Free Rhino Webinar on Advanced Curve Modelling

Free Webinar: Rhino 5 Intermediate – Tips and Tricks for Advanced Curve Modeling in Rhino
McNeel Europe
February 2017
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (CET)

Good models always start with better curves! Do you want to improve curves in your Rhino model? Read on, this free webinar is for you!

In this session, basic rules on how curves work will be covered first: degree and control points. Is that curve looking good enough? Curvature graph will help you understand all the invisible secrets of curves. Since one curve will almost never be enough to describe the shape you are looking for, connecting curves in different ways and controlling their continuity will be covered as well.

Kinks, knots, control points, edit points, control points weight, periodic curves… Are any of these unfamiliar? We will talk about them, too.

A solid, intermediate knowledge of Rhino is advised. No microphone or webcam is required. The seminar is not platform dependent, it is aimed at both Windows and Mac users.
The webinar will be conducted by the Tech Team experts of McNeel Europe in different languages.

Sign up now:

Spanish: February 20, 2017
Panelist: Rodrigo Bárcena
Registration: click here…

English: February 21, 2017

Panelist: Rodrigo Bárcena
Registration: click here…

Italian: February 22, 2017
Panelist: Giuseppe Massoni
Registration: click here…

German: February 23, 2017
Panelist: Verena Vogler
Registration: click here…

French: February 24, 2017
Panelist: Vanessa Steeg
Registration: click here…

 

• Space is limited; sign up today!
• This webinar is free of cost for all attendees.
• Presentation will take approximately 40 minutes followed by another 15 minutes for Q&A.
• After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

How Much is Vectorworks?

This is a pretty open question – but frequently asked, so we’d thought give a quick intro to pricing.

Prices

Vectorworks pricing, in simple terms, ranges from £1745+VAT to £3700+ (+VAT). The cheapest new license is Fundamentals without VSS and the most expensive is Designer with VSS. (These are RRP. For our latest prices, please visit our Vectorworks pages.)

Pricing has increased in recent years but this has been partly offset by the inclusion of Renderworks in all new licenses. Previously, this was a £400 addon.

Alternatives

The closest matches to Vectorworks – ArchiCAD, AutoCAD and Revit are generally more expensive. AutoCAD is cheaper than some versions of Vectorworks but doesn’t include the tools and libraries found in Vectorworks Landmark, Spotlight, Architect and Designer.

SketchUp 2017 Released! New Version Out Now

It’s here. SketchUp Pro 2017 has been released and it brings with it some tangible boosts to the underlying engine.

 

Turbocharged

Pipeline 2.0

In this SketchUp release, Trimble have made major improvements to the graphics pipeline, creating performance improvements “everywhere you see a .SKP”.  This means the underlying graphics engine behind SketchUp, 3D Warehouse, LayOut,  my.SketchUp, and Trimble Connect is now unified – designed to produce a better quality experience across all platforms and allow for faster universal development in the future.

Transparency

In addition to SketchUp’s graphics pipeline overhaul, there have been substantial enhancements to transparency, which should now render faster, at higher quality. SketchUp now handles displaying multiple transparencies better in order to provide a more realistic sense of depth across several clear faces. As an additional feature, it’s now possible to fine-tune the opacity level in X-ray mode.

 

Drawing

SketchUp 2017 sees further refinements to ‘heuristics,’ those characteristics that make SketchUp quick and precise.

High DPI Modeling

We’ve tuned snapping and inferencing  for high definition monitors (like Apple’s Retina Display). Edge weights have also been smart-scaled. You can back away from your screen now…

Smart Offset

The improved ‘Offset’ tool avoids overlapping and self-intersecting geometry, meaning clean offsets, every time you hit ‘F’ (including LayOut!)

Perpendicular Face Inferencing

Have you mastered parallel inferencing? We’ve added a ‘Perpendicular to Face’ inference. Hover a face; SketchUp will helpfully snap to its perpendicular.

Righteous Rectangles

Our Rectangle tools now utilize the arrow-key axis-locking (just like Circle and Polygon tools). Psst… find a Square or Golden Section; hold shift to lock that in too!

