Hey guys I have been doing some research on behalf of our design department, I'm the IT guy, looking for a rendering program to compliment solidworks. I was hoping to find some advise, maybe personal experiences with these programs or others from people that have used them in conjunction with solidworks. PV 360 does a pretty good job for us but they, the design department, are hoping for a few more features.
What we use the rendering for: Product development. To show off our ideas to potential buyers without producing prototypes. To put on product packaging (it saves us time to not wait for a finished product to photograph, to start making packaging).
The main complaint of PV360 is not having the ability to save custom materials. It would save them alot of time to not need to edit settings every time they do a render. A feature that would be nice but is not a deal breaker would be some sort of distributed computing. I have spare servers doing nothing that I would gladly put to use to help get a project done. Compatibility with solidworks is a must, we are on 2009 right now and will be upgrading to 2010 within a month or so. Last it has to have an easy learning curve, as none of our designers have much of any experience with rendering programs.
What do you guys say?