PlusSpec 2017 Is On It’s Way – What’s New?

Below is a sneak peak of just some of the new features that are on their way in PlusSpec 2017:

  • NEW Handrail Tool: Have the ability to add handrails to stairs and balconies
  • IFC Tool; Room Quantities: Feasibility studies for air conditioning, Reporting and Measurements (cubic/square).
  • Beam Tool: Allowing users to add structural and non-structural beams to their models.
  • Load bearing point identifier: Visual identifier that outlines areas where reinforcement needs to be allowed for.
  • Hip Roof Tools: Dutch gable, Mansard, dual-pitch ability, Dormer options, and optimised use of the edit roof pitch tool, allowing users to add and remove roof edits.
  • Sloping Roofing: Trace any sloping roof from 2D or 3D, with the ability to change overhangs mid-draw
  • Create a 2D roof plan: Project your roof plan onto your floor plans,etc.
  • Floor & Ceiling Joist: Add structural steel beams to the model to customise and edit.
  • Joist Tool: Specify more beam/joist types.
  • Windows & Doors: Add architrave lengths to window and door architraves as well as improving existing functions for more customisation and estimating abilities
  • Composite Tools: Add materials/layers to ANY building component (Estimation purposes only).
  • NEW Materials: Added Stramit products to the Australian Material Library (Floor & Ceiling Joist Tools and Beam Tool).

And much more!

Changes to SketchUp Pro Upgrades

Extended until the 25th of June 2017!

What’s Happening With SketchUp Licenses?
From April 21st 2017, there will no longer be an upgrade path from SketchUp 6, 7 or 8. There will also be no renewal option for a maintenance subscription that is more than 3 years past its expiry date.

How Do I Upgrade My License?
If you would like to upgrade your license before the changes, you can do so using the buttons above. If you would like a quote, please contact us.

Any Queries?
Just drop us a line or give us a call on 01206 804984. We’re here to help.

V-Ray 3 for SketchUp is Here!

Yes. It’s here. V-Ray 3 for SketchUp is officially released today. With it comes compatibility with SketchUp 2017, something most people have been crying out for. Beyond this there are actually many more substantial changes. With this iteration, V-Ray for SketchUp radically improves live adjustments and utilises GPU power.

As with all upgrades, V-Ray for SketchUp incorporates the latest V-Ray render engine and this includes support for the latest hardware architecture and new and developing graphics card technology. The interface has been rebuilt to be easier and quicker to use, with changes to enhance fast set up. There are also better underlying improvements for error handling and features most people won’t see but which should result in improved stability and performance.

Buy V-Ray 3 for SketchUp

 

V-Ray 3.5 for SketchUp – New Features

  • New UI – Designer-friendly user interface for faster workflows.
  • Material library – Over 200 drag and drop materials for your next project.
  • V-Ray Swarm – Powerful, scalable distributed rendering system that’s simple and fast.
  • One-click VR – Render VR-ready content for popular virtual reality headsets.
  • Section cuts – Create quick cutaways and section renders with V-Ray Clipper.
  • Aerial perspective – Add realistic atmospheric depth and haze.
  • Denoiser – Automatically remove noise and cut render times by up to 50%.
  • Grass – Create realistic grass, fabrics and carpet with V-Ray Fur.

For more information on, save your seat on the V-Ray 3 for SketchUp webinar!

License Changes

Online Licensing
With the release of V-Ray 3 for SketchUp, Chaos will now offer an online licensing option as well as the USB dongled licenses. Electronic licenses are currently not available for upgrades.

Render Nodes
The basic V-Ray 3 for SketchUp Workstation license no longer includes any additional render nodes. For those users taking advantage of v2’s render nodes, it will be necessary to upgrade based on need. Five and ten render node addons are available as standard, more on request.

30 Day Free Trial

If you’d like to try a full featured trial version of V-Ray 3, please contact us.

Upgrading to v3

Free Upgrades (licenses purchased after November 1st 2015)
Users that purchased a new license or upgraded to V-Ray 2 for SketchUp, after November 1st 2015, qualify for a free upgrade to V-Ray 3 for SketchUp. This free upgrade includes one workstation license and one render node.

To process your free upgrade, we will need a file from your dongle. Please follow the instructions to generate a .wbc file from your V-Ray dongle. Once this has been created, please submit your V-Ray upgrade request, choosing V-Ray Upgrade Request as your Enquiry Type. Please include your original order number if you have this.

Please note: Free upgrades can take up to 10 business days to be processed.

Upgrade from v2 (licenses purchased before November 1st 2015)
You can purchase your V-Ray 2 upgrade here. You will receive an email requesting a file from your dongle. Please follow the instructions to generate a .wbc file from your V-Ray dongle.

Can I Still Use My V-Ray 2.0 License?
After upgrading to v3, you will have access to your V-Ray 2.0 license for 6 months.

Older Versions of V-Ray

With the release of version 3, Chaos Group no longer support V-Ray 1.49 for SketchUp and there is no upgrade path from 1.49 to any other version.

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.

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.

RenderPlus Webinar: Artificial Lighting and SketchUp Models

To create photorealistic renderings from your SketchUp models, it is very important that you understand how to create, specify, position, and balance artificial lighting. Join RenderPlus for this lighting webinar and increase your understanding of artificial lighting for renderings.

During this webinar RenderPlus will define artificial lighting, add fixtures to models, modify fixture settings, and explore a light balancing interface.


Register Now

Thursday 14th January, 2016
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM GMT

 

 

V-Ray 2.0 Now Compatible with SketchUp 2016

V-Ray 2.0 for SketchUp has now been updated and is fully compatible with SketchUp 2016. Along with improvements to animation and batch rendering, this free update also includes support for Skatter and ArchVision RPCs. This free download is available to all V-Ray 2.0 for SketchUp user from the downloads section in your Chaos Account.

Thinking about moving to V-Ray 2.0 for SketchUp?
All upgrades and new seats, purchased after November 1st, qualify for a free upgrade to V-Ray 3 for SketchUp when it’s released.

The free upgrade will include one workstation license plus one render node.

Is V-Ray 2.0 Compatible with SketchUp 2016?

An update will be released tomorrow (25th Nov) which will include full support for SketchUp 2016. This is a free update for all existing V-Ray 2.0 for SketchUp users and will be available from the downloads section in your Chaos account.

The update will include improvements to animation, batch rendering and support for Skatter and ArchVision RPCs.

Keep an eye out on our blog tomorrow for further news of the update!