Experience with KeyShot = scammers?

Hey guys,
I would like to share our experience with KeyShot / Luxion and ask if you have a similar one.

Our company used to buy and regularly upgrade KeyShot licenses until they switched to the subscription model and raised the prices to 1200 USD/year or 2000 USD for a perpetual license upgrade with 1-year maintenance. For comparison, V-Ray enterprise is approx. 600 USD/yr.

We made the obvious choice and decided to stick with the perpetual licenses we have, which worked just fine until Luxion started harassing us. The thing is, their license server was always quite buggy, and moving a license between computers sometimes required contacting tech support to move the license manually. Same situation when a computer breaks down. So now we’ve been told that this is part of a paid plan and without paying we can never be sure that we will be able to de/re-activate a license i.e. the license practically ceases to exist.

Did you get into a similar situation? How did you solve it?


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I had some experiences lately with these new kind of licenced softwares where you pay money and still they don’t stop harassing you with: c’mon, buy more or we’ll restrict everything to a nearly unusable in our next update, even stuff you’ve already paid for. I think if it is in a ok balance (like Mudbox is about 10.- a month) this can be ok, but these prices seem waay exagerated.

Personally I prefer not to work with software that milks me on a regular basis justifying it with “maintainance” which would be unnecessary, if they had not pushed out their buggy beta version. It’s a bit the silicon valley way of doing stuff. give it out for nearly free and once we’re “dependent”, they’ll charge you like crazy! For me it’s important to set the sign that we are not ready to be milked. Once there are enough users doing so, they will probably change it back to a responsible price tag or system.

I had bought a maxwell render licence many years ago like 600.- and although it is not live rendering, the quality is way better than KeyShot (at least if you render gems) Total I paid about 100.-/year over time and it will continue to work just fine. And for live rendering Rhino renderer and cycles does the job very well.

My advice is: ditch them and use Rhino renderer or a stand-alone licence of a less aggressive enterprise making render engines. I would have ditched even Excel if the had not made a lifetime licence, but only the 365 licence thingy.


Hi Ben, thanks for your experience!

Yeah, I ditched MS Office for LibreOffice until recently, because I just love OneDrive, MS365 for my whole family is 6 seats with 1 TB of cloud space for each, and the price per seat is pretty neat.

My personal / company experience is:

  • Rhino 3D = awesome business model, student discounts, little pressure, great community, and friendly customer support. It fills me with joy whenever we buy licenses/upgrades.
  • Blender + Cycles = pretty neat, I wish I could learn it, I 100% support anyone who decides to go for Blender instead of 3ds max.
    V-Ray = again, very helpful community, great customer support, open communication, price is justified with no bullshitting.
  • Autodesk = pure hell, terrible pricing, industrial standard = monopoly, aggressive spying on user and threatening legal action whenever possible (few of my friends had to buy themselves out)
  • Keyshot = already mentioned

Let me know if you have something Rendering wise that you’d like to get done with Rhino Render but aren’t sure if it’s possible. Happy to help give an honest opinion.

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Hi Brian, is it still Rhino Render or Cycles now?

I remember last time I checked, Cycles in Rhino was very limited and I wonder if it’s the same version as in current Blender and if Blender can be used to render Rhino scenes or to create complex materials.


I’m still on Keyshot 9 and I do not plan on buying a new license. Here are some of the things I’m using Keyshot for regularly:

export glb and (usdz not possible in Keyshot 9) files to create animations like this

html5 animations like Keyshot XR

render 360° images for a VR headset like the Oculus Go

render 360° turntable animations as video


Rhino Render in v7 and v8 is Cycles under the hood but it’s not the Cycles X version yet. That project is in the works for v8 and the hope is that this increases speed especially on Mac. It can be quite fast now though in most cases if on Windows and using an Nvidia card with lots of Cuda cores. Use of the Intel Denoiser plugin from the PackageManager command can cut the samples you need to get to as well.

I’ve rendered stills and animations in Blender myself over the years and that implementation still has more options than what you get in Rhino. Namely, ray control via the light path node for instance and node based material editing. I keep lobbying for more control in Rhino Render (Cycles) and this stuff is all filed for the devs when it gets priority. The main thing is to get on Cycles X first. I haven’t experimented much with materials defined in Rhino and then moving over to Blender to see what travels. My experience is, set up your materials in the app where the rendering will be processed and you’ll save time. Material names and UV info coming over is useful though in formats like Obj and Fbx just for selection and separating objects if needed.

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When I started Fresco I looked at all the software/licensing options of what I used in my corporate job prior, and re-evaluated what made sense to bring to our own company.

Keyshot licensing approach (even before this switch to subscription) didn’t make sense for us. It was difficult to run my own license on my own multiple machines, let alone manage a team of users. and $$$$$!

We used Vray + Octane for years; we liked their licensing approach, price, quality, and the fact that we could run either of them in Rhino + Modo. We then migrated from Modo to Blender, and Vray does not offer a Blender plugin, so we stayed with Octane. The integration of Octane to Rhino is very poor/limited, but at least you are still in Rhino and can do geometry/modeling updates, whereas in Keyshot, you are completely out of Rhino, and the live link never really worked well in my experience.

I think Keyshot is great, if it works for you. The usability is excellent, but it’s at the expense of very high prices, more limited capability (compared to Octane/Vray), and high render times ( I have not tested their GPU rendering). Octane is the quality/speed king. Vray comes close, sometimes, but a lot more buggy.

Octane + Blender are a great combo, but also it’s outside of Rhino. Cycles is ok, if ok quality works for you, Cycles is a good option.

If I were rendering in Rhino, I’d keep an eye on Bella, it looks very appealing.

I hope this helps,



I did a sabbatical project for my teaching job a few years ago where I used Rhino and Unreal Engine to end up with an interactive VR experience on an Oculus Go. It was by no means simple and teaching that semester would have actually been easier! Here’s a page I set up to talk about it if you’re interested.


Sure, they have a good product, but the way they treat their customers is just terrible. Keyshot made money from everyone willing to pay for their software, and now that they have become popular, they decided to become an exclusive business. Nice way to treat the customers who made you who you are as a company. Typical biped mentality, nothing surprising in this and age!

You can always try Light Tracer Render which is still not mature yet, but is being updated as we speak. It is also pretty easy to use, and the rendering quality is no different than Keyshot!