PhotoView360 vs PhotoWorks: Environments & Lighting


Pw_vs_pv_3_3 This is the third  of five posts in a series covering photoView 360 and PhotoWorks.  I’ve decided the best way to compare the two software’s is to break the rendering process down into five basic topics. 


These topics will be:

         ·        setting up materials

         ·        setting up your rendering view

·        setting up environments & lighting

·        image output

·        user interface.

Each day this week a blog post will appear covering a different area from the list.  Check back each day to find out more of my thoughts on how PhotoView 360 compares to PhotoWorks.


PhotoView 360 vs PhotoWorks: Setting up lighting and environments.

PhotoView 360.  To set up your lighting in photoView 360 you choose from a number of pre-defined environments.  The environments are pre-defined rooms if you will that contain a floor and an HDR image.  All the environment lighting in PhotoView 360 is accomplished buy using HDR images.  The exception to this is the “light” materials which allow you to make any piece of geometry a light source where you have control over the color and intensity.  This makes lighting set up in PV360 very quick and easy.  It’s also very easy to try different lighting set ups since it only requires a double click to change out environments.  The only control the user has over environments is their rotation with respect to the model.  This allows the user to change the lighting on the model by rotating the environment image.  The user does have the ability to raise or lower the floor but does not have control over where the floor is in relationship to the model (XY plane, YZ, plane XZ plane).  If your model is orientated incorrectly to the floor position in PhotoView 360 you’ll have to go back to SolidWorks and adjust your model position to change this in PV 360.   The stock environments are good and a novice user can produce some excellent quality images in minutes.


PhotoView 360 does not have the ability to let the user create their own environments using their own HDR images. You also can’t add your own background image behind your model in photoView 360.  I find this very frustrating.


PhotoWorks.  PhotoWorks has a number of methods to set up lighting and environments.  You have the option of using direct lighting from SolidWorks lights, using image based lighting or creating your own studios by modeling light boxes and applying the “light” appearances to the geometry.  You’re not limited to using just one type of lighting and I find the best method is to use combinations of lighting types.  PhotoWorks also has a number of pre-defined environments (or rooms) and you are free to create your own as well.  PhotoWorks gives you many more adjustments for orientating your room to your model geometry and you also have the ability to use your own background images and HDR images for lighting.


The environment and lighting settings in PhotoWorks have always been a source of confusion for users because finding and understanding the controls to set these items up can be difficult. Since lighting and environment set up can really “make or break” a rendering stumbling here can give you less than desirable results.


PhotoView 360 vs PhotoWorks in lighting and environment set up.  This is a tough one to call.  Ease of use has to go to PhotoView 360 and this directly translates into higher quality renderings even for first time user.  Depth of feature set and controls has to go to PhotoWorks.  PhotoWorks has the more advanced controls users need to create true professional renderings.  Choosing a winner here depends on what you place more value on, super easy to use or more control over your set up.

Posted on October 8, 2008 in PhotoView 360

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Responses (2)

  1. Bater
    December 12, 2008 at 12:44 am ·

    How to decal to picture made by oneself for Photoview 360 ?
    Thank you very much !

  2. Rob Rodriguez
    December 12, 2008 at 4:19 pm ·

    PhotoView 360 doesn’t support decals at this time 🙁

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