I'm curious; how do you use MR with SW? Do you use the plugin or Studio when setting up a scene? I usually use the plugin, but Studio gives you so much more control. I'd like to hear others thoughts on the matter.

Do you use HDR Light Studio? I was playing with it and can see that it looks like a very powerful tool. I just don't know that I can justify the $1000. I know, time is money, if you use it do you feel that you're getting "your moneys worth"?
The law of the land seems to be "do as much as possible in the host application" but like you, I find that really hard in SW. Vastly easier to work with a "scene" and mess with emitters in Studio. Honestly lately I've been just slapping basic materials on my SW bodies and then exporting to Studio.
Thanks Matthew. The more I look at Studio the more I think you are correct. That's an important point you make; easier to change a surface than assign it in Studio. Thanks for the tip.
I tend to apply materials in SolidWorks as I find it easier to change them later in Studio by changing all that have that material applied to them, basically using the material as a filter.

Changing texture maps in Studio is easier than in SolidWorks.

Like you Mike I'd like HDR Light Studio but can't justify the $1,000.
Hello mtripoli,

Like hatts says, the longer you can get in your platform, the better.

In your platform, you can adjust the model, move vertices, adjust the UV mapping, and some other tasks that Studio simply doesn't do.

Ideally, the plugins should allow full functionalities, and you wouldn't need to move out of your native platform, but it is true that some platforms are more comfortable than other, and some SDK allow a deeper integration that others doesn't.

So, if you feel comfortable working in Studio, it is nice. Perform a basic materials assignments to different surfaces (just to have them separated) and do the hard materials work in Studio.

It is true that HDR Light Studio is a nice tool. Sadly they only implemented it for Studio, not for the plugins, so Studio is a mandatory step if you want to use it.

If HDR Light Studio is worth its price, is a profits consideration.


Dario Lanza
I use Studio almost exclusively because I need full control of textures and UVs and need to be able to adjust them on the model in real time. If SolidWorks ever made their UV mapping consistent with the rest of the rendering world it would be a dream come true. I don't see any reason why SolidWorks shouldn't be able to support the same texturing workflow as other tools. In order to get true photorealism you really do need to make extensive use of textures and until this issue is resolved it will remain the biggest limitation of the plugin.

Other than that the plugin works well, with the exception of its treatment of instances. What to do when you have multiple copies of a part that require very specific texture mapping? You can't export them directly as Maxwell instances because they are not bodies within the same part file. As a result, it is necessary to either create a multibody part in SolidWorks or do the texturing repeatedly in either the plugin or Studio. None of these choices is very appealing. Ideally the plugin would allow for SolidWorks parts to be exported as instances instead of just mulibody parts, with perhaps some flag to identify the driving part so that all other copies become instances. This would greatly speed up the texturing process.

I use Maxwell for product visualization. I don't see a need for HDR Light Studio because you can accomplish the same thing with planar emitters and some trial and error. In my case, an HDR provides the majority of the lighting and planar emitters are used for tweaking. With this combination I have been able to achieve photorealism pretty consistently.
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