tailoring autocad
rendering 2008

the complete e-book for AutoCAD rendering


General CADD Pro
Generic CADD 6
Architectural Desktop

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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 upfrontezine.com



Tailoring AutoCAD Rendering 2008 is the second edition of our e-books for creating renderings in AutoCAD. 

The 202-page e-book is updated for AutoCAD 2008's modified rendering system. Updated material includes:

  • All the new commands and system variables.
  • Complete coverage of photometic lighting.
  • Details of the new .ies-based web lights.
  • More tutorials.
  • Expanded explanations of lights and materials.
  • All items new to AutoCAD 2008 marked in color.

As before, the e-book also features:

  • Quick rendering methods.
  • Rendering with the Dashboard and Tool palettes.
  • The Render command, and its hangers-on.
  • Attaching materials.
  • How to create custom materials.
  • Placing lights.
  • 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 202-page Tailoring AutoCAD Rendering 2008 mini-eBook:

  • eBooks are sent to you by email in Acrobat PDF format: US$30.30 (4.2MB download).
  • On CD in Acrobat PDF format: US$35.30 (incl. shipping). 
  • Add US$25 for CD delivery by FedEx.
  • Bulk pricing available; contact the editor.

You may make payment in US$, Euro, Yen, British pounds, CDN$, and other currencies. (Will be converted to US$ funds.)

Check or Money Order

Make cheque payable to 'upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.'

  • US funds drawn on a bank with its address in the USA.
  • Equivalent Canadian funds drawn on a bank in Canada (incl. GST).
  • Equivalent British funds drawn on a bank in Great Britain.
  • Equivalent Euro funds drawn on a bank in Europe.

By Mail
You may mail payment to:

      "Tailoring AutoCAD Rendering 2008"
      upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.
      34486 Donlyn Avenue
      Abbotsford BC
      V2S 4W7     Canada

also available as mini-eBooks:

Tailoring Dynamic Blocks US$9.90
Tailoring Quick Calc US$5.40
Tailoring Visual Styles US$11.10
Tailoring CUI US$9.60
Tailoring AutoCAD 2007 US$30.70


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 Wheres and Hows of Rendering, What and Where, Saving Rendered Images, Rendering Styles, Plotting Renderings, Pre-2007/8 Command Comparison, What’s New in AutoCAD 2008, Animating Renderings, Understanding Lights, Types of Lights, Invoking Renderings, View Menu and Render Toolbar, Lights Toolbar and Lights Submenu, Mapping Toolbar and Mapping Submenu, Other Toolbars, Dashboard.

chapter 2 — quick rendering

RenderCrop: Quickly Rendering 3D Drawings, Additional Notes About RenderCrop, Dashboard: Quickly Changing the Render Style, Tool Palettes: Quickly Applying Materials, Additional Notes About Materials, View: Quickly Changing the Background, Additional Notes About Backgrounds, Adjust Sun & Sky Background, Dashboard: Quickly Turning On the Sun, Saving the Rendering.

chapter 3 — the dashboard & tool palettes

Dashboard, Right-click Menu, Touring the Light Panel, Toolbars, Slider Bars, Touring the Materials Panel, Materials and Textures Flyout, Planar Mapping Flyout, Attach by Layer Button, Materials Button, Copy Mapping Coordinates Button, Reset Mapping Coordinates, Touring the Render Panel, Render Button, Render Cropped Region Button, Select Render Preset Droplist, Cancel Button & Progress Bars, Render Environment Button, Advanced Render Settings Button, Show Render Window Button, Sampling Limit Slider, Save Rendering to File, Output Size Droplist, Tool Palettes, Generic Lights Palette, Photometric Lights Palette, Photometic Lights, Web Lights, Materials Palette, Materials Library Palette, Cameras Palette

chapter 4 — rendering drawings

The History of the Teapot, Render: Rendering 3D Models, What to Render, Where to Render, -Render: At the Command Line, RenderWin: Displaying the Render Window, Quick Tour of the Render Window, Menu Bar, Rendering Pane , Statistics Pane, Progress Bars, History Pane, Status Bar, Navigating Dialog Boxes and Palettes , RenderPresets: Creating and Modifying Rendering Styles, Preset Info, General, Materials, Sampling, Shadows, Ray Tracing, Indirect Illumination, Global Illumination, Final Gather, Light Properties, Diagnostic, Visual, Processing, RPref: Modifying the Rendering Preferences , Select Render Preset, General, Render Context, RenderExposure, What to Do When RenderExposure Won’t Work, Exposure Controls Not Enabled, Specify Insertion Scale, Render Exposure for Generic Lighting.

