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Solid Edge and Keyshot : how does it work? Chapter 1

- Tuesday, February 16, 2016


In this article, I will focus on the Solid Edge / Keyshot interaction and their capability to update a render rather than starting from scratch after a CAD change.Wheter you use the Keyshot for Solid Edge version (Classic and Premium licenses) or the Keyshot Pro version, you need to understand how these two applications work with each other.You’ll be able to use this behavior to your advantage.


In order to simplify the text, SE = Solid Edge and KS = Keyshot.

  • 1. « Live Linking » option


Make sure that this mandatory option is enabled in Keyshot.Go in the menus « Edit -> Preferences », select the « Advanced » section and validate that “Enabled Live Linking” is checked on.



  • 2. Keyshot and Solid Edge’s face styles


Keyshot reads Solid Edge’s face styles in its own fashion.Keyshot will maintain the assembly / sub-assembly / part structure you already defined in SE, but i twill also add another level.This additional level is related to the face colors (SE Face Styles), so it’s closely tied to SE’s Part Painter tool and how you used it.


We’ll go deeper into this topic in the next chapter.


Example: The geometry below comes from a single part file containing multi-bodies. Using the right technique, we were able to apply a machined texture to one a face on the cube and a textured rubber material on the orange handle.



  • 3.How should I prepare my Solid Edge model before sending to Keyshot?

  • a.Only the displayed geometry will be sent to KS. Make sure to show or hide the correct geometry before you launch KS.You can also display construction surfaces, they will go in KS.However, other construction elements like curves, sketches and PMIs will not go through.

  • b.Add required « scene » elements.Keyshot supplies a « ground floor » but do you need some walls, roof or other additional elements that will enhance your render? Add them in the CAD if you can before sending to KS.

  • 4. My Solid Edge model changed, what should I do with my Keyshot render?


There are two ways to update an existing KS render when the SE model changed.Note that saving is independent in both applications, so make sure to save your files in both SE and KS.

  • a.If you didn’t close your applications …

  • i. There is a « Keyshot Update » button in SE.This button is enabled only if SE and KS sessions were not closed.Simply click the button and the KS model will update.



  • b.If you closed your applications…

    • i.The « Keyshot Update » button will be disabled but the update feature is still available! First, open your BIP file in Keyshot.Then, open your SE model and hit “Keyshot Render”.

  • ii.Keyshot will recognize if the SE model was used in the KS session.You will see the following dialog box.You’ll have the option to update the current KS sessions (select Yes) or create a new render session (select No).



  • 5.I’m updating an existing render file, what should I expect?

  • a.Keyshot looks into what changed in the SE model and updates only what is required in KS. What changed in SE will be updated (dimensions, color, location, display state, etc).What didn’t change in SE will not be affected in KS.

  • b.Example 1: We applied a Material to a part in KS.We change the Face Style (color) in SE, then we update the render. Result: The part color will be extracted from the SE Face Style.

  • c.Example 2: We applied a Material to a part in KS. We make some changes in SE but we don’T change the part’s face style, then we update the render.Result : The part will maintain its association with the KS material and not change color.

  • d.Example 3: We moved a part in Keyshot. We make some changes on the SE geometry (dimensions, features, etc) which doesn’t affect the part’s face style, then we update the render.Result: The part will maintain its “overridden” location in KS but its geometry will be updated.


Come back here to see the next chapter on the Solid Edge / Keyshot interaction. Don’t hesitate to submit your questions or comments.Happy rendering!



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