with AutoCAD 2011/12

the complete e-book for AutoCAD rendering,
utterly updated


General CADD Pro
Generic CADD 6
Architectural Desktop

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- PayPal
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Table of Contents
-Tailoring AutoCAD Rendering 2008

About the Author
Ralph Grabowski

Sample Pages

Click thumbnail for full-size view.

Chapter 1


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 Chapter 2


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Chapter 3


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Chapter 4


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Chapter 5


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Chapter 6


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Chapter 7


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Chapter 8



about the author

Ralph Grabowski has authored and co-authored 100+ books on CAD management, ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Generic CADD, IntelliCAD, MicroStation, TurboCAD, VDraft, Visio, HTML, and VRML. He is the editor of two e-newsletters, upFront.eZine and iCommunique .

Mr Grabowski received his B.A.Sc ('80) degree in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia. He currently works and lives in the beautiful Central Fraser Valley region of British Columbia, Canada.

You can visit his Web site at



Rendering with AutoCAD 2011/12 is the third edition of our ebook for creating renderings in AutoCAD. This is the textbook used by an art university in Las Vegas.

The 262-page e-book is utterly updated for AutoCAD 2011's modified rendering system, and was written with AutoCAD 2012. Sixty pages longer, with special attention to Autdesk's new Materials Editor and Browser palettes.

The e-book features these topics:

  • Quick rendering methods.
  • Rendering with the Ribbon and Tool palettes.
  • The Render command, and its hangers-on.
  • Attaching materials.
  • How to create custom materials, textures, and cutouts.
  • Working with procedural materials.
  • Placing lights.
  • Working with photometric lighting.
  • Creating camera views.
  • Dozens of tips.
  • And a history of the teapot.

As with all of our e-books:

  • All illustrations in full color.
  • Formatted for printing on standard 8.5x11 paper.
  • Margins designed for three-hole punching. 

download file

The following drawing file is used for one of the tutorials in this ebook. (To download, right-click the file name, and then select "Save Target As".)


ordering the book

To order the 262-page Rendering with AutoCAD 2011/12 mini-eBook:

  • eBooks are sent to you by email in Acrobat PDF format: US$38.70 (6.8MB download).
  • Bulk pricing available; contact the editor.

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You may mail payment to:

      "Rendering with AutoCAD 2011/12"
      upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.
      34486 Donlyn Avenue
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I welcome your feedback for correcting and improving the text. Send your email to editor @ upfrontezine . com  

table of contents

chapter 1 introduction to rendering

The Where and How of Rendering, The What and Where of Rendering, Rendering Destination, Rendering Procedures, Saving Rendered Images, Presets are Rendering Styles, Plotting a Rendering, Understanding Lights, Types of Lights, Casting Shadows, The Yucky Subject of Photometrics, Materials and Textures, About Cameras and Scenes, Invoking Renderings, Animating Renderings, Bonus! Rendering Tips, Rendering, Quick Summary of AutoCAD's Rendering Commands, Quick Summary of System Variables, Command Comparison of Old and New Rendering Commands, Rendering, Cameras, Lights, Materials, Summing Up

chapter 2 — quick rendering

Solving the Medium Image Library Prompt, RenderCrop: Rendering 3D Drawings Quickly, Additional Notes About RenderCrop, Ribbon: Quickly Changing the Render Style , MatBrowserOpen: Applying Materials Quickly , Additional Notes About Materials, Background: Changing the Background, Additional Notes About Backgrounds, Quick Summary of Adjusting the Sun & Sky Background, Ribbon: Turning On Shadows Quickly, SaveImg:Saving Renderings Quickly, SaveImg for Viewport Renderings, Render Window File | Save, VsCurrent: Visualizing 3D Models in Real Time, -ShadeMode: AutoCAD's Primitive Rendering, Summing Up

chapter 3 — ribbon, tools palette & menus

Ribbon, Touring the Ribbon, Tabs and Panels, Panel Controls, Figuring Out What Buttons Do, Types of Ribbon Buttons, Buttons, Droplists and Flyouts, Sliders and Text Entry, Dialog Boxes, Again, Right-click Menu, Touring the Lights Panel, Light Panel Buttons, Extended Panel Buttons, Touring the Sun & Location Panel, Sun & Location Panel Buttons, Touring the Materials Panel, Materials Panel Buttons, Extended Materials Panel Buttons, Touring the Render Panel, Materials Panel Buttons, Extended Materials Panel Buttons, Touring the Camera Panel, Camera Panel Buttons, Tool Palettes, Generic Lights Palette, Photometric Lights Palette, About Photometic Lights, Web Lights, Cameras Palette, Creating a Materials Palette, Legacy: View Menu and Render Toolbars, Render Toolbar, Lights Toolbar and Lights Submenu, Mapping Toolbar and Mapping Submenu, Other Toolbars, Summing Up

chapter 4 — rendering drawings

The History of the Teapot, Render: Rendering 3D Models, Procedures: What to Render, Destinations: Where to Render, RenderWin: Displaying the Render Window, Quick Tour: Render Window, Menu Bar, Rendering Pane , Statistics Pane, Progress Bars , History Pane, Status Bar, -Render: At the Command Line, RenderPresets: Creating and Modifying Rendering Styles, Preset Info, General Section, Materials Subsection, Sampling Subsection, Shadows Subsection, Ray Tracing Section, Indirect Illumination Section, Global Illumination Subsection, Final Gather Subsection, Light Properties Subsection, Diagnostic Section, Visual Subsection, Processing Section, RPref: Modifying the Rendering Preferences , Select Render Preset, General Section, Render Context Subsection, RenderExposure: Post-processing the Image, When RenderExposure Won't Work, Render Exposure for Generic Lighting

