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Technical Illustration Workshop

The Technical Illustration workshop lets you create and publish vectorized images of your scene.

To display this workshop, click Workshops > Publishing > Technical Illustration > .

Vector graphics images portray images using shapes such as lines, polygons, and text. Vector images have advantages over raster images:

  • You can scale images to any size without losing resolution.
  • You can edit the objects that make up the image.

Unlike raster images, vector images are not suitable for showing subtle changes in lighting, shading, and coloring, and you cannot control the dots per inch (DPI).

Note: If your vector output contains unwanted gaps, try increasing model tesselation quality by reducing Geometry compression and reimporting your CAD files. See [Default] Documentation Properties - Output.

This page discusses:

Main Area

The main area of the Technical Illustration workshop lets you store settings using profiles, manage vectorization, options, BOM and callout visibility.


Profiles store your settings for future use. For details, see About Profiles for Workshop Settings.


Command Name Description
Detail view Defines a portion of your scene to save as an image file or to capture as a Vector Image 2D panel.
  1. Select Detail view.

    The Image area crop box appears in the viewport.

  2. Move or resize the image area as needed.

    Tip: To change the image area shape, modify Shape (Properties pane).

  3. To limit the image to specific actors, select one or more actors.

    When no actors are selected, the image will contain everything within the image area.

    Tip: To resize the image area to fit selected actors, click (upper-right corner of the image area). You can also select actors before clicking Detail view to fit the image area to the selection.

  4. Do one of the following:
    • To save the image area to a file, click Save As .
    • To create a Vector Image 2D panel, click Create .
  5. To dismiss the image area, click (upper-right corner of the image area) or clear Detail view.
Create (Available when Detail view is selected.) Creates a detail view and adds it to the 3D scene as a Vector image 2D panel.
Preview (Available when Detail view is cleared and no Vector image 2D panel is selected.) Generates an SVG preview image using your current workshop settings and displays it in your Web browser (when the ExternalVectorViewWindow advanced property is selected - see Advanced Settings) or Composer. You can resize the Composer preview pane by dragging the viewport splitter bar.
Note: ExternalVectorViewWindow is ignored on 64-bit operating systems. SVG previews are always displayed in Internet Explorer.
Update (Available when Detail view is cleared and a Vector Image 2D detail view is selected in the viewport.) Updates one or more detail views with changes in your 3D scene or different detail view options.
Note: Detail views are not updated with changes in camera orientation and actor visibility.
Save As Saves the active viewport pane (or a portion of it when Detail view is selected) as a vector image using the current workshop settings. In the Save Vectorization As dialog box, choose from the following formats:
  • SVG (.svg) (Scalable Vector Graphics) - An XML format for describing two-dimensional vector graphics.
    Tip: If the SVG file is too large, you can convert it into the SVGZ compressed format using a standard file compression tool.
  • EPS (.eps) (Encapsulated PostScript) - A format commonly used to transfer images between applications.

    - When opening an EPS file in another application, users might need to substitute fonts referenced by the file with available PostScript fonts.

    - EPS files do not support transparency. Transparent features appear as opaque in EPS files.

    - EPS files do not support unicode text.

  • CGM (.cgm) (Computer Graphics Metafile)- A file format defined by ISO/IEC 8632 for 2D vector graphics, raster graphics, and text.
Tip: Before saving your image, you can click Preview to validate your workshop settings.
Lines Enables lines in vector output. Set options on the Lines Tab tab.
Note: Clearing Lines, Color regions, and Shadows results in empty vector images.
Color regions Retains colors in vector output. Set options on the Color Regions Tab tab.
Shadows Generates shadow effects in vector output using ShadowCaster™ technology. Set options on the Shadows Tab tab.


Tab Name Description
Lines (Available when the Lines check box is selected.) See Lines Tab.
Color Regions (Available when the Color regions check box is selected.) See Color Regions Tab.
Shadows (Available when the Shadows check box is selected.) See Shadows Tab.
Hotspots See Hotspots Tab.
Options See Options Tab.

BOM and callout visibility

Icon Command Name Description
Show or Hide BOM Table Toggles visibility of the BOM table in the viewport.
Show or Hide Callouts Toggles visibility of callouts in the viewport.

