29 Replies Latest reply on Aug 2, 2016 11:18 AM by Barry Shapiro

    how to render with transparent background

    shay cohen

      started working with SW Visulize , having many issues but there are some questions to begin with :

       

      1. how can i orient the floor to align to a different plane, for example : I have a model of sign frame which is wall mounted and I want the shadows to be real , I tried manipulating the model to be placed on the floor and rotate the camera like if it was on a wall but the camera rotation is limit to 180 deg and it is not good .

       

      2. I use to render my models and save them as PNG with transparent background so i can layer them on top of my backgrounds , what ever i tried there is always a white background .

       

      any ideas

        • Re: how to render with transparent background
          Alan Sweetenham

          Hi Shay

           

          For item 1 i believe the easiest way is to pick the object tab, select the top level of your part and then use rotation XYZ to orient you model. Of course you could change it in SOLIDWORKS also.

           

          see below

          rotation visualize.png

          For item 2, you need to save as a format that supports transparency such as PNG (jpeg format doesn't support transparency) and check the Include Alpha Option, again see below screen grab

           

          save with transparent background.png

           

          Kind Regards


          Alan

            • Re: how to render with transparent background
              shay cohen

              Hi Alan ,

               

              Thanks for the quick respond .

              The transparent BG is working great it was the " include alpha option ".

              Regarding the model floor alignment, well I already managed to place the model on the scene floor with the XYZ manipulation but you are unable to place the camera in a desired viewing angle as it is restricted to 180 deg . in PV360 you can adjust the scene alignment to any plane needed ( xy,yz,xz) without moving the model and yet rotate the camera to a desired view point .

              I tried even placing it in the SW model  but when opened in SV it is not showing right .

              the fact that you do not have triad or a 3d manipulation handles is frustrating , as you do not know were you are in the scene space .

               

               

              thanks  

               

               

                • Re: how to render with transparent background
                  Craig Schultz

                  Is the camera locked?  If it's not, you should be able to move it around for the desired angle.

                   

                  6516.png

                  • Re: how to render with transparent background
                    Brian Hillner

                    Hi Shay,

                     

                    Two tips I can help you with:

                     

                    1. To easily move object, models, groups, parts, etc...all you have to do is make sure you have the desired selection mode enabled and then simply select Move.

                     

                    2. To orient the camera to snap to different planes of view, simply open the Camera Panel...

                     

                    ..and then click on the desired location:

                      • Re: how to render with transparent background
                        shay cohen

                        Brian,

                         

                        thanks for the detailed respond , but maybe i wasn't clear enough , see the attached snapshots :

                         

                        1. my render should look like this ( made with PV360 easily ) see the shadows on the " wall".

                        LFR-150-180-1.jpg

                           2. this is the best i managed to manipulate in Visulize when rotating the model to sit on the floor and try rotating the camera

                         

                        LFR 150-180-2 2.png

                        which handle i try to slide just rotate the view around its axle ( see the arrows direction )

                        Visualize-1.jpg

                        PV 360 scene panel , just choose which orientation to align the floor to , the model stay as is ( when in camera view) and just the scene align to model.

                        PV360-floor-align.jpg

                      • Re: how to render with transparent background
                        Alan Sweetenham

                        Hi Shay

                         

                        Also do you have keep above floor floor checked under the camera also? If you untick this and also turn off the ground shadow under Scenes it behaves more like SOLIDWORKS.

                         

                        keep above floor.png

                         

                        floor shadow.png

                         

                        Cheers

                         

                        Alan

                          • Re: how to render with transparent background
                            shay cohen

                            Alan,

                            I did check the above floor , and i do need the shadows but i need it on the wall not on the floor , but by placing the model on the floor like it was the wall and try to rotate the camera to get a natural view it restrict the turn ability .

                            it is very frustrating that you do not have any visual indication on where are you / camera in the space .

                              • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                Craig Schultz

                                Could you create a plane for the wall and then move the sign as needed?

                                  • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                    Brian Hillner

                                    This is what i was going to suggest as well.

                                     

                                    Also, we do have a XYZ origin at the center of the world. Your object might be too big/small, which is why you are getting "lost" in the scene.

                                     

                                    Before you add a plane, select the top level model in the Model tree and click this button to center your model in the Visualize environment:

                                     

                                    Make sure your World axis is turned on in the Tools > Options menu:

                                      • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                        shay cohen

                                        Brian ,

                                         

                                        I highly appreciate your quick and professional replies , however I have the filling that you do not have much experience with PV360 because although the Visualize sure deliver much better quality renders, the way getting there is way long than when using PV360.