Axis Colouring

With SketchUp 2017 it’s now possible to customise the colors that display SketchUp’s axes and inferencing. Whether the change can help with visibility or just to tie in better with user’s preferences, it’s a useful new feature.

Tables in Layout

Manage and display spreadsheets in Layout with tables. Create a ‘Table’ from scratch, or import a CSV or Excel file. Tables behave just like other spreadsheets: edit text, style cells, modify columns and rows… and so on. LayOut references your original spreadsheet, so updating every Table in your document is super simple.

 

CAD Advances

High Fidelity .DWG

Many people use linework from SketchUp in other CAD applications. SketchUp Pro 2017’s re-written LayOut .DWG/.DXF exporter is designed to make this stage in design development even easier.

One DWG

Previously, a ten page LayOut file would export as ten separate .dwg’s. Now you’ll get just one .dwg with ten separate tabs for each page.

Native Entities

Previously, LayOut entities like dimensions, clipping masks, and labels would explode into raw geometry upon export. Now, they’ll import smartly into AutoCAD and behave just as expected.

Smart Scaling

LayOut exports are now smart enough to self scale for paper size or model space. Drawing entities like labels and, and polygons scales to paper size. Model linework scales to model space. Voilà!

Colour by Layer

We’ve added an oft-requested ‘Color-by-Layer’ option to CAD exports, so all entities on a given layer may export as one color. By default, black linework exports so that it renders as black on a white background and white on a black background. That’s like candy for CAD fiends.

Extension Manager

A new utility, Extension Manager is a one-look view of your SketchUp extensions. From here, it’s easy to toggle on and off custom tools (or uninstall them entirely). Extension Manager also displays an extension’s Digital Signature, the indication it meets  our standard for quality and security.

Persistent IDs

Now, when you make a change to your SketchUp model, any LayOut dimensions associated with the model update to reflect your edit. This possible thanks to a new feature across SketchUp platform called Persistent IDs. These are identifiers for geometry that help SketchUp (and its extensions) manipulate individual entities, like a specific edge or face. Basically, every sliver of your model just got smarter.

Cinema 4D R18 – Release & Full Feature List

Cinema4D R18 is here! Check out the showcasing video ‘Versus’ below, along with the making of it.

