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MHBrown

Keyshot and Vectorworks

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I'm starting to see a lot of "Keyshot experience required" on job sites. It's bad enough that designers are limited to the subset of jobs that happen to use the software one knows, but now it seems there is an extra layer with Keyshot. As far as I can tell it is just a stand-alone rendering engine...somewhat redundant to me since VW finally has a pretty good rendering feature built in. What makes Keyshot worth laying out $2,000 and why is it suddenly such a hot commodity? Does Vectorworks have an export option to it? Does anyone else find this puzzling?

Thanks,

Mike

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You're talking apples and oranges really.  Keyshot is aimed at product design and small object still rendering - as well as automobile renders with backplate and HDRI lighting.  It excels at this and is industry standard for most product designers.  It is not really suitable for interior or exterior architecture or entertainment renderings.  I'm sure nothing is impossible, but if you look through their gallery, you will see it is mostly product driven.  It's fast and easy to use without a lot of fuss, but not really something you can compare to Renderworks.

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Thanks for the quick reply, but I'm an exhibit designer. I do mostly museums (which are interiors, of course) but also do trade show exhibits, retail environments, store displays, etc. It's mostly interior design focused although sometimes I do exteriors. When I do exteriors, however, I just render the display/exhibit/interactive component and insert it into a site photograph via Photoshop. Sorry for the long description, but these are the projects for which I'm seeing Keyshot being required. Are these companies talking apples and oranges, too? It seems to me that I don't need this if I have Renderworks which is much improved since migrating to the C4D rendering engine. It works for me just fine. I don't need a redundant application. Is this something I should explain to my potential clients or would I just sound "behind the curve"? Thanks again for the reply. As a one-man-shop I can get pretty isolated in pondering what technology is worthwhile and which is simply the latest shiny thing getting attention.

Mike B

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I hear you - I too am a one man shop.  For exhibit design and booths/kiosks - Keyshot is certainly appropriate.  Most like Keyshot for ease of use - it does one thing and it does it really well.

 

I find Renderworks cumbersome to work with and limited in ease of use, but everyone is different.  I use Cinema4D with Corona render engine for 99% of my work.  I think it comes down to personal preference.  Can you get similar renders to Keyshot or Cinema out of Renderworks - probably.  Will it take you 5 times as long - probably.  There are just so many options now for rendering, it really comes down to the artist more then this renderer can do X and this one can only do Y.  The only way you will know is to try it for yourself.  Keyshot has a free trial - download it and take it for a spin.  Maybe it will increase your productivity.  With everything, there is a learning curve.  Keyshot offers real time ray tracing - so you can see your render in seconds rather then minutes - once you start lighting things this way, there is no going back (hence my apples to Oranges comment).

 

I try to never have conversations about software with my clients - just the goal of the project.  Obviously, if they want source files or I'm part of a larger pipeline, it's a different conversation.

Edited by EAlexander
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Keyshot has evolved over the years from a mainly product and furniture render package to something that you can do full interiors these days. It's a really nice standalone render software, one of its best points is that the learning curve is far simpler than say 3ds max, yet still achieving great results 👍

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Yes, I stand corrected.  I haven't looked at it in a few years.  Certainly looks like lots of interior work being down with it now.

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@MHBrown I personally think if you're going to hire someone what software they use shouldn't be top of the list, if you really want someone on your workforce you would offer them some kind of training period, although I do understand we live in a fast paced world, and employers want results yesterday. Have you looked at Twinmotion ? free to download until early November 👍

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@EAlexander I don't use it where I work now, I wish we did, I got to really like Keyshot for standalone furniture and some interior renders 

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I use Keyshot daily, though mostly processing models from TouchCAD. I agree that it's more focused on product visualization rather than architectural renderings. For product renderings, it's phenomenal. You get from A to B quicker than anything I have tried, and it looks good too. The edge is smaller on architectural renderings though it can for sure be done, especially if you make use of the VW texture library. 

 

 

Keyshot by Claes Lundström.jpg

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I think the requirement is kind of silly, it's like the customer saying you must use only Craftsman hammers.

 

If Keyshot is very easy to use then it is a pretty low bar that you must have that skill.

 

Q: What format(s) are you using to get VW models into Keyshot?  Are these exports doing it for you?

 

We rely on Maxon as our built-in rendering engine supplier.  The acquisition of Redshift is very interesting.

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4 minutes ago, Dave Donley said:

 

 

Q: What format(s) are you using to get VW models into Keyshot?  Are these exports doing it for you?

 

 

Keyshot actually communicates fairly well with VW in a number of file formats. DXF, DWG, STEP, IGES, Parasolids, 3DS, Collada, FBX, OBJ, SAT, STL, and Rhino can all be imported, with more or less success. Textures works with many of the more graphics oriented formats, though the output seems to be a bit sketchy from some VW generated file formats, at least as seen from Kesyhot point of view. File formats with proper normals are much preferred for rounded polygon based objects, as Keyshot  has an inherited weakness in that it does not handle recreating the rounding well (unlike most other rendering programs I should say). This has sometimes been a problem with files coming from VW, as the normals have not worked well in some recent versions and formats (including RW I may add). Haven't done too much experimenting with VW 2020 though in this respect. 

 

 

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@Dave Donley I couldn't agree more with your hammer analogy, Dave, but many of my opportunities are with trade show companies where I am supplementing their in-house design departments. Each one has a chosen software that they use and will only hire designers from the sub-set of those users. I wish it were creativity or strength of portfolio, but it is my experience that if you don't use Studio Max, a SM-based shop will not give you a second look. I have not seen any shop that has offered training when discussing a full-time position. It is assumed you will do that on your own. Right now, I have a demo of FormZ on my computer because a potential client uses that for trade show design. When will I have the time to get up to speed on that? The fact that Keyshot exports in something like 30 formats seems to suggest just how fragmented the 3D design world is. Is this anyone else's experience? Perhaps I should be looking at different clients. I wish it were more like graphic design where everyone uses Adobe CC. Now I'm looking at the demo for Keyshot and will give that a go.

 

Thanks for all the great advice!

Mike

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As always, it's a question of using the right tool for the right job. You can use a screwdriver to paint you house, but why bother when a brush i much quicker. 

 

Why do I use Keyshot? Because it's FAST, and offers stunning realtime renderings. The enclosed image is where I was after exactly one minute, twenty-one seconds, after having pressed the Import button, based on a textured model in OBJ format from TouchCAD. It's as fast as it gets if you ask me. 

TC to Keyshot.jpg

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