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Rendering from ZWCAD Drawings

May 20, 2011

     Creating a rendered image of your drawing removes hidden lines and then shades the surface as though it were illuminated from multiple light sources.

      The rendered image is displayed overtop the drawing window and is displayed incrementally while it is processed. At any time during the rendering process, you can cancel the rendering by typing the escape (Esc) key. Once the image has been displayed, it will be overwritten if you zoom or pan the display or if another window is popped-up in front of the ZWCAD window. The image can be redrawn (without the rendering delay) by using the "Redisplay Last Image" command on the Render Settings window. The rendered image can also be saved to a file from the Render Settings window.


       The Render command starts the rendering process and generates a rendered image of the current drawing. The Render command generates a lower quality image than the FullRender command but the image is displayed more quickly. The Render command does not include shadow effects, transparency, or reflections, all of which are included with the Full Render command.

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Full Render

     The FullRender command starts the rendering process and generates a rendered image of the current drawing. The FullRender command generates the highest quality image and generally includes shadow effects, transparency, and reflections.

     Full rendering can create a base on which your model is displayed, if you don't already have one, so it does not appear suspended in space. A background is also automatically added to the image. A background such as a cloudy sky or an imported raster graphic such as a stone wall can also be added behind the image, making it even more realistic.

      Rays from these imaginary light sources are traced as they reflect off and through the surfaces of the model, a process called ray tracing. Ray tracing determines where shadows fall and how reflections on shiny materials such as metal and glass appear. You can modify the reflective properties of the materials that make up your model to control how the light rays reflect off its surfaces.

To create a quickly rendered image, use any of these methods

  • Choose View > Render > Render.

  • On the Render toolbar, click the Render tool.

  • Type render and then press Enter.

To create a fully rendered image, use any of these methods

  • Choose View > Render > Full Render.

  • On the Render toolbar, click the Full Render tool.

  • Type fullrender and then press Enter.

Commands Reference

RENDER: Creates a rendered image.

FULLRENDER: Creates a fully rendered image.

MATERIALS: Assigns materials to models.

BACKGROUND: Sets background for a rendered image.

LIGHT: Assigns lighting for the scene.

RPREF: Defines the settings used to render images.

System Variables Reference

FACETRATIO: Determines the aspect ratio used for the display of 3D solids, particularly when they are rendered.


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