chapter 5 — attaching & creating bitmap materials

What Materials Are, About Bitmap Materials, About Procedural Materials, How Bitmap Materials Are Defined, Material and Bump Files, Cutout Files, Locating Bitmap Files, Making Your Own Texture Files, How to Create Material Files, How to Create Bump Files, How to Create Cutout Files, Adding Custom Material Files to AutoCAD, Creating a New Category, Adding a New Material, Adding the Cutout, Adding the Bump, Naming the Material, Using Custom Materials in Models, Applying Materials to Models, Adjusting the Image, Testing Transparency, Casting Shadows, MaterialAttach: Assigning Materials to Layers, MaterialAssign: Assigning Materials to Objects, CMaterial: Defining the Default Material, Properties: Changing Materials, Properties, List, MatchProp, Change and ChProp, Rename, Purge, How Materials Are Mapped to Objects, Unsightly Seams, Visual Reference of Wrap Topologies, Previewing Materials with Visual Styles, MaterialMap: Adjusting Materials to 3D Objects, Wrap Topologies, Selecting Objects and Faces, Relocating Material Maps on Objects, Moving and Rotating Box Maps, Moving and Rotating Planar Maps, Moving and Rotating Spherical Maps, Moving and Rotating Cylindrical Mapping, Concluding the Materialmap Command

chapter 6 — defining procedural materials

MatEditorOpen: Editing Materials, Preview of Currently Editor Material, Quick Tour of Materials Palette, Quick Summary of Image Preview Objects, Rendering the Preview, Creating New Materials, New Material Types, Ceramic, Concrete, Glazing (Glass), Masonry (Bricks), Metal, Metallic Paint, Mirror, Metallic Paint, Solid Glass, Stone, Wall Paint, Water (Liquids), Wood, Generic Material Properties, Generic Section, Generic: Color Subsection, Generic: Image Subsection, Generic: Image Fade Subsection, Generic: Glossiness Subsection, Generic: Highlights Subsection, Quick Summary of Procedural Materials, Reflectivity Section, Reflectivity: Direct Subsection, Reflectivity: Oblique Subsection, Transparency, Transparency: Amount Subsection, Transparency: Image Subsection, Transparency: Image Fade Subsection, Transparency: Translucency Subsection, Transparency: Refraction Subsection, Cutouts Section, Cutouts: Image Subsection, Self Illumination Section, Self Illumination: Filter Color Subsection, Self Illumination: Luminance Subsection, Self Illumination: Color Temperature Subsection, Bump Section, Bump: Image Subsection, Bump: Amount Subsection, Texture Editor, Images & Procedurals Section, Images, Quick Summary of Texture Editor's Image Preview, Checker, Gradient, Quick Summary of Texture Editor's Gradient Options, Marble, Noise, Speckle , Tiles, Quick Summary of Texture Editor's Tile Options, Waves , Wood, Transforms Section, Position Subsection, Scale Subsection, Repeat Subsection, MatEditorClose: Closing the Materials Editor Palette, ConvertOldMaterials

chapter 7 — placing & defining lights

About Lights in Drawings, Point Lights, Target Point Lights, Spot Lights, Free Spot Lights, Distant Lights, Sun Light, Web Lights, Free Web Lights, The Tricky Topic of Default Lighting, Toggling Default Lighting, DefaultLightingType, The Difference between Generic and Photometric Lighting, LightingUnits, LightsInBlocks, RenderUserLights, Light Type Options, Light: Adding Lights to Drawings, PointLight: Placing Point Lights, Point Options — Generic Lighting, Photometric Details, Placing Lights with OSnaps and Point Filters, Point Options — Photometric Lighting, Editing Point Lights, TargetPoint: Placing Point Lights with Targets, DistantLight: Placing Distant Lights, Distant Options — Generic Lighting, Point Options — Photometric Lighting, Editing Distant Lights, SpotLight: Placing Spotlights, Spotlight Options — Generic Lighting, Spotlight Options — Photometric Lighting, Editing Spotlights, FreeSpot: Placing Point Lights without Targets, WebLight: Placing Web Lights, Quick Summary of Light Terms, Weblight Options — Photometric Lighting, Editing Web Lights, FreeWeb: Placing Web Lights without Targets, LightList: Select, Edit, and Remove Lights, Tutorial: Modifying Street Lights, SunStatus: Turning On the Sun Light, GeographicLocation: Positioning The Sun Light, Geographic Location Dialog Box, Location Picker Dialog Box, Related System Variables, SunProperties: Editing Sunlight, General Section, Sky Properties Section, Sun Angle Calculator Section, Rendered Shadow Details, Geographic Location, SunPropertiesClose, ConvertOldLights, 3dConversionMode

chapter 8 — camera views

Camera: Placing Perspective Viewpoints, Placing Cameras, Rendering with Cameras, Seeing the Camera's Viewpoint, Adjusting the Camera's View, Repositioning the Camera, Quick Summary of Camera Command Options, Properties and View: Editing Camera Properties, Properties Palette,
General Section, Clipping Section, How to Adjust Clipping Planes, View Manager Dialog Box, Fine-tuning the Camera's View, Tools Palette, Ribbon, Customizing the Camera Glyph, RenderEnvironment: Adding Fog, Additional Resources, Visual Styles, Animation, Customizing

no appendices


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