Our Free to Attend 3D Friday is Back this September

3D Friday Event

Interested in how buildings get built?

3D Friday is back, and this time we have Vectorworks joining us 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

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.

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.

The presentation will show various parametric tools, along with some new features from Vectorworks 2019. We might even see a preview of some brand new features ahead of Vectorworks 2020… Once the presentation is over, there will be plenty of time for Q & A, and an opportunity to see what else we have.

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

Student SketchUp for Summer Competition

SketchUp Competition

CAD Software Direct are excited to announce our latest 3D competition with a top prize available for the taking!  Things are a little different this time around because we don’t have the theme or brief…you do!

We want you to send us your course brief and the work you created for it. It doesn’t matter if you were tasked with recreating a local landmark, visualising an interior space, or designing a fresh new product – as long as your project was made in SketchUp it’s fair game.

Student SketchUp for Summer is now open, and to be in the running entrants need to:

Submit designs by
August 30th 2019

Have you built a car, designed a sound stage, recreated a village, or even precisely measured up machinery components for CADCAM? It’s up to you to convince us that your entry is the best of the lot.

We’ll be looking at the composition and geometry when judging, as well as how accurately we think you met your course aims. Any renders you produce are bonus points to impress us even more! Again, as long as it is made in SketchUp, there are no restrictions on plugins or renderers used either. It has to all be your own work though – no downloading from 3D warehouse or other 3D libraries!

Our Perfect Getaway competition last year had some cracking entries, so be sure to bring your A-Game.

Previous Winner Chad Slaney’s Perfect Getaway.

Maybe you’ve made something in the past that you’re proud of, or something you’re already working on just needs some finishing touches – you don’t have to start from scratch. We’re accepting entries for existing work too, as long as you can rightfully call it yours.

Send us the original .skp file, as well as any renders or supporting materials you want us to see. The brief doesn’t have to be much, just let us know the title of your course or module and any details about the aims or expected outcomes.

Submit your entries by emailing us
sketchup@cadsoftwaredirect.com

First place will be given a perpetual SketchUp Pro license worth £547 (including one year of maintenance and support to automatically be upgraded to SketchUp 2020 on release), perfect for taking on your first clients right out the gate. Already got a SketchUp Pro Commercial license and don’t want another? We’ll find something special to send your way instead! You’ll also have your work featured alongside other entries on the SketchUp UK website and instagram for extra bragging rights.

We’re accepting submissions now, so get going, and remember the deadline is August 30th 2019.

Competition closes at midnight August 30th 2019. CAD Software Direct’s decision is final. By entering, you agree for your entry to be featured across CAD Software Direct and SketchUp UK social media channels.

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!

Webinar: V-Ray for Education

V-Ray for Education

Join this free V-Ray webinar to discover the art of rendering and the career opportunities that lie ahead.

3D Artist Yordan Zarev will host a free student webinar to introduce you to the world of 3D rendering. Join him to discover what rendering is, how it is used in a number of different industries and the fascinating career paths it opens up.

Topics covered will include:

  • What is rendering? 
    You’ll learn what rendering is and be shown what you can achieve with the help of lights and materials. You’ll also get a glimpse of how various industries utilise the power of V-Ray, Chaos Group’s renderer.
  • V-Ray in Education
    Get invaluable insight on how to start with a full set-up without any previous knowledge. Learn how Chaos Group and their trusted partners are helping the education community.
  • Rendering as a tool, rendering as a career
    Learn why rendering skills are important for job hunting, your career opportunities and how to secure your dream job.

 

Session 1
Tuesday 4th June – 10AM – 11AM BST
Register Now

Session 2
Tuesday 4th June – 7PM – 8PM BST
Register Now

V-Ray – Behind the Scenes at Zaha Hadid Architects, Blur Studio and WeWork

Total Chaos

Total Chaos Masterclasses are an incredible opportunity to find out about the technology and techniques the world’s leading studios use to create astonishing content every day.