Lines Tab

The Lines tab lets you specify what model lines to display (visible lines, hidden lines, outlines, silhouettes) and optimization methods such as hidden-line removal (HLR).

Note: The Lines vectorization option must be enabled.

Command Name Description
Show visible lines

Includes outlines and silhouette lines for visible actors in the vector output.

You can select Same color for all actors and choose a line color, or clear this option to use actor colors.

You can configure visible line styles for rendering layers by enabling Custom Render Mode and setting the Visible lines style for Technical Illustration property. See Mode Commands.

Show hidden lines

Includes outlines for actors hidden by other actors (internal actors) in the vector output. You can select Same color for all actors and choose a line color, or clear this option to use actor colors.

Note: In Custom Render Mode, you can define a priority for the display of hidden lines. In this case, hidden lines are visible for rendering layers with higher priorities (even when Show hidden lines is cleared). Note that you can configure hidden line styles for rendering layers by setting the Hidden lines style for Technical Illustration property.

Show cutting lines

Includes cutting lines (from cutting planes) in the vector output.

You can select Same color for all actors and choose a color, or clear this option to use actor colors.

Notes: This option does not affect hatch lines:
  • Hatch lines, when displayed in the viewport, are always visible in vector output.
  • Hatch-line color is determined by the cutting plane Cutting line > Color property.
  • To include capped/hatched surfaces in vector output, HardwareSupport.Advanced (Application Preferences - Advanced Settings) must be enabled.
Show collaboration

Includes collaborative actors, such as arrows and labels, in the vector output. You can select Same color for all actors and choose a color, or clear this option to use the actor colors.

Disabled Enabled

Global line width

Scales vectorized line weights by multiplying Outline width, Silhouette width, and collaborative actor line widths. For example, if Global line width is 3 and Silhouette width is 2, silhouette lines are 6 pt.

Outlines > Style Specifies what outline style to use in vector output. For details, see Mode Commands.
Outlines > Width Sets the width for outlines. Outline widths are calculated as follows: Global line width x Outline width For example, if Global line width is 3 and outline Width is 2, outlines are 6 pt.
Show silhouettes

Generates silhouette lines in addition to outlines.

DisabledEnabled (Model silhouette)

Silhouettes > Style (Available when Show silhouettes is selected.) Specifies how silhouette lines are generated:
  • Crest - Generates silhouettes for actor perimeters and significant actor edges.
    Silhouette generation method


  • Per actor - Generates silhouettes for actor perimeters.
    Silhouette generation method


  • Model - Generates silhouettes for perimeters around contiguous actors (contiguous in the 2D vector output, not necessarily in the 3D scene).
    Silhouette generation method


Silhouettes > Width (Available when Show silhouettes is selected.) Sets the width for silhouette lines. Silhouette widths are calculated as follows: Global line width x Silhouette width For example, if Global line width is 3 and silhouette Width is 2, silhouette lines are 6 pt.
Shadow width Generates gaps around overlapping actor outlines, which can improve image readability.
Attach shadow width

Generates gaps around attachment lines (such as callout lines), which can improve image readability.

1 pt 6 pts

Refinement Sets the tolerance step between a vectorized line and the real 3D curve. A higher value improves the vectorized output but increases file size.
Bezier generation Creates accurate bezier curves to smooth generated polylines. To create smaller vector files or to improve vectorization speed, clear this option.
Ellipses generation (ortho mode only) ( Camera Perspective Mode must be disabled.) Detects 3D circles and ellipses and traces them as elliptic objects (no segments), which can reduce vector file sizes. To improve vectorization speed or if artifacts appear, clear this option.
Back culling Disables rendering of back faces (faces not visible from the currentcamera angle). Back culling increases rendering speed, but some front faces might disappear when model faces are not well oriented.
Occlusion culling Detects hidden actors and prevents them from being rendered. Occlusion culling can increase vectorization speed (depending on your video card), but very small parts (as compared to the rest of the geometry) might be omitted. If parts are missing from your technical illustration, try increasing the size of your viewport or disable occlusion culling.

