Monday, April 6th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Luxion ships KeyShot 9.2

Originally posted on 2 October 2019. Scroll down for news of the commercial release and 9.2 update.

Luxion has posted a teaser for KeyShot 9.0, the next major update to its rendering and technical animation software, showing off support for GPU rendering, a new ‘RealCloth’ feature, and render denoising.

Support for GPU rendering on Nvidia’s RTX graphics cards
Luxion announced the major change in KeyShot 9.0 earler this year: that the formerly CPU-only render engine will support GPU rendering, at least on Nvidia GPUs.

If KeyShot 9.0 detects a compatible Nvidia GPU, a new button will appear in the KeyShot Ribbon, enabling a user to switch to GPU rendering. Otherwise, rendering will default to the CPU, as usual.

Updated 6 November 2019: Although Luxion’s original blog post namechecks Nvidia’s new RTX GPUs, the new GPU ray tracing system only requires a Maxwell card with CUDA Compute Capability 5.0 or above.

That expands the range of compatible GPUs considerably: anything above a GeForce GTX 980 should work.

Render denoising, RealCloth and a 3D model library
Other new features shown in the KeyShot 9.0 teaser include render denoising.

Luxion’s blog post announcing GPU rendering namechecks the AI-driven denoising available via Nvidia’s OptiX ray tracing API, but its implementation also works when rendering on the CPU.

The teaser also lists RealCloth – again, we aren’t sure if it’s a new cloth material type or a full-blown cloth simulation system – and support for rendering surface fuzz.

Updated 6 November 2019: RealCloth is a procedural cloth material replicating real-world weave structures. The Fuzz system is a new shader available only in the Pro edition of the software.

The video also shows a new 3D model library – judging by the interface, it will be a new category on KeyShot Cloud – with readymade models ranging from furniture and domestic appliances to food.

KeyVR, Luxion’s virtual reality add-on for the renderer, has already been updated to support KeyShot 9.0.

Updated 6 November 2019: KeyShot 9.0 is now shipping.

As well as the features listed above, the update adds a new Generic material based on the Disney Principled BRDF shading system used in many other renderers and DCC tools.

KeyShot can also now automatically generate materials from texture sets exported from Substance Painter, and can import files in U3M format, intended as a cross-platform representation of real-world fabrics.

Users of the Pro edition also get new easing controls when animating transforms or material changes.

Pro users also get improvements to the HDRI Editor and Configurator, and can now export STL files for 3D printing including vertex colour data from both texture maps and procedural textures.

Outside the core application, there is a new integration plugin for clothing design tool VStitcher.

There is also a new $1,000 add-on, KeyShotWeb, for converting product Configurators created in KeyShot Pro into HMTL files and associated images for use online, or in PowerPoint or Keynote presentations.

Updated 11 February 2020: Luxion has released KeyShot 9.1, extending the new GPU render mode.

Changes include the option to switch the real-time view and final output between CPU and GPU independently, support for AxF materials, and support for render layers on multi-GPU systems.

GPU mode can also now be used for network rendering – provided you have the necessary paid add-on – which should enable Mac users without internal Nvidia cards to use the GPUs in external ‘worker’ machines.

KeyShot’s Network Monitor has been updated to show the different types of nodes available on the network.

There is also a new system of name templates for generating file names for rendered output in standardised formats, including options to include revision number, scene name, active camera and date.

New Unwrap UV toolset for Pro users, plus separate KeyShot for SolidWorks edition
Users of the Pro edition of the software get Unwrap UV (shown above), a new automated UV unwrapping system with the option to use seams, ‘direction guides’ and ‘position charts’ to control UV flow.

Luxion has also released KeyShot for SolidWorks, a new version of KeyShot for the CAD tool. As with the existing ZBrush edition, it is feature-complete, but only supports its host app’s native file formats.

Updated 7 April 2020: Luxion has released KeyShot 9.2. The update further extends the GPU render mode, with support for NVLink making it possible to share on-board memory across compatible Nvidia GPUs.

The release also adds a new Translucent Medium material, shown above, superseding the old Translucent Advanced material. It’s specifically optimised for the CPU, but should also render faster on the GPU.

Free standalone scene-viewing tool KeyShot Viewer also now includes its own built-in CPU and GPU benchmarking tool, KeyShot Benchmark.

Pricing and availability
KeyShot 9.2 is available for 64-bit Windows 8+ and macOS 10.13+. The update is free to KeyShot 9.0 users.

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.

SolidWorks for KeyShot costs $1,495. The software also comes with integration plugins for a range of DCC and CAD tools, including 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Maya and ZBrush.

Read an overview of the new features in KeyShot 9.2 on Luxion’s website

Read an overview of the new features in KeyShot 9.1 on Luxion’s website

Read an overview of the new features in KeyShot 9.0 on Luxion’s blog

Read a full list of new features in KeyShot 9.x in the online documentation