70 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2018 1:50 PM by Chris Cunningham

    Visualize Monthly Contest

    Chris Cunningham

      Seems like we some interest in creating a monthly contest. This would be a good thread to flesh out some details.

        • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
          Chris Cunningham

          I would love to have a base model given each month to render from. Each month could have a theme. It would be nice to have a little prize every once in awhile. Maybe we could get some business to buy into it.

          • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
            Brian Hillner

            I think this new thread/contest is a beautiful idea    I'll see what resources/prizes SW can put towards it. Until then, let's use this Visualize forum thread to post the models and subsequent rendered images. Then share tips/tricks used to sharpen each other's skillset. I'm eager to learn from you all as well!

             

            Rob Rodríguez any models you have in your bank to kick off with?

             

            Notifying others who expressed interest in this monthly contest or recently posted in the main thread: Chris Mowatt, Scott Ellery, Jeremy Grigsby, Mark Jackson, Rich Fagioli, Richie More, Alexander Smith, Kevin Pymm, Kevin Schlaepfer, BARIŞ KILINÇ, Michael Dirisio

            • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
              Jeremy Grigsby

              Let's come up with some loose guidelines. I think maybe we should be able to modify the model supplied. Maybe the person that uploads the model can provide the guidelines to make it interesting. I'm glad I had this thought today. I think it's going to be fun.

              • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                Dave Goetsch

                I think this is a wonderful idea. I know there are very talented people on this site and I would love to see some of their work so I can pick up some tips from the pro's.

                • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                  Michael Lord

                  Nice to see a monthly SOLIDWORKS Render Contest back up and running again.

                  Thanks Chris Cunningham

                  • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                    Richie More

                    I'm in. Please provide details of how we proceed. Dates and obviously the data...

                    • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                      Alexander Smith

                      Hi Everyone.

                       

                      Apologies for not pitching in sooner. I think this is a fantastic idea and I would love to engage with the process myself. My only thoughts on this at the moment are that perhaps we should offer a decent length of time such as a month per project. This is essentially going to be extra-curricular, so people are going to need time to dedicate to it.

                       

                      Secondly as far as the starting models are concerned. I wonder if we might run into trouble, given that there may be some of us who aren't using the most current version of SW or some who aren't SW users at all for their modelling. Additionally, as another member quite rightly said on this subject some weeks ago, the quality of your renders is very much also driven by the quality of your modelling, SW or other platform.

                       

                      So perhaps what might be a good idea is to issue a brief and a submission date and let us all model how we want to model as well as render how we want to render.

                       

                      As we know, SW and SWV are an integrated platform and as far as I'm concerned (though it sounds contradictory to my earlier assertions about others who model in other platforms) one of the biggest selling points into the SW/SWV community is that link between the two.

                       

                      Finally a bit of 'proper incentivisation is never a bad thing in my opinion, perhaps not as a prize for each submission but at the end of a year or every 6 months.... That might drive repeat submissions and greater engagement.

                       

                      Hope you are all enjoying your weekends.

                      • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                        Rob Rodríguez

                        THE MODEL:

                        Searching through my files of possible models to use for the contest I came up with 4 options based on this criteria

                        • Interesting product
                        • Model has adequate detail
                        • Would require a variety of material types / decals

                        I have chosen one of the 4 models for the 1st contest and have 3 others we can use for future contests.

                        Miter Saw.JPG

                         

                        This model was provided to me by SolidWorks corporate and I believe it was modeled by Mark Schneider (of model mania fame).  It's been used in many a demo and we also used the model in the PhotoWorks / PhotoView 360 Rendering Guides when they were available.  The model was included with the guides when you purchased them so its been publicly available for about 10 yrs.  This model has good detail and is very representative of a great CAD model.

