KeyShot rendering roadmap
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Your KeyShot Questions Answered

Last Updated: March 22, 2021 • 4 min read

Got questions about KeyShot?

This is the article and video for you. I did some research to track down the top-searched questions about KeyShot as well as the answer to each question. Click below to watch or skim the article to find my Q to your A.

Your KeyShot Questions Answered

Is KeyShot free?

No. In February Luxion changed its pricing model to an annual subscription. While advertised as a monthly subscription, Luxion requires users to pay the full 12-month price up-front. Here is the current price options for a KeyShot license subscription:

KeyShot Subscription Add-ons: (at additional cost to the KeyShot Pro)

If you were using KeyShot before February, 2022, KeyShot came in the following price tiers:

When you purchase a KeyShot license, you can also pay $400/yr to keep that license active and receive all version updates.

KeyShot also offers some add-on licenses

Is KeyShot worth it?

If you need a standalone render engine that plays well with CAD or NURBs-based geometry and has a very shallow-learning curve, then KeyShot is a great choice.

Is KeyShot CPU or GPU-based?

Both! KeyShot used to be CPU-based only for many years. In 2020, KeyShot released GPU rendering mode, offering support for NVIDIA RTX graphics cards. While still being developed, GPU mode is highly functional but has not met feature-parity with CPU mode. This means some features won’t be supported in GPU mode and appearance of all materials won’t be 100% matched when stitching from CPU to GPU mode.

KeyShot rendering roadmap
Level up your KeyShot renderings skills!
Download the free step-by-step framework I use to create better renderings.

Is KeyShot animation free?

KeyShot animation is available in KeyShot Educational, KeyShot Pro, Pro Floating and Enterprise licenses, but not in KeyShot HD.

Is KeyShot a one-time payment?

Yes, KeyShot does not offer subscription-based payments as of early 2021.

Is KeyShot easy to use?

Yes, compared to many other rendering software, KeyShot has prioritized user experience and simplicity over feature depth.

How do you render in KeyShot?

Watch this beginner tutorial!

How do you render without a background in KeyShot?

Be sure to hide any geometry behind or under your product, or add a ground plane (crtl+g). By default the ground plane has a ground material applied to it. In your render output settings, make sure to render in PNG format and tick the ‘include alpha transparency’ checkbox.

How do you update a model in KeyShot?

If you’re using a KeyShot plugin to send your CAD model into KeyShot, you should be able to use the same plugin to send an update using live-linking. The video above demonstrates exactly how this is done at 8:04.

Can you model in KeyShot?

No. Primitive geometry can be added by selecting ‘edit>add geometry’, but other than that, KeyShot is not a modeling application.

Can you mirror in KeyShot?

Surprisingly, yes. You can do this by inputting a negative value in the object scale along the axis you wish to mirror along. I demonstrate this in the above video at 10:21.

Does KeyShot work on a mac?

Yes, KeyShot’s stability and feature set is identical from Mac to PC generally speaking.

Does Zbrush come with KeyShot?

2022 Update: I’m not 100% sure of the state of the KeyShot for Zbrush integration. Since moving to a subscription-based model, I’m not sure how KeyShot will integrate with Zbrush in the future.

No. Zbrush Pixologic sells a Zbrush to KeyShot bridge. It costs $149. It will allow you to use KeyShot (sold separately) as your default render engine with Zbrush.

Luxion sells a KeyShot for Zbrush HD and Pro license which come bundled with the Zbrush to KeyShot bridge. The KeyShot for Zbrush licenses support many features, but are only to use models from Zbrush. Read more here.

Why are my KeyShot renders grainy?

Watch this tutorial.

Will Gibbons
Will Gibbons is an industrial designer-turned rendering specialist. He's trained and worked with some of today's most recognizable brands and now is focused on creating the best product visualization content on the internet.
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