3D Friday is Back! Come and see us June 14th in Colchester

3D Friday

We’re opening our doors again for another 3D Friday this June in Colchester!

For 3D architectural, urban, interior and product design we’ll be showing SketchUp and Vectorworks. To complement 3D modelling, we’ll also have some renderers including KeyShot and V-Ray. We’ll even have a full Oculus Rift setup with KeyVR for you to try demonstrating how virtual reality can be used for business.

If you’re more of an engineer, we’ll have BobCAD available as well as some exciting new software packages to explore.

Our resident fused filament 3D printer will make a return too so you can see how they work up close.

Whether you’re brand new to CAD, or you’ve been using it for as long as you can remember, this is a chance to get together with other designers and CAD enthusiasts to discuss your models, share tips and tricks or test new software.

 

Everyone is welcome and you can find us at:

Colchester Business Centre
1 George Williams Way
Colchester, CO1 2JS

Friday 14th June  –  1pm – 4pm

 

We recommend you use the public parking nearby – Britannia Way, Colchester CO2 7EF.

Leave the carpark and go left, take a short walk up the hill and you’ll find George Williams Way opposite Aldi. Mention at reception that you are here for CAD Software Direct’s 3D Friday where they will direct you to us. We hope to see you there!

SketchUp 2019 Plugin for Artlantis Available Now

Artlantis SketchUp Plugin

There’s great news for SketchUp users!  Abvent has released the SketchUp 2019 plug-in for Artlantis 6.5, Artlantis 7 and Artlantis 2019.

Download the Plugin

To ensure that current and potential users are up to speed, Abvent are hosting two Artlantis 2019 webinars on Wednesday, May 8th. The webinars are free, but space is limited.

Don’t miss your chance to learn how to get the most out of Artlantis!

Register Now

V-Ray Next for SketchUp – Hotfix 1 Released

V-Ray Next for SketchUp

V-Ray Next for SketchUp has just been updated with a number of bug fixes and feature enhancements to improve your rendering experience, including:

  • Optimised Scene Management – The entire asset management system has been optimised and made more reliable. You’ll find it easier to work on heavy scenes with a large number of assets and complex shading networks.
  • Improved V-Ray Scene Importer – Reliably import models using multi-materials created in 3ds Max.
  • Improved stability – This update fixes specific workflows related to loading V-Ray 3 projects, using settings preset files, overriding materials, texture colour space management and more.
  • Further improvements – Including better compatibility with some of the most popular SketchUp plugins.

Update Now

Read on for the full changelog:

Installation & Licensing

  • The Chaos Group License Server is updated to version 5.2.2
  • The installer now properly sets and displays a primary remote server IP address and port number – 127.0.0.1:30304

Workflow Improvements 

  • The entire asset management system is optimised and made more reliable. This affects asset creation, renaming, deletion, referencing, etc. The optimisations are most obvious in heavy scenes with big number of assets and complex shading networks
  • Render element assets are no longer deleted when the category is active and the Purge function is used. Use the multi-selection functionality to quickly delete a batch of elements
  • The Z Depth render element ‘Depth from Camera’ parameter is removed
  • The VFB Render Progress window now receives and can display log messages that have been sent before its first initialisation

