SketchUp Student Competition Winner

SketchUp Competition

A little while back, we announced the start of our SketchUp competition for students. The challenge was to send anything built in SketchUp… but we did things a little differently this time. Instead of setting a competition theme with strict rules, we left it up to the student entrants to provide their course brief along with the work they submitted for it. As long as it was built in SketchUp, anything was fair game.

We’ve counted the votes, and settled on the entry we thought looked best while staying as close to their original course brief as possible.

And our winner is…Lukas Lipka with his excellent modern villa!

© Lukas Lipka 2019

Designed to be a large modern villa that could support a family with more than 2 children, we think this is an excellent example of what can be done right within SketchUp.

© Lukas Lipka 2019

Featuring two floors, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and surrounded by nature, there are plenty of beautiful views to be seen.

© Lukas Lipka 2019
© Lukas Lipka 2019

Inside, you’ll find guest bedrooms, a home office, a large high-ceiling living area, dining room and kitchen. There’s even a terrace with a great view of the large swimming pool.

© Lukas Lipka 2019
© Lukas Lipka 2019
© Lukas Lipka 2019
© Lukas Lipka 2019

An excellent example of building in SketchUp, paired with what we felt was a close match to the brief is what swayed the votes and took the prize!

© Lukas Lipka 2019

If you like what you see, why not drop Lukas a follow on Instagram @lukas_lipka_ to see more.

Your prize and some extra SketchUp goodies are in the post on their way to you now!

If you want to try SketchUp for yourself, why not download the free 30-day trial?

Maxwell 5 Upgrade Pre-Order

Maxwell 5 Upgrade

Next Limit have launched the Maxwell 5 upgrade pre-order!

This release of Maxwell Render has been long awaited, and you patient Maxwell users deserve an exclusive offer to reward your trust and support.

If you’re an existing Maxwell Render user, you can get a Maxwell 5 license before anyone else, at a never seen before price – it’s the lowest upgrade price ever!

Don’t wait to upgrade. This offer will end whenever Maxwell 5 launches.

Upgrades are sold as individual licenses, and the upgrade price is the same whether you’re upgrading from V4 or even V1!

Upgrade to Maxwell 5

Mac OS Catalina (10.15)

Mac OS Catalina

As Mac OS users may now be aware, the Catalina update has arrived.

Since Apple released the beta for the new macOS 10.15 Catalina in June, software engineers have been working diligently to determine how it would affect the performance of recent product releases.

As always with any major operating system release:

Please ensure any software you rely on is compatible with the new operating system before upgrading!

After updating to a brand new OS, many performance issues can appear while software engineers assess the changes and work to release patches to maintain compatibility.

Some customers are already updating to Catalina, and it’s not just the OS update directly having effects. Tech support teams are struggling to help customers as Teamviewer and other remote support systems are also not yet working fully on Catalina.

Please be aware that it is often in your best interest to hold off on updating until software vendors can complete testing and give a definitive answer on compatibility. Members of various engineering teams are working on this as a priority.

Vectorworks SP5.1

In accordance with Vectorworks‘ commitment to quality and performance, you can download Vectorworks 2019 SP5.1 — specifically geared toward improving your experience with the software on Catalina.

SketchUp

SketchUp are currently working on a patch to support Catalina. You may experience some performance issues after updating. SketchUp are working on a patch as a priority. It is not advised to update to Catalina at present.

Rhino

There are various performance issues with Rhino when updating to Catalina. McNeel are working on fixes as a priority. It is not advised to update to Catalina at present.

KeyShot 9 – Free Upgrade!

KeyShot 9

KeyShot 9 is almost upon us, and in anticipation of the release we’re giving customers a free upgrade to KeyShot 9 when purchasing or upgrading to KeyShot 8 on or after October 1st 2019!

The promotion is valid for all new KeyShot 8 purchases and upgrades (from KeyShot 6 and KeyShot 7) to KeyShot 8 on or after October 1st. The promo excludes KeyShot Education products, KeyShot add-ons, and KeyShot for CAD licenses (KeyShot for ZBrush, KeyShot for Solid Edge, etc).

What’s New in KeyShot 9?

As always, there are some big changes. Here are just a few that are on the way:

GPU Ray Tracing – GPU ray tracing in KeyShot 9 means that you are now able to take advantage of NVIDIA RTX GPUs to render in the real-time view and for local render output.

Denoise – Now included in the Basic and Photographic Image Styles is a deep learning Denoiser that allows you to reduce noise in the real-time view and render output to achieve smooth results in much less time.

3D Models Library – Adding context and detail to your scene is easier than ever with Models now available on the Cloud Library to download straight into your KeyShot Library and add to your scene.

RealClothTM (KeyShot Pro) – This powerful new material type allows you to visualise realistic woven materials with control of the weave pattern and ability to add flyaway fibres. 

‘Fuzz’ Geometry Shader (KeyShot Pro) – In the KeyShot 9 Material Graph you will find a new Geometry node for Fuzz that allows you to add hair-like growth from the surface of any material.

Still on KeyShot 6?

