New in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024: Importing, Appearances, Interactive Images, & More

Article by Alex Worsfold on Oct 23, 2023

SOLIDWORKS Visualize enables sales and marketing to rapidly create high-quality photorealistic renderings from CAD designs. New enhancements to SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024 make the job easier, faster, and more accurate than ever. Some of these upgrades might be familiar, as they were added to Visualize 2023 after SP3. Let’s look at a full rundown of all the new features added within the last year.

Color Picker

The Color tab includes two new ways to define color codes: CMYK and HEX.

SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024 Color Picker Color Tab

The new Swatches tab lets users save custom colors or import them from SOLIDWORKS, Adobe, SVG, or HTML. The palette can also be exported for use by other users in your company.


Importing SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies had been drastically simplified to two choices: Component/Part/Body and Appearance. This takes the guesswork out of importing CAD projects and streamlines the process based on individual needs.

  • Component/Part/Body
    • Nested Visualize groups for Assemblies, parts, bodies, folders, patterned, and mirrored components. Parts with multiple bodies and appearances get assignments for each body.
    • Import Configurations marked with Save Data, Animations, and supports Monitor File functionality.
  • Appearance
    • Creates a single visualize part for each unique appearance by combining all SOLIDWORKS geometry into one unified body.
    • Part names are now based on their ancestry instead of appearance name.
    • Import Configurations marked with Save Data.
    • No support for Animations
    • No  support for Monitor File
    • Best for rapid Appearance assignment and still images.

Interactive Images

SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024 includes new options and more ways to display and share interactive images!

  • Preview of interactive images are now supported in the output viewer (Figure 1).
  • The view window (figure 1, arrow), can now be toggled between actual size and fit to screen.
  • Animation timelines can now be exported.
  • Output formats now support PNG in addition to JPG.

    SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024 Interactive Images What's New

    Figure 1: Toggle between fit and actual size

  • Interactive images and other renders can now (figure 2, 3, arrow) be shared directly to 3DEXPERIENCE.

    Publish Directly to Your SWYM Community in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024

    Figure 2: Publish directly to your SWYM community

    View Interactive Images on 3DSwym in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024

    Figure 3: View interactive images on 3DSwym

Shadow Catcher Support with Stellar

Stellar Physically Correct now supports the Shadow Catcher feature for added walls and other geometry.

Shadow Catcher Support with Stellar SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024

Figure 4: Note the shadow on the back wall from the Bowhead bike

The new Ambient Occlusion layer can be used in compositing, to boost contrast in your image and enhance shadow detail in small crevices and corners.

Use Ambient Occlusion Layer to Boost Contrast in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024

Figure 5: Use ambient occlusion layer to boost contrast

DSPBR Appearances

SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024 uses the Dassault Systèmes Enterprise PBR Shading model (DSPBR) to carefully replicate the realistic appearance of metal, glass, plastic, and other materials. This new model is supported across all renderers within the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.

Dassault Systèmes Enterprise PBR Shading SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024

Figure 6: Thats a lot of parameters!

The DSPBR type combines metallic and dielectric scattering distribution functions, including transparency for thin-walled and volumetric objects. Other effects like emission of light, clear coatings, metal flakes, and sheen are all rolled into one appearance to cover a wide range of material simulations. This  super appearance  consists of more than 30 parameters  (Figure 6)  to tweak appearances to your liking.

To simplify things, SOLIDWORKS Visualize has retained many original appearance subtypes like glass, plastic, and metal to limit the parameters relevant to a given material.

What's New SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024 Appearances

Previous projects that used the original appearance model can either be converted to the new format or keep them as they were, allowing you to render your projects as you originally created them.

Legacy Assets Detected Message SOLIDWORKS Visualize

What's New with Textures in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024

Sunlight Environment

Create a realistic sky setting (figure 7) with light from the sun at a specific time of year and position on the Earth. There is now a compass manipulator to help you rotate the scene in the correct direction. The sunlight environment can also be animated over the course of time.

Use a Sunlight Environment in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024

Figure 7: Position the sun with the compass

Transform Manipulator

The manipulator has been enhanced so that any direction, rotation, or scale mode is highlighted as the cursor moves over the different options. Scale used to be a separate option but has now been combined into one complete tool by using the cubes at the center or ends of each axis.

Keyboard shortcuts have also been added without needing to use or grab the manipulator.

  • G  – Move Selection
  • R  – Rotate Selection
  • E  – Scale Selection (uniformly)
  • G/R/E  then  X  – Locks direction, rotation, or scale to the X-axis
  • G /R/E  then  Y  – Locks direction, rotation, or scale to the Y-axis
  • G/R/E  then  Z  – Locks direction, rotation, or scale to the Z-axis
  • G/R/E  then  SHIFT+X  – Locks direction, rotation, or scale to the YZ-plane
  • G/R/E  then  SHIFT+Y  – Locks direction, rotation, or scale to the XZ-plane
  • G/R/E  then  SHIFT+Z  – Locks direction, rotation, or scale to the XY-plane
  • Double-tap X, Y or Z  to switch between global or local axis

    SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024 Transform Manipulator

Render Wizard

The new Render Output Wizard simplifies the process of saving and specifying parameters for rendering output. Create a new setting and save all your settings for quick future outputs when you need them.

When selecting an output type, the wizard limits a selection to only the parameters required for that specific output.

Render Wizard in SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024

I hope this paints a picture of all the new capabilities SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2024. Happy Rendering!

On-Demand Launch Event



Want more SOLIDWORKS 2024? Register now to join our virtual launch event on-demand to see everything new in the latest release. Our experts walk you through each enhancement across the entire SOLIDWORKS portfolio including Simulation, CAM, PDM, Electrial, 3DEXPERIENCE, and more. 

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About Alex Worsfold

Alex Worsfold is a Sr. Application Engineer at GoEngineer.

View all posts by Alex Worsfold