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KeyShot: Tips

[ Edited ]

Hello,

 

So, I've been using KeyShot for 3-4 years now, and I've been asked to share some of my tips using KeyShot. The request was for my top 3 tips, but I can share more if people wish. So, I'll start off this thread with the very foundation for a great render, which is the geometry itself. Like an fellow render ethusiast and experienced KeyShot user eloquently told me:

 "If you can start with an exceptional model, the rest is easy"  - Bill Gould

 

1. GEOMETRY PREPARATIONS

 

So, what do we mean by exceptional geometry? Well, first of all, it's all about the details, and more details, and even more details:

 

  • Edge Blends/Fillets
    A simple trick for heavily increasing the visual impact of your geometry is adding edge blends to almost every sharp edge there is (unless, of course, we are talking about a knife edge or similar). However, sometimes, you don't have the luxury, or even the time to add edge blends to every geometry on your design. That's where we can use the Radius function within KeyShot to add the detail. The video below demonstrates this:




    If you look at this higher resolution image, you can see the impact of the added radius:




  • Component Air / Geometry Gaps
    Another related geometry visual booster is adding gaps in the geometry. This is something which I know is a no-no for engineered models, but it can prove as another geometry enhancer which will boost the visual impact. The reason for this, is that a small gap emphasizes shadow effects in that particular area. Have a look at the legs for this (yet another) lego guy below:



    Now, I've emphasized the effect on this image. And keep in mind that we have an edge blend to the right image, which makes it seems like it is a tiny gap. If it weren't, they would look like they were one single part.

So, that's my first five cents on geometry preparations. Of course, it is always better to have these two quicktips done in context of the model itself, but I know that this is not a luxury that everyone has.


Hope this helps! And let me know if you have some questions, or would like some more tips.


Regards,

Magnus Skogsfjord
Product Manager NX
Zenith Systems AS
zenith.no
8 REPLIES

Re: KeyShot: Tips

These are some great tips. Who knew you add radius in KeyShot (not me!). What about how you do field of focus stuff. this clearly differentiates your shots -- the sharp near focus and blurred long focus...

Dan Staples
Director, Solid Edge Product Development

Re: KeyShot: Tips

@dcstaples Thank you! Sure, I can provide some tips on Depth of Field. I have some better examples on this in my computer at my office. Stay tuned!

Magnus Skogsfjord
Product Manager NX
Zenith Systems AS
zenith.no

Re: KeyShot: Tips

Great tips Magnus !
Actually I don't own a keyshot license anymore but your tips are good for all the rendering software.

Re: KeyShot: Tips

[ Edited ]

That's true @Fiorini. Thanks!

 

Okay, so since there was a question about adding Depth of Field, I can do a couple of short quicktips on that one as well. Depth of Field is really something you do at the very last stage of the render. Well, that's not entirely true, as I can rarely keep my patience to test this on any model I import to KeyShot. The reason being, is that it so fiercly increases the photorealism. Plus, it really gives a very dramatic effect to your images. Beware though, you should not make it too heavy, as it can also ruin much of the subject involved. I'm always a bit in doubt when using depth of field. The reason is, that sometimes you want to emphasize a certain part of your design, but at the same time, you want to show more of that glorious geometry in the same image. At the end of the day, it's all a matter of taste.

 

2. Depth of Field (DOF)

 

  • Adding the DoF
    So, adding a DoF-effect is pretty straight forward. You just access the Camera tab under project and tick the little box at the bottom. You then proceed by simply clicking on the part of the geometry you want to have in focus:




  • Increasing the effect
    Sometimes, you may want to increase the effect. Or maybe, the initial effect is too heavy, so you want to decrease it. Either way, this can easily be adjusted by dragging the F-Stop slider. Lower values increases the effect, while higher value decreases the effect.




  • Render settings using DoF
    If you use the render settings to export the image, note that the DoF slider will decide how good quality your blurring will be. If you leave it at 1, you may get grainy blurring, which is OK for test renders. If you aim to make the final images, it is recommended that you increase the slider to a value between 3-5. But keep in mind that this will increase render time dramatically (depending on the geometry complexity).



So, I would recommend playing around a bit with DoF. It's very simple to add, and kan potentially add huge dramatic impact to your design.

Magnus Skogsfjord
Product Manager NX
Zenith Systems AS
zenith.no

Re: KeyShot: Tips

I do not know why some of the videos refuse to be displayed. Let me know if you cannot access them.

Magnus Skogsfjord
Product Manager NX
Zenith Systems AS
zenith.no

Re: KeyShot: Tips

[ Edited ]

MagnusS wrote:

I do not know why some of the videos refuse to be displayed. Let me know if you cannot access them.


 

Hi Magnus,

 

Thanks for your AWESOME info by the way!

 

Both of the DOF videos work fine, only the previous one on Edge Fillets doesn't work. {EDIT: it seems to be working now}

Usually the reason is related to trying to upload a large video file [I do not know what the threshold size is, but there is one].....another way to overcome this, is to upload to You Tube, then load using the web link method.

 

Sean Cresswell
Design Manager Streetscape Limited
Solid Edge ST10 [MP0] Classic [x2 seats]
Windows 10

Re: KeyShot: Tips

@SeanCresswell Thank you! I appreciate it!

 

I'll keep your tip in mind. Maybe it would be beneficial to add a youtube account to host these kind of short clips. 

Magnus Skogsfjord
Product Manager NX
Zenith Systems AS
zenith.no

Re: KeyShot: Tips

[ Edited ]

3. MATERIAL TEXTURES

 

This is the stage where I probably spent most of my time: to tweak materials. What might be easy to overlook, is that every material have some sort of texture. Even if you look closely at a glossy car paint, you can see from the jagged reflections that it has a very very subtle bumped texture on it's surface (not a render): 

 

- Even car paint has a certain level of texture (not a render)


So, if you aim towards realism, you should start looking closely at your materials, and add bump maps and roughness to even your glossy parts. Of course, if you are looking for a very clean "perfect" look, you can skip this tip. A lot of renders aimed for marketing steers clear from this advice. But I'm a big fan of perfection through imperfection. So if you want to drop some jaws on your renders, make sure to give your textures some love. 

 

Now, I've taken the piano model which was a part of a rendering contest here for some time ago. In the pictures below I've rendered out macro shots (close up) of the piano with and without bump maps and roughness. While the images without the added texture may not seem bad, the added textures will enhance the realism of the materials (as seen in the bottom images). Keep in mind that these are very subtle bump maps. I've used the paint material here, with a normal map (attached at the bottom) with a height value of 0,015 and a roughness of 0,001. That's all there is for that final push. I recommend seeing these images in full resolution to get the idea. I've attached them at the bottom. Or simply just right click the images and open them in a new tab. 

 

NO BUMP MAP VS. BUMP MAP

- Macro shot 1 - TOP: No bump map added. BOTTOM: Bump map (Scale=0.9, Height = 0.015, Roughness = 0.001)

 


- Macro shot 2 - TOP: No bump map added. BOTTOM: Bump map (Scale=0.9, Height = 0.015, Roughness = 0.001)


Now, some might say they like the clean renders better. And of course, when it comes down to it, it's all a matter of taste. Just remember, if you aim for realism: Every surface has texture. The key is subtlety. 

 

EDIT: I've uploaded the piano material to the KeyShot cloud as "Piano Lacquer" if you want to test this material.

Magnus Skogsfjord
Product Manager NX
Zenith Systems AS
zenith.no