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AutoCAD® 2009 & AutoCAD LT® 2009 All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies® by Lee Ambrosius

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Chapter 6. Rendering: Lights, Camera, AutoCAD!

After you understand how to navigate, visualize, create, and edit 3D solid or surface models, you're ready to take your 3D model through the process of being rendered. Rendering allows you to visually present a concept to clients so they have an idea of what the final product will look like when it is manufactured or built. Hidden line and shaded views can help the client visualize a 3D model, but they lack the depth and realism that can really sell a concept. Before you generate a rendering, you add lights, materials, and a background to your 3D model. These visuals all help bring realism to a 3D model by making it look as much as possible like the final product. This chapter applies to AutoCAD only (sorry AutoCAD LT users) and is designed to be an overview of lights, materials, backgrounds, and rendering a model. For more information on these topics, refer to AutoCAD's online Help system.

Lighting a Scene

Lighting is a key to making your model — also known as a scene — look realistic because it generates variations of color in your model. Objects closest to the light source appear brighter and objects farther from the light source appear darker, giving your model depth. This is what happens in real life with light that comes from the sun or from a light bulb. AutoCAD offers three distinct types of lights: default lights, user lights (point, spotlight, web, and distant), and sunlight. All of these types of lights, except the default ...

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