I use solidworks and inventor to model and render final parts and sometimes scenes. It is sometimes a challenge but you can get as good results in these programs. I also render my end results sometimes in 3DStudio but I was just curious. attached model was drawn and rendered in solidworks. Just curious. This subject came up in my office today and wanted your input.
I do both. All of my Solidworks models are rendered in PhotoView 360. When I am doing other things like Organics, I use the internal render engine in Blender called Cycles. There are a lot more things you can do with other render engines that you cannot do in PhotoView 360. I also do some special effects in Gimp to the finished SolidWorks render to add a little more. I also have to create special textures for SolidWorks that make the parts look stressed or used, as the standard textures make the part look like is is perfect. I have also in some cases taken a SolidWorks file and converted it to a OBJ file and import it into Blender to get a better result. You already know how difficult it is to align the textures sometimes in SolidWorks to make them look real or seamless, that is much easier in an external Render Engine.
when I purchased Geomagic Design (Alibre as it was then), it came with Keyshot as part of the package. The logic of this approach makes for a better product at a very sharp price. The makers of Geomagic have not wasted their time re-inventing the wheel, they have concentrated on producing a top 3D modeling and drafting package that works extremely well at an unbelievably low price. By leaving the render function to Keyshot, a product of a company that is a specialist in this field, they have let the experts produce this software. As I am not an artist, but an engineer, by using these products together, I concentrate on the engineering, but when I need a good render for a customer, Keyshot allows me to deliver, with out much bother, as this product is well designed for the task.
Quite simply, I find I get better renders using KeyShot than Photoview 360. Your rendering above is excellent, but I find the majority of PV360 renders looks a bit fake, almost too clean and perfect. KeyShot seems to give everything a more realistic and solid feeling. KS also has a wider range of material and lighting options, although I don't actually think one is easier to use than the other.
Thanks guys. I will look into keyshot. Again I was just curious and wanted to know what you thought. All those other 3DStudio guys at my job are also interested.
Get Keyshot and never look back....