Cinema 4D R18 Full Feature List

  • ANIMATION
    • New Quaternions workflow
      • There is now a Quaternions group in the Coordinates tab
      • The key attributes for Quaternion Rotations have a new option for Quaternion Interpolation types. The user can choose between different interpolation presets there.
    • Constraints workflow
      • Parent Constraint
        • The new “Local Offset” attributes field presents the internal offset that the constrained object will have with the “parent” targets
        • New Interactive Transform checkbox allowing the user to interactively edit the constrained parameters
        • New Record button provides an easy way to keyframe the Local Offset and Strength values of the targets
        • Negative scales and constraints are now supported
        • New Parent Constraint parameters
          • “Local Offset” are animatable parameters representing the offset the target (parent) has from the constrained object (child)
          • “Interactive Local Offset” is a checkbox that enables the user to interactively adjust constrained parameters and have the Local Offsets update to the new adjustments
          • “Auto-Reset (Legacy)” is the Auto-Reset mode which is now implemented as a Legacy mode, for compatibility reasons with old scenes
          • “Update Local Offsets” is a new cycle button that will allow to update the Local Offsets based on the constrained object’s coordinates, or setting one of the Targets as a new main target. This will allow for a seamless transition to that target.
          • “Record Optimized” is new cycle button which allows recording all the Weights and Local Transforms of all the Targets, in an optimized way
        • The new Shift Priority Tag can be used to shift priority values of expressions
        • The “Breakdown Color” option in the keyframe attributes of the Timeline now allows setting an alternative color for keyframes
        • The Timeline’s baking function is now able to bake an Alembic object to native PLA animation
  • EXCHANGE
    • Alembic
      • Alembic module is now based on SDK 1.5.8.
      • Support for vertex colors was added
      • The internal tags which represent the data streamed from *.abc files are exposed to the user on the Alembic generator now
      • There now is a placeholder tag for the Subdivision Surface Weight tag
      • The subdivision method is now written to and read from the Alembic SubD scheme
      • Alembic generator has a new option for Creases and Corners used for weights of SDS objects
      • Alembic generator has a new value to be able to scale SDS weights
      • New Import options
        • “Color Maps” option allows color information (RGB and RGBA) to be imported and Vertex Color tags to be created
        • Importing “Points” with “As Polygon Object” reads the color (RGB or RGBA) property and creates a Vertex Color tag per point mode for it
        • Importing “Points” with “As Particle Geometry” reads RGBA (vector4d) color arrays now
        • “Creases and Corners” – reads creases and corners as point and edge weights of SDS objects
      • New Export options
        • “Vertex Colors” – the RGBA data of all Vertex Color tags is exported
        • “Display Colors to Vertex Colors” – writes the display color of the object as vertex color information
        • “Vertex Colors” + “Points Only (Geometry)” options – exports also RGBA data from points mode only Vertex Color tags
        • “Subdivision Surface Weights” – writes point and edge weights of SDS objects as corners and creases
      • Export can now be canceled
    • FBX
      • FBX module is now based on SDK 2016.2, now supports the 7.5 file format
      • New Import options
        • “Vertex Colors” – imports vertex color elements and creates a Vertex Color tag for each of them
        • “Convert Grayscale Vertex Colors to Vertex Maps” – in case there are only grayscale colors, a Vertex Map tag will be created instead of a Vertex Color tag
        • “Subdivision Surface” – an SDS Weight tag will be created if at least one crease layer was found
      • New Export options
        • “Vertex Colors” – color information of all Vertex Color tags is exported for every mesh
        • “Subdivision Surface” – if an SDS Weight tag exists, the weight information for points and edges is written as two crease layers
    • Support for Allegorithmic Substance Engine
      • Substance archives (.sbsar) can be loaded
      • The Substance Asset Manager can be used to organize the Substance assets in the scene
      • The Substance Shader is used to reference Substance asset outputs in Cinema 4D’s material system and all other parts of Cinema 4D that support shaders
      • New Substance Asset mode in the Attributes Manager
      • New Substance Engine section in the Preferences
      • New Substance Engine sub-menu in Pipeline menu
      • C++/Python API supports Substance
    • Support for the DDS texture file format (loader)
    • BP exchange supports 3ds Max 2017
    • OBJ
      • Import and Export presets can now be saved and loaded
      • The Material Mix Mode can now be specified
  • HOUDINI EXCHANGE
    • Updated to use Houdini Engine 15.0.313
    • The internal tags which are generated by the Houdini asset are now exposed to the user
    • During Open Scene, if the asset path is absolute and invalid but an asset file with the same name exists in the C4D scene folder, then this asset file is used and the asset path becomes relative
    • Added vertex color support for both marshalled inputs and generated outputs
    • GUI improvements
  • INTERFACE
    • Support for OS X 10.11 El Capitan System Font added
  • MATERIAL
    • Variation shader enhancements
      • Support for more than one texture
