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How to Set Up Material Templates in KeyShot

by Will Gibbons | Nov 8, 2016 | Tips | 0 Comments

Material Templates are a powerful feature in KeyShot that automate the materials applied to your model in a KeyShot scene. Anyone working with large assemblies can save time using Material Templates to automatically apply materials to parts in a scene. Once a material template has been created, it can be used to apply materials to a new model upon import.

Before You Start

Open the Material Templates window by selecting Window > Material Templates... from the menu. You'll see the Material Templates window appear docked to the left side of the KeyShot interface. Note that any materials you wish to apply using material templates must already exist in your KeyShot Material Library.

How Material Templates Work

There are two approaches you can take when creating/apply material templates. Material templates can be set to apply a new material to an Original Material or a Part. When you apply a material template to a scene or selection, it then identifies each by the name of the Original Material or Part.

Example - Create a Material Template based on the:

  • Part: Polished chrome can be applied to all parts including Bolt in the name.
  • Materials: Metallic paint can be applied to materials with Blue in the name.

Next, you have the option of creating material templates automatically or manually.

Automatic - Material

  1. Apply KeyShot materials to the model from which the material template will be created. (We'll call this Model One.)
  2. Click the + icon in the Material Templates panel and choose Add Template Automatic Material. A new template is created. For each Original Material, a new item is added to the material template and the KeyShot material applied to it is listed as the New Material.material-template-automatic1
  3. Complete the Template Details as desired.
  4. Import a new variation of the model, perhaps with different dimensions but the same materials that were applied in your modeling program. (We'll call this Model Two.)
  5. With the newly created material template active, click the Apply button. You may choose to apply it to a specific model or the whole scene.material-template-automatic2
  6. The template applies the new materials to the corresponding materials on Model Two. Its materials will now match those of Model One.  material-template-automatic3
  7. Now that a material template has been created, the next time a model is imported, you will have the option to select a material template to be applied as your model is imported into KeyShot. Your model will be automatically painted up with the materials specified in your material template. materialtemplatesautomatic04

Automatic - Part

Material templates can be created from parts rather than materials in a nearly identical process. Material templates 'from part' will not work well if every part has the same name. KeyShot will use the name applied to each part within the modeling application it was created in.

  1. Apply KeyShot materials to the model from which the material template will be created (Model One).
  2. Click the + icon in the Material Templates panel and choose Add Template Automatic Part. A new template is created. For each part name, a new item is added to the material template and the KeyShot material applied to it is listed as the New Material.
  3. Complete the Template Details as desired.
  4. Import a new variation of the model (Model Two) with the same materials that were applied in your modeling program.
  5. With the newly created material template active, click the Apply button. You may choose to apply it to a specific model or the whole scene.
  6. The template applies materials to the corresponding parts on Model Two to match the Model One. This works only if the part names of Model Two match those of Model One.

Manual - Material or Part

Those seeking further control over material templates as an automation feature within KeyShot can create Material Templates manually as well. The process is the same as above, though instead of choosing Automatic, choose Manual. Next, add an item (RMB in Material Templates, Template sub-tab) for each part or material to be added to the material template.

Part and material names need to match exactly to those found in the Scene Tree upon import or KeyShot's material library in order to work as expected. If you wish to apply a material to parts containing a specific keyword, insert an asterisk (*) before and after the keyword in the source name during the material template creation process.

Material templates are best utilized when you have a library of frequently-used materials that are applied to recurring parts of assembly files. They also come in handy when multiple versions, sizes or configurations of the same product needs to be rendered with consistent material application. Automatic Material Templates take the work and repetition out of applying materials to large assemblies or variations of a product, helping you create your renderings faster.

Read more about Material Templates here.

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