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!

KeyShot Product Rendering Webinar

KeyShot Product Rendering

CGI Pro Tim Feher will take you through the complete start-to-finish process to create amazing product visuals in KeyShot. Register quickly and join in early as space is limited!

Thursday 30th May 2019, 6PM – 7PM BST
Register Now

In this webinar:

  • How to set up your 3D model
  • Creating Environments
  • Add your Cameras
  • Adding Image Styles
  • Bringing it together with Studios
  • The top HDRI Editor tips
  • Using the Material Graph
  • Optimise your render settings
  • Using render passes in post work
  • Q&A

 

KeyVR – Interactive VR Experiences for KeyShot

KeyVR

KeyVR from KeyShot is here to make complex visualisation easy and fast.

Virtual reality is an immersive experience inside a computer generated environment. It might have started as a niche product in the gaming industry, but the benefits of VR have now been transferred and proven within business.

Using VR, your business can create true to life simulations in a cost effective and risk free setting which is perfectly suited to architects, interior designers, product designers and more. Imagine being able to build your product in 3D and place it in your clients hands (or put your client right inside your 3D building!) – with VR you can.

KeyVR is virtual reality software that allows you to take a KeyShot scene and generate an interactive experience all with one click. Here, we’re going to take a look at setting up KeyVR, as well as some of the key benefits, potential limitations, and our experience with it. We’re using the Oculus Rift, but KeyVR also works with the HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality.

Our Set Up

To run KeyVR you will need a supported virtual reality kit, as well as a computer to run it that meets specified requirements. For the Oculus Rift, you’re going to need at least:

  • An NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti  / GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470 / R9 290 or greater
  • An Intel i3-6100 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 1x USB 3.0 port and 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Windows 10 OS

Here’s what we used:

  • Oculus Rift including headset and two hand controllers
  • Performance Laptop meeting minimum VR requirements
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 2GB
    • Intel Core i7 @ 2.20GHz
    • 16GB RAM
    • 1x HDMI
    • 3x USB 3.0
    • Windows 10

What often goes unconsidered as well is that you will need some space to move around. The Oculus Rift, for example, requires 1 x 1m of ‘play space’ to work, but 2 x 1.5m is optimal.

If you don’t have the hardware to meet these requirements, you won’t be able to run any virtual reality software and will need to tackle that first.

KeyVR-1

Benefits

KeyVR works both directly from KeyShot, and also as a standalone solution, that requires limited preparation and no coding or scripting knowledge. Simply install the program to your VR enabled computer, load the keyShot file, and off you go.

This is a viewing tool that allows users to explore designs interactively and in a real world context, which is perfect for refining sizes and scales using real world dimensions. Viewing through VR not only gives great scope for analysing buildings, but is also a natural way to find angles for product design shots.

There are even options to choose while viewing the model including material change, environment change, model sets and animations which can all be used to breathe life into your designs.

KeyVR is intuitive and impressive with a certain ‘wow’ factor when clients view projects in virtual reality for the first time. Viewers can explore in a real-world context rather than just looking at a screen, while easily reviewing designs and making model, material and environment variations on the fly.

KeyVR is also GPU powered, so it is capable of loading large data sets to power more complex scenes.

Limitations

The fundamental difference between KeyShot and KeyVR is how the data is visualised to end users. In traditional KeyShot, CPU-based ray tracing is used to produce a photo-realistic image (or depending on the materials, a stylised image, such as with toon shading). KeyVR does not use ray-traced rendering, which improves the frame rate (resulting in little to no risk of motion sickness), but can result in a less realistic visual quality. Scenes will look different in KeyVR compared to rendering with KeyShot due to technical limitations or performance considerations. Some features may also not currently be supported.

There is a fairly high up front cost to get started with virtual reality. You may be able to find other uses for a performance machine in your business, such as rendering and 3D modelling, but you may struggle to find additional uses with a dedicated VR headset to make up for the cost. If you’re planning on regularly using VR though, this is not a problem.

