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Rendering with KeyShot

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Date Added: 9th December 2013
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Florence Design Academy artist, Mario Malagrino takes us through creating the perfect professional render using KeyShot.


Before I begin the tutorial, let me say a few words about KeyShot. KeyShot is a very user-friendly 3D rendering application that allows you to create photorealistic visuals in a very short time. It's the solution for many designers who don't want to waste time with complicated rendering software.

When I first imported a model to KeyShot, my jaw dropped. "WOW, real-time reflections of the HDR image on the model", I thought to myself. For those who create hundreds of test renderings just to achieve the right angle for reflections, you'll understand how much time you can save with that feature alone. Many designers have great models but bad renderings ? and a loss of quality in their portfolio that can affect job prospects or landing a project. KeyShot changes that completely, putting the ability to create stunning imagery in the hands of every designer.

You may wonder what the key is to creating great renderings. I will tell you. The key to a great rendering is the quality of light and use of material. That is exactly where we see the power of KeyShot. It offers presets environments (HDRIs) as well as physical lighting, hundreds of scientifically accurate materials and settings that are simple to adjust. All of the changes and adjustments to the scene happen right in front of your eyes. This tutorial covers these features along with the settings used for the rendering of the car you see in this image.

Getting started

So let's begin! In your modeling software you have to give the same color to those objects that will have the same material in KeyShot. In this way, you group the objects for KeyShot. In older versions of KeyShot you should use color, but in the new version it works through materials.

Allocate the right colors to your model in your 3D software

Importing your model

Once you have allocated the colors to your model, export your model (I use OBJ files, but there are many other choices). Open KeyShot and import your model ? you will see a nice real-time rendering in your view. This will allow you to understand what you should change.

Remember that in your modeling software you have to set up the units, such as meters. This will guarantee you are able to import other objects with the correct scale, rotation and size.

Export, and then import your model using the setting shown

The interface

The two most important panels (buttons) are the Project panel and the Library panel.
The project panel shows you what you have in your scene. The library panel shows you what you can add to the scene (for example, another material on your car, or simply another HDR image).

Explaining the most important elements of the KeyShot interface

continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Bryan Cook on Sat, 29 March 2014 10:00pm
Can you tell me the best file format to import for a car? I have a 3ds max version of a car, but it is taking a long time to import. I'm totally new to this, so I'm not sure how long it should usually take.
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