Why rendering is required?
You are architecture and created a 3D model of a building. Now you want to present it to a group of prospective buyers. For them the minute technical details (like lines, dimensions etc.) of your 3D model are not that important, they are more serious about aesthetics. You can impress them by showing the rendered image of your 3D AutoCAD model. By means of rendering you actually convert your 3D drawing to a presentable 2D image. Moreover, the rendered image could be saved in .jpeg, .bmp, .tiff etc. which could be easily viewed by anybody without using AutoCAD software.
Rendering is an art of creating beautiful images; hence the quality of rendering varies from person to person. Selection and placements of light sources and usage of materials plays a major role in rendering.
How to set different lighting and materials options in AutoCAD 2009?
You can select either sun or some other artificial lights or both as source of light.
In order to start setting the rendering options, you first have to open or create a 3D drawing (or 2D drawing). You need to set 3D modeling workspace now by menu browser > tools > workspace > 3D modeling. You will see 3D ribbon appears on your screen.
Click on the visualize ribbon tab, go to sun panel. Click on the sun status icon to get the
Sunlight effect to the image. Now click on the sky background illumination fly out and select the suitable sky back ground from there.
If you are using sunlight as light source, then you have to set the time and location from the time & location panel. You can define or adjust various other parameters by clicking sun properties icon.
In case you are using artificial lights with or without sun, you have to go to the light panel in order to define various parameters. You can select a light between two types (point light and spot light). For point lights you have to define only source where as for spot light you will be defining the target area apart from the source. Types of shadows could be defined by using by shadow type icon.
You have options for creating and using different materials by the material panel. By clicking the material properties icon you can create different materials from an existing template. For example, you can create green colored glass by using glass template and giving its color as green.