chapter 5 — attaching & creating custom materials

What Materials Are, How Materials Are Defined, Making Your Own Material Files, Creating Bump Files, Creating Cutout Files, Adding Custom Materials to Tool Palettes, Registering the Custom Material, Finding Textures, Using and Adjusting Custom Materials on Surfaces, Adding Custom Bump Materials, 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, Unsightly Seams, Visual Reference of Wrap Topologies, Scale and Rotation, Previewing Materials, MaterialMap: Adjusting Materials to 3D Objects, Wrap Topologies, Selecting Objects and Faces, Relocating the Map, 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 materials in autocad

Materials: Editing Materials, Available Materials in Drawing, Quick Tour of Materials Palette, Shortcut Menu, Ambient, Diffuse, & Specular, Toolbar, Material Editor, Material Type: Advanced & Advanced Metal, Material Type: Realistic & Realistic Metal, Template Droplist, Realistic and Advanced, Color, Ambient, Diffuse, & Specular, Sliders, Maps Panel, Diffuse Map Section, Reflection Section, Opacity Map Section, Bump Map Section, Realistic Metal and Advanced Metal, Support Panels, Advanced Lighting Override, Scaling and Tiling, Material Offset And Preview, Editing Procedural Materials, Map Preview, Checker Material, Marble Material, Noise Material, Speckle Material (Granite), Tiles Material (Bricks), Wave Material, Wood Material, MaterialsClose: Closing the Materials Palette, ToolPalettes: Alternative to Material Editing, ConvertOldMaterials.

chapter 7 — placing lights

Lights in Drawings, Point Lights, Spotlights, Distance Lights, Sun Light, Web Lights, Default Lighting, DefaultLighting, DefaultLightingType, Generic & Photometric Lighting, LightingUnits, LightsInBlocks, RenderUserLights, Light Options, Light: Adding Lights to Drawings, PointLight: Placing Point Lights, Point Options — Generic Lighting, Point Options — Photometric Lighting, Editing Point Lights, Photometric Details, TargetPoint: Placing Point Lights with Targets, Placing Lights with OSnaps and Point Filters, 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, Weblight Options — Photometric Lighting, Editing Web Lights, AutoCAD’s Library of .ies Files, FreeWeb: Placing Web Lights without Targets, AutoCAD’s Default Photometric Colors, LightList: Select, Edit, and Remove Lights, Tutorial: Modiyfing Street Lights, SunStatus: Turn On the Sun Light, Positioning The Sun Light, Dashboard, GeographicLocation, System Variables, SunProperties: Editing Sunlight, General, Sun Angle Calculator, Rendered Shadow Details, Geographic Location, SunPropertiesClose, ConvertOldLights, 3dConversionMode.

chapter 8 — camera views

Camera: Placing Perspective Viewpoints, Placing Cameras, Seeing the Camera’s Viewpoint, Adjusting the Camera’s View, Square Grips, Triangular Grips, Camera Command Options, Properties and View: Editing Camera Properties, Properties Palette, View Manager Dialog Box, Fine-tuning the Camera’s View, Menu Bar, Shortcut Menu, Toolbars, Tool Palette, Dashboard, RenderEnvironment: Adding Fog, Rendering with Cameras,

no appendices

additional resources

We have the following ebooks are available for learning more about AutoCAD’s visualization capabilities:

  • Visual Styles - To learn all about visual styles, consult our Tailoring Visual Styles e-book (US$11.10). Suitable for AutoCAD 2007 and 2008. www.upfrontezine.com/tvs
  • Animation - To learn how to create animations from renderings and visual styles, read our Animations with AutoCAD e-book (US$8.70). Suitable for AutoCAD 2007 and 2008. www.upfrontezine.com/awa
  • Customizing -- To understand how to customize the Dashboard and Tool palettes, check out our Tailoring AutoCAD 2008 e-book (US$34.80). www.upfrontezine.com/tvs

opyright 2007 by upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. All rights reserved worldwide.