The graphics display of your model is referred to as a view on the model. It can also be referred to as a scene. How the view looks will vary based on the settings you apply to the view. The contributing elements are visual styles, ground plane, ground reflections, shadows, lighting, and camera projection.
Scenes, what you see in the graphics area, are displayed using eitheror . Each has distinct properties and advantages. Hardware rendering is optimized for use when designing and working with your data. Software rendering has been optimized to provide a rich, real-time visualization environment and uses all of the machines available core processors.
Visual styles define the way the model faces and edges appear in the view. There are several standard visual styles to suit various modeling needs.
Ray tracing enhances shadows and transparency effects, which provide a realistic visual experience. With ray tracing, a specific rendering environment for realistic viewing is not required. It turns on automatically when you select the Realistic visual style. You can also use it with the Monochrome visual style. Ray Tracing is disabled for all other visual styles.
You can use Save Copy As to save a ray traced display as an image. The default image options save immediately. If you specify a different screen resolution, the display renders that resolution during the save operation.
Ray tracing uses the highest resolution of the installed Autodesk Material Library. The render process uses all of the available processor cores of a computer (machine) while it runs the software.
You can disable ray tracing on the View tab Appearance panel, or by the settings in the document or application options.
Ground Plane and Reflections
You can turn on the ground plane to provide a sense of an up direction in the scene. You can also display reflections of your model in the ground plane giving the view a showroom floor effect.
The shadow options allow you to enhance the appearance and clarity of the model. Ground shadows, object shadows, and ambient shadows can be applied individually or as a whole. For example, you could use ambient and object shadows when working on complex shapes to bring out subtle details. Or, use ground shadows when presenting your final work. Turning on all shadow options provides the most realistic result.
Lighting dramatically affects the appearance of a model. Each document supports one active lighting style which can be changed or modified to suit your needs. Lighting styles support image based lighting, and can show the model in a surrounding environment.
Choose from either orthographic or perspective projection. When modeling orthographic projection is often easiest to use, whereas when creating realistic imagery, perspective is the preferred view projection.
Document Appearance Control
Application options provide control over the initial view appearance. You can specify that all documents open with a specific visual style, or at a document level specify a visual style the document opens with. Each document is able to carry specific display appearance parameters for the elements mentioned. Document appearance control allows you to open any document in the manner you want it displayed regardless of how other models are displayed.
The view elements can be temporarily overridden by using the controls on the ribbon View tab in the Appearance panel. Changes made from the ribbon reflect a temporary override of the scene elements and do not get stored with the document or application appearance settings.
View effect settings access points are located at the bottom of each list, such as lighting styles, shadows, and so on. Click Settings... to launch the document based dialog box for that view effect. Modifications made appear in the document immediately and persist when the settings are saved.
The appearance of model faces and edges in the graphics window is called a visual style. As shown below, there are several visual styles to choose from.
In the Engineer's Notebook, you can change the visual style of an individual view or all views in the note.
To temporarily override the visual style in the active window, click one of the visual styles on the View tab Appearance panel. Changing appearance from the ribbon is an override of the current appearance settings. It does not alter persisted application or document appearance settings.
To establish the document appearance and persist the parameters, see.
To establish application appearance settings and persist the parameters, seefor the application.
The available visual styles include:
Wireframe with visible edges
Shaded with edges
Wireframe with hidden edges
Shaded with hidden lines
The ground plane is the means of representing an up direction in model space and provides a visual cue for model scale. When rotating the model using the view controls, the ground plane relationship to the model remains intact. When viewing the model from beneath the ground plane, the plane is hidden until the camera position is above the ground plane.
The ground plane settings changes are maintained in document settings, allowing each document to have a unique ground plane setting. At any time, you can temporarily override visibility of the Ground Plane by means of the View tab Appearance panel.
Ground plane On and Off changes are session based. Changes to the Ground Plane Settings are document based and preserved with the document on Save.
To display the ground plane temporarily
On the ribbon View tab, in the Appearance panel, click Ground Plane. The action turns on visibility of the ground plane, placing a check next to the list item. The command icon updates to display the current state.
Click the command again to turn off the ground plane visibility.
To display the ground plane every time the model opens
You can display other effects, such as shadows and reflections with the ground plane visible or not visible.
There are several parameters that define the ground plane, the position, opacity, color, and so on. These settings enable a more adaptable use of the ground plane when modeling or creating imagery of your design. Use the ground plane settings to:
To access to Ground Plane Settings dialog box from the Ribbon UI:
The ground plane orientation is established in relation to the ViewCube Bottom and remains parallel to it. Positional values, positive or negative, are in relation to the ViewCube. To reorient the ground plane you must modify the ViewCube orientation. Orient the camera to look down toward where you want the ground plane. Then, in the ViewCube context menu, select “Set current view as Top”.
