Generating a Silhouette Image in SOLIDWORKS

Generating a Silhouette Image in SOLIDWORKS
Posted in: Mechanical Design

Quickly generate "teaser" style product silhouettes directly from SOLIDWORKS

Silhouette images can be a great way to show off a “teaser” of a product or design. I recently used a simple trick for generating silhouette images from SOLIDWORKS in preparation of some other blog articles I’ll be doing on my RC plane model below:

Generating A Silhouette Image In SOLIDWORKS Image 1

In general, whenever I have a specific view I like for an image output, I like to create a Named View or Camera to preserve that exact camera orientation, in case I need to export it again later on.

Generating A Silhouette Image In SOLIDWORKS Image 2

Rather than taking screenshots with the Snipping Tool or other external program, I used the Save As command in SOLIDWORKS and selected one of the image file types.

Before saving, click Options and you will find a variety of useful adjustments available that allow for some great high resolution image capture.

Generating A Silhouette Image In SOLIDWORKS Image 3

For this application, I wanted to generate a black and white silhouette image. This is supported by the .JPG and .TIF file types, and is achieved by choosing “Black & white (bilevel)” as the output type.

Generating A Silhouette Image In SOLIDWORKS Image 4

Just like that I produced a silhouette, without any image editing experience required! There are some minor white areas from lighting reflections, but those can easily be filled in (even with MS Paint).

If you are somewhat experienced with image editing, then you may prefer the alternate workflow of exporting a .PNG file with alpha channel. This is possible by selecting to Save As a .PNG file, and choosing “Remove background” in the options.

Either workflow makes it easy to bring the image into an editing program and separate it into layers to add effects. With some very basic image editing and the output techniques described in this blog I produced the stylized image below:

Generating A Silhouette Image In SOLIDWORKS Image 5

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May 14, 2018
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