It’s been another strong year for 3D modeling and rendering. We’ve seen major releases in Vectorworks 2020 demonstrating considerable performance boosts, KeyShot 9 adding GPU rendering and RealCloth, a Maxwell 5 engine re-write built for speed, and so much more than we can list here.
As always, we’d like to extend our sincere thanks to all of our customers and partners for making this another great year, and we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. With both the year and decade drawing to a close, it’s time to send off 2019 in style.
CAD Software Direct Opening Times
Our offices are open as normal on December 23rd, so any orders placed before then will be processed as usual. We will do everything we can to get late orders back to you before the break, and there will be limited order processing between Christmas and the New Year. Otherwise we’ll be back to work and sending out orders first thing on January 2nd.
KeyShot by Luxion is a professional 3D renderer that integrates with more 3D software than any other, and is used throughout the entire product development process from concept design and presentation to delivering digital prototypes and creating sales/marketing visuals.
Industry professionals ranging from Engineering, Automotive, Aerospace, Consumer Electronics, Jewellery, Marketing, Media and Entertainment will be excited to hear that there’s a new and improved version of KeyShot available right now. Read on to find out what’s new.
KeyShot 9 Highlights
GPU Mode KeyShot 9 introduces the ability to harness the full GPU-accelerated ray tracing power of NVIDIA RTX with OptiX. Available for both real-time rendering and local render output, KeyShot’s GPU Mode allows GPU resources to be accessed with one-click to take advantage of multi-GPU performance scaling and the dedicated ray tracing acceleration hardware in NVIDIA RTX-capable GPUs. Users may toggle between GPU and CPU as needed. GPU ray tracing in KeyShot 9 supports the NVIDIA Maxwell microarchitecture found in GTX 980 and above.
Denoise KeyShot 9 provides one-click denoise that allows the reduction of noise in the Real-time View and render output to achieve smooth results in less time. Denoise is available for both CPU and GPU, with KeyShot using Intel Open Image Denoise for CPU mode and NVIDIA Tensor cores for GPU mode. With a single click users can apply Denoise as an image effect option for any Image Style in their project and adjust the blend with the base render.
Model Library KeyShot 9 introduces a new Model Library that allows 3D models with complete materials and textures to be added to a scene. All 3D models are easily accessed on KeyShot Cloud and may be searched, filtered, and added to any scene with a simple drag-and-drop. Models may then moved, duplicated, or appearance changed as needed.
Fuzz Fuzz is a new geometry shader accessible through the KeyShot Material Graph (Pro) that allows you to add randomised hair-like growth from the surface of any material. You can control several parameters of Fuzz such as Length, Randomness, and Density to get the perfect look. In addition, you can modify the appearance through the built-in material properties or input a different material type to the surface of the Fuzz node for even more control.
RealCloth RealCloth is a patent-pending technology from Luxion driving a powerful, new material type which allows the creation and visualisation of realistic woven materials. The material type provides control of the weave pattern (Pro) and ability to easily add flyaway fibres. New RealCloth materials have been added to the Library as well.
Web Configurator KeyShot 9 Pro now offers users the ability to create interactive, browser-based product configurators. the ability to output fully-rendered, static product configurators in a web browser. A configurator is created in KeyShot using the specified models, materials, and Studios variations. The user then chooses the Web Configurator output option to generate the content files that can be zipped and shared privately or hosted online for anyone around the world to view. (Requires KeyShot Pro and KeyShotXR.)
Custom Motion Easing Custom Motion Ease brings users more control over part and camera animations. Custom motion easing may be applied to each animation on the Animation Timeline using custom curve control in the Time Settings of the Animation Properties. Keys may be added quickly along the curve with interpolation and tangency control for each key with all adjustments seen in real-time.
Curve Fade Animation Curve Fade Animation brings users more control over material animations. Applied as an Animation node in the KeyShot Material Graph, a Curve Fade animation may be applied to a material colour, bump, opacity or other property. Like Custom Motion Easing, a custom curve control graph allows keys to be quickly added along the curve and adjusted in real-time to create animated material effects.
Major Differences Over Previous Versions
When a new users open KeyShot they will be met with a Welcome window with all new demo scenes. The Import dialogue has been completely updated and streamlined with the option to save setting for subsequent import of like files.
One unique user interface change is the new Tools menu shown on the KeyShot Ribbon menu. This provides quick access to some existing tools and additional new tools, including the new Material Importer that adds U3M, MTL, and Substance Painter import, as well as new support for AxF 1.6.
Also on the Ribbon menu, is the one-click access to GPU mode and Denoise. If a supported graphics card is recognised by KeyShot, the GPU button will be active and users can switch between using the CPU and GPU for rendering. Denoise can be applied when using either CPU or GPU from the Ribbon or the Project, Image tab.
