Welcome to the Visualize Community! Smart move to purchase Visualize Pro - it's packed with tons of powerful features...and the 'Sun Study' environment is just one of them.
Here's a video I posted to youtube a while back. It's an animation of a Sun Study for an interior design concept of a modern home:
So if you want your model to seem like it's in a garden environment, then you'll have to build or buy 3d models to populate your scene, so the Sun Study can affect those objects with light direction and shadow as well. Here's a site I use to purchase 3d models. If you look through the Visualize forum, you might be able to find other examples of websites to buy 'props' to compose your outdoor garden scene.
GrabCAD - CAD library (free models)
Any lighting in Visualize won't affect the Backplate, since that's just a background to help place your model into a 'scene.' Here's an example I did a while back where I found a car on a racetrack in a google image search, added it as a Backplate in Visualize, and just plopped this Corvette right over it. Then I used one of the environments that come shipped with Visualize to light my car. I rotated the environment to 'sort of' match the existing lighting in the Backplate. The environment was Docklands Bridge, I think. Definitely not a racetrack at all, but no one will ever know. I didn't even have to do anything in Photoshop - it's straight from Visualize.
Product Manager | SOLIDWORKS Visualize
Brian Hillner wrote:
Definitely not a racetrack at all, but no one will ever know.
Thanks for your reply Brian.
I understand what I need to do, so my next question to you or anyone else, I need a grass or lawn model and I see on Turbosquid that there is a model in .obj format for $25. Does Visualize read .obj files well (especially files with presumably thousands and thousands of facets like a lawn)?
Anyone done anything similar?
When thousands and thousands of polygons are at play, then it's all about the size of your graphics card's VRAM (memory).
Check out my responses in this other Visualize forum thread that will help answer your question:
Also, if you're not doing close-ups of the grass or low camera angle where it shows the grass blade height, then you might be able to get away with texture maps and not need a proper grass model at all. You would just apply the grass texture onto a simple plane in Visualize. Check out this site for hundreds of thousands of free textures - many of them outdoor textures:
You can then create a matching bump map from the color map grass image you find online, using NVIDIA's free plug-in for Photoshop, or another free tool called CrazyBump:
For a crash course in texture maps for Visualize, check out this tutorial on MySolidWorks. There are 17 tutorials available to watch to master Visualize in no time:
Thanks to everyone for your replies. I downloaded all the props I needed from Turbosquid very cheaply in the end. I have made the scene I wanted and learned a lot along the way! I have some new things I would like to ask however......
Firstly, after adding my house and lawn models the light in the environment seems to have been reduced. I suppose this makes some sense but I can't seem to get the light right now. Increasing the environment brightness just makes the colours washed out and rotating the environment round and playing with the sunlight settings doesn't help much either. Any tips for this?
Secondly, I can't find any built in materials for typical garden and house things like, flagstones, bricks, patio floors, decking etc. I am just not looking in the right places? I would have thought that these would be commonly used scene materials.
Thanks in advance for your advice.