Celebrate Diwali…in SOLIDWORKS!

by Amee Meghani

SOLIDWORKS VisualizeWhat is Diwali?

It’s not easy to convey the emotion or impact of Diwali, but if Christmas and New Year’s had a baby, it would be Diwali. Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights, celebrated by millions of people and it is the BIGGEST holiday in India. Diwali celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.

Although the significance of the holiday originates in religious scripture, I love its timeless message and intent.  Not only is it so fundamentally pure, but it has no boundaries.  It isn’t limited by any generation, culture, religion, or demographic.  It has no expiration date.  A new beginning is always welcome.  Let the light inside you lead you.

The Traditions

There are many ways to celebrate this holiday.  Firecrackers are involved, as well as Whole30® approved desserts.  (Ha!  Just kidding.  Indian cuisine is pretty much the inverse of Whole30®.)

There are 3 things I always do on Diwali:

  1. Go to work.
  2. Watch the HILARIOUS episode of The Office “Diwali”, scripted by Mindy Kaling
  3. I light as many diyas (candles) as possible on Diwali night

But first, SOLIDWORKS.

I thought it would be cool to model a diya lotus flower in SOLIDWORKS and then I thought, it would be even cooler if someone else did it for me!  So, I pulled in the experts.  I sent our very own Jacob Bakovsky an email and it kind of went like this:

“Um, hey, can you design this weird thing you probably never heard of and can you design it in SOLIDWORKS?  And also, can I have it like yesterday?”

(Can you imagine how people LOVE getting emails from me?)

The response? Not only did he make one for me in SOLIDWORKS, but he also sized it for a standard tealight, and then rendered it in SOLIDWORKS Visualize with glass translucency and a flame!  My jaw dropped.  I mean, I hope he never asks me for anything because I might be HUGE disappointment compared to how he’s helped me.

The Render

Jacob added the appearances inside of SOLIDWORKS and then used the export advanced to import into SOLIDWORKS Visualize. Originally, he was going to put the fireplace emissive appearance on the wick but it didn’t reflect very well in the rest of the model.  So, in SOLIDWORKS, he created a top-down modeled internal part to represent a body for the flames.

Next, he used the update button in SOLIDWORKS to re-import to SOLIDWORKS Visualize and added the fireplace appearance by dragging it on. He selected the photo studio as the environment to allow a darker background and a get a better contrast of colors. Then he enabled the new denoiser tool (for SW2018 SP3 and above) to remove the noise and render with significantly fewer passes. The Blue colored leaves took the longest to render and he increased the number of passes with the denoiser to ensure a crisper looking image.

Getting Down to the Details

He couldn’t get the fire to animate the physics as if it were real so he decided to make an animation where it ignites at the end.  He created the animation in SOLIDWORKS and then exported to SOLIDWORKS Visualize. Then he copied the camera view inside SOLIDWORKS Visualize. He deleted view cameras so that just the flame hide/show animation bar appeared. Then, with his camera zoomed out and the yellow ribbon at 0.00 he added the keyframe from the camera view to start. He enabled auto-key framing, then moved the yellow ribbon to 3 seconds and zoomed in. The auto keyframe established the zoom. Then he created a new rotational camera with the focal rotation enabled from 3 -5 seconds and let the auto show the flame body from 5-6 seconds.

With the denoiser enabled, he was able to reduce the number of passes on each image, further reducing the amount of time needed to render the full animation.

(SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard is included with all SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium seat on active subscription)

Wishing all of our readers a Happy Diwali!

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