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After a scene in KeyShot has been set up, the next step is to output either an image or an animation. There are multiple methods of accomplishing this. In addition, there are different render settings that come into play depending on what is being rendered. If these values are set too high, they can increase render time without any added gain. Understanding what the settings are and how to tune them will save time when rendering scenes. This section will cover these topics.

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The Output section contains all setting for the file format, resolution, render type and what is included with the file output. There are three available output options:

Still Image
A static image and the default rendering output.

An animation with video and optional static frames. Note: This option is only available if there are animations in the scene.

An interactive KeyShotVR with all code and images. Note: This option is only available if there is a KeyShotVR in the scene.

Still Image

Set the file name of the render in the text field. If one is not entered, the default name will be the scene name with an incremental suffix.

Choose where the render will be saved. Unless a specific folder is chosen, it will be saved in your KeyShot 6 renders folder.

Choose from JPG, TIF, EXR, TIF 32 Bit, PNG, PSD, and PSD 32 bit. All formats other than JPG can include an alpha channel. The PSD format will output a single layer PSD file.

Set the resolution of the render. Type it in or select from the presets.

Print Size
If final output is for print quality, enter in the dimensions of the print size as well as the desired DPI. After size has been set, the resolution will update with the correct dimensions.

See Render Passes for settings.

See Region Render for settings.


Set the resolution for the animation being rendered. Choose from the preset pulldown, or enter in your own custom dimensions.

Time Range
Specify the range of the animation to be rendered. Default is “Entire Duration.” You can also set the designated work area to be rendered, as well a specific frame range. The “duration” and “frames” auto updates when time range is changed.

Video Output
Set the name and Folder location where the animation will be saved. Choose a file format with the pulldown.

Frame Output
Enable to output every frame used to create the animation. Designate the file name and folder where the frames will be saved. See Settings for Still Image output for settings.

In order to modify the frame number postfix change the "%d" to i.e. "%04d" if you want the frames to have the format frame.0001.jpg.

See Render Passes for settings.

See Region Render for settings.


See KeyShotVR Render Output.

Render Passes
Render Passes
Render Passes

KeyShot supports different render passes. To enable a pass, click the box next to the pass you would like to enable. Doing so will render the selected pass, along with the original image format specified on the output tab. Choose “PSD format” from the pull down above to enable the “Add to PSD” checkbox This will compile all your passes into the saved PSD file.

Depth Pass
Depth pass creates a depth map, which is an image that contains information relating to the distance of surfaces to the camera. Depth maps are used in other applications like Adobe Photoshop & Adobe After effects to simulate effects like depth of field Geometric Normal Pass Create a normal map image of your scene.

Clown Pass
Clown pass creates an image where individual parts are rendered with flat colors. This is an easy way to create and save selections in Photoshop for post-rendering work. To use a clown pass, import it to the actual image in Photoshop. This creates another layer. Use the color range tool to select each of the colors in the clown pass and create a mask for each group.

Render Layers
This option is only available if you have assigned parts and models to a render layer. NOTE: Enabling render layers will render all render layers created.

Region Render
Region Render
Region Render

The region render option allows you to render a smaller portion of your overall image. This is useful when only a small change to one part of a scene is needed. Rendering the smaller region saves rendering time.

Enable Region Render
Click the icon to enable, then drag to size the region box in the Real-time view window or enter specific dimensions and location.



The Options section contains all settings for Render Mode and CPU Usage, as well as Render Quality. 

Maximum Samples

The Maximum Samples option for render quality controls how many times the image or animation frame will be calculated and refined. Each additional sample will further smooth out noise/grain in the image.

This option uses the same rendering technique as what you see in the Real-time view. This technique is also used in Maximum Time option, but differs from the method used in Advanced Control option.

This controls how many times each of the pixels in the image being rendered will be calculated for further accuracy. Too low of a value here will result in an image that has excessive noise. However, be careful with increasing this setting too high as there will be a point where you will not perceive further benefit, but the image will take far longer to render.

Samples Per Frame
The Maximum Samples option will read Samples Per Frame when the Animation tab is selected under the Output section. This option is ideal for animation output as it guarantees that each frame will be rendered at the same quality. Therefore, as the animation plays through the frames you will not see changes/flickering in shadows or noise patterns on materials.


