How to Use the KeyShot Pattern Tool

by | Apr 22, 2020 | 0 comments

The KeyShot Pattern Tool is used to quickly create additional instances of your models within a scene. This is different than using Duplicate to make a copy and much much faster than building out each model in your 3D CAD software. Each instance can look different and even be oriented differently than the rest. Overall, with the KeyShot Pattern Tool, you will get increased speed and decreased file sizes.

KeyShot Pattern Tool

The KeyShot Pattern Tool comes in handy for a variety of applications. Making a pattern in KeyShot my not be your first instinct, but using patterns can save tons of time modeling, eliminating the exercise of creating duplicates or patterns in 3D CAD software that can take more time and greatly increases file sizes.

Patterns will help you show a series of products with different colors and materials, quickly add variations of scattered items for more context, or create a radial or linear array of product options. With the instance, spacing, and scattering options, the Pattern Tool makes creating and editing patterns very fast and very efficient.

If you have an application that requires uniform spacing, the Pattern Tool provides the ability to line and space everything perfectly! For example, if you need to create a 5×7 tiled layout for something like a color study, you can use the Pattern Tool instead of creating and manually adjusting duplicates. Patterns provide perfect spacing, decreased file sizes, and faster setup.

1. Make Pattern

So here’s my first trick. I modeled a single playing card and imported it into KeyShot, but I want a full deck, a stack of 52. I’m going to right-click the model in the scene tree and select Make Pattern. This launches the Pattern Tool dialog where we can manipulate several variables.

2. Adjust Instances

For the stack of 52 cards, let’s set the pattern type to Linear and increase the number of instances along the Y-axis. First, we want to make sure to select the Link Materials option (otherwise the playing card material will be duplicated 52 times). Next, bump the Y-axis instances to 52 and press Enter to see the results in the Real-time View. (If you don’t see the result, you can select the Adjust Camera option to fit the view to the pattern.) Adjust the spacing if needed. Now, we have a beautiful stack of playing cards.

3. Add Scattering

Now, let’s say we want a random assortment of cards on the table like someone just tossed them there casually. Let’s open the Pattern Tool again. Increase the instances along both X and Z this time. Then modify the spacing a bit for each. Finally, let’s expand the Scattering options and adjust the sliders for Displacement and Y Rotation to provide a more random appearance. You’ll see these adjustments update in the Real-time View.

4. Edit The Pattern

If you don’t love what you see, you can always right-click on one of the pattern instances and select Edit Pattern.

5. Moving Patterned Objects

You may also experience some overlapping with patterns like this. Let’s fix this by selecting a card you want to rest on top of other cards. Right-click and select Move. Locate it above the other objects then select Snap to Lower Object.

What About Circular Patterns?

You also have the option to create circular patterns. The same principles apply, although the Scattering options are different. As in our example here, these options may be adjusted with the results seen in the Real-time View to create the look you want to achieve.

You can learn more about the Pattern Tool settings in the KeyShot Manual. Here’s another example of a pattern created with the Pattern Tool.


What Can You Create?

We would love to see what you create with this tip. Visit the KeyShot Amazing Shots community 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.

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Written By KeyShot

The KeyShot crew fills you in with the latest KeyShot tips and tricks, insight into 3D rendering technology and the people creating the coolest visuals across the engineering, product design and entertainment industries.


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