With KeyShot 9 coming out soon, this means you will no longer be able to upgrade from KeyShot 6. If you’re on KeyShot 6, this is your last chance to upgrade. After the release of KeyShot 9, KeyShot 6 versions and prior will be required to purchase a new license.

What’s New in Vectorworks 2020?

New in Vectorworks 2020

Vectorworks 2020 has arrived, and this release focuses on design with a new perspective while benefiting from improved software performance, quality enhancements, and streamlined new workflows.

If you’re already a Vectorworks Service Select member, you can download your upgrade to the latest version today. Log in to the Service Select Portal to access Vectorworks 2020 and get started now.

Fundamentals (and all Design Series)

  • History-Based Modeling
  • Vectorworks Graphics Module Improvements

The improvements will hide covered objects, auto-reduce meshes, and simplify the level of detail on native objects. Enjoy faster file navigation, view changes, tool operations, more responsive models, and the ability to handle much larger projects.

  • List Browser Direct Editing
  • Widget Groups
  • DXF/DWG Improvements
  • Walk-through Animation

Transform walkthrough paths and camera movements into professional real-time animations that are significantly easier to accomplish. You can even create 360 panoramas with just one click.

Architect

  • Live Data Visualisation
  • GIS Improvements

After selecting an appropriate coordinate system in the Vectorworks file, you can accurately geolocate your project by simply entering an address. Instantly incorporate street map, satellite, or other imagery in your design through ArcGIS and WMS servers.

  • IFC Referencing
  • Great Section Views
  • Data Tag Improvements

New options for tag scaling, new tag fields, direct editing of tags, and a new worksheet function all provide greater automation and control of the information displayed in your project’s documentation.

Spotlight

  • Schematic Views
  • Detailed Seating Sections
  • Video Camera Object

You can define the camera by selecting the body type, lens type, stand, etc. You can also activate the camera’s viewfinder to verify the placement of your cameras in your design.

  • DMX Patching
  • Hinged Trusses
  • Braceworks Improvements
  • Vision Heat Map

A one-of-a-kind feature in a previz application, Vision 2020 creates coloured or monochrome heat maps based on the generalised intensity and range of a fixture — giving you a better understanding of different scenarios your design can undertake in your previz workflow.

Landmark

  • Hardscape Alignment

With customisable approaches to modelling hardscapes, you can now use the 3D geometry of other features to align and conform hardscape objects to 3D polygons, grade objects, roadways, or other hardscapes, making it possible to design paved surfaces to drain properly, align to other paved surfaces, and be accurately modelled and perfectly controlled.

  • Live Data Visualization
  • GIS Improvements
  • Revit Export
  • IFC Referencing

With a new ability to reference IFC files, say goodbye to the cumbersome, manual process of reimporting IFC files from consultants who make changes.

New Solutions to Work Faster and Smarter

“Data and usability are the cornerstones of this year’s product line enhancements,” said Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar. “When we looked at the future of the industry and what our customers’ needs were, we kept coming back to data, particularly data-driven insights. Vectorworks 2020 is centered around providing our customers with intuitive ways to use the powerful tools of our products, while also offering more practical ways to incorporate the use of data for an improved and insightful design workflow.”

If you’d like to know more about Vectorworks, email us on contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com, or give us a call on 01206 804984. If you’d like a free 30-day trial, click here to request a free Vectorworks 2020 Trial.

KeyVR – Glass Refraction, Improved Reflections, Faster Loading

KeyVR Update 2019

We’re excited to see that a new update for KeyVR has been released which delivers unmatched quality for transparent objects in VR, colour transmission, transparent objects in VR as well as the attenuation of light through coloured glass.

New Features

OptimizedLoadTime_Text

Optimised Load Time
Open a KeyShot scene with one click, even faster. Load times have been optimised for long or disabled animations as well as for degenerate or small objects or triangles, saving you time when you need a VR environment quickly.

Reflections_Text

Reflections on Transparent Materials
Reflections and colour transmission on transparent materials have been improved significantly. Reflections are incredibly realistic and the colour of your transparent materials will more accurately transmit the colour based on their thickness.

Glass_Text

Glass, Solid Glass, Gems and Dielectrics
Support for Glass, Solid Glass, Gems, and Dielectrics has been added which includes refraction and light attenuation. Though this is an approximation, it produces the most realistic and highest quality appearance for glass and dielectrics in any VR software yet.

HideShow_Text

Hide/Show Multiple Model Sets
Explore all model variations or just a few with this new feature that adds support for hiding and showing multiple Model Sets. View and switch between them quickly with the click of a button and provide a faster way to explore your product options.

Move_Text

New Move/Rotate Widget
To provide even greater control over moving and rotating objects in your scenes, KeyVR now provides a Move/Rotate Widget for selected objects. It’s a great option when you want to add more context or interaction to your environment.

Why Use KeyVR?

With KeyVR, you can:

  • Explore designs interactively in a ‘real world’ context.
  • Review designs to refine fit and function.
  • View model, material, and environment variations.
  • Experience in-context product animations.
  • Use natural views to determine the best product shots.

All current KeyVR subscribers will receive a notification and update option when they start KeyVR.