                                         

                                        i believe that if SW decided to bring in Visulize as a native Solidworks product it should made it more easy to use/ migrate from PV360 for solidworks users ,I do understand that there is a learning curve but I am afraid the curve is too steep and some users may be lost in the way , after all  we have a business to run and time is one of the most expensive resources we use .

                                        i would suggest getting 101 with an experienced PV360 user learn how he is use to work and what are the difficulties he run into with Visualize and improve from there.

                                        the differences between the 2 platforms remind me when i moved from AutoCad to solidworks 8 years ago , it is a different way of thinking and i am not sure i have the time or the willing to go through this again .

                                         

                                        i am sure hope you will take this into consideration with next updates .

                                         

                                        thank you again

                                          • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                            Brian Hillner

                                            Hi Shay, thank you for this feedback.

                                             

                                            I would like to speak with you more, to discover any other workflow/features issues withing in Visualize, where PV360 has a better user experience.

                                             

                                            If you would be willing, please send me a separate message with your email address and we can connect more in the future.

                                             

                                            Thank you,

                                            Brian

                                            • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                              Craig Schultz

                                              Shay,

                                               

                                              This is what I got in a real quick create plane and box.  Light grey is the floor of the scene.  It was pretty easy.

                                              dfblksndg.png

                                               

                                              One last thing to maybe try.  Create an assembly of a studio/hallway.  Import the model in to Visualize with "automatic" grouping so that it updates.  Set the materials to what looks good for the studio.  Then you can put the signs into the SW assemblies, and update the Visualize file.  Attach the materials you need to the sign....render.  Just some random thoughts.  I'm still trying to get adjusted to the workflow and how to manipulate the models in SV.

                                               

                                              Brian another thing that would be helpful is having all of the button mapping for SV match up with how they're used in SW.  Zoom, pan, rotate.....

                                • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                  David McNeill

                                  Was this matter ever resolved?  I need to do something similar.  I am using a 'plate' as the background for my image.  My object sits on the floor but it must also sit against a wall as this is what is shown in the 'plate'.  My object needs to cast a shadow on the wall shown in the plate.  I therefore need a (transparent) wall in my 3D scene onto which the shadow will be thrown.  If I make use of the alpha channel, for instance, I need the shadow to register, but not the wall.

                                   

                                  The wall finish is not plain, so I can't really substitute a 3D wall in the scene for the one in the 'plate'.

                                   

                                  Is there a way of making the wall transparent whilst still capturing the shadow?

                                    • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                      shay cohen

                                      Hi David,

                                      After spending a significant amount of money to upgrade my hardware to be able to work good with Visualize ,I can tell you that I am realy quite disappointed with the software,  I found the PV360 much easier to use, much faster to handle, no need to think too much before every elementary move especially with decals and camera positioning.

                                       

                                      For now I left it and got back to PV360.

                                       

                                      And for your question,  no I didn't find any logical solution. Too complicated.

                                    • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                      Ron Bates

                                      The point of how to precisely solve this may be lost on Shay at this point, from the sounds of it...

                                       

                                      But I figured a solution was worthwhile.  See the attached video for how to use the camera's TWIST control to achieve this. (Hopefully video attaches and plays OK?)

                                       

                                      Rendered result:

                                      Beats2 4.png

                                        • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                          David McNeill

                                          Hi Ron

                                           

                                          Yes, I do feel you have given Shay a means of achieving the result he was after but it is a work-around rather than a feature that allows him to do what he was originally attempting to do.  It doesn't solve my problem either!  Like Shay, I need a wall to throw a shadow onto, but I also need a floor.

                                           

                                          Perhaps I have missed a feature or perhaps there is something you can do with one of the 'appearances' to make a wall or object accept shadows and/or reflections but also allow the HDR environment and/or backdrop 'plates' to be seen through it?

                                           

                                          This is why I need an 'invisible' wall.  I am using a 'plate' (inserted stock image) as the backdrop against which the object is placed.  My object is placed on the floor next to a wall.  It must throw a shadow onto the floor and onto the wall.  The wall and floor are patterned.

