Webinar: 5 Things to Know About Moving to KeyShot 7

In one of Luxion’s first webinars covering the important new features in KeyShot 7, they go over the top five things to know about when using KeyShot 7. This webinar will cover moving from KeyShot 6 to 7 for existing users and provide great insight for those new to KeyShot. Sign up quickly as space is limited!

In this webinar:

  • Getting Started with KeyShot 7
  • Organizing KeyShot Resources
  • Using the New Material Features
  • Viewsets and Studios Explained
  • Working with the HDRI Editor
  • Q & A


Tuesday 8th August 2017
6pm – 7pm (UK)

ZBrush 4R8 – Big Live Event

Pixologic presents an exclusive live streaming broadcast event

Tuesday, June 13th at 12pm PDT on
www.ZBrushLIVE.com

Tune in for a chance to chat with the Pixologic team as they give a special demonstration
and give away prizes to a few lucky viewers!

GET TUNED IN:

You can experience the ZBrush 4R8 streaming event on ZBrushLIVE.com! The event will also be simulcast live on the following networks:

Facebook | YouTube | LiveStream

New V-Ray for SketchUp Update – Version 3.40.03

V-Ray for SketchUp version 3.40.03 includes upgrades to the license server, user interface, light sources, and many more helpful tweaks. Your V-Ray for SketchUp experience will be easier and smoother.

This update is free for V-Ray 3.x for SketchUp customers.

Download The Update

Highlights include:

  • License Server update to version 4.4.
  • Match Viewport mode has been added to the Render Output / Aspect Ratio drop-down menu. This matches the rendered image to the viewport’s aspect ratio.
  • Geometry Type icons have been added to the Asset Editors Geometry list. The icons identify the geometry type even if a custom name has been used.
  • Light Type icons have been added in the Asset Editors Light list. These icons identify the light source type and can be used to enable or disable the light.
  • Side-by-side stereo output layout has been implemented.

Maxwell Render 4.1 – Up to 8x Faster with New Denoiser

Today sees Next Limit announce the official release of Maxwell 4.1. This is the first significant update of the latest version of its high-end rendering tool. Aiming to optimise user workflow, and decrease rendering times whilst maintaining the quality Maxwell is famous for, this new version introduces a powerful Denoiser (by Innobright‘s Altus).

The new Denoiser feature helps to achieve clear images at a lower SL, and makes Maxwell up to eight times faster, depending on the scene. Instead of needing to render images to a high sampling level, users can keep it low and let the Denoiser do the job, setting it to denoise at all SLs or at the end.

In addition, Maxwell 4.1 brings a number of new features, fixes and improvements, including:

  • Optimized GPU-handling memory – paving the way to Multi-GPU in a future update
  • Maxwell | Multilight™ Standalone V2 – a FREE tool for light management, now with the possibility for animations and more
  • New Lights panel in Maxwell | Studio to play with light intensity
  • New illumination assets in the Library Panel
  • New material compatibility: MERL, X-rite AxF, Real-IES files

The tremendous performance improvements obtained with the denoiser surpass any previous experience with Maxwell, especially in situations where noise -an inherent problem in truly unbiased engines- requires long render times to clean. This version will also pave the way for many upcoming improvements in GPU rendering, interactivity and cloud deployment. We remain committed to preserving Maxwell as the leading ground truth in rendering technology.

V-Ray 3.5 For MODO Released

Chaos have added cutting-edge features to V-Ray for Modo. Their twin-engine rendering architecture is built to take full advantage of the latest CPU and GPU hardware. Users can now render anything and everything, from quick design models to your most detailed 3D scenes.

This update is free for existing V-Ray 3.x for Modo customers and all new workstations licenses are 20% off until 23rd June 2017.

New in V-Ray 3.5 for Modo

  • Adaptive Lights
    Fast new lighting algorithm that speeds up rendering up to 7x faster in scenes with many lights.
  • Improved GPU rendering
    Significant speed improvements, smarter memory management and support for more production features than ever before.
  • alSurface material
    General-purpose shader by Anders Langlands with layered SSS and glossy fresnel reflections — popular for skin.
  • Glossy Fresnel
    New, physically-accurate reflection model.
  • Texture Isolate
    Isolate selected textures directly on your model during interactive rendering for easier texture placement and fine-tuning of procedural textures like Dirt or Noise.
  • Render zoom & Enhance region
    Zero in on any part of your image to fine-tune your renders quickly and easily.
  • Powerful new VFB controls
    Select Materials and items directly in the V-Ray Frame Buffer. Plus new camera controls let you change focus distance and F-Stop.
  • Interactive lens effects
    GPU-accelerated glare and bloom effects that can be enabled and adjusted while rendering.
  • V-Ray scene reference
    Reference and render a complete V-Ray scene file created in any application.
  • Open Shading Language (OSL) Support
    Write your own materials and procedural textures or download and use those developed by the OSL community.


