Export your model to the fusion-technology (integrated in AutoCAD 2011 & later) or render with Autodesk Showcase.
Do showcase require high performance system?
The same requirements as classic CAD-software.
See also link to Autodesk website:
I'm not quite sure about AutoCAD 2012 but it will be quite similar to 2011.
Open your part in AutoCAD.
Choose line tool.
Make a line below your part.
Change the UCS so the line can be extruded in horizontal plane.
Under surfaces tab choose extrude and extrude it making the floor. Adjust it using Move gizmo.
Now go to render tab. We have to adjust some of the setting before rendering. First of all full shadows.
Now turn on the Sun for realistic shadows. Under material texture turn material texture on.
Adjust the time of the Sun.
Open material browser from render tab and apply floor tile material to the surface.
Apply plastic material to the body or whatever.
Adjust the model.
Now click on the arrow below the render button. Choose the setting of the rendering and then click render button.
The render window will open up and the rendering will start.
Here is my final result. Looks Good!
What a tutorial
Oh, I forgot to mention:
1: Turning on the "full shadows" does not affect the render at all. It only turns on and off shadows in your viewport. This is only to get a first look BEFORE you actually render. (Same goes for the "default lighting". It only controls your viewport, but does not affect the render at all. In fact both settings are mostly useful to reduce your system speed in a great way when constantly turned on ;-)
2: Turning on the sun is absolutely NOT what makes "realistic shadows". "Final Gather" and "Global Illumination" (FG / GI) make "realistic shadows"!!!
Specify some lights instead, open the "advanced render settings" dialog, make sure FG and GI (or at least FG) are turned on, then render with really cool "realistic shadows".
The point is, that FG and GI are only turned on when the sun is turned on as well, but that goes SOLELY for the predefined, default render settings. MAKE YOUR OWN! Then you'll get THE most "realistic shadows" regardless of AutoCad sun-status and daytime!
In addition, consider setting up a geographic location, direction and elevation above sea-level. Sun-settings offer many, many, many and then even many more cool things like height of horizon, atmospheric effects, color of sun light and color and size of the sun disc etc. etc.
BOY I could go on for hours over this topic, but just inform yourself about the atmosphere for instance. Oh, you think the atmosphere is clear like a crystal? Well, it is not. In fact it is somewhat milky, which you can notice when looking at the color of objects from great distances. The greater the distance the more ALL color fades to grey! (You should have a look at scale model building, where the real experts brighten up all prototype colors more and more the smaller the scale of the model is to get that realistic look!).
Thanks for reading
Well actually, if you know what you're doing, rendering in AutoCad gives you similar or even better results than PhotoView360 or something. Ever fiddled around with the advanced render settings? Guess not. Never rely on the predefined render quality settings. They suck.
There is mental ray in AutoCad as well! Same render engine used by SolidWorks and Inventor for instance and of course most of the CGI movies like Toy Story or such.
Search the nVidia site for mental ray to learn more! I highly recommend this.
THEN you know about things like "ambient occlusion", "final gather", "global illumination" and so many more shader types and stuff, which are implemented into AutoCad in a really useful way. THEN you will know how to produce the difference between thin-walled glass objects or solid glass objects. THEN you will know about setting up your materials right in order to get the right bump-mapping, relief-patterns, cutout-patterns, transparency, translucency, reflections and refractions, self-illumination and so on and so forth. THEN you will know about caustics and such. THEN you will know about setting up the (very versatile) different types of lights. THEN you will know about portal light and other very cool stuff. THEN you will know about sampling settings to produce the finest edges instead of coarse lines. THEN you will know about photon emission and appropriate radius settings. THEN you will know about how to control the number of "bounces" of indirect lighting and how they part into reflection and refraction. THEN you will know how to control shadows properly. THEN you will know how you are able to simplify your geometry, use the right type of material instead and let the render engine do the magic.
The list goes on for a while, so: get informed!
YES, mental ray in AutoCad is "pre-set-up" in a great way, so don't bother trying to understand every single variable to the vast variety of shaders, because you will not be able to affect those directly in AutoCad. And YES, there are certain limitations to the flexibility of different shaders in AutoCad. Nonetheless you will create mind-boggling results in AutoCad once you DO know what you're doing.
YES, PhotoView360 is set up in a way suitable for loads of engineering purposes, BUT once you want to dive into architecture or similar it is pretty much useless, since it does not offer the individual flexibility you simply need for presentable results.
In fact, the only applications I know, which offer more flexibility and control of the rendering process are 3ds max and maya when it comes to mental ray (or even blender if you're going for "cycles" or whatever their render engine is called). BUT not only do they offer more flexibility, but they are much more complex to use. AND the underlying method of modelling is a whole different story, which is not actually meant for engineering or architecture.
If you want to render really good, then learn about mental ray, learn about how to set it up in AutoCad and use AutoCad. Once you've done that, you will not want to return to PhotoViwe360.
That's at least my experience!
Thanks for reading this whole sermon.
Best regards and happy learning!
Try to transpose your Auto cad model into Navis works. You will get a real effect. I did. Wiew my models.
use the "render" command, don't expect very good results.