An Integrated Cloud App in the Onshape App Store, RealityServer is a cloud-based, GPU-accelerated, photorealistic rendering solution that you can use directly within Onshape.

And like Onshape, RealityServer does all of its processing in the cloud. Every user is provided with dedicated access to NVIDIA Tesla M40 GPUs, each with 24GB of high-speed DDR5 memory which should handle even the largest Onshape assembly files.

So there’s no more struggling to render images using just your local CPU. RealityServer delivers superior, physically-accurate images back to your browser, in real time.

To use RealityServer, you can purchase just the hours you need for your project. However, if you are just starting out, we recommend that you select the free option, which will provide you with two hours of free rendering service every month – until you are ready to upgrade.

For an in-depth overview of the power of RealityServer for Onshape, watch the video tutorial below:


To make sure you get the most out of your RealityServer hours, your server will automatically turn itself off if no changes or new tasks are detected within 5 minutes. This is a safeguard just in case you forget to logout yourself.

Another powerful and unique asset in RealityServer for Onshape is the built-in Material Library comprising of more than 1,400 high-quality and ready-to-go materials from NVIDIA’s vMaterial MDL library. With these MDL materials, and the physically accurate Iray rendering engine, your designs will come to life with compelling studio-level photographic detail of your finished product.

To help you get comfortable with RealityServer faster, we recently added a new introduction video and a 27-item quick reference video playlist. You can watch these clips when you open up one of the RealityServer tabs within any Onshape Document. On the top-right corner of the page, look for the red “Tutorial Video” button.

Alternatively, you can choose from the full menu of 27 topics at the RealityServer for Onshape Tutorial YouTube Channel.

Screenshot of tutorial videos available for RealityServer for Onshape, a cloud-based photo-rendering app.

Some of the most commonly asked “How To” questions about RealityServer are answered in a series of 27 short video tutorials.

After viewing the introductory overview video at the top of this playlist, you will find another 27 quick reference videos covering the most frequent questions fielded by the RealityServer Support team over the last 18 months. Let’s take a brief look at a few of these tutorials and explore their content.

Enabling the AI De-Noise Function


The AI De-Noise function uses a very fast Artificial Intelligence algorithm (developed by NVIDIA) to remove image “noise” or “graininess” from the early set of rendering images, which can accelerate the production of sharp images by a factor of 20 times. In other words, instead of waiting 5 minutes for your image to fully form, the AI denoising process could reduce this time to just 15 seconds!

But because this De-Noise function does not always work as expected, it is not switched on by default. If the user wants to use this option, he or she must enable it from within the “Filtering” section as shown in video.

Assigning & Editing Materials


“Assigning & Editing Materials” is a powerful and easy-to-use feature where you quickly assign full function and physically-accurate materials to your assemblies, which are key to creating studio-quality images of your new products. All of this functionality is available directly within Onshape.

This massive library of over 1,400 base material types is accessed by clicking on the Materials tab just under the rendering viewport. Here, you can either open up the material library tree and click through the range of material categories, or just use the Search function and insert any set of keywords (i.e., “Green Carpet”) to find your selected material.

After you assign this base material to the selected parts or surfaces of your model, the full set of material attributes will appear in the right-hand side dialogue panel, which you can edit to create the precise material finish definition and appearance you desire. You can also combine material types to create even more complex material structures.

Creating, Changing & Removing Cameras


To better communicate the quality and precise details of your Onshape model, you need to have easy-to-use and flexible camera tools. Using the camera control in the top menu, you can quickly create and/or select your next stored camera view. As users experiment with a variety of camera positions – and reach a point where they need to remove unwanted camera positions – it will not be immediately obvious how this can be done.

As shown in the video, all the camera positions are listed in the “Scene Graph” panel on the left-hand side of the page. Here, the user can select the name of their unwanted camera, and with the context menu, promptly remove that camera position.

A full range of camera settings are displayed in the right-hand panel, which can be adjusted and viewed in the rendering viewport within seconds. Using this feature, you can separately control each individual camera in your scene.

HDRI Environments & Daylighting


In RealityServer for Onshape, the environment that surrounds the modelling scene is actually in the form of a huge virtual sphere with an image mapped onto its surface (this can also become the background when switched on). This image is called an “HDRI,” which stands for High Dynamic Range Imagery. With an HDRI image, the real-world color and brightness value is separately stored in every individual pixel of that image, which can then be used to accurately illuminate the details of your Onshape model.

These surrounding image environments can even be configured with a physically accurate skydome, with a separate sun element that can accurately represent the exact path of the sun as it moves across that skydome.

After you click on the “Environments” tab, you can start exploring the 100-plus different environments that already come with RealityServer for Onshape. To have your model accurately lit by any of these HDRI environments, you simply click and drag your selected thumbnail image to anywhere within the rendering viewport. You can then almost instantly view the changes in the scene appearance.

If you want to use a geographically accurate and adjustable sun/sky model, you need to choose either the “Preetham” or “Perez” environments for your background. You will then be able to precisely adjust the site location, date, and time of day, to accurately view the resulting daylight and shadow impact on your Onshape model.

So now we’ve only summarized 4 of the 27 video tutorials on our new playlist. As you explore your free RealityServer for Onshape trial (details here), I encourage you to choose which other video topics are most relevant to your needs. We’ve designed these clips to precisely provide the information you need, right at the exact time you need it.

Producing studio-quality imagery of your CAD models is vital for your marketing team. RealityServer for Onshape is the best and most efficient way to help your customers and partners fully visualize your products.