Tip: Samples and Resolution
A sample calculates the color of a pixel. There is a point of diminishing returns where you can increase samples past the point of added quality, and are just increasing the render time.

Something important to be aware of is that as you increase the resolution of your image or animation, each pixel covers relatively less area of the image. This means that you can use a lower samples setting when rendering at higher resolutions. Note that this does not apply to rendering with area lights, caustics or interior mode as increasing samples while using those features will still increase the quality. 

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The image below shows two models rendered with the same samples setting. On the right rendering, the resolution was twice that of the left. Notice the reduced noise on the right model.


This method is typically preferred over the time-based output for animations, as some frames may require substantially more time to reach the same quality level as levels of detail and complexity change through the course of your animation. Using the time-based output will lead to more noise in the more complicated frames.

Maximum Time

The Maximum Time option for render quality will progressively refine the render for the amount of time set.

This option uses the same rendering technique as what you see in the Real-time Viewer. This technique is also used in Maximum Samples option, but differs from the method used in Advanced Control option.

When rendering an animation, you may set the maximum time for each frame to render, or set a total duration for the entire animation.

Advanced Control

The Advanced Control option allows control over all quality settings available in KeyShot.

This will control the amount of rays per pixel that will be sent into the environment to gather information to determine that pixel’s final shade. It is best to control this setting per material and set a value between 8 and 16 in the render settings. For information on samples and setting samples per material, please see the section on roughness and glossy samples.

Ray Bounces
Ray bounces are the number of times rays of light are calculated as they bounce around a scene. For a detailed explanation and examples please see the section that covers ray bounces in the Real-time settings.

Anti Aliasing
Anti aliasing is a method for smoothing out jagged edges that are created by pixels. Since pixels are made up of squares, they can produce a jagged look where edges meet. Anti aliasing smooths out these edges. In most cases, the default value of 1 is sufficient.

Shadow Quality
Shadow quality will control the shadow quality for ground shadows. This can be tuned in real-time to determine what value is necessary. Please see the section on shadow quality found in the real-time settings.


Global Illumination Quality
This will control the quality of all indirect light. Increasing this value can dramatically increase render time. It is rarely necessary to set a value above the default value of 1. If Global Illumination is turned off, this parameter will be grayed out. For more information and please see the section on detailed indirect illumination in real-time settings.

Pixel Blur
This will apply a slight blur to the image to reduce the overly sharp look that computer generated images can have. Higher values will have more blur. This does not increase render time.

DOF (Depth of Field)
This will control the quality of depth of field if it is enabled in the camera tab. Increasing this value will have an effect on render time. For production quality a value between 3 – 5 is recommended. If Depth of Field is not activated, this parameter will be grayed out. Please see the section on cameras for more information on depth of field.

Increasing this value will improve the samples and quality of the caustics. If caustics are not enabled, this parameter will be grayed out. Please see the section on caustics for more information.

Sharp Shadows
This will allow sharp shadows to be cast across 3D geometry when the lighting scenario would create a sharp shadow. It is more accurate to have this checked and it is enabled by default. It is generally recommended to leave this on.

Sharper Texture Filtering
This will attempt to preserve detail in textures when viewed at grazing angles. For example, imagine being eye level with a wood table and seeing the wood grain compress together. Detail can get lost in the compressed areas. This setting reduces the loss of detail. This feature can increase render time so enable only when using textures with glancing angles.

Global Illumination Cache
Disabling GI Cache replaces the potential dirty shadows and black spots with noise. Increasing GI quality will reduce the noise. Increasing the samples will also help in reducing the noise.



The Queue section contains setting for the render queue used in batch processing your still image and animation renderings.

Add/Delete Job
Use these buttons to add and remove jobs from the queue list. When a job is added, you are recording the exact state of your scene. This includes all render settings. Each job can have unique settings.

Add Camera
Send saved cameras and Viewsets to the Render Queue. Click on the “Add Cameras” button to open the camera queue window and check the Cameras/Viewsets you want to add to the queue.

Move Up/Down
You can select a job in the list and click “Move Up” or “Move Down” to change the order of the list. Jobs at the top render first. You can use the check box next to the job to turn off that job. The job will then be skipped during processing of the queue. When you are ready to start the queue, click the “Process Queue” button.

Send to Network
If you have KeyShot Network Rendering installed, the option to send to the network will become available.


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