Thursday, February 11, 2010

KeyShot Rises

I am a big fan of fast and awesome. For the last couple of years one of the incarnations of these attributes has been a 3D rendering application called Hypershot. A few of the details that attracted me to it include:
  • Mac and Windows versions (with one license that works for both)
  • No spotlights, bar lights, ground planes, etc (lights and reflections come from HDR images)
  • Import from many 3D filetypes (including Rhino), simple render options, a nice selection of built in materials, realtime progressive preview, fast, beautiful renderings
I was a beta tester for their version 2 (dElitist Software) over the Fall; and was excited about its impending introduction as I was crushed when I read that there was a divorce between the company that published Hypershot (Bunkspeed) from the people who developed the technology (Luxion) (Read all about it here). I don't care why or who did what - I care about who is going to bring my software back and keep developing it.

Until a few days ago the one who explained the most about their intentions was Bunkspeed; their CEO Philip Lunn explained that they will be releasing a "next generation" solution. Unfortunately, the latest word is that this software (based on iRay technology) is going to be Windows only for the immediate future. So, even if it's as good in other ways, one of the primary advantages of this app (for me) is a no go from the start.

Then I saw that Luxion's website turned from explaining that they 'will soon be releasing' their new version, to a link to a new brand/product with a link to download a trial and a store and a gallery. Within a few minutes I got an email from a familiar former Bunkspeed employee. I got the link to download the software, and the word that my existing Hypershot licenses would not only be honored (FREE!!!); but would be automatically imported into Keyshot. Psyched wasn't even the word for it.

So, it's been a few hours. I've installed, imported all of my Hypershot assets, and am in business again. Keyshot is almost identical to Hypershot 1.9x; with the pleasing advantage of being fully certified for Snow Leopard. The workflow is the same, the files exchange flawlessly, the materials and environments and backplates from HS just work. This is still very much a 1.x product - none of the 2.x improvements in interface or underlying tech are yet present. But at least we have crew working on things. Thank you Luxion; I am looking forward to your future.

I've uploaded my initial experiments to Flickr for comparison.
These images are one of my old .bip files in Hypershot.
These images are the exact same file in Keyshot.

Bunkspeed, I'm still looking forward to seeing what you have to offer as well. I like at least the potential of HyperMove; even if I've been a little frustrated with the bugs and idiosyncrasies. There is certainly room for any software that makes the designer's job easier. I hope to have our students using both ASAP; I'll let them help us figure which (or possibly both if the $ is right) we will go with in the Fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment