Material Linking

When working with a complex model (or even a simple model) it's easy to have multiple copies of the same materials in your scene. For example, when applying a Polished Chrome material to multiple parts you may end up with multiple copies of the same material in your in-project material library:


  • Chrome Polished #1
  • Chrome Polished #2
  • Chrome Polished #3

In the scene below, we've already added some materials, but there are multiple copies of the red and black plastic.


How to Link Materials:

1 . Go to Project -> Scene -> Materials tab.

2 . Multi-select materials by drawing a selection box, or holding down Shift and selecting each material. Right-click your selection -> Link Materials.


Now you can see that we have four materials in our scene, which makes editing them much, much easier, and helps keep our materials organized!


Bonus tip:

Rename your materials to make them easier to spot in your Project materials. Right-click the material and select Rename Material to bring up the Rename dialogue box.

Lego Spaceman model by Andrew Whitham.

Material Unlinking

In KeyShot, two or more parts will often be material-linked if the parts have the same name and appearance/color in the CAD software.  Parts that are linked by material will be affected by any changes to the linked material.  

To unlink a selection:

1. Go to Project -> Scene

2. Make a selection in the scene tree and right-click

3. Select Unlink Materials

To unlink all materials:

1. Go to Project -> Scene

2. Right-click your model's top-most level

3. Select Unlink Materials

Separate Surfaces

Surfaces that are collapsed into a single part cannot be unlinked by material. Rather, the surface must first be converted to an individual part.

Here are some things you can do to separate your surfaces:

1. To separate the surfaces, assign different colors/appearances to each surface in your CAD software. KeyShot will respect your color assignments and treat the surfaces as separate.

2. You may also separate surfaces in KeyShot via the Geometry Editor (Pro only). For more information about the Geometry Editor, click here.

3. As a third option, KeyShot's wire, dwg, dxf, igs, obj, and skp importers offer the ability to Keep Individual Parts:

1. Start a new scene and import your model

2. At the import settings window click Show Settings

3. Under Materials, enable Keep Individual Parts

4. Confirm your Import.

All surfaces will show as separate parts in the scene tree.