                         

                        You can download the SVPJ file for the Miter Saw here (35mb download)  Dropbox - Miter Saw_render contest.svpj

                        I was asked to place this disclaimer with the model:

                        By participating in this customer-ran Visualize render contest, you agree to the following terms:

                        1.       Datasets uploaded for this render contest are to be used within Visualize ONLY and no other program. You are not permitted to export these datasets from Visualize to be used in another program.
                        2.       The assets (images, videos, 360s, etc) you create with these datasets in Visualize can only be used in this render contest and cannot be used for any other usage nor purpose, for professional nor personal gain.
                        3.       These datasets are NOT to be shared outside of this customer-ran Visualize render contest. You do not have rights to re-distribute.
                        4.     If any of these terms are broken, we will have no other choice than to call Liam Neeson’s character Bryan Mills to do what he does best.

                         

                        THE RULES:

                        Based on the feedback given by others in this thread here are the rules:

                        • Small model modifications will be allowed to achieve a more realistic rendering.  Please keep model edits to a minimum.

                        • You are free to add anything else to the scene as long as the model provided is the main focus of the rendering.

                        • Any combination of  materials / decals and Visualize settings can be used to achieve your rendering.

                        • The use of 3rd party photo editing software is permitted to post process your rendering.

                        • Photo editing software can be used to create decals and materials.

                        • The use of 3rd party Visualize Plug-ins (ex. HDR light Studio) is permitted
                        • Each contestant will be permitted to submit two entries per contest.  The entries must use the same Visualize material settings and must be different views (ex front view & back view)

                        • Each entry should be 2400 x 1800 pixels (8" x 6" @ 300dpi print quality)

                        • Please list all software used to create the entry images when submitting your entries
                        • Please note your hardware and render time when submitting your entries.

                         

                        To give everyone time lets make the entry submission date by Friday May, 18th at 12am Eastern Standard Time.  Entries can be submitted in posts to this thread.

                         

                        Good luck and happy rendering!

                          • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                            Mark Jackson

                            I'm with Alexander on the working time being longer than a week. My opinion is that two weeks minimum, but a month would be better. I have a heavy work load and would be working on this during free evenings. I want to do this as it sounds like a lot of fun for a guy like me (yes I'm a nerd and weird in other ways too). I looked at my work load and realized a one week time frame would tough after all. I work late many days and would not have time if we had only one week to work on it most workweeks. I don't want to submit a weak entry if one week to work on it.

                            • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                              Chris Cunningham

                              I like these rules. However I think if we ban post image editing then we should consider banning pre-production modeling and tweaking of the original model. It should be either exclusively Visualize or Visualize + additional software. If we go exclusively Visualize then we can add in effects and other models but not alter the original model. If we go the path of Visualize + additional software then we can edit original model plus post production. Some people have skills at modeling and others have skills at post production.

                               

                              Agree on a monthly contest. We as a community can vote by each person casting 2 likes across all submissions. That way everyone who would like to participate is able to.

                              • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                Rich Fagioli

                                We already have a Topic that showcases cool renders.

                                 

                                If the monthly contest is to be something that we can all learn from, every entry should come with a summarized workflow. No doubt some of us will want to reproduce some of what gets submitted, and nothing's worse that not knowing that you don't have the same tools.

                                 

                                Posting your hardware and render time would be incredibly useful too.

                                • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                  Brian Hillner

                                  THANKS Rob! Can't wait to see everyone's creations using the same dataset. I'm looking forward to picking up some new tips/tricks myself! Off to the races y'all!

                                  • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                    Andreas Olofsson

                                    Great choice of model, Rob! A joy to work with

                                     

                                    That being said, I noticed the disclaimer just now:

                                    "The assets (images, videos, 360s, etc) you create with these datasets in Visualize can only be used in this render contest and cannot be used for any other usage nor purpose, for professional nor personal gain".

                                     

                                     

                                    What a bummer... The potential of adding this to my portfolio was the main motivator for spending precious spare time on this project... Killed my enthusiasm a great deal.

                                    Hopefully we can get models for future contests that we are allowed to showcase in our own reels / portfolios.