The image resolution isn’t high enough for complete realism yet, though this is not an issue with KeyVR specifically, but the current state of VR headsets. There are some in the works which tout higher resolution to boost the realism, but we’re yet to see actual results.

 

Workflows

A common VR workflow is to model in your 3D application of choice and then import to Unreal or Unity to build a VR experience. Unity and Unreal are great for immersive environments, but will never be the tool for quick decision making. Unity and Unreal are also not built for designers, whereas KeyShot and KeyVR are, meaning you’ll be comfortable using them in no time.

KeyVR is the ideal solution to add to your tool box to quickly view your assets in context without any need for scripting. It complements existing workflows by allowing you to make a decision faster than going into Unity or Unreal first.

KeyVR Designers

Key Points

• KeyVR is not a KeyShot add-on, so KeyShot does not need to be installed for it to work.
• KeyVR opens KeyShot .bip and .ksp files generated from any KeyShot version (KeyShot 8 recommended).
• To export from KeyShot to KeyVR using ‘one-click’, KeyShot 8 is required.
• KeyVR is currently only available as a node-locked license.
• KeyVR will work with any KeyShot edition (PRO, HD, FLOATING, ENTERPRISE). It cannot be licensed or installed as a floating product.
• KeyVR is currently only available for Windows.

 

Our Experience

KeyVR is intuitive and simple, expertly demonstrating the power of virtual reality in a business world. There are some limitations in the hardware, and there is an upfront cost, but the payoff is a leading-edge, exciting and efficient way to show off your designs in their best light.

Are you interested in KeyVR? Whether you’re an expert with VR already in your workflow, or a complete novice still in the evaluation stage, talk to us today about trying the software, and ensuring your hardware is sufficient to provide a great experience.

New PANTONE Colours for KeyShot

KeyShot Pantone

Luxion is continuing its exclusive partnership with PANTONE® to bring you their complete palette of vibrant pastel, new neon, and fabulous fashion colours right inside of KeyShot.

The new PANTONE colours are available now as part of the exclusive collection of resources in the KeyShot Content Installer. The KeyShot Content installer contains additional resources to use in building your scene and is available for both Mac and Windows installations of KeyShot.

Don’t forget – this month you can also sign up for the free webinar from PANTONE parent company, X-Rite.

Webinar: From Physical to Digital – X-Rite Material Scanning for 3D Rendering in KeyShot
Thursday, April 18th 2019 – 10:00am – 11:00 PDT (18:00 – 19:00 BST)

See the process of going from physical to digital using X-Rite material scans.

Register Here

Upcoming KeyShot Webinar PLUS Quick Tip: Filter Colour Library

KeyShot

Webinar: From Physical to Digital – X-Rite Material Scanning for 3D Rendering in KeyShot

Thursday, April 18th 2019 – 10:00am – 11:00 PDT (18:00 – 19:00 BST)

In this special webinar, Luxion have a look at the process of going from physical material to digital material using X-Rite scans. Sign up soon as space is limited!

You can expect to see KeyShot 8.3 with updated Pantone libraries, how to use the colour library, how to use AxF files with the Measured material type, best practises and suitable materials for scanning, as well as a closing Q & A session to wrap things up.

Register Here

 

KeyShot Quick Tip: Filter Colour Library

Webinar: KeyShot – Flexible Scenes for Look and Design Iterations

KeyShot Webinar

Learn how to harness the tools in KeyShot that allow you to quickly iterate the look and style of scenes. You’ll see how to create variations of models, materials and image styles, and how to combine them in presets.

Create Flexible Scenes for Look and Design Iterations

Thursday, March 7th, 2019 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT (18:00 PM – 19:00 PM GMT)

Register Now

If you want to follow along with the webinar, why not download the KeyShot Free Trial?

KeyShot 8.2 Now Available

KeyShot 8.2

Introducing KeyShot 8.2 which current KeyShot 8 users can upgrade to today for free. If you already have KeyShot 8 installed, you’ll be prompted to update to KeyShot 8.2 when you start up KeyShot. You can also go to the KeyShot Help menu and select Check for Updates… to start the update.

