AutoCAD Tutorial

AutoCAD 2004 Customization Tutorial: 3D Graphics Display (Part 1)

By Alireza Parsai, May 14, 2003

The quality of 3D models in drawing area depends on some system variables. The following tutorial shows you how to control the quality of 3D graphics with the help of FACETRES and ISOLINES. Another tutorial will discuss the use of Options dialog box.

1. Download R16 - 3D Part.dwg.

Note: If you are using an earlier release of AutoCAD download R15 - 3D Part.dwg.

2. Open the file in AutoCAD 2004. A 3D solid model appears in Wireframe mode [Figure 1].

Figure 1 - Click on image to enlarge

3. In command line enter ISOLINES and alter the value to 12.

4. Invoke REGEN. The appearance of the model changes [Figure 2].

Figure 2 - Click on image to enlarge

5. Enable Shade toolbar.

6. Click the Hidden button [Figure 3].

Figure 3 - Click on image to enlarge

7. Invoke Render command. A rendered image of the model appears on screen [Figure 4].

Figure 4 - Click on image to enlarge

8. Invoke REGEN to view the model in current viewport.

9. In command line enter FACETRES. This system variable can enhance the quality of hidden models and rendered images. The default value is 0.5 but it can vary from 0.01 to 10. The bigger the value, the better quality, the longer rendering time.

10. Alter the value of FACETRES to 10 (i.e. the best quality).

11. Invoke REGEN. The appearance of model will be enhanced [Figure 5].

Note: If you are using an earlier release of AutoCAD, altering FACETRES has no effect on the model shown by hidden option of Shade toolbar. This system variable affects the behavior of HIDE and RENDER only.

Figure 5 - Click on image to enlarge

12. Invoke RENDER. The quality of render image is better (comparing to what you see in Figure 4) [Figure 6].

Figure 6 - Click on image to enlarge

About the Author

Alireza Parsai is the founder of He is a mechanical engineer with more than 12 years experience with AutoCAD. Alireza is an Autodesk Authorized Author, the AutoCAD consultant for Al Khawarizmi Institute, a contributing editor for Augiworld magazine, a writer for CAD Digest, an instructor for AUGI Training Program, and an elected speaker for Autodesk University 2002. He has written 7 books in Farsi, 3 booklets in English, and more than 30 articles for different magazines and newsletters. You can reach him at or visit his website

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