Color Regions Tab

The Color Regions tab lets you include color in your vector output.

Note: The Color regions vectorization option must be enabled.

No Color Regions Color Regions

Command Name Description

Enables the lighting effect, which creates color variations. When disabled, colors are flat. Clearing this option might produce more predictable color assignments in your vector output.


Compute regions per actor (time intensive) Creates one group per actor, allowing more color variation. Each actor uses the same color palette. Color region calculation is performed using one process per actor instead of one process for the entire model, which can greatly increase processing time.
Color depth Specifies the maximum number of colors, including black and white. Specify a value between 1 and 64. For example, specify 5 for black, white, and 3 additional colors.
Note: Color palette calculation is complex and depends on a number of factors. For example, you might get very different results depending on whether Light is selected.
Level of detail Specifies the maximum tolerance between a curve and its approximated line. If this option is unavailable, ensure that HardwareSupport.Advanced (Application Preferences - Advanced Settings) is selected. If the option is still unavailable, your video card likely does not support this feature.
Note: If you find that when using the maximum level of detail, the vector output is not precise enough, you can try to specify a value above 100 for the DetailLevel option, in Application Preferences > Advanced Settings category. See Advanced Settings.

Shadows Tab

The Shadows tab let you manage shadows and contour lines in vector output.

  • The Shadows vectorization option must be enabled.
  • To use shadows with color regions, clear Compute regions per actor.

No Shadows Shadows

Command Name Description

Generates shadow border lines of the specified color.

Note: Contour lines are not visible when using color regions.

Disabled Enabled, Red


Generates shadows of the specified color.

Black Green


(Available when Fill is selected.) Specifies the shadow transparency (0 = opaque, 100 = transparent).

80% 40%

Hotspots Tab

The Hotspots tab lets you manage hotspots in vector output.

Hotspots are active areas in vector images created from Composer custom hotspots, event links, and BOM information.

  • In vector outputs, hotspots are highlighted only on the visible section of parts, and not on hidden sections. Therefore, the visualization is different in Composer and in the vector output.

    ComposerVector Output

  • Only file://, http://, and ftp:// links are valid in vector output. Composer-specific URLs (such as view:// and play://) are ignored.
  • You can remove hotspot tooltips in SVG output using the SvgOutput.ShowTooltip advanced application preference. See Advanced Settings.

Command Name Description
Generate hotspots from BOM IDs Creates hotspots in vector output for actors with BOM IDs. The hotspot includes the actor, BOM table entry, and callout.
  • For actors, the hotspot tooltip is defined using the Tooltip property of the actor.
  • For assemblies, the hotspot tooltip is defined using the Tooltip property of the first actor in the assembly that has a tooltip defined.
  • The hotspot link is defined using the Event > Link property of the actor.
Tip: To set properties for all actors with the same BOM ID, click a selection set in the BOM pane and set properties in the Properties pane. See BOM pane.

Generate hotspots from links Creates hotspots in vector output for actor links.

Export custom hotspots Creates hotspots in vector output from user-defined hotspots in the Composer document (Create Hotspot - see Assembly Pane).

Options Tab

The Options tab lets you manage output page format, CGM options, and Tech Illustrator options.

Page setup

Command Name Description
Use document's paper Uses the document paper space to define the output page format. For details, see Document Properties - Paper Space. When this option is cleared, the Format and Orientation options define the page.
Format (Available when Use document's paper is cleared.) Specifies the page format:
  • Viewport ratio - Defined by Height and the viewport width-to-height ratio.
  • Custom - Defined by Width and Height.
  • Standard formats - Standard formats such as Letter and A4.
Orientation (Available when Use document's paper is cleared.) Specifies the paper orientation:
  • Portrait
  • Landscape


Command Name Description
Make groups (required for BOM table) Creates groups, which are containers for related elements. You must enable this option to include BOM tables in your vector output.

High quality capping Improves vectorization results of cutting-plane capping in complex models with small holes. For most models, clear this option to improve vectorization performance.

CGM options

Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) is an ISO standard for vector and composite vector/raster images.