Save 20% on new V-Ray for MODO workstation licenses until the 23rd June!

New PDPlayer Update Now Available

Pdplayer 1.0.7.32 is now available with optimized 4K playback and improved OpenEXR support. This is a free update for current customers.

New features and improvements include:

  • Metadata Viewer – Displays data such as camera FOV, aperture and focal length for DPX and EXR files. (Hotkey M)
  • Multipart EXR – Faster to load and display than multichannel EXRs, and much faster when working with many render elements.
  • Improved OpenEXR support – Now supporting OpenEXR 2.2.0 with DWAA and DWAB compression.
  • Side-by-side stereo – View and playback side-by-side stereoscopic images.
  • Optimized 4K playback – Introducing a proprietary new intermediate .aivf format for multicore disk playback of 4K footage.

PDPlayer 1.0.7.32 is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Get the update.

FormZ 8.5.7 Update – Now Available

The formZ 8.5.7 update is now available for Pro, Jr, free and student editions. Select Check for Update from the form•Z Help Menu to automatically update your v8.5 software.

Highlights of improvements in this version include:

Modeling:

  • Sub-d Objects now support face colours.
  • Copy/paste now perseveres layer groups.
  • DAE import improved.
  • Opening and saving files to DropBox locations with long path names no longer crashes.
  • Layer groups are maintained with copy/paste operations.
  • DWG/DXF/DWF plugin updated (OpenDWG 4.2.2)
  • Stream Line tool icon now shows properly.
  • Billboard tool now displays properly when changing image files.
  • Define Arbitrary Reference plane tool now works properly in Wireframe.
  • Edge Colour Layer override now works with the Material Average option.
  • Show/Hide edges Layer override and Render as Shaded Surface now work as expected.
  • Hide ghosted rendering options now work for dimensions and notes.
  • Redo of Draft Angle operation now works after an undo.
  • High facet count subdivision objects now work properly on Windows.
  • The derive face tool now works properly on faces of subdivision objects.
  • Hide ghosted rendering options now work for dimensions and notes.
  • Various stability and performance improvements

Layout:

  • Improved display efficiency of files with a lot of dimensions/notes/leaders.
  • Improved efficiency of updating frame data from modelling.
  • Resizing frames no longer leads to crashes in certain files.
  • Printing no longer drops lines from frames.
  • Layers now transfer in the order they appear in modelling.
  • Layer groups now transfer from modelling.
  • The frame parameters now has a larger list for selecting layers.
  • Frame dialog has been adjusted to list layers in order of modelling and the layer list has been expanded and a button added to view the layer the list.
  • Export defaults to polylines (higher order levels now disabled).
  • The line tool now appears in the tool palette.
  • Hide ghosted rendering options now work for dimensions and notes.
  • Line tool icon now shows properly.
  • Various stability and performance improvements.

OS X Specific:

  • Palette positions are properly maintained on OS X systems with a second screen positioned above the main screen.
  • The Favourite tools window now works properly on all screens on OS X (not just the main screen).

 

Please note: If you have installed any of the 8.5.7 WIP versions, please delete the WIP application folder and update your 8.5.6 (or earlier) installation.

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.

V-Ray for MODO 10.2 – Free Update

Chaos have just released an update to V-Ray for MODO. This free download includes support for MODO 10.2, new features and improvements. Full information below:

New Features


General

  • Support for MODO 10.2v1
  • Added a command that consolidates all V-Ray assets (like .vrmesh files) into the same directory as the .lxo scene. The command can be found in the V-Ray Menu.
  • Added a command to re-link V-Ray assets. The command can be found in the V-Ray Menu.

Render Settings

  • Added Render Mask

V-Ray Atmospheres

  • Added V-Ray Aerial perspective

V-Ray Materials

  • Added V-Ray alSurface material (experimental)

 

Improved Features


Geometry

  • Animation on the channels of procedural meshes – Gear, Rock, emReader, etc will now be detected
  • Support for the Allow deformations option in the Mesh Instance item

Lights

  • Added blend angle and horizon offset options to the V-Ray Sun/Sky package
  • Added photon/caustics emission options to Dome and EIS lights

MODO Materials

  • Unity/Unreal Material: Added support for rounded edges. The previous material in the shader tree with these properties is used!

