KeyShot – I Render, therefore I am

My Process

If I had a nickel for every time I have been asked “Hey, what program do you use to do the rendering for your product shots?”, well… I’d have a shit ton of nickels.  In today’s market there are several different rendering programs that are quite popular – and for good reason.  In the hands of the right person, the lines between “real” and “digital” can get very blurry – and even cease to exist.

That being said, for the Red Harbinger product images I use a program called KeyShot – and in my book, nobody knows rendering like these guys.  We were lucky enough to get hooked up with KeyShot early, and I must admit – I have gotten pretty spoiled with it.  Its just too easy to go from a blank 3d model to something that looks real in a fraction of the time that it would normally take in most other platforms.

Seriously… click and drag on this thing and tell me this isn’t awesome.  You can’t.  That’s KeyShot for ya.


With the ability to quickly produce not only realistic static renders of something, but also animated video, and touch enabled 3d content – the sky really is the limit.  Take a look at the video below.  Now, in this case, I didn’t go completely overboard with the internal pieces for a few different reasons – First, this video is just to serve as a demo for what can be achieved in a short time (a little over an hour from start to finish).  Also, if you know that you’ll be using very tinted glass and that the positioning of your model in the final shot will preclude the ability to see inside, there’s really no reason to spend time tweaking things that will never be seen.  This may not be everyone’s way of doing things, but its mine.  Fast, cool, relatively appealing.  Works for me.


 (model by gedup @GrabCAD)

What’s Supported?

Everything.  Well, maybe not everything – but all of your major 3d file types.  We use SolidWorks for all our engineering purposes, and the process couldn’t be easier.  Save the sldasm file out of SolidWorks, open KeyShot, click Import. Thats it.  Check out the Integration page at KeyShot’s website for more info on what’s supported.


“But Shawn, I want to do this stuff, but I don’t know how!  I don’t have any experience doing any 3d modeling, and I wouldn’t know where to even start!”

Hahaha.  Awww that’s cute.  Don’t fret your little nugget – I got ya covered!  While I would definitely suggest trying to learn at least the basics of 3d modeling, its not needed if all you want to do initially is get your feet wet.  Hop over and check out – there is an entire community of extremely talented folks that share models that are free to download and use.  To make it even easier for you KeyShot is going to give you a 14 day license to try their software before buying it.  Two weeks is definitely enough time to figure out whether or not this game is for you.


So, now that I have obliterated all of your excuses and rendered you completely unable to provide any good reason NOT to do it, I suggest you go check out (and GrabCAD too for that matter).  You can thank me later in the form of awesome wallpapers and stuff.  I am always down for a sweet wallpaper.

Oh and while you are over there at KeyShot’s site, be sure to check out their forums.  INSANE talent over there.  Everyone from amateurs to seasoned pros posting their work, helping others improve, and sharing resources.  Its a pretty awesome spot.  That’s where all the cool kids hang out anyway… I’m just sayin’.

Here are a few different things I have cooked up over the past few months with KeyShot – some of these are for Red Harbinger, some were just for me (I told ya… I have a thing for desktop wallpapers) – but all of them were made possible with KeyShot.  Give it a try.  You won’t be disappointed.

More pics and other projects from Shawn can be found by way of his website:

Red Harbinger ResCross Spaceship Image Tron style light cycle Audi Bubblegum car Cross Desk in black and white

Project Details

Skills Needed:
Digital Art, Keyshot, Photoshop
Art, Corporate Design, Design
Project URL:
Project Client:
Red Harbinger Inc