      • UV Rotation can now be quantized and UV can be flipped
    • New “Invert Direction” option for Ambient Occlusion
    • New parallax mapping support in the Bump channel
    • New Shadow Catcher shader
    • New Thin Film shader
  • MODELING
    • New Knife tools
      • Interactive modeling workflow using new on screen handles and gizmos
      • Line Cut tool
        • Cuts polygon objects and splines with polyline cuts
        • Cut line can be interactively adapted via control points
        • Cuts can be inside of polygons
        • Several slice modes
          • Cut
          • Split
          • Remove Part A
          • Remove Part B
        • Supports snapping and constraints
      • Plane Cut tool
        • Planar cut for polygon objects
        • Cutting plane can be interactively adapted
        • Several slice modes
          • Cut All
          • Split
          • Remove Part A
          • Remove Part B
        • Several plane modes available, defining which coordinate system is used
          • Free
          • Local
          • World
          • Camera
        • The number and spacing of parallel cuts can be defined
        • Supports snapping and constraints
      • Loop/Path Cut tool
        • Cuts new loops or path into objects
        • Loops/Paths can be interactively adapted
        • Loops/Paths can be searched bidirectional or not
        • Offset modes
          • Proportional
          • Edge Distance
        • The number of parallel cuts can be defined
        • Cuts can preserve the curvature of a surface
        • Cuts can be shaped using spline GUI
    • Support for Pixar’s OpenSubdiv
    • Baking
      • Greatly improved displacement map baking and rendering
        • improved accuracy for vector maps (tangent, object and world)
        • Using ray casting for intensity maps – new options available (intensity, intensity centered, red-green)
      • Also improved normal map baking
        • Ray casting also used when not baked in conjunction with a vector displacement map
    • Sculpting
      • Resolved issue with sculpting at small scales
      • Resolved issue with reproject mesh at small scale
  • MOGRAPH
    • New Effectors
      • Push Apart effector
        • Helps reduce or avoid clone overlap quickly
        • Supports several modes:
          • Push Apart
          • Hide
          • Scale Apart
          • Push Apart Along X,Y, or Z Axis
      • ReEffector
        • Can reset all MoData parameters to initial state within the Effector List it’s applied to
        • Can also blend back to the initial state in a deformer stack
        • Can re-apply multiple effectors to the “fresh” state and blend their effects into the Effector List per parameter
    • New distribution modes for MoGraph Cloner and Matrix Objects
      • Honeycomb Array
      • Clone on Axis
    • New behaviors for MoGraph distribution modes
      • “Object” mode allows to use a custom object to define the form of the cloning
      • Per Step mode for Grid Array and Honeycomb Array
        • New handles behavior for these modes to make dragging out fields of clones faster and more intuitive
      • Scale clones based on polygon size
    • Rewritten MoGraph Cache tag
      • Multiple MoGraph Cache tags can now be used and blended between on a single MoGraph object
      • MoGraph Cache tags can be saved to external files
      • New interface
    • New weights workflow
      • New MoGraph Weightmap tag
      • New MoGraph Weight Paintbrush tool
      • New XPresso node for weights
    • New Commands
      • Swap Cloner/Matrix – Switch selected Cloner objects to Matrix objects or switch selected Matrix objects to Cloner objects
      • Hide Selected – Automatically creates a non-destructive setup to hide the current MoGraph selection
    • Improvements to the Display options for MoGraph objects
      • Display Clone IDs in the viewport (both on the object and within Selection tags)
      • Depth Cue and Scaling for better display of MoSelection as well as all other points display modes (UV, Weights, etc.)
  • Voronoi Fracture
    • New Voronoi Fracture generator
    • Support for many different point generators (Point Generator, Object, Spline, Particles, MoGraph Matrix, Shader, …) to define the fracture pattern
    • The Voronoi Fracture generator is a MoGraph generator and brings full support for effectors and all other MoGraph features
    • Inside/Outside Selection tag lets you assign different materials to the outside and inside faces of fracture pieces
    • Full dynamics support
    • Face, point and edge selections can be created
  • MOTION TRACKING
    • New object tracking functionality
    • New “Lock View on Tracks” mode
    • New “Frame All” / “Frame Selected” commands
    • New “Nudge Track” command
    • New “Auto Update Tracks” mode
  • TEAM RENDER / TEAM RENDER SERVER
    • The “Add machine” dialogue now has a small button that presents a list of recently added machine IPs / hostname
    • New “Restart Jobs After Unexpected Server Termination” option
    • Monitor page:
      • The jobs and networks table are now multiselection aware and offer the same functionality as the multiselection bars on the Jobs and Networks page
      • Jobs can be reordered by clicking on the current position and entering another existing one
      • If there is input to an edit field, but the user navigates to another section, an information dialog is presented to inform about unsaved changes
      • The number of active and inactive jobs is shown in the header of the jobs table pane
      • The number of online and offline clients is shown in the header of the networks table pane
      • If logged in as an admin, there is now an option to show only the jobs of the admin instead of all jobs