Other Changes & Bug Fixes

  • Saving and loading projects no longer resets the Colour Space of all textures to the default sRGB option. Using the File Path Editor no longer changes the colour space either
  • The asset preview render process can now be restarted if it stops responding. Make sure to stop and restart the interactive preview (using its toolbar stop/start button) in the unlikely event this happens
  • The fresnel opacity of newly created Reflection material layers is now correctly displayed in the asset preview swatch
  • Invalid material or texture references can now be successfully cleared from the slot’s context menu
  • Creating a proxy from big number of SketchUp components or component instances now shows accurate progress in the Export Proxy window
  • An issue with a Water textures used in a bump slot is resolved. Negative texture values are now properly handled
  • All V-Ray taskbar processes are grouped and displayed under the SketchUp Windows taskbar icon. This applies to the Asset Editor and the V-Ray Frame Buffer window
  • VRscan materials are now correctly sized and properly affected by the SketchUp material scale. A helper texture is displayed in the viewport to ensure this. Texture Placement parameters are now listed for every VRscan in it’s Asset Editor properties panel
  • The way VFB Colour Corrections are saved within SketchUp projects is updated and made more reliable
  • A number of issues related to V-Ray 3 scenes loading and upgrading are resolved
  • A number of issues related to .vropt (render settings) files loading are resolved
  • The Purge Unused Assets function no longer causes issues on MacOS
  • Materials incorrectly saved with older V-Ray versions no longer cause issues when loaded in Next
  • A number of issues related to complex texture hierarchy manipulation and deletion are resolved
  • The Batch Cloud rendering functionality is temporarily disabled. Once a Chaos Cloud platform-side update is implemented, the feature will be re-enabled. Our main goal is to provide a system that warns users for possible issues with their batch cloud jobs(like missing external file assets, for example), letting them resolve the problem before the rendering starts
  • Images imported through the SketchUp native Import no longer produce problematic V-Ray materials. Scenes containing such images saved with previous V-Ray version no longer cause issues when rendered in Next
  • A number of issues with badly serialised V-Ray component data are resolved. A more detailed error message is displayed and a better log file is created, letting us easily identify any further problems
  • Deleting Fur, Clipper or Mesh Light widgets from a group is now reliably handled during Interactive Rendering
  • A number of issues preventing the V-Ray Asset Editor from being populated with assets on specific scene load are resolved
  • The V-Ray Scene Importer now reliably imports models using multi materials exported from 3ds Max. The material ID assignment in 3ds Max results in a single object group in SketchUp with different materials applied to the corresponding faces
  • The Scene Interaction Tool now works reliably with obstructed light widgets
  • Deleting multiple materials at once no longer produces Ruby errors and warnings
  • Using the Scene Interaction Tool before the previous action is completed no longer prints Ruby errors
  • Skatter Proxy geometry materials render correctly when using the ‘Render only’ mode. Regeneration no longer causes Ruby errors
  • A geometry instancing optimisation is implemented for Skatter objects with the ‘Render only’ mode enabled. This ensures that rendering a big number of instances is done in the most memory-efficient way
  • The way the SketchUp default material is handled by V-Ray is improved preventing incorrect lighting in specific situations
  • Activating Material Override during Interactive rendering now reliably affects all scene materials that have their ‘Can Be Overridden’ option enabled
  • Changing the SketchUp material Opacity value automatically disables the synchronisation with the V-Ray material refraction. This allows for custom opacity manipulations in the viewport without affecting the rendered result
  • V-Ray material refraction no longer resets in specific situations when the SketchUp scene is saved and reloaded
  • The Z Depth render element tooltips are fixed
  • All Smoke texture parameters are now properly named
  • Repathing files with a Windows path on MacOS no longer causes issues
  • The migration (gamma management) of render elements from scenes saved with V-Ray 3 is improved

Update Now

Maxwell 4 | SketchUp 2019 is Here.

Maxwell SketchUp

Maxwell 4 | SketchUp 2019 is officially here to give you the best of Maxwell for SketchUp. You can even get 10% OFF Maxwell at CAD Software Direct throughout April.

Maxwell for SketchUp

Maxwell for SketchUp is really simple to set up – just install the plugin and you’re off. Maxwell | SketchUp offers seamless integration with SketchUp Pro, allowing you to work comfortably within the SketchUp interface.

Maxwell has been specifically designed for rendering in SketchUp with a simple yet comprehensive toolbar, giving you advanced Maxwell Render technology in a simple, self-contained package.

Webinar: Kubity One-Click 3D Communication

Kubity Webinar

Reimagine your SketchUp and Revit workflow with Kubity.

Webinar Sign Up

Thursday, March 7th 2019 | 2 pm GMT

 

Kubity PRO is a simple plugin that takes your SketchUp models and Revit projects from the desktop to any device without compromising the original file.

Kubity automatically syncs 3D models to your phone or tablet in a single click. Imagine exploring a model onsite with push-button augmented reality, walking through a space with clients in next-gen immersive 1:1 VR, or pulling a model out of your pocket to present in big screen style in seconds.

The webinar is free and will last about one hour, including the Q&A session.

Who should attend?

Architects. Engineers. Designers. Anyone who uses 3D and is looking for cutting-edge communication tools and affordable AR/VR solutions.

