Keyshot vertex colors from blender

Keyshot is so dumb. Everything I have reads the vertex colors from blender just fine in fbx or alembic. But not keyshot.
The only thing I can get it to read is C4D, IF I change the vertex colors from Polygon Points to Points Only.

Anyone know if there’s a way to store vertex colors in that way directly from blender?

I think keyshot is doing that because of a way that zbrush stores the painted information? I don’t have Zbrush, so not sure. But even there it’s not quite right. Anyway, I’m just trying to see if I can eliminate having to export from blender, then import into C4D, change the option on each object, export alembic (It doesn’t work in fbx for some reason) and Then finally import to Keyshot.

Yeah, That’s a super convoluted way to get there, but here we are.

Anyone know much about that? I don’t really know C4D at all, and to tell you the truth don’t know much about vertex colors other than the basic idea of what it does. I’m using it be able to use one set of maps in keyshot on a material and just multiply different values by vertex colors to get variations per object.

Can I ask why you use keyshot when you have blender? I didn’t know that keyshot supported vertex colors. I can maybe do some tests next week at work.

You may ask, of course. The bigest reason is that sometimes the client wants the keyshot file when I’m finished. But another big reason is that it Is a little faster, start to finish, when you start with a bunch of CAD. We end up shooting for $500-$600 per render. If it’s just a Single render start to finish, then no, it’s more than that. And I have to deliver the files around 7k square usually, as a photoshop file with a ground reflection on it’s own layer, a shadow Only black, on it’s own layer, then the product, with transparency on things like glass baked into the image. This way they can adjust the shadow or reflection on product packaging however they need, and they can just throw it on whatever color, and colors and patterns come through the transparent areas.
I’ve gotten pretty good at being consistent with timing using keyshot to get that done. There are lots of things I don’t like about it, but it gets us there quickly. Doing the same tasks in blender seem to give more control, but involve more tasks, so takes longer.
Eventually, I hope to learn it well enough that I can set up some scene where I drop in my product, and the render output already handles the things I mentioned.

Oh, and keyshot has a renderfarm that works. Blender…it seems like it’s a lot of work to set it up. But, I’m still learning.

But yes, keyshot supports vertex colors. I just can’t get them to work from blender. There’s a vertex color map in the texture map, and there’s another one with the object info node, which has vertex color as an option.

Interesting. When you say $500-$600 for one image, how many hours of work is that? I’m interested as I also do visualization of products but inside a big company and depending on the product I try to do it in 2-6 hours. That is getting the CAD, clean it up, assign materials, set up materials, and render with transparent background and black shadow on a separate layer. I use Rhino as my CAD cleaner and then send it to Blender to do the rest. I have used keyshot before but I felt it to be too limited but that was many versions ago.
I did a quick google search and it seems like many people have problems to get vertex colors from Blender to work in Keyshot.

Well shoot. I’d love to see your workflow. Yes, that’s per image. The reason I put the cost rather than time is because I noticed, after seeing some other people’s quotes, than people likely “cheat” an estimate to just end up being the total that they want. I don’t list our hourly rate, although it can easily be extrapolated from the quotes after a few times. But there is a company in chicago that keeps putting their hourly rate as $115-125, for example. ours is higher than that, but I quoted a job at 7500, they quoted the same job at 13000, they just claimed it would take more hours. Actual hours and cost for me ended up being 7800 (we still only charged 7500 though) if I calculate it based on the hourly rate we put in harvest for hours tracking. So I’ve found, someone’s hourly rate is kind of bogus.
Photographers are kind of funny, because there are so many of them, there are kind of “standard” rates out there. And they charge different rates for different activities…because they all do. I think administrative work is $75, some things are 100, and some are 125. (Yes, these are midwest prices…which is why it seems silly to me that people pay 300/hr for the same work elsewhere)
But yes, I have pretty much the same workflow, but end up in keyshot. Industrial Designers mostly use Keyshot. And it’s often a marketing person who actually hires us to create the renderings. Unless they are a former designer or engineer, they have No idea what CAD is, so sometimes that is a keyshot file. So that’s one big pull for keyshot. That, and now that they added GPU rendering (still pretty buggy) and they have their own renderfarm software (still pretty buggy) our render times have gone way down.
Back when I did this a few years ago Inside a company, the workflow was rhino to 3dsMax and I rendered in Vray. The timing on that was closer to 2 days for any render, and another half day for each render after.
With my current workflow, something Really simple ends up being a half day total, but I like to leave a full day because there are Always questions or changes, or Something.
Oh, one of our current products internally is a couple UVC disinfection chambers are all rendered on our site: Those are all keyshot, but most of them are odd timelines because it was internal, so the number of changes causes me to not have a Clue as to how long any of them took. Sometimes we’ll do 4-6 in a day, and sometimes one takes days to do because we have to get a bunch of assets and fill the thing, without spending any/much money.
Most all of the stuff on our site,, in the portfolio section is keyshot renders also. There’s one blender animation on there though, on the engineering page of the avagant glyph. That was my first blender project. It went Terrible. lol Keyshot can’t animate very well, and it Definitely can’t bend things. And those are modelled with tension built in, so even for a still render, you have to bend them. I also sculpted the headphone pads a little, because cad data for something like that is perfectly flat and with giant corners, and no indication of seams.

So yes, that was long, but the aim for 5-600 per image is about a half day of work. But if a client asks us to do only one image, it’s generally a 1-1.5 days of work, so is not 5-600 anymore. But it depends on the model. I did Just a coffee basket once. That consists of just 3 parts, granted I had to create the mesh pattern from nothing because holes aren’t modelled in. But I’m pretty sure we did 2 renders of that and for like 400 bucks total.
Usually how I do it is give the estimate as a not to exceed cost, unless changes are made out of scope. Like, you gave me CAD data. Now you give me New CAD data and expect that change. Nope, out of scope. We are doing the original CAD or adjusting the statement of work. (I’m not that mean about it). But if I guessed 5 days on something, and everything goes smoothly and it really only took 3, then I reduce the bill based on what we usually estimate for hourly. If I was one that had our rate as only 100/hr then I wouldn’t do that. Unless you’re working solo, then charging only 100/hr in the US just doesn’t seem reasonable because of insurance, paying for your building/space, overhead for management and Not always having work, etc. But then again, the companies that I’ve bid against that show 125/hr are claiming WAAAaaay more hours. So either they aren’t good, or they lie.