Though KeyShot is able to import and work with very large, very detailed data sets with very complex geometry and textures, there times when you may want to simplify the geometry of the model. Here, we'll take a look at how to access the Mesh Simplification tool and how to use it along with some tips on how to control the mesh quality.
Mesh Simplification in KeyShot
The Mesh Simplification tool in KeyShot Pro allows you to quickly reduce the triangle counts of your mesh-based models. This is useful for reducing the file size or complexity of a model for use with KeyVR or for other web and AR applications, or may be applied to more creative uses, such as creating low-poly versions of objects.
1. Activate Mesh Simplification Tool
Access the Mesh Simplification tool from the Tool icon on the KeyShot Ribbon or right-click on the individual part of the model you would like to simplify and select Mesh Simplification from the pop-up menu. The Mesh Simplification window appears and displays your selected geometry’s mesh as a grey wireframe. In the left pane, you’ll see the Mesh Quality parameter, which can be controlled via the slider or by inputting a value between 0 (fewer faces/lower quality) and 1 (more faces/higher quality).
2. Preview the Simplified Mesh
To preview changes before applying them, choose the desired value and select the Simplify button located above the slider. The viewer displays the updated wireframe with the selected mesh quality. At the bottom left of the window, the Nr of faces displays the updated triangle count.
3. Apply the Simplified Mesh
Once you’re satisfied with the mesh quality, hit Apply at the bottom right to update your geometry in the Real-time View. With a lower poly count, you may notice some areas on the surface where your model does not look as smooth as it previously did. If you’re not comfortable with the appearance of the new surface, you can always use Ctrl-Z (Windows)/Option-Z (macOS) to undo the mesh quality adjustments, then re-open the Mesh Simplification window to apply a new setting.
4. Controlling the Mesh with the Edit Normals Tool
Another way to control the mesh quality is to first re-calculate the vertex normals of the geometry with the Edit Normals tool, accessed from the same Tools or right-click menu. Once open, simply select Calculate Vertex Normals in the left pane then the Apply button to the lower right. This will improve the appearance of an object's low-poly surface while not adding to the model’s triangle count. You can then repeat this step for any surface or part you would like to improve.
You can learn more about the Mesh Simplification tool and other Geometry Tools in the KeyShot Manual. If you're interested in trying KeyShot Pro, just visit portal.keyshot.com/try/keyshot.
What Can You Create?
We would love to see what you create with this tip. Visit the KeyShot Amazing Shots forum to see what others are creating and share your own work. And if you have a suggestion for another tip share it in the comments below.