If you’re a KeyShot customer on maintenance subscription or purchased KeyShot 7 after August 15th 2018, you may upgrade to KeyShot 8.2 today using your current serial code.

This update has a focus on improving stability and integration with 3D modeling software, but there are a lot more improvements and important new features as well. Read on for the full list of updates and improvements:

Highlights

  • Offline Rendering Pause
  • Interior mode speed and performance increase
  • Vertical orientation for Presentation Mode
  • Shift-key drag-and-drop to add sub-materials
  • Network Rendering for Linux
  • Alembic Vertex Colour/Deformable Curve support
  • Autodesk Revit 2019 Import
  • Updated SOLIDWORKS integration
  • Updated PTC Creo integration
  • Updated Fusion 360 integration
  • Updated Cinema 4D integration

 

Workflow Performance Improvements

You can expect your workflow in scene setup, material application and rendering to flow much better. Users are now able to pause offline rendering at any time, and if you use interior mode, you’ll notice improved speed and performance. Along with this, there are many, many updates and fixes to the KeyShot UI, making elements and actions more consistent and work how you expect them to.

 

More Network Rendering Options

KeyShot Network Rendering for Linux is here. Both Master and Slave can now be installed on Linux. There’s also a silent installation option for KeyShot Network Rendering on MacOS as well as many more Network Rendering improvements.

 

Increased Integration Capabilities

Perhaps the most input provided by KeyShot users was regarding KeyShot integration with 3D modeling software. Too many updates to list have been made, but the top improvements include optimised and updated SOLIDWORKS integration, direct import of Autodesk Revit 2019 files, and support for Vertex Colour and Deformable Curves included in Alembic output.

 

If you haven’t tried it yet, we invite you to try KeyShot 8 and tell us what you think. If you would like to purchase KeyShot 8 or upgrade your current KeyShot license, simply visit our website, or contact us!

Christmas Deals 2018

Christmas Deals

As another year full of new releases, improved workflows and big projects draws to a close, we’re wrapping things up with discounts across a whole range of 3D modeling and rendering software.

CAD & 3D Christmas Offers

Thank you to all our customers and partners that have continued to support us this year.

All of us at CAD Software Direct wish you a Happy Christmas and great success throughout the year to come.

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.

KeyShot 8.1 Released – Available Now

KeyShot 8.1

KeyShot 8.1 focuses on stability, feature updates and new usability features to improve output, issue reporting and the visual creation workflow.

Just over a month ago, KeyShot 8 was a pivotal release introducing features like displacement mapping, bubbles, flakes, interactive image colour and intensity curve adjustments, and much more.

KeyShot 8.1 follows quickly on the heels of that release to introduce 16-bit PSD output, in-view indicators for geometry shader, full-resolution HDRI update, in-app problem reporting, and invert selection capabilities, along with many other improvements and bug fixes. Head to the bottom of this post to see the full release notes.

Current KeyShot 8 users can update to 8.1 for free starting today. If you already have KeyShot 8 installed, you’ll be prompted to update, or you can also go to the KeyShot “Help” menu and select “Check for Updates“.

If you purchased KeyShot 7 after August 15th 2018, you’re also entitled to a free upgrade to 8.1 by using your current serial code.

You can view the release notes below, but in the meantime, don’t forget that we have great deals on KeyShot starting November 26th through to November 30th across new licenses and upgrades. View our KeyShot Deals blog post.

Release Notes

New Features

  • In-app Problem Reporting. Presented automatically when a crash dump is detected or accessed via Main menu > Help.
  • 16-bit PSD Format for Still Images, Animation Frames, and Configurator output.
  • In-view indicator button to Execute Geometry Nodes when change is detected.
  • In-view indicator button to Generate Full-Resolution HDRI when change is detected.
  • Invert Selection command in right-click context menu of Real-time View and Scene Tree.

