Kevin Quigley

More thoughts...

Discussion created by Kevin Quigley on Jul 14, 2008
I'm still working on the second alpha build (the latest is downloading now along with beta 2 SW), but today I took the risk of doing a real job on a deadline using PhotoView to directly compare against Hypershot in terms of workflow.

Today's job was to design an electronics enclosure system for 4 different systems, with 3 variants of each (so 12 options). The enclosures were plastic, with standard switches, some custom switches and displays, along with LEDs.

Overall impression - compared to Hypershot Photoview is far better for this kind of work because of the link into SolidWorks down to the face level. In Hypershot you need to paint up the model before hand. The PhotoView interface is also better I think for this kind of work, and the materials for plastics are far more comprehensive.

General production level view handling is better in Hypershot, but PhotoView offers the 80/20 solution in that it is fine for 80% of the work (which this was).

Render quality was good, renderspeed, faster than Hypershot (but I was restricting the render quality to the lowest and the second lowest - go higher than this and Hypershot wins).

The quality of the render was on a par with Hypershot, arguably better as the lighting solutions were more suitable (Hypershot's studios can be a bit overpowering somtimes and you need to tweak brightness a lot). I would have liked to tweak the gamma in PhotoView but it wasn't working. As all the visual were posted in Photoshop anyway to boost the colours and contrast this is not really a big issue for most pros - you get the know when Photoshop will be a better option than endless tweaking at render stage.

Alpha channels - I like it that all renders have this ON (Hypershot you need to turn it on - and I always forget). What I don't like though is that the ground plane is made part of the Alpha - so for low shots you see the horizon line and plane in the Alpha - I think you should only see the shadows on the ground plane.

Also I would like to see a way to turn off the ground plane and shadows on the ground plane.

Backgrounds - well Hypershot wins hands down here. Having done this today we need to get this resolved before release.

LEDs and light materials in PhotoView are excellent - Hypershot's solution to this is tricky to say the least - this alone saved me 30-40 mins today.

Texture handling. Again non existent in PV, and possible in Hypershot. I sometimes map the LCD display to the face in the render but today this wasn;t an option anyway so it was Photoshoped in. To be honest I prefer to PS these details in anyway as I can change them if needed, or simply swap display text messages out to show a sequence of use for the product without having to re-render each stage.

Stability, no problem apart from one file that crashed PV every time it tried to open. Rather than ignore this today or mail off to support I decided to work through it.

What I normally do in these situations is check the file in SW for errors - none in this one, and the tree was OK as well. Next I export the assembly to Parasolid STEP and IGES and re-import then try again from those files.

Parasolid version still crashed PV.
STEP crashed PV.
IGES worked.
I'll let the engineers figure that one out.

Incidentally the same files that crashed in PV worked fine in Hypershot.

So end of the day, 24 4MB renders complete, photoshop tweaked, added to a presentation and pdf'd off......only to spend 1 hr troubleshooting the pdf that is corrupt on the customers machine!

(Not PV related but I have had a few errors recently with pdfs from SolidWorks produced from drawing sheets (usually shaded sheets) via the File.Save as pdf command. The errors are picked up in Acrobat Reader as error of Form, Type 3 font or pattern. I don lt use Type 3 fonts, the page has no form so does SolidWorks add some form of patterning in shaded drawing views?)