SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022: New Shadow Catcher, Camera Views, Animations, & More

Article by GoEngineer on Jan 05, 2022

What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022



Utilizing CAD data to create professional-level renderings is what SOLIDWORKS Visualize is known for. Using Visualize can accelerate your sales and marketing initiatives by providing high-quality outputs from designs yet to be manufactured. 

HDRI environments are often utilized because they contain both background images and lighting information. It also dynamically changes as you rotate your model or the environment. 

In the image below, we have the sunlight and shadow casting that we prefer but need to replace the background with a different image for proper context in this marketing situation.

This typical operation usually leads to a tedious process of trial and error and a lot of fine-tuning to get the model to look  just right  in this particular background. 

Match Camera Feature

SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022  solves this with the  Match Camera feature.

Match Camera Feature SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022

Utilizing two-point perspective, we can align the handles with items in the image, like the horizon and the deck railing, and it applies the proper perspective to the 3D geometry; like the camera angle and focal length.

This unique approach allows us to place almost any geometry in any 2D image completely integrated.     

Now, we have the opportunity to go back into the original HDRI image settings and rotate the image to adjust the perspective of the sunlight and, therefore, adjusting the perspective of the shadow cast.  

Primitive Geometry

In the image below, you can see that there is an odd perspective where the shadow actually matches up with the wall. This is a situation where  primitive geometry  comes in handy. 

Primitive Geometry SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Using a simple technique, we can create a wall primitive by inserting a piece of geometry and aligning it with the geometry in the 2D image. 

Shadow Catcher Feature

We can utilize the new  Shadow Catcher feature  where we convert the primitive geometry to capture the shadow, and it leaves the shadow exposed while removing the primitive geometry from view giving this image the proper end result. 

SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022 Shadow Catcher Feature

Utilizing multiple cameras and configurations is an easy way to set up multiple shots with our NEMO submersible. Changing the point of view changes the requirement for the light source.

Match Current Camera Position 

We can also replicate the scene lighting by selecting the  Match Current Camera Position  to insert the area lighting into this image. 

Match Current Camera Position SOLIDWORKS Visualize

For an additional touch of realism with some depth and perspective, we can add a primitive of a blue line snapper. In previous versions of SOLIDWORKS Visualize, we would need to have multiple primitives in order to create a pattern. In SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022, we can create a pattern from a single instance. 

Scatter Feature

Patterning the single instance can be accomplished in a very regimented way, or we can use the  Scatter feature  that can be controlled using a simple bounding box to restrict the area.

Scatter Feature SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022

In the example below, we’re going to create a third configuration to capture an animated explode of the NEMO submersible. 

Animated Explode SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Add to New Group

As we begin the typical process of keyframing multiple components, the timeline begins to get quite cluttered. Items on the animation timeline can now be organized into folders using the new  Add to New   Group  option. Any item on the timeline can also be color-coded so that it stands out visually even more.

Add to New Group Option SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022

The first camera is a wide shot, and it is set to keyframe on the entire timeline. But to really up the ante on professionalism, additional camera angles can be added to the timeline just as easily. 

Create New Camera Sequence Animation

With a couple more cameras, angles, and perspectives set up, we can combine these three shots using the  Create New Camera Sequence Animation  operation. 

Create New Camera Sequence Animation SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Adding one more item to the timeline, it enables us to control when we switch from one camera to another, eliminating the use of a third-party application to cut the three shots together. 

With all of the renderings and configurations set up, the output batch can proceed. As each item finishes up, SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022 offers a new output viewer that shows the folders and the settings in which each of the items is contained and allows a preview and quick access to the actual data itself. 

SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022 Output Viewer

Companies that want to get more out of their assets leverage SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2022 to create their marketing materials. 

See All of What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2022

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Routing, Structure Systems, Parts & Features

Assemblies & Drawings

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2022, Manage, & Admin


SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2022, Flow, & Plastics



About GoEngineer

GoEngineer delivers software, technology and expertise that enable companies to unlock design innovation and deliver better products faster. With more than 35 years' experience and tens of thousands of customers in high tech, medical, machine design, energy and other industries, GoEngineer provides best-in-class design solutions from SOLIDWORKS CAD, Stratasys 3D printing, Creaform & Artec 3D scanning, CAMWorks, PLM, and more

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