                                      • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                        Rob Rodríguez

                                        Hi Andreas,

                                         

                                        I didn't make the disclaimer rules.  I'm just the messenger

                                         

                                        Not sure who is providing the model for the next contest but if its me I'll try and find one where the disclaimer rules won't apply.

                                          • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                            Andreas Olofsson

                                            Sorry Rob, didn't mean to give the impression of pointing the finger. I know you didn't make the disclaimer rules And I bet it's not easy finding such a well-made model and getting permission to use renders of it for personal use.

                                             

                                            Just wanted to raise a point. Potential portfolio material is a great carrot on a stick, and without that to motivate users to spend time on their contributions I think future participation will gradually decrease.

                                            But I'm just speculating.

                                             

                                            Anyway, looking forward to see the contributions for this one

                                            Good luck, everyone!

                                              • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                Rob Rodríguez

                                                No need to be sorry.  I didn't feel like any fingers were pointing at me

                                                 

                                                Just wanted to raise a point. Potential portfolio material is a great carrot on a stick, and without that to motivate users to spend time on their contributions I think future participation will gradually decrease.

                                                 

                                                I completely agree with what you said.

                                                  • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                    Mark Jackson

                                                    I thought I would jump in here with my opinion and motivation to participate. If we can't use our renders in our personal or business portfolios, I won't participate in the future. I'm in the process of building a portfolio for my new business and would work on that instead of the contest if I can't use my renders for my showcase.

                                                     

                                                    I'm going to participate this time though since I was one of the people that wanted this and committed to it. I'm more than willing to try to acquire some models that we could use in the contest that would allow all of us to showcase in our personal or company portfolios. I don't know exactly how to go about doing it today, but I'm sure I could figure something out.

                                                  • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                    Brian Hillner

                                                    Hi Andreas - we had to use those disclaimers for this specific Miter Saw model, due to the nature of where we sourced this model (internally within SW). For future models, hopefully we can find ones that don't need any disclaimers, like if one of us were to share our own personal model and allow usage in our personal portfolios. I also agree the opportunity to use Visualize content generated from this monthly contest is perfect for portfolios.

                                                     

                                                    Sourcing the model each month will be the hardest part, so if anyone out there has models they was to contribute to this contest, please let us know! Thanks!

                                            • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                              Peter Hildebrandt

                                              Good idea.Love to see the different solutions and renders.

                                              • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                Andreas Olofsson

                                                Just making sure; are we posting our renders in this thread or will there be a dedicated thread for entries?

                                                  • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                    Jeremy Grigsby

                                                    I'm not in charge of anything, but I think maybe on the final date of the contest, a thread should be created with "Visualize Monthly Contest Entry xx/xx/xxx " and can be created by the person that uploaded the model and rules. I think maybe we could post ideas here for help if needed, but then just put the final submissions with the log of edits, additions, post-processing, special techniques in the Entry thread. We could respond with specific replies to each submission with questions/answers, but I think it would be nice to not flood the whole Entry thread with back and forth, and just dedicate it to the images. Ideas?

                                                  • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                    Jeremy Grigsby

                                                    Are there any tutorial on how to move things? I want to rotate the blade cover about its axis and all other moving parts but don't know how. I model and position in solidworks and never really do much transformation in visualize, so i don't know what I am doing. I looked through the tutorials available through help/visualize tutorials, but I didn't see one dealing with manipulation of objects in the transformation/rotation sense.

                                                      • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                        Chris Mowatt

                                                        Hello Jeremy Grigsby, I inspected the Visualize model last night and found that their are existing "Groups" that can easily be moved to relocate the saw components. The default pivot locations in the groups are exactly where you need them too. Here is a link to a video from my OneDrive that I just created showing the process for moving the components. I was going to keep this to myself until after the deadline, but hey, we are in this to learn!

                                                         

                                                        Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.

                                                         

                                                        Everyone is welcome to view/download the video. It does not have audio, but shows the EXACT process for moving components. The last component I move is the linkage, which is the only component that needs to be oved independently.

