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Getting Started


The DaVinci Rendering Library is a tool for generating high-quality, "photo realistic" renderings or images of three-dimensional progeCAD drawings. The library extracts geometry information from your progeCAD drawing and then calculates how light will interact with the surfaces in the drawing to generate a realistic image.

The algorithm used to render the drawing is commonly called Ray Tracing. In the ray tracing algorithm, "rays" of light are traced backward from the viewer's eye, through the scene (i.e. the drawing), to the light sources. For each pixel, a ray (or set of rays when using anti-aliasing) is directed from the viewer's eye in the proper direction for that pixel. The software then determines which surface in the scene is "struck" first by the ray. The software then must determine if that spot on the surface is illuminated by the lights in the scene. If the surface is reflective, the software must also determine what light is bouncing off of other surfaces and hitting that spot. Similarly, if the surface is transparent or partially transparent, the ray continues on through the surface to determine what can be seen through it. This process continues for each pixel in the image.

The commands to use the DaVinci Rendering Library are accessible from the top-level View menu under the Render sub-menu as shown below.


The set of entries control the rendering library include: Render, Full Render, Materials..., Background..., Light..., and Preferences... .

Render Command
  1. The Render command generates a lower-quality rendered image of the drawing using the lighting and materials options selected. Shadows, reflections, and transparency effects are not included to increase the speed of the rendering process. This command is useful for previewing the rendering output.
Full Render Command
  1. The Full Render command generates a high-quality rendered image of the drawing using the lighting and materials options selected and also including shadows, reflections, and transparency effects. This command is used to generate a final rendered image.
Materials... Command
  1. The Materials command allows you to select the "material" for each surface in the drawing. A number of material options are available and the material settings control the coloring of each surface, any pattern in the surface (tile or brick for example), as well as the surface finish (i.e. how the surface reflects light). If no material is specified for a surface, it defaults to a light gray color so that it will appear in the rendering.
Background... Command
  1. The Background command allows you to select the background for the drawing. A wide variety of backgrounds can be selected. For example, you may wish to render an architectural drawing in front of a picture of the proposed site. In this case you can choose an image file for the background. If no background is specified, a black background is used.
Light... Command
  1. The Light command is used to control the placement of lights in the drawing. Lights can be placed either outside the field of view or inside to illuminate different areas of the scene. Light placement controls shadows and reflections in the scene. If no lights are specified a default light is added to ensure that some part of the drawing will be scene when rendered.
Preferences... Command
  1. The Preferences command brings up a window used to control various rendering options. In addition, rendered images can be exported to an image file through the render settings window or you can produce higher resolution rendered images and save them directly to a file. Settings that can be controlled include anti-aliasing, surface smoothing, number of reflections considered, and rendering quality.