Transform 3D Designs into Life-Like Images with New Version of SolidWorks PhotoWorks

Easy-to-use PhotoWorks release 2 photorealistic rendering tool gives engineers studio-quality images at a fraction of the cost of other premium tools

CONCORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 24, 2003-- SolidWorks Corporation today announced a new version of PhotoWorks(TM) that gives engineers high-end photorealistic rendering results comparable to those found in specialized rendering tools costing many times more. PhotoWorks release 2 is an effective sales, marketing, and design communication tool because it allows engineers to easily transform three-dimensional (3D) product designs into images that non-engineers can understand.

Designers and engineers can use PhotoWorks release 2 to create compelling, near photo-quality images of a finished product design. The software gives users more control over key computer-aided design (CAD) features such as light, shadow, material, and definition than previous versions. For example, a designer can use PhotoWorks release 2 to create an extremely realistic image of a chrome-plated toaster in a life-like kitchen with accurate lighting, shadows, and reflections off the toaster's sides.

"PhotoWorks release 2 allows us to effectively communicate design information to people with no design or engineering experience. That's important because we often need to create an image of what a product will look like so our client can start selling it before the design process is even complete," said Ed Eaton, senior industrial designer at product design and development firm DiMonte Group. "This latest version of PhotoWorks gives us the power to create an image that is comparable to any photo we could take without having to invest the time to finalize the solid model or produce a hard prototype. We have gained a competitive advantage because everyone we work with will be evaluating the finished product on its true merits, instead of basing important decisions on lower quality - and potentially misleading - images."

PhotoWorks release 2 contains three key enhancements that give users more control over images:

-- Indirect illumination -- engineers can now introduce more accurate light effects into their designs, ensuring that light reflects properly off different geometry and scene backgrounds and illuminates areas previously left in the dark;
-- Contour rendering -- engineers who want to show how a part fits in a larger assembly can hide exterior features to reveal the part inside. For example, an engineer who wants to demonstrate how a new gear box fits in a powertrain design can now hide the outside engine parts, yet retain the boundary contours and highlight only the gear box so viewers can see how its features fit in with the rest of the design;
-- Environmental mapping -- engineers can now place their products in any environment, such as a toaster in a kitchen, a car outside under a cloudy sky, or a packaging machine in a factory. This feature adds more realism to the product image.

PhotoWorks release 2 is based on Mental Images(R) mental ray(R) software, used in digital film studios (for such recent films as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Matrix, and Spider-Man), videogame manufacturers, scientific laboratories, and other industries that require high-quality images.

"Designers not only need to create high-quality solid models, but they also need to convey a new product's appearance and function to non-engineers," said Chris Garcia, SolidWorks vice president of research and development. "Using PhotoWorks release 2, designers can easily create near photo-quality images that viewers can understand. While solid models convey how a product was built, PhotoWorks photorealistic images show what it looks like finished. Giving all engineers the design tools they need to do their jobs better is why SolidWorks(R) software is the standard for 3D CAD."


PhotoWorks release 2 will be available in Q1 as part of the SolidWorks Office and SolidWorks Office Professional suites of 3D design products.

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for mechanical design, analysis and product data management. Founded in 1993, SolidWorks' mission is to unleash the power of 3D for everyone in product development and foster a collaborative user community. In seven years of delivering product, SolidWorks has shipped more than 230,000 total seats of software worldwide. SolidWorks has offices around the globe and sells, distributes, and supports its products through a worldwide reseller network. For the latest news, information, or a live online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

SolidWorks is a registered trademark and PhotoWorks is a trademark of SolidWorks Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2003 SolidWorks Corporation.

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