Sign Up

Should I Buy or Rent V-Ray?

Rent V-Ray

“Subscription” and “Rental” can sometimes be considered bad words when it comes to software, but they can actually be incredibly handy. Did you know that V-Ray, one of the most powerful and popular renderers for a wide range of industries, is available perpetually, annually and monthly? For example, if you’re looking to buy V-Ray for 3ds Max, but only need it for a few months, or don’t have the budget for the full license – you can rent V-Ray for 3ds Max instead!

Perpetual licenses that you pay for once and allow access to the software forever are nice and simple. If you’re running a business and a certain software package is essential to your daily operation, a perpetual license might make the most sense for you. V-Ray for SketchUp, V-Ray for Revit, V-Ray for Rhino and other “flavours” can all be purchased as perpetual licenses.

However, if you’re finding your software needs frequently change on a project by project basis, or your budget can’t accommodate for steeper upfront costs, it might be time to look into renting. If you decide to rent V-Ray, you can expect:

Lower Upfront Costs

Perpetual software often requires upfront investments which can be difficult for new and small businesses. Renting V-Ray instead would allow access to the software and a considerably lower cost.

Flexible Payment Options

Renting V-Ray would mean you only pay for it when you need it. It is easy to scale software access throughout your projects by adding and subtracting licenses temporarily.

Billing Back to Clients

Renting any software puts you in a better position to pass the cost of software access back to clients by including it as a part of your project estimate. In a way, this would make V-Ray an operating expense, rather than capital.

Bundled Upgrades

By renting software, you’ll be given access to the latest version, rather than the outdated perpetual license you bought years ago. Depending on the cost and frequency of upgrades, renting software could represent a better deal and longer term savings.

Most versions of V-Ray come either as a perpetual license, annual subscription, or monthly subscription. V-Ray Rendernodes are also available as an annual or monthly option.

The latest versions of V-Ray and V-Ray Next are available now at CAD Software Direct .com

A New Year with SketchUp Pro

SketchUp Pro 2018

A section-slice animation

Skill Builder – Animating a Section Slice

Learn how to animate a slice through your model by following along with this tutorial on the official SketchUp YouTube channel.

Watch the video >

 

Pop culture props modeled in SketchUp

Watch SketchUp Modeling – Live!

Cast your vote now to help decide what object will be modeled live on Twitch in a few weeks.

Cast your vote >

 

A Star War’s Hoth hanger

Low Polygons, Big Worlds

Game artist and illustrator, Rodrigo Oliveira Cerci, creates 2D pixel art that starts in SketchUp. Meet his eclectic characters and take a tour of the low-polygon design world.

Read more >

 

3D Basecamp 2018

Reliving 3D Basecamp

In 2020, 3D Basecamp will be stopping in Vancouver. For now, relive 3D Basecamp 2018 over on YouTube.

Watch the video >

 

SketchUp Pro 2018 is available now (including 1 year’s FREE maintenance and support) at CAD Software Direct.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals

Cyber Monday

Tired of Black Friday queues?
Beat them all with Cyber Monday online exclusive deals!

We’ve got four big offers, something for everyone, that you won’t want to miss. Here’s what we have:

 

SketchUp

Exclusive to Monday 26th November, get 15% OFF RRP on new SketchUp Pro licenses.

Enter CYBER18SU at checkout to get the discount!

Trimble SketchUp Pro (formerly Google Sketchup Pro) is an intuitive 3D CAD software package that is both cost effective and natural to use. Built in features like Layout and third party renderers make Sketchup Pro a powerful tool.

Single licenses only, and one per purchaser only. Discount does not include the cost of maintenance and support.

Save on SketchUp >

 

Vectorworks

Exclusive to Monday 26th November, get 40% OFF RRP on new Vectorworks licenses.

Contact us now to get the discount!

Vectorworks 2019 is specialist and powerful software that is pleasantly user-friendly. It comes in five variants:

Fundamentals (the basic package, short on specialist libraries but containing all core 2D and 3D functionality)
Architect – for architecture and built environment work
Landmark – for landscape/environment design
Spotlight – for event and exhibition design
Designer – incorporates all these versions, ideal for multi-discipline practices.

