Know the Basics: ZBrush – part five: KeyShot lighting and materials

3D art director Gregory Stoffel continues the Know the Basics: ZBrush series by looking at the lighting and materials options using the ZBrush to KeyShot bridge...

Previous tutorials

Know the Basics: ZBrush - part one: Modeling
Know the Basics: ZBrush - part two: Texturing
Know the Basics: ZBrush - part three: Posing
Know the Basics: ZBrush - part four: FiberMesh and UVs

This tutorial will cover the basics of applying and modifying materials, and lighting a scene in KeyShot. I will show the different materials I have used and the lighting setup I have created to render my image Mer-Man.

Step 1: Sending model from ZBrush to KeyShot

From ZBrush, it is now very easy to send your finished model to KeyShot with the KeyShot bridge. Just go to the Render menu and in the External Renderer palette, click on the button KeyShot, then, do a BPR render to send your model automatically to KeyShot.

Enable the KeyShot bridge in the Render menu in ZBrush.

Enable the KeyShot bridge in the Render menu in ZBrush.

Step 2: Overview of KeyShot's interface

You can see that KeyShot has imported your model perfectly, with its textures applied to it. On the right panel, you will find your model, with all its different SubTools, that can still be selected separately. On the top of this panel, you will find the different tabs where we will modify and create the Materials, Lighting and Cameras. On the left panel is the library where all the Materials, Colors, Environment maps and other textures are located.

Model imported in KeyShot and overview of KeyShot's interface.

Model imported in KeyShot and overview of KeyShot's interface.

Step 3: Apply a material to your model

To apply a material, simply choose one from the library and click and drag this material to the part of the model you want it to be applied. Alternatively, you can click and drag the material on the name of the SubTool (or on the group if you want all the SubTools to have the same material) on the right panel. Upon clicking on a material, KeyShot will remind you to Hold Alt if you want to retain the texture of your model. So if you want to change the material but keep the texture, hold ALT then click and drag the material to your mesh.

Choose a material and apply it to a part or your entire model.

Choose a material and apply it to a part or your entire model.

Step 4: Modify the material

To modify a material, double-click on the SubTool with the material you want to modify and the Material tab will open in the scene panel. Here you will find different parameters to modify its colors, specular, and so on. All the materials don't have the same parameters; in this example, this one has a subsurface property which you won't find on other materials such as metals.

Select the Material of a particular mesh and modify its parameters.

Step 5: Changing the textures

Still in the Material panel, next to the Properties tab, you will find the Textures, where you can change or add additional textures to your material. Not all the materials have the same texture slots, depending on their properties.

Adding textures to the material.

Step 6: All shaders applied

Here you can see my model with the main materials applied to each SubTool.

In the next chapter, I will show how I rendered the different passes that I then used in Photoshop to composite the final image.

All shaders applied and ready for rendering.

All shaders applied and ready for rendering.

Related links

Check out Gregory's portfolio
Head over to the Voodoo Workshop for more blogs, videos and news
The Moebius Tribute tutorial
The Burai Fighter Tribute tutorial
The Rhino tutorial
Know the Basics: ZBrush - part one: Modeling
Know the Basics: ZBrush - part two: Texturing
Know the Basics: ZBrush - part three: Posing
Know the Basics: ZBrush - part four: FiberMesh and UVs