One of the common questions I get in our SOLIDWORKS Composer classes is, “What is the difference between a regular ‘View’ and a ‘Camera View’?” Once the distinction between the two is clear, you’ll be able to leverage both effectively to create your technical documentation faster!
Before we talk about the differences, let’s first talk about where these two buttons exist. If you do not see the ‘Views’ Pane on your ‘Left Pane’, you’ll want to make sure you go to the ‘Window’ tab, and under the ‘Show/Hide’ section, make sure ‘Views’ is checked on.
Once you can see the ‘Views’ Pane on your ‘Left Pane’, click on the ‘Views’ tab and we’ll be focusing on the first two buttons. The first button represents ‘Create View’, and the second button will allow you to ‘Create a Camera View’.
When you create a view, the position and properties of all actors (geometry and collaborative) in the Viewport will get recorded, as well as the camera position. When we talk about properties, it’s essentially the Color, Opacity, lighting, position, etc.
To create consistency across all of our views, SOLIDWORKS Composer has given us Camera Views, which allows us to save custom camera positions from any existing views or what is active in the Viewport. The applications of Camera Views are numerous, but not limited to the following:
- If you need to zoom in, pan, and/or rotate the actors to select a component and not have to worry about zooming back to the ‘exact’ position you were previously. All you have to do is click ‘Create Camera View’ before you zoom in and rotate, and then click on that ‘Camera View’ to get back to exactly where you were!
- If you already created views where you like the camera position better, you can easily adopt them into later views by activating the desired view, clicking ‘Camera View’, activating the view(s) you want to change, clicking ‘Camera View’, then ‘Update View’!
Both regular Views and Camera Views can be renamed so they’re easier to identify. Camera view will be indicated by a diagonal line that divides the view in half as seen below.
Of course, these views and camera views will be specific to the Composer document you have open. What if you wanted to create custom camera views based off your company’s standards so it’s available in all your Composer files? Perfect! You’ll want to go to ‘File > Default Document Properties > Viewport’ and you have the ability to create your own ‘Custom Camera Views’. The parameters that control them are the Theta, which is the angle in the X-Y plane about the Z-axis, and the Phi is the angle of elevation above or below the X-Y plane. If you have ‘Ortho’ checked on, the view will be changed to an orthogonal view, if it isn’t already. Check out the video tutorial on SOLIDWORKS Composer: Camera Views!