I had a couple questions about creating a photorealistic rendering in AutoCAD. Probably after seeing the rendering sample I made. I’m not a rendering guru, but I think it would be interesting to write something about it. Setting up rendering environment is not difficult. But you need to do trial and error before finally get what you want. So I will create a series post about AutoCAD rendering. There are several steps to render.
- Create your model. I will not go there, at least not for now. You can use your own model or use the same model with me. Click here to download the DWG file.
- Set up your camera view, that will be discussed in this article.
- Set up lighting, which can be divided to two categories: natural and artificial lighting.
- Set up materials.
- Set up rendering configurations.
The first thing we are going to do is setting up our camera view. Type CAMERA and press [enter]. Click first point as camera location, then second point as camera target.
After you place the camera, AutoCAD will give you several options. Give the camera name. Use a name that clearly describe the camera purpose and location. If you have many cameras in your model, you will be grateful that you name it properly.
Don’t worry about the other options. We will change them later. To work in 3D easier, it would be more convenient to have several view angles in our viewport. Now let us configure the viewports. Click viewport configurations, then choose 2 or 3 viewports. Feel free to choose which one you feel more convenient.
I choose 3 viewports so I can view the model from top, front, and right side.
Now select the camera. Cycle between objects by holding [shift] then press [space] several times until the camera is highlighted.
After you select the camera, you should see a camera preview like below.
Now look at your camera. There are several grips that you can use to control the camera location, camera position, camera target, and lens length (FOV).
Move your pointer above at the grip, wait for a while. Now you can see the gizmo or coordinate axis moved there. I’m not sure if we call it gizmo in AutoCAD, but 3ds Max users do.
Move your pointer to any axis, then can see an infinite thin line at the axis. It means the axis is locked. Click and hold your left mouse button, and drag the grip to new position. By using this method, you can easily move the camera grips along any axis, without having to view the model from different angle. But sometimes you need to move to other viewport to move it easier.
You can also click the grip to select it and move it like you move any other AutoCAD object.
Feel free to place the camera and target. Choose the place you feel the best for you. You can also change the camera properties by changing the coordinate in properties palette. Try to change the roll angle and have fun!
Now after you have done, you can select the camera, right click, and choose set camera view from contextual menu. Your viewport is now showing your camera view.
Now change the visual styles to shading, hidden lines, or anything that will show the solid form. We need to do this to check if the camera is showing the model correctly.