MODO Textures

  • Fixed the Slope and Slope(Undisplaced) inputs of the gradient texture to match the MODO renderer

Rendering

  • Added options to specify multiple frame ranges, when rendering an animation. The options are added to the Render item, as well as the Render animation with V-Ray and Render with V-Ray Standalone commands
  • Support for rendering all passes from a render pass group. The option is added to the Render with V-Ray and Render animation with V-Ray commands
  • Added options to the Render with V-Ray and Render animation with V-Ray commands to specify the output image file
  • Added the ability to abort writing to a .vrscene file
  • Sped-up the writing of the .vrscene file for DR/Standalone by reducing the level of compression that is used; .vrscene size expected to be ~3% bigger, while the time to write the .vrscene is reduced by up to 3 times
  • V-Ray can now use more than one processor group in Windows multiprocessor configurations

Render with V-Ray Standalone

  • Added an option to only export the .vrscene and .bat/.command files without starting V-Ray Standalone

Render Elements

  • The Light Select element now works with probabilistic lighting

Render Settings

  • Added the ability to specify commands to be executed at various stages of V-Ray rendering. The commands are specified in a new V-Ray roll-out in the Frame tab of MODO’s Render item. Only the pre-translate command is called in RT or when a .vrscene file is exported
  • Ability to specify negative dynamic memory limit. Also changed the default to 0 (no limit)

Replicator

  • Added an option to tell V-Ray for MODO that a Replicator is not animated. The option is called This Replicator is Animated in the V-Ray Motion Samples package

RT GPU

  • Support for rounded edges
  • Added a button for starting RT GPU in the V-Ray Toolbar. Hold Ctrl and click on the Start RT button or right-click on it and choose RT GPU from the popup.

RT Updates

  • Changing the channels of procedural meshes – Gear, Rock, emReader, etc is now properly updated during RT

V-Ray Geometry Properties

  • The adaptive curve tessellation options will now affect hair generated by MODO’s Fur Material on the mesh item with the V-Ray Geometry Properties
  • Added the Min pixel width option for mesh curves and hair generated from MODO’s Fur Material

V-Ray Materials

  • Added a popup in the Material Ref and Texture Layers tabs that converts selected MODO materials to one of the V-Ray material types

V-Ray Proxy

  • Added an option to disable material/part/selection tag reporting to MODO. The option’s label is Report all tags to MODO (slower viewport). Read tool-tip for more info.

.vrscene import

  • Added the ability to re-link the paths to missing external files (like images) referenced by the .vrscene

Bug Fixes


Camera

  • Fixed the V-Ray Camera package channels’ UI not being automatically shown/hidden when motion blur/stereo/clipping is enabled/disabled in MODO 10

Crash

  • Fixed crash during RT when a point light used in a light list (example for Env.Fog) is changed to a spherical light
  • Fixed crash when Export As… .vrscene is aborted or fails because RT is running
  • Fixed crash when stopping RT after specific material modifications
  • Fixed crash when enabling Physical Sun on a Directional Light with RT running in DR mode without the local host
  • Fixed crash during RT when a directional light with Physical Sun enabled has its light color changed
  • Fixed crash during RT when a Light used in a V-Ray Light Select RE is modified or deleted

Geometry

  • Fixed exporting of geometry generated by the emReader and emPolygonizer5 items

Installation

  • Fixed installation not working on a fresh (not-updated from Windows 7/8) Windows 10

Render Settings

  • Fixed wrong rendering on DR slaves when the environment is disabled for GI, reflection or refraction rays

Rendering

  • Non-animatable parameters are now exported/read at the currently selected MODO frame, not frame 0

RT GPU

  • Fixed the gradient texture not working after the first frame in animation when used for color texture effects
  • Fixed crashes when a geometry item has more than 256 material “slots”; An error will be shown and rendering will be aborted in such cases. The most likely reason for this error is a large number of part tags created by the PowerTranslators plug-in when importing geometry. Delete the part tags to fix the error.
  • Fixed the V-Ray Falloff texture not working;

Shader Tree

  • Fixed selection set tags which are a single character not working
  • Fixed materials that are affected by too many group masks not rendering in V-Ray Standalone

V-Ray Clipper

  • Fixed animated mesh clipper not working correctly when rendering through V-Ray Standalone

 

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.