Product Design

New 3D Power in AutoCAD--And How to Get It

14 Aug, 2006 By: AIA ,H. Edward Goldberg

AutoCAD 2007 and related products offer some great rendering capabilities, but you might need a new graphics card to use them


Autodesk's introduction this spring of AutoCAD 2007 and related software brought with it new visualization capabilities. All AutoCAD 2007-based products, including Architectural Desktop 2007 and Autodesk Building Systems, incorporate the company's mental ray engine for generating photorealistic images -- the very latest in rendering technology. Originally used in Autodesk 3ds Max software, mental ray has been incorporated into a new AutoCAD user interface focused on making accurate and realistic renderings quickly and easily. This technology includes the use of preset renderings as well as slider control that allows easy trade-off of rendering time vs. quality. New rendering, materials and lighting enhancements make highly accurate rendered images available to any AutoCAD user.p>

However, you won't get these benefits automatically if your computer isn't adequately equipped. Specifically, you may need a new graphics card to provide the needed graphics-display power. In this article, I'll take a quick look at these new visualization capabilities and offer some advice about the hardware you'll need to use them.  


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