If you’re looking for previz software to create unmatched experiences, you can with Vectorworks Vision, also at 40% off when purchased with a 1-year VSS membership.

Offer applies to new licenses of Vectorworks for new customers when committing to a 1-year VSS membership at full price.

Contact Us to save on Vectorworks >

 

KeyShot

Monday 26th – 30th November, get 20% OFF new KeyShot licenses.

Enter KSCYBER20 at checkout to get the discount!

KeyShot by Luxion, is a processor-driven rendering application that works equally well on Windows and Mac. It is a biased renderer meaning it accelerates rendering by estimating lighting calculations – but it does so extremely effectively. KeyShot comes as KeyShot HD or KeyShot Pro, where Pro includes a range of animation tools and additional options and features. KeyShot HD was previously limited to HD resolution but the output is now unlimited – making it even more appealing.

We’re also running 20% OFF all week long on upgrades and add-ons until November 30th! Enter KSCYBER20 at checkout to get the discount.

Offer does not apply to EDU and Maintenance products.

Save on KeyShot >

 


Starting Friday 23rd and throughout the 26th, get a huge 50% OFF RRP on Maxwell and RealFlow new licenses.

Enter CYBER18NXT at checkout to get the discount!

RealFlow is an industry-standard, out-of-the-box fluid simulation software. Fast and easy to use, it is compatible with ALL major 3D platforms.

Save on RealFlow >

Maxwell is a render engine for making perfect images, films and animations from 3D models. It is the complete solution for anyone who demands immaculate results on a deadline. Maxwell Render is also available as a plugin for a wide range of modellers including SketchUp, Rhino and Cinema 4D.

Save on Maxwell >

 

Set your reminders now to visit CAD Software Direct this Cyber Monday to save on SketchUp, Vectorworks, KeyShot, RealFlow and Maxwell.

Cast your Vote for the Construction Computing Awards 2018

The Hammers 2018

The Construction Computing awards (or “The Hammers” as they are affectionately known) are back for 2018!

Once again, the technology, tools and solutions for the effective design, construction, maintenance and modification of commercial buildings, residential and social housing and civil engineering projects of all sizes will be showcased and rewarded. For many, the awards have become a key event for the industry to network, exchange thoughts and ideas, as well as have a little bit of fun too!

Voting Now Open!
Voting Closes: 2nd November
Winners Ceremony: 15th November

Among the nominees across awards including “BIM Product of the Year”, “Architectural Product of the Year”, and “Company of the Year”, you’ll find Vectorworks, Trimble (SketchUp) and many more which are very deserving of your vote.

Vectorworks bring the specific tools you need with Architect, Spotlight and Landmark. Across the board, the software boasts multiple workflow improvements making an already robust, professional level product into something better each year. Always listening closely to their customers, Vectorworks deliver exceptional quality for designers in the architecture, landscape, entertainment and interior design industries.

Trimble have formed an extremely intuitive layout, making SketchUp Pro one of the easiest CAD programs to use. The customisable toolbars and thousands of models in the 3D Warehouse mean that designers of all skill levels will find SketchUp Pro to be one the easiest and fastest CAD software programs for creating and editing 2D and 3D designs.

Project applications will be considered by a panel of judges, the readers of Construction Computing Magazine and the clients of the companies competing for the top honours. Featuring over 20 categories, the Construction Computing Awards allow companies from every sector of the industry to seek recognition for their efforts over the past 12 months.

Shaderlight 2018 Update Available Now

Shaderlight for SketchUp

We are excited to announce the release of a free update to Shaderlight 2018 that includes a number of feature enhancements that improve the usability of Shaderlight.

This update is available FREE to users with a Shaderlight 2018 license. Anyone with an earlier version can purchase an upgrade to access the full features of Shaderlight 2018.

Download the Update

Precise adjustment of environment rotation

The addition of a numeric entry field now makes it easier to get an accurate match of the lighting environment and background image between different SketchUp models.

Warning when closing during render

To prevent accidentally losing the progress of a long-running render, Shaderlight will now warn if you attempt to close the render window while a render is in progress.

Keep Shaderlight ‘Always on Top’

If you select the ‘Always on Top’ setting Shaderlight will now keep the Shaderlight window above other windows between sessions.

Upgrade or Buy Shaderlight today at CAD Software Direct.