If you’re interested in virtual reality or KeyVR, send an email to contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com or give us a call on 01206 804984.

Last Chance! Register for 3D Friday Now.

3D Friday Event

20th September 2019 – 1pm to 4pm
Register Now >

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester
Essex, CO1 1JH

Register and Attend – Get Free Stuff!

The first 10 people to register and attend will get their choice of Affinity Photo, Designer or Publisher! As an added bonus, anyone who attends will get 5% off their next order with us. Spaces are low now, but you never know who is going to show, so it’s still worth registering and you might be one of the lucky 10!

***Last Minute Offer***
We even have a special attendee discount of 25% OFF new Vectorworks licenses!

Vectorworks Presents “The CUBE”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cube-2.jpg

Architect Product Specialist, Luka Stefanovic, will be on hand showing the process of modeling a project in Vectorworks Architect whilst following UK BIM standards. In this live demo, you’ll learn about BIM standards and the framework, as well as be guided through RIBA design stages and follow along with a complete typical architectural design process.

Try Virtual Reality with our Oculus Rift

If you want to know how VR can benefit your business, or you just want to see what it’s like for yourself, come on in and have a go! We’ll be showing 360 degree images rendered in V-Ray, as well as some interactive KeyShot scenes.

Learn About CAD CAM for Engineering

If you’re more of an engineer interested in machining parts, we’ll have BobCAD set up as well so you can take a look at how 3D CADCAM makes milling, turning, nesting and more, easier than ever.

20th September 2019 – 1pm to 4pm
Register Now >

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester
Essex, CO1 1JH

Vectorworks Annual Design Day UK 2019

Vectorworks-Design-Day

Date & Time: 1st October 2019 09.30 – 17.00
Location: 30 Euston Square, Euston, London, NW1 2FB

Register Now

Vectorworks Design Day is coming up, and this is a great opportunity to see powerful new workflows in Vectorworks 2020, and so much more.

Explore the future of Vectorworks while enjoying opportunities in the following areas:

• Architecture – Discover how Vectorworks supports the entire design process with 2D, 3D and BIM capabilities. Vectorworks will be presenting project case studies as well as being on hand to show the latest features.

• Interior Design – Learn how to establish a client’s vision using Vectorworks, with presentation boards, immersive panoramas, photo-realistic 3D rendering and augmented reality, while also having the tools required for collaboration.

• Networking – Meet and connect with over 250 of your industry peers, over lunch and through casual networking opportunities. Key personnel from Vectorworks in the USA and UK will be on hand to discuss any questions that you may have.

As an added bonus, customers attending the Design Day are eligible for a Tradeshow Discount (25% off new licenses)!

The venue is a short walk from The Prince of Wales Feathers.

Date & Time : 1st October 2019 09.30 – 17.00
Location: 30 Euston Square, Euston, London, NW1 2FB

Register Now

There’s Still Time to Attend 3D Friday (and collect some freebies!)

3D Friday Event

Vectorworks are joining us this 3D Friday for a live demo walking you through a typical architectural design process. Held at Firstsite in Colchester, you’ll also have a chance to get hands on with our Oculus Rift VR set, browse some 3D modelling and CADCAM applications, and more!

20th September 2019 – 1pm to 4pm
Register Now!

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester
Essex, CO1 1JH

Free Stuff?

Useful free stuff to boot! The first 10 people to register and attend will get their choice of Affinity Photo, Designer or Publisher! As an added bonus, anyone who attends will get 5% off their next order with us.

Vectorworks Presents “The CUBE”

Architect Product Specialist, Luka Stefanovic, will be on hand showing the process of modeling a project in Vectorworks Architect whilst following UK BIM standards.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cube-1.jpg

Try Virtual Reality with our Oculus Rift

If you want to know how VR can benefit your business, or you just want to see what it’s like for yourself, come on in and have a go! We’ll be showing 360 degree images rendered in V-Ray, as well as some interactive KeyShot scenes.

20th September 2019 – 1pm to 4pm
Register Now!

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester
Essex, CO1 1JH

LIVE ZBrush Sculpt-Off to Start 2019 ZBrush Summit.

ZBrush Summit

Only a matter of days after our 3D Friday event (which you should definitely register for), Pixologic are back with the 2019 ZBrush Summit! Kicking things off is the LIVE Sculpt-Off on Thursday 26th September.

24 contenders, 3 hours, only one champion. Who will walk away with the glorious ZBrush heavyweight belt this year?

You can watch the event all around the world as you’ll find it streaming on ZBrushLive, Twitch.tv, Facebook and YouTube.

From September 26th to 29th, Pixologic will be taking over Hollywood’s prestigious Gnomon School facilities to deliver the ultimate ZBrush experience.

The live sculpt-off will lead into 3 days of presentations, which is a great way for digital artists to connect not only with the Pixologic team, but also with prominent figures across a range of industries. Many of the demonstrations feature assets previously unseen outside the studios, and presented by talented artists using a variety of techniques relevant to real-world applications.

If you’d like to try ZBrush for yourself, contact us today about a free trial!