I'm having trouble making aluminum look realistic in PV360.
The material icon looks great - I want my part to look just like that.
Does anyone know how to achieve this?
Check your mapping and scale for the texture.
Thanks Rob. I tried the various mapping styles, various sizes, still couldn't get it close. Will keep trying.
Another question regarding the darkness of the material.
How can I make the material look lighter, without changing the lighting in the scene?
I don't want to affect the lighting of all the other parts and materials, only make the aluminum appear lighter.
And its colour value is already at pure white (RGB 255, 255, 255)
Increasing the reflectivity setting will lighten up the material (it will reflect more light). You could also try increasing the reflection value on the advanced tab of the scene editor.
Thanks for your replies. I tried mapping various different ways. Even tried it on a separate part - on the flat face of an extrusion. They both have the correct grain in RealView, but in PhotoView it looks completely flat with no grain. It just looks grey.
I also tried reflectivity. Increasing reflectivity made it more mirror-like, but still just as dark.
I have run into this exact issue a few times. One thing that helped me was to slightly increase the Luminous intensity in the appearance setting. If you go too far it will look unnatural.
Thanks Keith. I did try that too. But then I lose the shadows, since it's now a light source. And color looks unnatural, but still not light enough silver.
couple of problems...the brushed look from the 'material ball' was most likely built in modo. As you know there are many more controls there. Most metals all benefit from a property called "anisotropy". That is the nice spread of lighting and will usually bring up the lightness of a surface very nicely. No controls in Solidworks for that (that I am aware of).
Having said all of that - you can try to 'fake it' by cranking up the 'blurriness' factor on the material property. The blurriness will 'spread out' the reflection. This could help some. Obviously crank up the specular amount as well.
Also it looks like your bump map may be applied improperly. Instead of long streaks, it looks like the 'automatic' projection is not working. Under the 'mapping' tab maybe change the mapping to 'projection' and change the plane where it will kinda extrude the image map to 'stretch' those pot marks into 'streaks'
Lastly - the brightness of the reflection could benefit from strategically placing a lighted panel in the scene to reflect the specific aluminum panel you are trying to brighten. In reality, in product photography, this is done ALL the time to help augment the image. If you are out of controls in the SolidWorks interface, this may be a good option.
The brushed aluminum material (assuming you are using a newer version of SW...SW 2013 and newer I believe) has anisotropy built into the material. You can't control it manually but it is controlled behind the scenes automatically.
You might try adding a small value in the "bump strength" box so the brushed texture shows more.
I'd try surface mapping first but projection mapping will work as well.
Paul's light trick would help as well if it's needed after trying the other things.
Hi Paul, thanks for your reply.
I checked the bump map mapping in RealView (is that a proper way?) and it seems correct. It's straight lines, not circular swirling patterns or pot marks at all. Still doesn't show up in the render.
So those textures we see on the texture ball might not be fully achievable in SolidWorks, because SWX doesn't have the same controls as modo? That's kind of frustrating. I sort of expected to be able to just apply the material and at least have it render close to that.
I will try creating the light that you described. But even shining a Spot Light on it from about 2 feet away, at full intensity, did not lighten it up. (The light was definitely turned on in PV360).
In the end, marketing had to lighten it up in Photoshop.
There are several things that go into mapping...the different types of projections etc all have their advantages and disadvantages. Those texture balls have been applied in a fashion that shows up on them the best AND at the correct scale. In Solidworks we do have many of the controls that are required to get it done. It really is a matter of trial and error. I would suspect the "realview" map does not match the actual map. I am looking at your rendering and I am seeing the 'pot mark' look from there. That is what lead me to believe it may not be mapped correctly. But to be honest, there may be some other 'noise' mapping the background that is hidden from the UI.
As far as a 'spot light' not working. That doesn't surprise me. In computer graphics there are a couple of different lighting techniques. Indirect lighting and direct lighting. The 'direct' lighting are the typical 'CG' lights such as spots, area etc. These lights don't show up in reflections. However, if you use 'lighted panels' - or a panel with a 'luminous' material applied to it, they do show up. Either way - it's pretty confusing.
I wish - like you said - we could just have the system apply it just like we see it in the 'material ball' image. Maybe some day we'll get there. Until then, you did exactly what you were supposed to...Trial and Error... I live in mostly "Error" - LOL.
Marketing to the Rescue. That's a tough one for us engineers to take. LOL
If I get a chance, I'll try to do an example of what I said to demonstrate the differences.
I presented some PhotoView tips and tricks at SOLIDWORKS World this year, which included a short section on brushed metals.
Take a look at the link below, either search by presenter name or for presentation titles containing "PhotoView" - you'll also find some very good stuff from Rob!
SOLIDWORKS World :: SOLIDWORKS World Presentations
I suggest you refer to the streaming video rather than downloading the PDF since none of the demo video content was included in the PDF. The section on brushed metals starts at around 00:40:40 into the video.
Hope it helps!
Retrieving data ...