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Rendering Beautiful Images Using AutoCAD By David Cohn Did you know that you can create beautiful photo-realistic renderings of 3D models directly in AutoCAD using features and functions that are included free as a standard part of the software? All of the tools you need to use are located on the Visualize ribbon. I am constantly surprised to hear from people who are unaware that rendering has been included as a basic function of AutoCAD for years. You can easily add lights, apply materials to objects in your 3D model, and produce high-resolution rendered images with the AutoCAD software you already have. Rendering creates a 2D image based on a 3D scene. It shades the scene’s geometry using the lighting you set up, the materials you apply, and the render environment and exposure settings you select. Once you have created a 3D model, you can use tools in AutoCAD to place lights and attach materials. Then, simply click a button. The computer does the rest. The rendering tools are all located on the Visualize ribbon, which is available whenever you are working in the 3D Modeling or 3D Basics workspaces. This ribbon includes tools for placing lights and controlling solar illumination, adding materials, and rendering the image. It also provides commands for saving and switching between views, changing the visual style, placing cameras, and creating animations. Yes, you read that right. You can even create animations right inside AutoCAD! You can create and save views to compose the scenes that you want to render by placing virtual cameras into the model. To help you to see how changes affect the model, you can display the model using the Realistic visual style. To make your renderings even more realistic, you can include background images and environments. And when you are ready to produce a rendering, you can render on your local computer or in the cloud. You can add point lights, spot lights, distant lights, and weblights, or light your model using simulated sunlight based on a specific date and time. 15