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Scenes and Lighting

Scenes and their lighting schemes are closely connected. Note that lighting works differently in SolidWorks compared with PhotoView.

Scene lighting can come from these sources:
  • Point, spot, and directional lights, which are visible in SolidWorks Open GL graphics, RealView, and PhotoView.
  • Lighting from the environment image of the scene, which is visible in PhotoView only. This source of lighting is high-quality and closely mimics the actual lighting available when the environment image was created.

In addition to controls for point, spot, and directional lights, you can control Scene Illumination when PhotoView is added in. These controls are available in the Scene PropertyManager, on the Illumination tab.

Lighting controls are separate for SolidWorks and PhotoView 360.


By default, point, spot, and directional lights are on in SolidWorks.

Scene lighting is not possible in RealView, so you often need to illuminate models manually.


By default, lighting is off in PhotoView.

With lights off, you can use the realistic lighting provided by scenes, which is usually sufficient for rendering. You typically need additional lighting in PhotoView to illuminate occluded spaces in the model.

Saving a Scene

When you save a scene, all currently applied point, spot, and directional lights are saved as part of the scene. When you apply a new scene, all lights are replaced with the lighting scheme of the new scene. You can override these rules by selecting the lighting option Keep light when scene changes, available in PropertyManagers for directional, point, and spot lights.

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