Marlon Banta

What's New for PhotoView 360 in SolidWorks 2012

Discussion created by Marlon Banta Employee on Nov 2, 2011

I originally posted this information for participants in the SolidWorks 2012 Beta program. I was reminded by Michael Lord's blog post entitled "SolidWorks 2012 - A Hidden Gem (Stone) #SolidWorks #PhotoView 360" that I should post this again now that SolidWorks 2012 has been shipped...


Looking at the official what’s new document for SolidWorks 2012 there are no enhancements listed for PhotoView 360.  Rest assured that this does not paint an accurate picture of our efforts with PhotoView 360 over the last year.


PhotoView 360 for SolidWorks 2011 was a very unique release as it represented a dramatic change to our photorealistic rendering offerings inside SolidWorks. With this in mind we were able to deviate significantly from our traditional development process and implement new functionality in the SolidWorks 2011 service packs. Normally we would have to wait for the next major release (in this case SolidWorks 2012) to bring new functionality to our users.


Along with addressing quality issues (which is the traditional purpose of a service pack) the following functional enhancements were released in SolidWorks 2011 service packs:



  • Direct Caustics were added in SP1 of SolidWorks 2011. Also, along with many performance and appearance quality improvements, the integrated preview was updated to allow users to lock it to a specified pane in a split window in SP1 of SolidWorks 2011.  For details, see my post for SP1:



  • “Render Under Mouse” to allow the user to indicate a region of the preview that will be refined first by hovering the mouse over the desired area. See Ron Bates’s SP4 posting:


Note the following enhancements are available in SP0 of SolidWorks 2012:


  1. In SolidWorks 2012 Beta 2, look for new appearances such as:
    1. New glass appearances:
    2. Thick, Frosted…
    3. Solid color appearances
    4. Gemstones
  2. New scene background controls that allow you to maintain the aspect ratio of a background image.


Hopefully this gives you better picture of what is new in PhotoView 360 since SolidWorks 2011 was released. Remember, adding new functionality to a service pack (which is traditionally meant to only address quality issues) is rare for us at SolidWorks but we found it necessary to meet the needs of PhotoView 360 users.


Again, thank you for your participation in the SolidWorks 2012 beta program.

Marlon Banta

Product Definition