Materials, Configurator and VR support front up biggest KeyShot release yet

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KeyShot 7 has arrived after its longest development stint yet, with a list of new features and tools an arm long as it focuses on bringing more ways to create with the new KeyShot Configurator, Studios and real-time VR support.

The KeyShot Configurator, debuted at KeyShot’s user event RenderWorld with Axalta, is available for KeyShot Pro allowing users to present model and material variations in real-time for design reviews or interactive point-of-sale displays.

A Configurator Wizard guides the user through setup Parent Models, Components and Component Groups and allows them to select material variations, Studios and define layout options for the interactive presentation mode.

KeyShot 7 brings some useful VR support, especially for HMDs

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VR rendering in real time gets a big boost with output available with support for stereo perspective cameras, stereo spherical maps and stereo cube maps, with support for real-time view through both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive head mounted displays.

KeyShot 7 introduces several new material types and updates, with a new ‘cloudy plastic’ material type containing light-scattering particles to replicate complex materials such as Polycarbonate or ABS.

The new Measured material type allows users to load measured material files in .axf or .xml format, while the Metal material type now includes options for colour and 13 metal presets that Luxion states are scientifically accurate.

Other material types have been spruced up, with unit-aware settings and greater control over material settings. Along with the new material types, the KeyShot library presets for materials have been completely updated.

Texture Mapping has been refreshed for KeyShot 7, including unit-aware settings, an improved interactive mapping tool and the ability to center a texture on the model or part.

New material options, such as cloudy plastic, pop up in KeyShot 7

A new Planar mapping type offers versatility, replacing normal projection and planar mapping while providing the ability to control depth of planar projections; Tri-Planar, Tiled UV and Video Map have been added, with cylindrical mapping vastly improved and new procedural brush, mesh and weave textures available.

More scene lighting capabilities come with the addition of a new Environment list expanding the number of HDRI Environments that can be added to a single scene. With this, users should be able to quickly toggle between different environments or drag and drop new environments into the list.

Users will also find a HDRI Editor now integrated into the Environment tab, letting them export a scene as a HDR or EXR to import and use in other scenes.

Customisation in the UI is another big change for KeyShot 7, letting users customise tab order, tab visibility, tab state, along with window, toolbar and ribbon position, before saving the custom UI arrangements as a Workspace.

Additionally, users now get complete control over hotkeys, the ability to change or add new hotkeys or specify camera control options that match supported 3D modeling software.

“KeyShot 7 has amazing capabilities, but we were not satisfied with only adding features,” said Luxion co-founder and CEO Claus Wann Jensen.

“Every one of these features and every improvement must consider the user’s workflow from import to final render – simplifying every task, providing absolute flexibility and complete control across interface, camera, materials and lighting. With the input from our users, I’m convinced we have done that with KeyShot 7.”

Theres a raft of other new features in KeyShot 7, so here’s a few of our picks:

– Studios, a KeyShot Pro feature that allows users to combine and save scene variations in one file for quick creation and presentation
– KeyShot Network Rendering has been completely rebuilt to give large companies and render farms more flexibility, more efficiency, and more customisation
– Resource library has been completely updated to use unit-aware materials and procedural textures
– New adaptive performance mode option to speed workflows along, with the ability to re-tessellate imported models and copy the position of one model to that of another
– Animation updates let users add video animations as textures to objects and the support of Alembic files for the import of deformation animations

KeyShot 7 is available immediately for download, while customers that bought KeyShot on or after 25 November 2016, as well as all customers who purchased KeyShot for Education or KeyShot for ZBrush will receive the upgrade to KeyShot 7 free of charge.