                                           

                                          My camera is carefully aligned to mimic the camera position originally used to take the stock image (plate) so the object now sits correctly in the stock image scene.  I carefully choose a HDR environment that matches the lighting in the stock image so the light falling on the object is now reasonably authentic.  The object casts a shadow on the floor.  The environment floor is essentially invisible as the stock image 'plate' shows through it (in the same way the HDR image does) so now it looks as if the shadow is being cast on the floor shown on the stock image 'plate'.  However, the stock image 'plate' also shows a wall so my object should also cast a shadow against this too.  I therefore need an invisible wall exactly like the invisible floor to throw the shadow against.  If I put a modelled wall into the scene to cast the shadow against it obscures the stock image 'plate', which is no good.

                                           

                                          Shay was after the same thing, an invisible wall that acts in the same way as the 'invisible' floor of the environment.

                                           

                                          There are workarounds;

                                           

                                          In Photoshop I can copy the decorated wall in the stock image used for the 'plate', correct any perspective distortions, then apply it as a transfer to a modelled wall in the scene.

                                           

                                          I can also render the scene with a modelled wall in place then composite it in Photoshop with the stock image on the bottom layer.  I cut-away the rendered plain-wall with it's shadow, revealing the original wall in the stock image.  I create a new layer then paste the rendered wall 'in place'.  As the rendered wall is now on it's own layer I can dramatically darken the shadow but significantly lower the layer transparency so the original stock image wall shows through.  Get the layer transparency right and the rendered wall all but disappears but the darkened shadow still shows up.

                                           

                                          It's a lot of work to get around the lack of an 'invisible' wall.  Can anyone suggest a better way or a feature I have missed?

                                            • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                              Ron Bates

                                              Absolutely.  I agree that what I showed is a "workaround" at best.  It's still the floor object that you've merely aligned the camera to an a suitable way.  The lighting will never be correct b/c it will always be "top-down" (for lack of a better term).  But since folks were discussing camera alignment issues, I thought the video would be helpful.

                                               

                                              The bottom line is that PV360 allows you to switch shadow floor object to be on any arbitrary planar surface.  This simply isn't possible in Visualize at the moment.

                                               

                                              I thought that iRay (the Visualize render engine) supported a general "shadow catcher" material.  These could then be applied to any geometry to allow said geometry to be seen through, and simply catch shadows.  There was such a material back in the PhotoWorks days which used the Mental Ray engine and it was quite handy.    I'm not sure if such a material could be supported in Visualize ....or if perhaps it already is and there's just a lack of an appropriate preset.  Perhaps the team can discuss with iRay development about this...

                                               

                                              If I were to do this in post, in PhotoShop, I'd simply render it without any shadow or wall at all...and then add the shadow as it's own layer in PhotoShop as well.  There are gobs of tutorials/instructions on how to go about adding "drop shadows" in PhotoShop.

                                              • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                                Barry Shapiro

                                                David,
                                                Almost all images require some Photoshop work to get exactly what you want.

                                                 

                                                Here is what to do to get a good shadow and have it look natural against a backing plat. or image with a floor and wall.

                                                You can render the object with the floor and a wall plane. Just make the floor and wall white. They don't need to be transparent even though that would be slightly easier.

                                                Next hide the wall and floor and render the object with an alpha channel.

                                                In Photoshop, place the object with the alpha channel on the top layer. Place the object with the shadows and wall and floor under that layer. On the bottom layer place the backing plate.

                                                ----> set the middle shadow layer to "Multiply". The shadow layer well only make the shadow areas darker.

                                                The only issue with this method is that if you have reflected light being cast on a floor or wall you well not get those but there are other ways to get them also if needed.

                                                 

                                                  • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                                    David McNeill

                                                    Dear Barry

                                                     

                                                    As you probably saw in my post on the 20 July I do use Photoshop with a 'shadow layer' as a workaround to this issue.  However I haven't previously tried using 'multiply' on my shadow layer.  I have just given it a go now and it does seem to work better than the way I was doing it.  Thanks for the suggestion, very much appreciated.

                                                      • Re: how to render with transparent background
                                                        Barry Shapiro

                                                        I forgot to also mention that you can set the layer to "darken" (just above multiply). Every image is slightly different and responds better in some circumstances to different layer modes.

                                                         

                                                        I think the thing to keep in mind is that most highly polished renderings are not straight out of the rendering program. Almost all of our images we use for carton art are retouched in Photoshop.

                                                         

                                                        The same principle works where there is reflected light or something illuminating the wall or floor. You render with a black background or wall and place that layer above the shadow layer and set the layer to "lighten" or "lighter color". Again, every image is a little different so one setting might work better than another. As far as I know, while there are shadow catcher materials available in some render engines, I don't know of any for highlights.