Improvements

  • Added five new splash screens.
  • Added “Add Geometry Node” button on ribbon in Material Graph.
  • Added a Label input indicator on the Material Graph root node.
  • Execute Geometry Nodes button in material properties now only affects that material.
  • Improved Displacement mesh quality. Resolution is now Triangle Size with option to define by units or pixels.
  • Added unique icons for Bubbles, Flakes, and Displace.
  • Added Seed for Flakes and Bubbles.
  • Added support for multi-selection of objects in Cutaway > Add Excluded Objects dialog.
  • Added support for object outlines when selecting Excluded Objects in Cutaway properties.
  • Added pointer support for Spotlights in the Geometry View.
  • Now supporting Move Tool hotkey in Geometry View.
  • Added a right-click context menu to the Image Styles list.
  • Now retaining Photographic-specific Image Style values when toggling to Basic.
  • Added message when “Use GPU” is disabled and Photographic Image Style Mode is enabled.
  • Now automatically enabling Accurate Tessellation on Import of Datakit formats for periodic surfaces i.e. springs, screws to improve mesh quality.

Noteworthy Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issue with Bubbles applied to geometry with per-triangle vertex normals or no normals i.e. C4D, 3ds Max, Maya, ZBrush.
  • Fixed UV meshes with custom UV layout and Displacement.
  • Fixed Geometry Nodes respecting disabled state.
  • No longer showing Splash Screen as top-most window.
  • Now ignoring Show Only Hotkey when Mapping Tool is open.
  • Fixed radio buttons in Move Tool dialog.
  • Now using fixed format for Render Layers output format is set to PSD.
  • Fixed crash when loading scene with Motion Blur.
  • Fixed error in node type changes in the Material Graph.
  • Fixed removal of discarded sub-materials from Material Graph.
  • Fixed occasional crash when removing Multi-Material.
  • Fixed issue with lost material name when toggling Multi-Material.
  • Fixed crash when assigning Curve Color Randomizer to a geometry node.
  • Fixed crash when loading large .png in Library.
  • Fixed error when right-clicking on Free Camera is scene tree.
  • Fixed selection in pivot move tool dialog.
  • Fixed performance of Project > Materials list with many materials in scene.
  • Fixed loss of textures with same name in different folders when saving .ksp.
  • Fixed FOV not being saved with camera.
  • Fixed Global Illumination Quality when using Custom Control with Global Illumination Cache disabled.
  • Fixed extraction of .hdz from KeyShot 6.3.
  • Fixed corruption of KeyShot 6 color library when loading into KeyShot 8.
  • Fixed dielectric-based material Cutaway Caps.
  • Fixed tiling in ground shadows visible through cutaway object.
  • Fixed Cutaway color caps when camera is inside Cutaway object.
  • Fixed Glass and Thin Film as Excluded Objects for Cutaway.
  • Fixed issue with Color Cutaway Caps in Interior Mode.
  • Fixed issue with hot pixels caused by Cutaway on Windows.
  • Fixed Move Control Point for Camera Path animation.
  • Fixed flicker when moving Animation Wizard.
  • Fixed dataloss when cancelling Re-Tessellation.
  • Fixed issue with non-default location for KeyShot 8 Resources folder.
  • Fixed issue Rendering KeyShotXR via scripting with Add to Queue to Send to Network.
  • Fixed issues with import settings when using scripting to import.
  • Fixed issue with Queue thumbnail when Add to Queue from Options.
  • Fixed issue pasting a copy into a Model Set.
  • Fixed quality of image-based HDRIs with HDRI Editor Adjustments applied.
  • Fixed gamma handling of colors saved from the color picker to the Library.
  • Fixed Delete key in Scene Tree.
  • Fixed crash with Copy/Paste Position.
  • Fixed blur when rendered in Background mode.
  • Fixed KeyShotXR flicker in Microsoft Edge.
  • Fixed Zoom buttons for the Project > Materials list.
  • Fixed Exit button visibility in Compact Presentation Mode.
  • Fixed Preferences > Screenshot > Quality slider.
  • Fixed text visibility for Studios in Presentation Mode.
  • Fixed Parent/Component tab text when single top level titles are hidden.