    • Jobs page:
      • Jobs can be reordered by clicking on the current position and entering another existing one
      • If there is input to an edit field, but the user navigates to another section, an information dialog is presented to inform about unsaved changes
      • If logged in as an admin, there is now an option to show only the jobs of the admin instead of all jobs
      • Render Info in Jobs Details
        • In the jobs details page (if a master scene is selected) a new collapsable is shown with useful information from the render settings
        • These settings are: Render Settings Name, Take Name, Frame Range, Regular Image, Multipass Image, Renderengine, Frame Rate, Image Resolution
    • User page
      • When creating a new user or changing the password for the current logged in user, the TeamRender Server interface presents a single dialog instead of a wizard
    • New FAQ page
      • Questions can be filtered (full text search)
      • When hovering with the mouse over a question (in the overview panel) a short excerpt is shown with
        • the first couple of characters
        • characters before and after the entered filter term in case a filter string is found for the first time. The matched result is highlighted.
      • Questions are tagged, and the tags can be selected to restrict the results and the overview panel according to the selected category. Q&A can have multiple tags
  • TEXTURE BAKING
    • Calculation of vector maps of all types has been improved
    • Intensity based maps (intensity, intensity centered, red-green) now use a basic ray casting technique to measure displacement between the base and the sculpt mesh
    • Baking normal maps only also uses the basic ray casting technique to sample normal vectors on the sculpt mesh
  • VIEWPORT
    • Shading/Vertex normals can now be displayed in the viewport
    • New “Screenspace Ambient Occlusion” option
    • New “Reflections” option shows an approximation of the Reflectance Channel in the viewport
      • Supports multiple layers, masks, fresnel and roughness
    • New “Tessellation” option shows the effect of displacements in the viewport
      • Can be set globally and per material
  • WORKFLOW
    • New preference settings
      • Phong tag: Now the default Phong Angle is 40º
      • Selection Tools: The setting “Only Select Visible Elements” is disabled by default for Rectangle, Lasso and Polygon Selection
      • Render Settings: the default render output size has been changed to 1280×720 and a new Screen preset with that size has been added
      • Viewport filter: now “Object Highlighting” is disabled by default
      • Weight Tool / Paint Tool: the following default settings have been changed:
        • Strength: 100%
        • Mode: Absolute
        • Falloff: None
      • Texture Manager: now all options in “View” menu are enabled by default
      • Scroll to First Active: this command has now been assigned the shortcut ‘S’
      • Extrude Tool: now the “Maximum Angle” setting is 91º by default
      • Figure object:
        • Now the default figure height is 180 cm
        • Now the figure axis is located at its feet
      • Soft Selection Tool: now “Mode” is set to “All” by default.
      • Split Command: (C4D main menu / Mesh / Commands / Split) – The newly created object name will have the “.1” suffix, e.g. “Cube.1”
    • Color Chooser
      • New preference: Remember Last Layout
      • New Compact Mode
      • Now the first swatch group is shared between all Cinema 4D documents
      • New contextual menu options handle the default swatch set:
        • “Reload Default Group”: current swatches in shared group will be replaced with the stored default swatch set
        • “Save this Group as Default Group”: the swatches in the clicked group will be saved as default group set
        • “Save Selected Swatches as Default Group”: the currently active swatches will be saved as default group set
      • Dragging single or multiple swatches over a gradient converts them to color knots
      • C++/Python API supports Color Swatches
    • Improved ALT key handling for left-handers on Windows
  • Metaball Solidity option makes polygonal metasurfaces solid
  • The Reflectance channel now supports multi edit for materials with the same layer setup
  • Pasting a Reflectance layer into a Reflectance channel with a selected layer now replaces that layer instead of adding a new layer
  • The previews in the Material Manager now indicate which materials have the same reflectance layer setup as the selected material
  • New “Select Materials with same Reflectance” menu command in the Material Manager
  • New “Set from Projection” command for UVW Tags to easily create new UVW tags or modify existing ones on multiple objects
  • OTHER
    • The Structure Manager has two new modes to show weights per vertex and weights per edge
    • Improved baking for multiple tags
    • Reduced file size for particle storage and improved speed
    • Loading/saving of large number of image sequences is now much faster
    • Cinema 4D startup speed increased
    • Mesa library is now used for viewport rendering on the CPU
    • Support for the RLM license manager
    • Support for vertex colors
      • New Vertex Color tag
      • Extended Paint Tool now can paint vertex colors
      • The Vertex Map shader now supports vertex colors
      • The Vertex Map shader supports OGL
      • New Vertex Color XPresso node
      • The Structure Manager now supports vertex colors
      • New Vertex Map Converter converts between vertex map and vertex color
      • C++/Python API supports vertex colors
    • Python API now supports custom nodes description methods, BodyPaint 3D UV commands and texture baking functions

