Product visualization?

Hello everyone!

Recently I came across some awesome product design works. Those by Andrew Kim ( are awesome, to give an example. I must say these’ve inspired me to step my current path for a bit and get proficient in Product design. I’m coming from the User Interface design industry, where realistic visualizations are not very important. So it’s fair to say that - apart from some basic skills - I have no understanding of realistic lighting, shading, getting the materials right, and rendering in general. All of which I believe are important when trying to design beautiful product visualizations (right?).

I was wondering if you could give me any tips regarding product visualization and/or lighting with relevance, or some other pointers to get started?

I’m particularly intrigued by renders such as

But then again, I don’t want to copy, I want to understand. Appreciate your help :slight_smile:

Have you explored playing with Keyshot?

These were most likely created in that program, using one of the basic "studio’ HDRI’s. Or in Photoworks. Which is a rendering add-on for Solidworks.

From there there was probably little bit of photoshop done to clean up any unwated highlights. Or to create any of the “transparent” effects.

Keyshot looks awesome, I’ll give the trial a shot (hehe). Just what I was looking for as the entry-barrier with software such as 3DS max, AutoCAD etc. is extremely high. Thanks a lot!

Just head on over to and download a few models from there. You can import most of those model directly into keyshot. It will give you a bit more freedom than the stock scenes that keyshot comes with.

Thanks, Sain. grabCAD is a great resource, but I’m mostly looking for help on lighting and the visualizations itself. My modeling skills are just fine for what I’m trying to do.

I’ve spoken to Andrew about his renders before and he told me he uses photoworks with some post photoshopping if I recall correctly. Photoworks does tend to produce the very “slick” rendering effect shown above.

I think what Sain is suggesting is that you get some models from grabCAD and then mess around with them in Keyshot. Playing with the materials and environments will teach you a lot about how different lighting reflects onto various materials.

I’ve been using Keyshot for the past day and the results are pretty neat. I’ll try out photoworks later, as I figure you’d get a bit more flexibility with that.

Ah, got it. Seems like a good idea, as just applying the materials to my own models still leaves me with limited knowledge. Thanks guys!

Really? I found the opposite. My renders were much more realistic (including the shine if I want it), and I had more control with less effort when moving to Keyshot…

There is no more photoworks, it is now called PhotoView. It was a while since I tried it, but I very much doubt that it would be better than Keyshot. Kim probably used it because it was bundled with Solidworks.

Keyshot is definitely the better product. The slickness in those renderings comes from the fact that they don’t look realistic - no materials are ever that smooth and perfectly lit. You can get a similar effect in keyshot by using the right materials and making sure the roughness is set to zero, but most materials, even highly polished ones are inherently imperfect, which is why Keyshot is so good at making things look photo realistic.

Thanks for clearing that up. Saves me the hassle of installing windows and solidworks. Currently more than happy with the results Keyshot produces :slight_smile:

I have never used key shot but for what I see it is a good start.
My process is:

1.- composition
2.- lighting
3.- materials
4.- render
5.- post production

Make sure that your models are good in order to achieve great results. A key component is lighting, there is plenty of information on-line about photography and light rigs. Like anything else, practice makes perfect.
I use 3dsmax with vray render and photoshop for post.

Happy rendering!

What workstation are you on?

Ons quick tip: Put fillets on everything. Even hard edges should have a really small fillet. A small highlight will really make a difference.

If you are using Keyshot, you can add a small radius to all hard edges right in Keyshot. It’s not very well documented, but it is in there.

Auto-fillet (rounded edges) is implemented in KeyShot 4.0!

Yup, it is there. But for best control it’s still recommendable to fillet your models yourself at the end of your modeling process.

The Photoworks renders are also that way because of the environment HDR’s like the soft box. But you can also copy those into the Keyshot resources folder and get similar results. You can also edit HDR’s directly in Keyshot - you can even paint a highlight directly on your model and a corresponding lightsource will be added to the HDR map!

For more tips&tricks make sure to check out some of the webinars at the Keyshot website.