Our Experience at KeyShot RenderWorld

On May 15th and 16th, Luxion hosted their second annual KeyShot RenderWorld conference in sunny Huntington Beach, California. The conference brought together designers, product engineers, creative leaders, and artists from around the world to share knowledge and enthusiasm for KeyShot – a digital rendering software that allows users to generate photo-realistic product images from 3D CAD data. RenderWorld highlighted the versatility of Luxion’s flagship software and how their commitment to design and engineering allows companies to innovate on product design and development processes.

Over the course of two days, we watched presentations from industry-leading design studios and advanced skill workshops by expert users. Designers and directors from Sonos, Samsung, Caterpillar, and others shared how KeyShot has streamlined their design process and allowed them to collaborate with their marketing and communication departments for promotional product imagery. The products that the presenters showed ranged from tiny CPG packaging to gigantic industrial earth-moving equipment. The variety of teams and studios present showcased the true versatility of KeyShot and its ability to quickly render large, complex 3D files as well as the smallest of details.

KeyShot sets itself apart with an intuitive user interface that allows first-time users to pick up the software immediately. Most rendering programs are embedded in complex 3D modeling software that requires extensive training and a trial-and-error approach to generating the right image. But with KeyShot, anyone can simply drag and drop the lighting environment, materials, and colors on to the product from an extensive library and get an instant preview of the final render. Under the hood, KeyShot is a powerful physics-based light simulator built by an internal team of scientists and software developers. It uses complex algorithms to calculate how light is reflected and refracted by different materials. The result is an easy-to-use and versatile tool that facilitates faster design iteration and speeds up the decision making process.

One of the presentations that stood out the most was given by Doug Tsai, a lead packaging designer at Sonos. He spoke on how his team uses KeyShot to bring efficiency to their packaging development process. Doug spearheaded the use of KeyShot in the packaging division to generate quick mockups of concepts utilizing production art files from the visual designers. The quality of renderings allowed them to replace their previous process of printing and assembling physical boxes. This accelerated their design process from concept to production while also saving on costs for expensive prototypes.

Another significant takeaway that we witnessed at RenderWorld is the trend toward replacing studio photography with renderings. KeyShot’s output can reach levels of realism and quality that surpass photography, and it can easily enable complex compositions (like exploded views and cut-aways). This allows for costs to be cut and the need for photography space, equipment, and resources to be lessened. And, with the increasing importance of online retail, consumers are viewing products on company websites, Instagram, and Amazon rather than in-person. Using KeyShot to create these images allows for a higher level of control, which can help to create consistent product images across all platforms, particularly when consumers scroll through product ranges and color options.

At RenderWorld, Luxion demonstrated how KeyShot can help almost any organization design faster and control the quality of their product images. The enthusiasm for the software echoed throughout the conference. It was not only an amazing educational experience, but it was also very motivating to see the industry’s top designers and digital artists come together to learn from each other.

the author

Thom Doyle

Thom Doyle is an industrial designer at Idea Couture.