To position the ground plane
Resize the ground plane
To manually resize the ground plane:
Shadows and reflections, when turned on, are seen in the ground plane. However, ground plane visibility is not required to see these effects.
Ground reflections give a sense of depth and dimension to the model view. They can also reveal features that are hidden from the current camera angle.
Ground Reflections can be turned on for the active documents, on a per document basis, or for all models you open. Use the Application Options settings for affecting all models.
To display ground reflections temporarily in the current view, in the View tab Appearance panel, click the Ground Reflections. The command icon updates to show the current state.
To display ground reflections globally, when any model opens, use application options appearance settings.
To display ground reflections on a per document basis use document appearance settings.
Shadows provide more realism when viewing models by enhancing subtle form details and by providing a sense of orientation when ground shadows are used. Ground shadows, object shadows, and ambient shadows can, all or individually, be applied to enhance model visualization.
All Shadows is an ease of use control to turn on all shadow options with one click.
| ||Shaded visual style with no shadow effects turned on.|
Shaded visual style with all shadows turned on.
All Shadows: All shadow effects are made active and display.
Shaded visual style with only ground shadows turned on.
Ground Shadows: casts a model shadow onto the ground plane. This effect does not require the ground plane to be visible.
Shaded visual style with only object shadows turned on.
Object Shadows: sometimes called self-shadows, casts and receives model shadows based on the position of the active lighting style.
Shaded visual style with only ambient shadows turned on.
Ambient Shadows: casts shadows in corners and cavities to visually enhance the transition of shape changes.
On the View tab, Appearance panel, click the down arrow on the Shadow command and select the desired shadow setting. The shadow settings are checkboxes, so you can turn on more than one setting at a time.
Clicking Settings... to display the active lighting style in the Styles Editor. Toward the bottom of the dialog box is a section named Shadow Settings. Use these settings to modify the ground shadow effect parameters for:
The effect increases when the slider value is increased.
Lighting plays an important part in visualizing and communicating your design. Light direction, color, brightness work together to complement your design. Choosing a complementary light and modifying to fine tune the style is important to the visualization task. Lighting also affects the shadows in the scene. Before modifying a lighting style, it is good to display the shadow options you intend to use with it, to ensure fidelity.
You can change the active lighting style from within the View tab, Appearance panel. Click the lighting style control and select the desired style from the list.
Modify a lighting style
At the bottom of the lighting style list, click Settings... to access the Style Editor. The Style Editor dialog box displays with the active lighting style settings.
To modify the active lighting style:
You can modify the following settings:
Ray tracing enhances model visualization by taking multiple samples of light as it contacts various objects in the scene. Ray tracing is available with either the Realistic visual style, enabled automatically, or with the Monochrome visual style by manually enabling it.
When enabling ray tracing the bar appears unfolded in the lower right corner of the display. The process begins using the default settings. When complete, the ray tracing bar auto-hides after a couple of seconds. To access the bar, move the cursor into the lower right corner of the display and the bar auto-displays.
The mode section folds and unfolds to provide access to the three modes. To unfold the mode section, move the cursor over the arrow in the bar title. The progress section remains visible whenever the bar is visible
On the View tab, in the Appearance panel, select the Realistic visual style. Ray tracing is automatically enabled and the display immediately begins to render with ray tracing using the default settings. If ray tracing has been used in the current session with the open document, the most recent settings are used.
to render using four samples per pixel and maintain interactive performance.
to render using 16 samples per pixel and have a good quality model display.
to render using 64 samples per pixel and have the best quality model display.
Why might you do this? You may want an image of the design and select the Best ray tracing mode. When the display refinement is sufficient for your needs, you can halt the rendering process and save the current view to an image file.
The display renders using the highest resolution of the installed Autodesk Material Library. To save the rendered display to an image use Save Copy As. The image format default options are output without further rendering the display. Changes to the output size require the display to be rendered again.
Visual Styles control the model face and edge display in the graphics window. The commands change the graphics window view display of the active part. In the Engineer's Notebook, you can change the visual style of an individual view or all views in the note.
|Visual Style||Face display||Visible edge display||Hidden edge display|
Realistic appearance colors from the Autodesk Material Library.
Standard appearance colors.
Shaded with Edges
Standard appearance colors.
ON 1, 3
Shaded with Hidden Edges
Standard appearance colors.
ON 2, 3
Face visibility is OFF.
ON 1, 4
ON 1, 4
Wireframe with Hidden Edges
Face visibility is OFF.
ON 1, 3
ON 2, 3
Wireframe visible Edges Only
Face visibility is OFF.
ON 1, 3
Standard appearance colors. 5
Standard appearance colors. 6, 7
Standard appearance colors. 8.
Sets display of ground, object, and ambient shadows. Shadow appearance settings and direction are controlled by the active lighting style.
Wireframe visual styles use only ground shadows.
