By Nikita Lambert – Application Specialist at SolidXperts

Technologies to simulate reality, whether in video games, movies, or image rendering, are constantly evolving; New techniques and new types of files are developed at lightning speed. SOLIDWORKS Visualize follows this innovation trend and now allows the use of “PBR” and “MDL” appearance files, the latter designed by Nvidia.

To use “PBR“, simply go to your Appearances tab, and click “Add a new appearance”.

Change its type to “PBR Material” to gain access to all the properties specific to PBR, as well as access to the typical PBR reference image. It is good to know that it is possible to convert any appearance into PBR, if you wish.

Once you set your perfect appearance, you can save it and add it to your library. This is useful when you have to apply the same materials to pieces of different projects.

An MDL appearance is a file type developed by Nvidia that offers high potential in rendering realism. The changes to these materials are still limited in Visualize but the integration of this solution is promised by the SOLIDWORKS team and will soon come with future updates of the software.

To apply these appearances, drag the file directly to the component from Windows Explorer. Take note that this appearance is visible in fast and accurate mode only, the preview mode will give a fluorescent pink color.

You can find a library of PBR materials on the Poliigon website.

And a library of MDL materials created by Nvidia on their website.