Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Luxion unveils KeyShot 6

Originally posted on 25 May. Scroll down for updates.

Luxion has released its first preview of KeyShot 6, the next update to its rendering and technical animation package, showing off a new node-based materials system, interior lighting mode and region rendering.

Although widely used in visualisation, KeyShot has built up a following among character artists for the ease with which it generates photorealistic images, recently becoming Pixologic’s de facto render engine for ZBrush.

New node-based material system
The largest single feature in the video is probably the material graph, which looks to be a complete new node-based materials system.

That would be a departure for KeyShot, which was previously targeted largely at the kinds of users who might be alienated by the technical complexity of a node graph, rather than attracted by the power it offers.

By 3D standards, the graph shown in the demo is fairly simple – only Color, Bump and Opacity channels, plus noise and gradient nodes – so it will be interesting to see if this reflects an intentionally streamlined approach.

The video also shows ‘material animation’ – which may simply mean support for animated textures – and a new system for creating materials for labels on packaging.

There is also now the option to divide geometry into sub-objects with separate materials assigned to each one.

New rendering options for architectural visualisation?
In the rendering toolset, the headline change looks to be a new interior lighting mode, which would tailor KeyShot for architectural, as well as product, visualisation.

There is also a new region rendering option for more efficient render previews; a new shift lens effect, and a new automated panoramic camera animation.

More previews to come
So far, there isn’t any more detailed information about the new features, either on the KeyShot blog, or on the product forum.

Luxion says that it will be posting more previews in the run-up to KeyShot 6’s release – which may not be for a while, given that the firm is still currently releasing updates in the 5.x series.

Updated 9 June: Luxion has released its second preview video for KeyShot 6 (above).

Much of the footage shows features revealed in the original teaser in slightly more detail, but there are some entirely new additions to the KeyShot Animation add-on, including support for camera path animations.

The module also gets new DoF and Fade Light options, and a new Pivot Point Object Axis for technical rigging.

In addition – not shown in the video, but covered in the announcement on the KeyShot blog – version 6 of the software will support multi-layer PSD output.

Pricing and availability
Luxion hasn’t announced a release date or pricing for KeyShot 6 yet. Pricing for KeyShot 5 starts at $995, depending on which edition of the software you choose, with add-on modules like animation sold separately.

Visit Luxion’s KeyShot 6 preview page
(Due to be updated further in the run-up to KeyShot 6’s release)