On May 16, Chaos Group welcome professionals to Sofia, Bulgaria for three Masterclass tracks. Pick from design, VFX or architectural visualisation and deep-dive into industry practices from the likes of the world-renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, Love, Death & Robots VFX firm Blur Studio and startup-nurturing coworking company WeWork — plus many more.

Tickets are selling fast, so secure yours now.

Get Your Masterclass Ticket

 

You can also become a V-Ray Certified Professional (VCP) by attending one of the V-Ray Certification exam sessions. Located in the same venue as the Masterclasses, they’ll run between 5.30 PM and 8 PM.

The VCP exam is now available for both V-Ray 3.0 and Next.

Get Your VCP Exam Ticket

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

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 Change to V-Ray Dongle Licensing

V-Ray Dongle License

For the past 16 years, Chaos Group have used dongles as a primary protection method of their products, like VRay for 3DS Max, until the addition of the Online licensing system (OLS) option 2 years ago. During this time, a lot of user feedback was collected on their licensing methods, and after a detailed analysis, Chaos Group have made the decision to phase out dongles over the next year. We’ll do our best to ensure a smooth and easy transition for all customers.

When Is This Happening?

Not quite yet. We will stop actively selling new dongles in Q3 2019, and will continue servicing customers with dongle-based licenses as long as their product version is officially supported. Chaos will be gradually increasing the number of users and expand product versions eligible for auto migration to OLS using their Migration tool. Also, Chaos Group are actively working on extended borrowing for offline use, which will be introduced in the next couple of months.

What Does This Mean For You?

We will continue selling Chaos Group licenses both with dongles and OLS. However, we strongly recommend you choose OLS instead of dongle licensing. As there has been a decrease in dongle sales, Chaos will be implementing a price increase for the dongle in the coming months.

Dongle vs OLS – What’s The Difference?

Please take a look at the comparison chart below to see why it makes sense to go with the OLS option whenever possible.

Chaos Group are always looking to improve their existing OLS solution, so if you have any feedback we really want to hear it at contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com

Tell us about your specific requirements which mean you strictly need a dongle, whether it is your setup, workflows, security policies or anything else. Can you think of any additional features or options that need to be added to OLS? Let us know!

Our SketchUp Pro 2018 Competition Winner Is…

SketchUp Competition

A huge thank you to all of the SketchUp Perfect Getaway competition entrants. The time has come, and we have a winner to announce.

After much consideration between entries, we’d like to congratulate Chad Slaney as the winner, and the prizes will be on their way!

SketchUp Pro 2018

Built in SketchUp, and rendered with V-Ray for SketchUp, we think this really does look like the perfect getaway.

“This was a personal project of mine. I wanted to combine a traditional style cottage with a modern open floor plan glass structure. I chose to locate the structure in the Muskoka area in Ontario Canada.” – Chad Slaney

The vegetation in the model was done with proxy components, while the sky and some slight colour corrections were added in Photoshop.

Take a look at some more renders and screenshots from the .skp file of this piece below, and you can check out more of Chad Slaney’s work over on his Facebook page.

Thank again to our entrants. Stay tuned for our next competition!

 

.SKP 4

 

SketchUp Rneder 1

 

.SKP 1

 

SketchUp Rneder 2

 

.SKP 2

 

SketchUp Rneder 3

 

.SKP 3

Competition Now Closed – Winner To Be Announced Soon

Sketchup Pro 2018

We’ve had some excellent entries sent our way for this Sketchup Pro 2018 competition, and the competition is now closed!

If you have entered, you’re in the running to win:

  • £100 in vouchers and a 3D Connexion SpaceMouse Pro worth £279!
  • Your work featured on the Official SketchUp UK social media pages (run by distributor Elmtec) and on CAD Software Direct.

The winner is going to be announced on Friday 6th July, so be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out who takes the prizes straight away.