KeyShot vs Blender: Which One is Best?

by | Apr 1, 2024 | 0 comments

KeyShot or Blender? is one of the commonly asked questions for new designers who want a great start and professionals looking to improve the quality of their design renderings.

KeyShot provides an advanced, streamlined, and quick rendering experience that very often results in accurate and photo-realistic models. Oh, and it has functionality with an interface designers love. Blender is cost-effective and has customizable features that make it stand out. What are their differences though, and which may be better suited for your work? Read on to find out.

What is KeyShot

KeyShot is an advanced rendering tool that helps 3D professionals create product visuals, including images, animations, as well as output for web and VR. It offers stand-alone, real-time ray-tracing, global illumination, and multi-core mapping features that make animations, visual effects, virtual reality, 3D renderings, and interactive visuals particularly easy to create. Its scientifically accurate lighting capabilities are unmatched by any other software. KeyShot has evolved over several decades to offer its users a game-changing combination of ease, speed, accuracy, and high efficiency. Even with its vast feature catalog, it is accessible to almost anyone. Designer? Marketer? Engineer? KeyShot’s got you.

What is Blender?

Blender is an open-source, publicly accessible suite of features that supports every step of the 3D creation pipeline, from modeling and sculpting to rendering and animation. Because it is open-source, many of its updates are community-managed. It covers everything from 3D modeling to rigging to rendering to compositing and motion tracking. This means you can manage a lot of the project, be it an animated film or product visuals, within one software.

What are the Differences Between KeyShot and Blender?

Rendering Capabilities

KeyShot and Blender are both popular for their swift, easily adaptable, and seamless render process but KeyShot’s advanced lighting capability is matchless. For rendering in KeyShot, users can access both CPU and GPU power. This means they get to choose how much power they use from both physical and virtual cores while being able to scale linearly for the best performance.

Time and Workflow

Blender’s wide range of automation and add-on tools are critical in simplifying the design process, but its time-constraining process of creating design sequences from scratch can be painstaking. Newbies should plan on a steeper learning curve and some inconsistencies across features before they can work in Blender comfortably. On the other hand, generating visuals from scratch is pretty simple in KeyShot. It also provides a LiveLink feature where users can import models directly from their 3D modeling application and see updates take effect in real-time.

Asset Creation

With Blender, designers can touch on volume, mesh, texture, and curves, and explore the depths of their creativity with its render engine. There’s plenty of room for customization. KeyShot provides advanced material editing, color management, and geometry tools to complement their textures and materials with design providers like Mold-Tech and Axalta Coating Systems. They can also adapt colors through several color libraries, including PANTONE and RAL.

Skill Requirements

Blender may not be a fit if you’re a designer who needs to create visuals immediately, but hey, some people really love that process of trial-and-error. It may feel more cumbersome at first coming from solid modeling software, like SolidWorks or even SketchUp. With KeyShot, even with its advanced features, you’ll find a simple and beginner-friendly user interface. KeyShot’s features are extensive, yet organized, which makes it more appealing when you need results fast.


A KeyShot subscription costs $99/month, while Blender, which is open-source and developed by users, is free.

Targeted Users

The targeted demographic of both KeyShot and Blender is similar in some regards and different in others. 3D professionals, both individuals and team use KeyShot, along with larger, international businesses. KeyShot sits at a price-point that is easily absorbed by companies with regular projects. Blender will be more attractive to those starting out in their 3D journey or those that require a more complex pipeline or geometry manipulation. Freelancers, design hobbyists, design firms as well as small-to-global businesses prefer KeyShot for reliability, customer support, ease of use, speed to final render and outstanding visual quality, while Blender users like the open-source nature and support of the Blender community.

Industry Usage

Both tools appeal to varying and somewhat contrasting industries, even if their features serve all. Game designers and animators make up a great percentage of Blender’s industry clients since it offers plenty of support features to both industries. KeyShot has a more diverse catalog and is famous as the preferred software for product design, automotive design, architectural design, jewelry design, and more.

Should you Choose Blender or KeyShot?

If you’ve considered both their rendering abilities, asset creation tools, skill requirement and ease of use, and pricing, then you’re likely already decided on which is better suited for your needs, available budget, and business. Want to explore KeyShot? Grab a 14-day free trial here or purchase it here.

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Written By Chidinma Iwu

Chidinma Divine Iwu is a content strategist covering tech, ecommerce, design, and personal finance. Her articles can be read in ClickUp, Feats, Forbes Advisor, the Daily Mail, etc. She's almost always on Twitter @Chidxnma, tweeting spontaneously and wishing things were better for women.


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