MASTER YOUR KEYSHOT RENDERS
Discover how to improve your render experience with our 30 expert tips
rendering an image, animation of a model or even a whole scene is an important step in art creation, and by not taking your work through this process the end result will look unfinished. Even if you are aiming for a rustic style, it looks better when it is actually rendered that way. Whether it is just for a portfolio or commercial purposes, being able to render your work is a valuable expertise.
Every artist has a favourite render engine to work with. Keyshot offers a wide range of tools and simple rendering solutions, enabling the user to have a beautiful and seamless creative experience. The easier the workflow, the better and quicker the results. Knowing your way around the software allows you to concentrate on the creative side of the process.
It might initially seem a little difficult to get to grips with for beginners, no matter how straightforward the software may be. At the beginning of my 3D career I kept wondering: Am I doing it wrong? What if it does not look good to others? How do I make things look interesting or attractive to the eye? It is only fair to admit that even with a few years of experience under my belt, I still ask myself those questions. It can take a long time to realise that you are being too harsh on yourself and your work.
To reduce that self doubt and the stress that comes with it, the best thing to do is to familiarise yourself with the software. Be patient. Get used to it. Learn what it can do to help you through the journey, and finally, experiment! It is very easy to get frustrated if you do not give yourself the time to explore the options, and instead try to learn on the job.
It may seem like there is a lot to learn about for this particular software, but that is not the case at all. Here I have provided some tips to help guide you through it; be aware that some of these steps are exclusive and based on the newest version of the software, Keyshot 8 Pro, and are not available in Keyshot 7 or older.
01 TRY KEYSHOT CLOUD
This is an online library of materials, environments, textures and backplates – there is a great variety of resources to choose from. You can also upload your own materials to share with other Keyshot users. Great community effort. Maya Jermy
02 CHOOSE A UI THEME
A quick process that can greatly assist with your learning is setting up your own interface layout. Putting relevant menus and tabs in strategic places can speed up your workflow and learning process. When you know where to find the things you need, you will feel more familiar with the software. Keyshot offers two colour themes: light and dark. To change the theme at any time go to Edit> Preferences>interface, or select it from the Workspaces Startup ribbon dropdown. Maya Jermy
03 USE PERFORMANCE MODE
Once you’ve added a lot of lights to your project and the scene becomes ‘heavy’, navigation performance will drop. Moving around the scene becomes difficult and laggy. The best solution is to activate Performance Mode. It will remove certain light settings (global illumination, ground shadows) from the active render and reduce the CPU usage pressure. You can also find it in Project>lighting>lighting Presets. Maya Jermy
04 LINK MATERIALS
If you have a material you want to apply to multiple objects, there are a few things that can be done. First, you can save out the material to your library, then apply it to the selection of objects. Option two is to material link the objects so all receive the updated changes. To do this, select two or more items and press Link Materials. Alternatively, right-click on the selected objects and from the pop-up menu select Material> Link Materials. Maya Jermy
05 APPLY MATERIALS TO LABELS
Labels do not need to be plastic and boring. Once applied to a
model, labels can take on any material, bump or opacity desired. It is literally as simple as drag and drop. To add a little wear and tear to a label, just find the right texture map and drop it in the Bump slot of the Labels tab. Select a procedural map from the drop-down menu, for example, noise. If you want to apply the same texture as the parent object’s, select the From Parent option. Alternatively, navigate to the parent Texture tab, select the Bump tile and tick Apply Bump To Labels located below. It will project the same map on all labels applied. Maya Jermy
06 CREATE DEPTH OF FIELD
Tired of adding depth of field in post-production, faking it in Photoshop? Try adding it to your active window and see the results before hitting the Render button. Depth of Field sits comfortably in the Camera tab, where it can be easily activated and manipulated with just a few sliders. You can also set the camera focus by clicking on the part of the model you want to drive attention to. Keyshot will apply the set amount of blur based on your chosen focus and distance. Maya Jermy
07 REGION RENDERING
This is especially useful when working on a big project, in Performance mode – there’s no need to render the entire thing just to see how a little piece will look rendered. Open the Render menu and choose the region you want to render. This will save you some serious time, and prevent your machine from overheating in the process. Maya Jermy
08 RENDER GLOSS PASS
Keyshot does decent render passes based on the materials and lights used in the scene, but sometimes it is not enough and it would be useful to have additional renders of just clean specular and gloss. The best solution is to change the environment to plain black, and apply glossy black material to the model. In the material editor adjust reflections and roughness (gloss), then use a pin light to capture the right look. Maya Jermy