SketchUp & CAD Software Direct at 100% Design

At CAD Software Direct we were once again pleased to support SketchUp at this year’s 100% Design event at London’s Olympia. If you’re not familiar with the event, it’s an annual show with a strong focus on interior design, interior architecture and furniture and material sourcing. It always provides a great taste of fresh product and interior design and embraces suppliers from the UK, Europe and much further afield. It’s a great day out for a bit of inspiration.

As always we did try to have a good look at some of the great product design on display and many caught our eye – including lighting from DesignHeure and furniture from James UK and Knightsbridge. If great products like this are of interest, why not take a look at the full list of exhibitors?

It’s always great to talk to SketchUp users and industy professionals in general to get a feel for what people are using SketchUp for in their day-to-day practice. With Trimble’s own SketchUp expert Chris flown in from Boulder, many users solved some of their more taking modelling queries.

VisualARQ 2.0 sneak preview: The Furniture object

The following video shows one of the main features of the upcoming VisualARQ 2.0 version: the new Furniture object.

This new object is meant to be used for all the furniture elements in the project design.

The video shows two ways to create new Furniture object styles:

  1. Using 3D and 2D blocks for the furniture 3D and 2D representation respectively, depending on whether the object is shown in Top viewports with the Cut Plane on or off. A new button has been added in the styles dialog to directly search a block from your PC and load it into the styles dialog. This will be specially useful for those who already have a set of 3D models, such as the Savanna 3D library.
  2. Using a Grasshopper definition, as shown in this video for a Garage Door, or in this Post for the Beam object. This feature will allow having a library of parametric furniture objects that will be editable from the VisualARQ dialogs.

When a Furniture object is exported to IFC, it takes the category ifcFurnishingElement.

VUE 2016 Leaks #2: PlantFactory Variations

1- In PlantFactory 2016

PlantFactory 2015 introduced the concept of Presets. PlantFactory 2016 now introduces the concept of Preset Variations.

Preset Variations allow you to immediately include subtle differences to your plant (change the number of buds on a blooming flower, or its petal colours for instance).

This new feature allows you to easily add variety to create realistic environments with one single plant species!

2- In VUE 2016

Within VUE 2016, you directly get access to the PlantFactory species presets and variations within the Plant Browser, the Plant Editor and within your EcoSystem population list.

So, at every step of your scene creation process, you are able to select the species you want, the preset you want and the variations you want!
Stay tuned for more VUE-Leaks in the coming days!

VUE 2016 Leaks #1: Interactive Path Tracer

Hybrid GPU/CPU Interactive Path Tracer

GPU rendering comes to VUE with the new Path Tracer renderer. This renderer naturally and automatically simulates real-life lighting, and automatically calculates many effects that have to be specifically set with other methods, such as soft shadows, depth of field, caustics, ambient occlusion, and indirect lighting.

Path tracing in VUE 2016 is available as an interactive rendering quality in the viewports, as well as an offline rendering engine.

vue2016_aerial_wm  vue2016_tryon_wm

vue2016_room_wm_m

Stay tuned for more VUE-Leaks in the coming days!

Cinema 4D R18 Is On It’s Way – Beat the Price Increase!

If you’d like to get a full version of Cinema 4D R18 for less, we recommend buying or upgrading to a full version of R17 between now and end of July. Not only will you get R17 now and R18 automatically in September, you’ll also beat the approx. 9% price rise that applies to MAXON products from August 1st due to the weaker Pound.

From now until 31st August, all Cinema 4D R17 full versions, upgrades and sidegrades include a 1 year MAXON Service Agreement (MSA), an upgrade to R18 when it’s released and 12 months of access to Cineversity, which is packed with online training and handy plugins.