Command Name Description
Profile Specifies the CGM format to generate:
  • WebCGM- Web interoperability specification created by the W3C and CGM Open Consortium.
  • S1000D (2.x) - International specification for the procurement and production of technical publications, version 2.x.
  • ATA2200 - Air Transport Association (ATA) iSpec 2200 specification for aircraft maintenance.
  • S1000D (4.x) - International specification for the procurement and production of technical publications, version 4.x.
  • CGM supports limited fonts. Visit the following website for additional information: http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-cgm-970618
  • In the case of S1000D (4.x), if you choose to generate a companion file, you can customize hotspot properties to be compliant with S1000D 4.x in the CGM output and in the XML companion file. See Hotspot Properties for custom hotspots created from the Assembly pane or from the Collaboration pane, and see Meta-Properties for hotspots generated from BOM IDs.
Metafile name Specifies the metafile name.
Generate companion file Generates an XML file in addition to the CGM file.

SVG / EPS options

Command Name Description
Dash scale

Specifies the appearance of dashed lines in SVG and EPS vector output. This option affects borders, attach lines, polylines, and other lines in your 3D scene with the Type property defined as a dashed line. Specify a value between 0.01 (small dashes) and 10 (large dashes). A value of 1 attempts to match the appearance in your 3D scene, but results can vary.

Dash scale = .5 Dash scale = 1 Dash scale = 3

Multiple Tab

The Multiple tab lets you generate multiple vector images from your animation, views, or both.

Important: The Detail view option must be cleared to be able to generate multiple images.

Command Name Description
Animation Creates multiple images from an animation. Specify the image frequency as one of the following:
  • Frames between two images
  • Images per second
Image files are named <filename>_anim <n><type>< , where:
  • <filename> is the file name you specify in the Save As dialog box (when you click Save As).
  • <n> is the image index based on the frequency and range you specify. For example, when you specify 30 images per second starting at 5 seconds, the image indexes are 150, 151, and so on.
  • <type> is the format extension, as determined by Save as type in the Save As dialog box.
Range (Available when Animation is selected.) Specifies the animation segment to capture:
  • All - The entire animation
  • Selection - The selected timeline segment

  • Seconds - The specified range in seconds
Markers Creates one image per marker in the timeline.
Milestones Creates one image per milestone in the timeline.
Views Creates images for all views (see Views pane). To create images for the current view only, clear this option.
360° Capture Captures a defined number of images of the model along a vertical axis performing a 360° clockwise rotation. The vertical axis determines the orientation of the camera.

The vertical axis used in the one defined in the viewport properties (see Viewport Properties).

  • If Z is defined as the vertical axis, then the rotation plane will be XY.
  • If Y is defined as the vertical axis, then the rotation plane will be XZ.
  • If X is defined as the vertical axis, then the rotation plane will be YZ.

Enter the number of images you want to capture along the 360° path in the Number of Images box.

File-name template

(Available when Markers, Milestones, Views, or 360° Capture is selected.) Specifies the naming convention for image files. You can specify valid file-name characters and the following case-sensitive keywords:

%filename% The file name specified by File name in the Save As dialog box.
%viewname% The view name, as listed in the Views pane.
Note: Not applicable to 360° Capture.
%markername% The marker name, as listed in the timeline and in the Markers pane.

Note: Not applicable to 360° Capture.

%index% A counter from 1 to the number of views. Index values have the same number of characters (1-9, 01-99, 001-999) for all files created.
For example, when File-name template is %filename%_%index% and you specify Gearbox in the Save As dialog box, the resulting file names for a document with three views are: Gearbox_1.*, Gearbox_2.*, Gearbox_3.* (where .* is the format extension).
  • The Save As dialog box does not consider File-name template when checking for existing files. Use caution to avoid overwriting files unintentionally.
  • Do not specify file-name extensions in File-name template. Extensions are determined by Save as type in the Save As dialog box.
  • When File-name template does not contain %filename%, File name in the Save As dialog box is still required but is not used in the file names.
  • When File-name template is blank:

    - files generated from markers are named %filename%_%markername%.

    - files generated from milestones are named %filename%_view.

    - files generated from views are named %filename%_%viewname%.

Tip: Click ? at the right of the File-name template box to display a tooltip listing available keywords.

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