Luxion Keyshot 3 Pro gives you the ability to animate as well as render. While you’re unlikely to be character animatig in Keyshot, more straight forward animation that you would associate with product and engineering visualisation are a real breeze. In much the same way that the shading and rendering is very interactive with an emphasis on keeping the flow going, animation is no different. Here I take a piece of jewellery I modelled, and add some simple animation to it.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” title=”Model Imported” height=”182″ width=”300″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/keyshot_animation_1.jpg[/image_frame]
First up is importing the model to be animated. In this case I decided before had that the elements I would animate would be the five gems, the five mounts they sit in, and the main ring. I made sure in Lightwave that I separated these out in to layers to make them editable individually in Keyshot. You may notice the watermark top right denoting the activation of performance mode, just to make things a little snappier on more modest hardware.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” title=”Animating the first element” height=”182″ width=”300″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/keyshot_animation_2.jpg[/image_frame]
With the first element selected, click ‘Add Animation’ to the upper left f the scene tree. Two options are available at this point. New Rotation which allows us to specify simple rotation, or New Translation for element movement.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” title=”Add translation values” height=”182″ width=”300″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/keyshot_animation_3.jpg[/image_frame]
Having selected to add a translation animation, I then simply enter (or adjust interactively with the sliders) the amount of translation in X, Y, and Z. You will then see a green block appear in the animation time-line editor which represents the translation we have created, spanning it’s set duration in time. You can at this stage drag the end of the green block and extend the time over which the translation takes place.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” title=”Add translation values” height=”182″ width=”300″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/keyshot_animation_4.jpg[/image_frame]
What I am now doing is animating the mount that the gem was seated in. I can right click the translation node of the gem in the scene tree, and copy the animation. This will allow me to paste the animation on to an element of the scene without having to create it from scratch.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” title=”Pasting animation from one element to another.” height=”182″ width=”300″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/keyshot_animation_5.jpg[/image_frame]
I then right click the mount in the scene tree, and past the animation. What I can also do if the animation is to be identical is to paste a LINKED animation to the element. If I then ammend the animation on the original element, all linked animations will also update.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” title=”Offsetting the new pasted animation” height=”182″ width=”300″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/keyshot_animation_6.jpg[/image_frame]
What we now have is two animations, and therefore two blocks in the animation editor. Both are at the same start and end positions.
To make things look cooler, what I really want is the gem to lift away first, and then the mount to follow just after it. To achieve this all we need to do is grab the second animation in the animation editor with our mouse and drag it a short way along the time line, offsetting it from the gem. Their relative starting and stopping positions will remain the same, but we’ll have a slight delay before the mount moves.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” title=”Animating the other parts” height=”182″ width=”300″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/keyshot_animation_7.jpg[/image_frame]
I’ve repeated the process of creating animations for each gem, and then copying and pasting the animation to the corresponding mounts, and applying the same relative offsets. The interactive nature of the workflow means this really takes no time at all.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” title=”Rendering a preview” height=”182″ width=”300″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/keyshot_animation_8.jpg[/image_frame]
In the same way as the gems and mounts, I’ve added animation to the main ring band; a simple translation upward, and a simultaneous 180 degree rotation. This essentially leaves our frame clear of any visible elements.
Clicking the eye icon gives you the facility to render a low resolution preview animation, which you can study and scrub back and forth. If you want to keep it you can save the movie file. It’s also worth mentioning at this stage that the gear icon next to the preview icon opens the settings panel which will allow you to specify the requires FPS for the animation.
[image_frame style=”framed” align=”left” title=”Rendering the final animation” height=”182″ width=”300″]http://www.scorpiocgi.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/keyshot_animation_10.jpg[/image_frame]
The last step is to render the animation. Hit the render button, and switch from still to animation. How long the render will take can be influenced in numerous ways. One is to set the number of samples per frame, or defining how long each frame is allowed to render. If quality needs to be more specifically controlled you can switch to advanced mode. This will afford you individual control of GI, shadow, aliasing, and DOF qualities amongst other things.