above the rest. 3D visualization can be an arduous task with a ton of settings and even a separate render window to 'wait' and see the changes you just made to your appearance setting. With Visualize, it's all in one easy Viewport, and I try to keep the settings minimal and intuitive . Visualize's mantra, which I crafted, is Fast | Easy | Fun. We will always strive to make the Visualize experience as fast as possible (GPU support!!), easy to use (drag/drop for everything and Easy Mode for beginners...hit Space Bar to toggle), and make sure our users actually enjoy their visualization experience. After all, this should be a fun time in the design/engineering process, when you can see what only existed in your head for the first time in true photoreal!


                        To this extent, some people might prefer one product over another because of their familiarity or existing workflows. To help position Visualize and PV360, here is a PPT slide that may help. The images were created by first-time users in each product, for fair benchmarking. The time it took for the Visualize user to create this image below was over 3x faster than the PV360 user.


                        The second link I referenced was specifically for the Visualize product matrix. This link helps to show the more advanced features included in Visualize Professional.


                        I hosted an Intro to SW Visualize webinar a while back, that I think you might find useful, echoing some of the points I made above. Check it out and I'm sure this will help!

                        Intro to SOLIDWORKS Visualize Webinar


                        Brian HILLNER

                        Product Manager | SOLIDWORKS Visualize