Luxion has released KeyShot 10.0, the next major update to its rendering and technical animation software, adding a new Light Manager and Light Gizmos for editing lighting, and better rendering of cloth and caustics.
Users of KeyShot Pro and above get a new set of environment animation features, including support for keyframe adjustments, and a new Smart Export system for exporting to 3MF, glTF and USDZ formats.
An easy-to-use renderer for product designers, modellers and visualisation artists
First released a decade ago following the demise of its predecessor, HyperShot, KeyShot is an intuitive renderer aimed at less technically minded artists.
Its core user base is product designers and visualisation professionals, but it is also used by modellers in the entertainment market thanks to a bridge to ZBrush, Pixologic’s digital sculpting software.
As well as making it possible to generate photorealistic images without the need to adjust as many settings as in conventional DCC applications, KeyShot features basic technical animation capabilities.
As of last year’s KeyShot 9.0, the renderer is GPU-accelerated, making it possible to toggle into GPU mode when the software detects a compatible Nvidia graphics card.
All editions: new Light Manager and Light Gizmos
In KeyShot 10.0, all editions of the softwarew get a new set of lighting features, notably the Light Manager: a dockable panel for editing the visibility, colour, power and size of any physical light in a scene.
For a more hands-on workflow, the update also adds new Light Gizmos: viewport manipulators for controlling the beam angle and falloff properties of Spot, IES and Point lights.
All editions: new materials and rendering features
Materials features include RealCloth 2.0, an update to the procedural cloth material added in KeyShot 9.0 exposing more details of the fabric’s weave structure in the UI, and introducing new render quality presets.
Rendering improvements include a Firefly filter to remove bright single-pixel artefacts in renders.
It can be run alongside the existing render denoising system, which itself has been updated to generate visually identical results in the real-time view and in final-quality output.
Caustic effects are now more physically realistic, and should now converge faster, particularly when rendering on the GPU, and when rendering large scenes.
All editions: new Solo mode and other workflow improvements
Workflow improvements include a new Solo Mode, making it possible to hide all of the objects in a scene except the one you’re working on, in the same way as in most standard DCC applications.
The release adds support for locked camera mapping, for projecting textures onto a model from a fixed camera position; the option to flip the normals of a model; and a revamped UI for the Move tool.
KeyShot also now respects the alpha channels of textures when importing assets in FBX format.
KeyShot Pro: new environment and camera animation options
Users of KeyShot Pro and the other high-end editions of the software get a new set of animation features, geared primarily towards simple environment and camera animations.
The latter include the option to animate the Twist parameter of a camera to create corkscrew zoom effects.
For more complex technical animation work, users can adjust the movement of objects through a conventional keyframe system as well as KeyShot’s existing block-based approach.
A Record mode makes it possible to generate keyframes for an object in real time by moving it manually in the viewport, with the animation path shown as a visible trail.
KeyShot Pro: Smart Export streamlines export of assets for 3D printing or augmented reality
Pro users also get Smart Export, a new system that integrates UV unwrapping and texture baking features, intended to streamline the process of exporting asets for AR, mobile and 3D printing workflows.
File formats supported include 3MF for 3D printing, glTF for exporting assets to real-time applications, and USDZ, Apple and Pixar’s new universal format for augmented reality work.
As a bonus, KeyShot also supports USD, USDZ’s parent format, although given it’s primarily used in visual effects and feature animation pipelines, we imagine that relatively few KeyShot users will need it.
Pricing and availability
KeyShot 10.0 is available for 64-bit Windows 8+ and macOS 10.13+. The software comes with integration plugins for a range of DCC and CAD tools, including 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Maya and ZBrush.
A new licence of the base HD edition costs $995; the Pro edition costs $1,995. An Enterprise licence, which includes the KeyShotWeb and network rendering add-ons, costs $3,995. See a comparison table here.
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