KeyShot Forum

Technical discussions => Data Import => SOLIDWORKS => Topic started by: jmfit on July 17, 2010, 06:29:21 pm

Title: Solidworks Appearances
Post by: jmfit on July 17, 2010, 06:29:21 pm
Hi all-
Does the appearances (textures and materials) import into Keyshot? I've applied some tire tread pattern to a part and comes in white.


Title: Re: Solidworks Appearances
Post by: Speedster on July 18, 2010, 08:17:39 am
No, SolidWorks materials and textures do not export to KeyShot.  In the case of tires, it's best to model the geometry, then apply a "tire" rubber in KS.  Or, the tread pattern can be created from a jpeg, which is tough to map correctly.

I work only in SW and KS, so here's a few tricks that may help you out.

Your SW model has to be prepared for KS, called "mapping".  You need to assign, in SW, a color to any part, feature or surface that you will need to apply a KS material to. 

Assign (map) colors at the Part level, Feature level, or Surface level, as required.  Each desired surface or feature must be different.  DON"T use PhotoWorks materials!  Some work, but most will confuse things later
in KS.  Also, PhotoWorks, I understand, is being discontinued with SW2011.

For a "part", that is only one color, like a casting, you don't really need to apply a color to it beyond the SW default, as KS recognizes the "part" as such.  However, if that casting has one or more machined faces, you need to map those faces with another color so that KS can recognize them as descrete surfaces.  Now you can assign "cast aluminum" to the casting, and a machined material to the faces.  Or, "green paint" to the casting, etc.

Remember that color mapping applies only to the specific part, so you can use the same blue on one as on another, different, part.

Mapping a color to surfaces is quite useful, as when you create a distinct surface using the "split line" command.

Now, this bites, but I have found that it's best to be nasty with colors, like use greens, reds, blues, etc.  Your model looks awful on the screen, but it makes it a lot easier later in KeyShot, which is really what matters!

Hope this helps.  You can see these tricks in the work on my website, all in SW and KeyShot. (

Bill G

Title: Re: Solidworks Appearances
Post by: Speedster on July 18, 2010, 08:34:58 am
Forgot to mention an important issue-

Apply your color-mapping ONLY at the part level.  Never change or apply colors at the sub-assembly or top assembly level.  Things can get very confusing if you do!

Bill G
Title: Re: Solidworks Appearances
Post by: jmfit on July 18, 2010, 07:45:34 pm
Thanks for the info-
Its to bad the materials don't import. Photoview 360 is replacing Photoworks and its a pretty good renderer.
When I do something in SW I usually assign colors to show color breaks and although its not 100 percent accurate in a drawing view. For me I find its easier to apply texture or color to the SW model while in SW especially when you have alot of faces and detail. Photoview 360 usually is sufficient if you are just rendering SW files but when you need to render a maya obj file with a solidworks file keyshot is great.

Re applying colors to sub and top assembly-- I get messed up on that as well. On top of assigning colors to faces/features/bodies-- Its hard to  revert back to a plain grey model if you do to much.


Title: Re: Solidworks Appearances
Post by: Speedster on July 19, 2010, 07:44:37 am
Hi Joe;
Its hard to  revert back to a plain grey model if you do to much.

At the sub-assembly and Top assembly level, go to the Feature Manager and right-click on the assembly, top of the tree.  Go to "Appearance".  If you have done stuff at the assembly level, there will be a scary looking red X at the bottom of the appearance window.  Click on this to remove all colors/materials that may have been applied at the assembly level.  Everything will turn grey, but don't panic-  Ctrl+Q will force a rebuild and your part level colors will return.

I make it standard practice now to never tweak things at the assembly level.  If you need a decent looking model to show the boss or something, it's better to save as a new assembly and tweak it instead.

Bill G