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KeyShot | Key Features

Key Features of KeyShot

Learn about the features of KeyShot that will help you make professional level photorealistic renders.

KeyShot allows Rhino users to create professional level photorealistic images quickly and easily. A simple drag and drop metaphor is used for all materials, lighting environments and backdrops allowing high quality renderings to be set up in minutes. Created for designers and engineers rather than visualisers, KeyShot allows you to concentrate on showing your design at its best rather than wrangling with a complex user interface and understanding geeky terminology. Despite this simplicity KeyShot has a real depth to the feature set allowing for customisation and adjustment of all render elements.

Real-time Changes

KeyShot is ‘real-time’. As you apply materials to your model and make changes to the lighting you start to see these effects immediately. The traditional iterative approach of rendering multiple test images until the correct look is achieved is simply not necessary. This ‘real-time’ element is not a simple dumbed down preview image but full real-time ray tracing. Parameters to control lighting and shadow quality, number of rays traced etc are all controllable in this real time mode. For large or multiple images you can choose to render off-line and of course queue these renders up for batch processing.

Real time rendering can be handled with CPU or GPU and it’s good to know that KeyShot is designed to take advantage of the latest NVIDIA RTX ray tracing graphics cards.

Stand-alone Program or Live Linking with Rhino

KeyShot is a stand-alone program rather than a Rhino plug-in. This can be an advantage if you use more than one modelling application, for example Rhino and SolidWorks, where KeyShot will accept native data from both modellers. If you are solely or primarily a Rhino user, then the Rhino plug-in allows for ‘live linking’ between Rhino and KeyShot. Once you have pushed your Rhino model to KeyShot you can return to Rhino and make changes to the model and then simply push those updates to KeyShot.

Great Choice for Designers

With a strong history rooted in automotive and product design, KeyShot is also a great choice for designers and visualisers in sectors such as jewellery design, furniture design, engineering, footwear design and eyewear. It has become the rendering tool of choice for large corporations such as Caterpillar, Stanley Black&Decker, Motorola and Unilever amongst others.

Whilst not perhaps the ultimate choice for architectural exteriors and interiors there is nevertheless a sunlight system and an interior lighting mode which means that, for example, you can comfortably show your furniture design in a true photorealistic and atmospheric context. KeyShot is known for its use of image based HDRI lighting but there is also calculation of indirect illumination and the ability to use physical lights such as area lights, point lights, spotlights and IES lights.

Want to see some of the features of KeyShot 10 in action with Rhino v7? Then watch our latest KeyShot video here:

KeyShot Materials Library

KeyShot materials are physically accurate and the product ships with a library of over 700 materials including DuPont automotive finishes, fabrics, glass, gems, Sørensen Leathers,Metals, liquids etc. Making your own custom materials is a straightforward process as there are a number of ‘base materials’ that can be used to simplify complex material construction and colours from commercial libraries such as Pantone and RAL are included.

There are also geometry shaders that generate dynamic elements at render time. Examples of these are: Fuzz - that can be used to generate hair and grass; Displacement for adding depth and detail, Bubbles, Fog for atmospheric effects and Scattering Materials. Additionally, ‘Real Cloth’ creates customisable woven materials.

Let Your Customers Interact with your Renders

In order to allow your customers the ability to interact with KeyShot renders there is a free downloadable KeyShot Viewer. This allows your KeyShot file to be viewed and manipulated in 3D and any saved model configurations to be viewed.

KeyShot License Versions

KeyShot is available in ‘HD’ and ‘Pro’ versions for single license deployment and ‘Pro Floating’ and ‘Enterprise’ versions for network deployment. We’ve summarised the main feature changes between HD and Pro here (link) but both versions now have unlimited real-time and output resolutions whilst the Pro version adds a number of important features including the geometry shaders, sun and sky system and animation.

Particularly suited to the world of product design, animation in KeyShot Pro is controlled via a simple timeline and both the camera and parts can be animated allowing for simple set-up of, for example, exploded animations. Path and Panorama animations are also easy to create.

In summary, if you are looking to create professional quality photorealistic visuals and you are a designer rather than a visualiser, then KeyShot could be a great product for you.

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