On the View tab, Appearance panel, click the down arrow on the Shadow command, and then choose Ground Shadows, Object Shadows, or Ambient Shadows. All Shadows toggles shadow display.
All Shadows toggles the display of all shadow types. The default is All Shadows unchecked.
Ground Shadows casts a shadow on the ground plane. This effect does not require the ground plane to be visible.
Object Shadow casts shadows from model features relative to the lighting style position.
Ambient Shadows casts shadows in corners and cavities to visually enhance the transition of shape changes.
This is a global shadow effect and has the potential to affect performance.
These settings control the color, grid spacing, and reflection of the ground plane.
|Ground Plane command|
Specify a point of reference on the model. If the ground plane is offset from the point, use the height offset to specify the value.
When the ground plane settings dialog box is displaying, you can reposition the origin using the Edit selection or move the ground plane with the 3D manipulator.
Specifies the distance from the origin point to the ground plane. Positive and negative real numbers are accepted as input.
Useful when the ground is not in contact with the model.
The ground plane is always parallel to the ViewCube Bottom. You redefine the ground plane orientation by redefining the ViewCube orientation..
Pausing the cursor over the image displays a message about reorientation.
When checked, specifies the ground plane color is user defined. The color displays within the ground plane boundaries.
Click the color button to display the color picker, specify the color and click OK.
Grid lines always display over the ground plane color as long as the two colors are not the same.
Specifies the color opacity percent value. The value is set by manual entry or by dragging the slider. The range is 0-100 percent. Values over 100 are set to 100 percent.
Grid lines provide a sense of model size or scale.
Grid line color comes from the active Application Color Scheme.
Boundary lines display only during the edit operation.
Grid line weight is fixed.
Check the box to display grid lines on the ground plane.
Manually resize the ground plane (default).
The interaction for doing so is similar to that of resizing a work plane.
Only boundary lines are accessible, not grid lines.
|Auto-Resize||When checked, the ground plane automatically resizes to approximately 120% of the model footprint.|
|Minor||A model unit value specifying the distance between minor grid lines. Valid input is a positive real number.|
|Major every||Valid inputs are positive integer values ranging from 1 to 512.|
Percent of reflection seen in the ground plane expressed as a whole number.
Range: 0 - 100%.
Reflections display when ground reflections are turned on and do not require the ground plane to be visible.
Percent of blur applied to the reflection when visible in the ground plane. The value is expressed as whole numbers.
Range: 0 - 100%
Used with Blur fall-off to create a more realistic viewing experience.
Limits the amount of reflection fading that occurs as the view angle of incidence becomes more perpendicular to the ground plane.
Simulates an angle at which the reflection lessens and falls off completely.
Ray tracing is available for use only with the Realistic and Monochrome visual styles. Ray tracing can be enabled or disabled manually through the ribbon access point. Ray tracing uses the highest resolution of the installed Autodesk Material Library. The display rendering process uses all available cores of the machine.
When changing to the Realistic visual style, the ray tracing bar displays unfolded in the lower right corner of the display using the default options. If no modifications are made, the bar auto-hides when the ray tracing process is completed. Moving the cursor into the bar area causes the bar to redisplay.
Changing the view orientation or starting another command will interrupt the ray tracing process. Where applicable, such as when using Orbit, the ray trace process reinitializes when the active command ceases being used. For other commands, ray tracing disables automatically. To re-enable ray tracing use the ribbon access point.
Render Mode Definitions
|Max Progressive Iterations||4||16||64|
|Ambient Occlusion||Follows Ambient Shadows UI setting; can be ON or OFF||Follows Ambient Shadows UI setting; can be ON or OFF||Follows Ambient Shadows UI setting; can be ON or OFF|
|Global Illumination||Always OFF||Always OFF||Follows Ambient Occlusion setting|
|IBL Method||Ambient environment light only||Physical lighting from environment||Physical lighting from environment|
Ray Tracing Controls
Click the arrow to collapse the render mode section. Move the cursor over the bar title area to expand the mode section.
Displays the three render mode options. Click the radio button to use one. The default is Interactive. Selecting a different mode halts the ray tracing process and begins again using the selected mode settings.
Displays the progress of display refinement based on the render mode. Displays the percentage complete and elapsed time.
Interrupts the ray tracing process at the current refinement state. Click Continue to resume the ray tracing process. Changing view orientation or settings causes the ray tracing process to reset and start anew.
Halts the ray tracing process. Closes the ray tracing interface.
Ray Tracing default
Disabled, manually enable via the ribbon access point.
When ray tracing is actively rendering the display, and the rendering process takes more than 3 seconds, a progress bar appears in the lower right corner of the display. Clicking the "X" disables ray tracing and closes the progress bar.
The rendered display can be saved as an image using Save Copy As. If the output options are left at the default, saving the image happens quickly. If the dimensions are changed it is necessary for the display to rerender.