This is the 4th article covering new features in AutoCAD 2016. If you missed them, previously we covered these topics:
In this article, we cover about new AutoCAD rendering. This feature has changed significantly, so I decide to cover it in separate article.
The New rendering Engine
First, in AutoCAD 2016 it uses new rendering engine: Rapid RT. This new engine is physical based lighting rendering. Let’s not cover how it works in details. What we want to emphasize is: it can produce good result in a short time. The settings are simplified; every beginners in rendering can create great result after learning in few minutes.
However, it means that your older model might not render correctly in AutoCAD 2016. You may need to update your old lightings to current version.
Read about it in details here: About the Differences Between Rendering In the Current and An Earlier Release.
If you don’t want to change anything, you can choose any of available default presets. You can choose between low, medium or high quality. You can also choose presets defined by expected rendering time. For example, the coffee-break quality will render your model in 10 minutes. If you have 12 hours, you can choose Overnight Quality.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever use it though.
If you are an adventurous person, you can try to change the settings by clicking Manage Render Presets… You can save your own settings if necessary.
The settings are much simpler than the previous version. Every settings are basic and easy to understand.
See the comparison between the old render settings and in AutoCAD 2016 below.
I tried to render this model without setting any lights, and the result is good enough. You will not get this result easily in previous version. Not with default lighting.
New Environment Settings
The most interesting thing in Rapid RT rendering is the Image Based Lighting (IBL) environment. You can quickly setup lighting and background to get great result. If you are interested to know more about IBL, you can read the details here.
Some IBL environment presets have background image. And the others only affect the lightings. Setting up lightings probably is the most difficult task in rendering. With IBL, it’s very easy.
We’ve seen how the render result with default lighting. This is the result when I use Rim Highlights environment. Rim Highlights environment doesn’t have background image. We can use this lighting setup for consumer products, parts or assembly rendering.
This one uses Sharp Highlights.
It is very easy to use different lighting effects, and it doesn’t take too much time. Each image above only take about one minute to render. Certainly, if you look it close enough there are some geometries are not rendered smoothly.
But for a minute rendering it’s very nice, isn’t it? I only change the IBL environment and render preset to high. No other setting is necessary.
*The fuse holder model in this article uses model by Dyakoff from GRABCAD.
For exterior design, you can use predefined IBL image as background. Unfortunately there’s no support for custom IBL images. You can use static image like JPEG or BMP for background, but not IBL image.
This image below was rendered using Dry Lake Bed environment.
IBL environment is 360deg environment. If you rotate the environment, you will see the light source changed. And the background is also rotated.
This environment is rotated to 90deg, no change to the camera view.
The house model uses sample model from Revit Architecture, imported using FBX file as intermediate format.
AutoCAD 2016 rendering has changed dramatically. The old rendering was good. But it’s not easy to use. I’ve seen many people confused because they only get black image as result.
The 2016 rendering is very simple. You can learn in few minutes to create a compelling result. You don’t need to change many things. Actually, there are not much settings you can change in the rendering palette.
I think this feature is a major change. I believe you’ll like it. What do you think?