                                                         

                                                        Please let me know if the OneDrive link doesn't work.

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        -Chris

                                                          • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                            Jeremy Grigsby

                                                            Thank you very much. I managed to figure out the components were group. Seeing the video I was able to see my problem. I was trying to use the pivot gnomon instead of dragging the arcs on the transform icon. Now it works great. I know it was very basic, but thanks for taking the time because it helped.

                                                        • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                          Chris Cunningham

                                                          I agree. A new forum thread per contest would be perfect. Also it would be nice to use models that can be used in portfolios.

                                                          • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                            Jeremy Grigsby

                                                            Seems to be a lot of discussion about the ability to use this model in portfolios. If we come up with other models for future contests, what is the expectation of a "good" model for the contest? I like modeling, but I don't know what is a good model to render? I thought anything that can be rendered to try to create a realistic rendering was what was desired. Any ideas on what kind of model, or characteristics that would provide a fun contest. I have lots of ideas for the miter saw, just have to see if my abilities allow me to create my vision, or if it will just stay locked in my head forever.,

                                                              • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                                Alexander Smith

                                                                Would a download from Grabcad be a good idea? Aren't they royalty free etc? I mean, I know they aren't all fantastic quality but there is a lot of great stuff there too no?

                                                                  • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                                    Benoit GALLICE

                                                                    I'm totally agree with your proposal!

                                                                    It would be the best way to reach some contents without problem of rights.

                                                                      • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                                        Rob Rodríguez

                                                                        When I did the PhotoWorks contest years ago I pulled models from 3 places.

                                                                        • 3d Content Central
                                                                        • GrabCAD
                                                                        • Personal submissions

                                                                        The quality of the models varies from all of these places.  I used to try and find "decent" quality models for the contest.  This strategy can be used again for the Visualize contest.  For the first model I wanted to provide something I knew was good quality and relatively easy to work with.  That said, having worked in CAD, rendering and animation for the better part of 15 years I can definitely say I receive many customers models that are of less than stellar quality for rendering and animation projects.  That's just the way it is in the real world.  Part of my job is to make these so-so models look great and really that's a large part of rendering and animation in the CAD world is all about in my opinion.

                                                                         

                                                                        So, I don't think using lesser quality models is an issue. It just makes the render work more challenging.  It's more like the "real-life" process than working on perfect models all the time.

                                                                          • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                                            Mark Jackson

                                                                            I just did a quick look on Turbo Squid. They have some very cool free models with royalty free licenses we could use. The caveat is that to use them you have to sign up for a free account. I particularly like a retro TV, old funky building, and a space station for example.

                                                                            • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                                              Chris Mowatt

                                                                              Rob Rodríguez, I totally agree with your comments on "real-world" models often being delivered with less than ideal quality for immediate rendering, especially if they are actively in the design phase. Not to say that the modeling is poor, but often the client took short cuts with their modeling for the sake of efficiency. I'm sure you're aware of what I'm about to say, but others may benefit so I'll add it here.

                                                                               

                                                                              The most frequent adjustment that I'll make to lesser quality models, other than verifying the geometry is sufficiently detailed, is adding small fillets to all of the hard edges of the geometry, since nothing in the real world is perfectly sharp. I feel that hard edges in a rendering stick out like a sore thumb and greatly reduce the photorealism.

                                                                               

                                                                              I'm only going into detail here because the models we are provided for this contest via a .svpj would already need to have those fillets applied to the hard edges of the geometry within the original CAD model. You can imitate fillets in Visualize by increasing the Corner Radius settings for the individual parts, however the Corner Radius effect does not work if the appearance of the part has a bump map texture applied.

                                                                               

                                                                              Hope this at least helps someone out there!

                                                                      • Re: Visualize Monthly Contest
                                                                        Jeremy Grigsby

                                                                        I have a model that I would be willing to share, but I don't know if it is complicated enough to make a good contest. It is a combat robot I designed and modeled for a battlebot competition when I first got solidworks. 2014 robobot.jpg