North America's Leading Siemens PLM Partner

Designfusion Blog

Solid Edge and Keyshot : how does it work? Chapter 2

Francis Robert - Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Here is the conclusion of the article on the interaction between Solid Edge and Keyshot.Make sure to read Chapter 1 first!


To simplify the text, SE = Solid Edge and KS = Keyshot…

  • 1. Take advantage of Keyshot’s behavior


We saw that KS reads SE files and reproduces the assembly / sub-assembly / part structure tree.Keyshot also adds another level based on the SE Face Styles used in the CAD model, most of these colors were added with SE’s Part Painter tool.


This will allow you to « cheat » easily the look of parts without the need to double part count or any other acrobatics. Note that multi-body SE files don’t change KS’ behavior.

  • 2. How about a concrete example?


We want to show a single part with machined faces. To do this in Keyshot, first use Solid Edge Part Painter and apply different face styles to the machined faces, prior to send to KS. The actual color doesn’t matter but remember that KS has a powerful search and select tool that can read Face Styles’ names.Use it to your advantage!


Example: First steps in Solid Edge: on the left side, a single part containing multi-bodies on which we used the Part Painter. On the right side, also a single part containing multi-bodies but they have a single color.



Let’s see how the structure looks like when you send the model to Keyshot:



We can clearly see the « main » structure (one top-assembly, two parts). We also see the additional level KS created, based on the Face Styles used in SE. The left side multi-body partshows each face style used under the « Material » column (Grip, Orange, Blue, etc). The right-side multi-body part only shows a single level since we used a single face style for both bodies in SE (Teal).



Keyshot will be able to apply a material to each face sets shown in the « Material » column. Because of this, the right-side part is condemned to use a single color.Keyshot 6 Pro offers a way to split bodies and faces (see below) but you’re stuck if you don’t have this version of KS.As it stands right now, the right-side part bodies can only have the same color.


Example: We applied some materials to the left-side part. It contains multi-bodies but we also used Part Paitner on some faces.By using the right technique, we were able to apply a “machined” material to one of the face of the cube, as well as a textured black rubber grip on the orange handle.



  • 3.I still want to split bodies on the right-side part to apply different colors. What can I do?


The answer depends on which Keyshot version you are using!

  • a.Keyshot for Solid Edge (SE Classic or Premium)
  • i.Go in SE, using Part Painter apply a different face style to each face you want to individually control.Use different colors for each face sets as they   will be grouped in KS.Update your render.

  • b.Keyshot Pro 5 and previous
  • i.There are no other solutions than editing the source geometry file.If your source files are Solid Edge, or can be edited by SE, use the Part Painter technique defined above.

  • c.Keyshot Pro 6
  • i.Use the brand new « Geometry Editor » tool which allows you to split elements (face, bodies, tesselation triangles) directly in your KS session.This tool is really cool and will save you tons of time! We can also change the face vector, for example, to control grain direction.


Using KS 6 Pro Geometry Editor, we choose which operation we want to execute:



We graphically choose which body or face we want to split from the main group:



Hit “Done” and we can now apply different materials on each body:



  • ii.Please note that this process will break the « Live Linking » with the Solid Edge model.You will be prompted with a warning message.If you want to maintain the live link with the SE model, use the Part Painter method instead.



I hope this will help you better control your renderings and make you more efficient. Don’t hesitate to send me your questions and comments.Happy Rendering!


comments powered by Disqus