New RealCloth and Fuzz materials have been added to the library, along with new skin materials suitable for GPU rendering, measured materials with translucency, footwear and apparel samples, as well as new effect labels and animated materials. New Pantone colours are included as well. 20 high-quality HDRI maps from HDRMAPS are available from KeyShot Cloud, where users will find a new Models tab for ready-to-use 3D models that can be dragged and dropped into their scene.
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.
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 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.
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.
While delivering new features and new subscription pricing options, Cinema 4D is now unified into a singular version. Cinema 4D has always been easy to learn and use, but now it’s even easy to choose the version you want at a new low price.
One Version of Cinema 4D R21 marks the introduction of one singular version that includes the entire feature set at an affordable price. This means no more choosing between visualise, broadcast, or any of the other versions. There will be one suite available only that contains all of the tools you’ll ever need.
Caps and Bevel The all-new Caps and Bevel system lets users extrude 3D logos and animate text effects quickly, easily and more efficiently. Possibilities really are endless as caps and bevels are integrated on all spline-based objects. Enhancements include improved constraints and internal bevels, Delaunay cap skinning and a new library of bevel presets.
Field Forces The new Field Force dynamics object in R21 allows users to optimise motion graphics in the MoGraph toolset, offering flexibility and power to control dynamic forces in modeling and animation effects for optimised performance.
Mixamo Control Rig Offering a quick and customisable way to implement character animation, the new Mixamo Control Rig gives R21 users the ability to adjust Mixamo animations imported in Cinema 4D for a flexible and powerful workflow.
Rendering Improvements Cinema 4D’s wide range of render options deliver fast, beautiful and professional results for creating outstanding images and animations. New Denoiser technology from Intel, new material nodes, and substantial updates to ProRender are just some of the ways your creativity will be powered.
There are many more new and improved features, meaning this will be one of the biggest releases yet. The latest version of Cinema 4D will be available at CAD Software Direct.
We are excited to share some of our favourite features and improvements in the latest product update to SketchUp Pro 2019 and LayOut.
This release has made SketchUp more intuitive and fun to use with focus on improvements to imagery exports, usability, and a seamless LayOut connection.
New in SketchUp
Professional output enhancements
Exporting 2D graphics, raster files, and animations just got better. You can now control the overall line thicknesses of exported images with the new line scale multiplier, found in the export options dialogs.
Before this change, line weights stayed the same as the viewport which would make the line weight too small or too large. So, if you are experiencing line weights that are too thick, you can make those line weights thinner. Also, .png images now export with its transparency so you can see what is behind the material while compositing.
Customisable unit settings
Have you ever needed to use different unit measurements for a model? Now your model can be customised to show different unit measurements for area and volume. For example, in a model of a room, you can use millimetres for the wall and meters for volume. Available unit types: millimetres, centimetres, meters, inches and feet.
It really is the small things that help your workflow. This new feature will allow you to select anything, then invert the selection of objects. This makes it simple to select items and then perform actions on their inverse. The keyboard shortcut for this will be: CTRL + SHIFT + I (Windows) or CMD + SHIFT + I (Mac).
The days of picking out your import file format from a long list are over. You can now drag and drop ALL supported file types directly into your modelling window. By default, you’ll now see all supported file types available for import. Additionally, the DWG and DXF importers now bring in fewer duplicate and messy edges.
Have you ever accidentally erased too much in your model? To make your detailing workflow a little smoother and seamless, we added alt & cmd as modifier keys to remove any unnecessarily highlighted lines that you may have accidentally captured during your modelling efforts.
Cutting a model along a plane so that you can peer inside the model? Section planes now ask the user to name them before placing them in the model. Simply place, then name.
Send to LayOut
You can now send your models directly to LayOut from the large toolset in the left-hand toolbar.If you haven’t used LayOut for 2D drawings before, start taking advantage of it now!
Large Area Imports for Add Location
You can now easily import large sites at full resolution. How can you take advantage of this new feature? Simply zoom out a bit, then select the level from which you want to import. Note that misusing this feature can adversely affect performance in your SketchUp model.
New in LayOut
Professional output enhancements
It is now possible to make linear dimensions align with an isometric viewpoint. You can now control extension lines, gap distance, and align dimensions with isometric angles.
Similar to “smart labels”, you can now add text to dimensions without breaking the automatic measurement. For example, let’s say you create a wall dimension. You can dimension a wall, add the word “wall”, and the dimension measurement will still update if the wall’s measurement changes. Pro tip: make sure your string has <> in it. For example, ‘Width <>’ will turn into ‘Wall 1.42m’.
Now, when you rotate your object, the bounding box is also rotated with so you can continue to scale in the right orientation.
Staying consistent with SketchUp usability, in LayOut you can now hit the return key to edit model views, groups, dimensions, or labels! Just select, press return, and start typing!
Ready to try? Get the free 30-DaySketchUp Trial to see for yourself how these updates can enhance your professional workflows.
If you’re interested in KeyVR, contact us now for a free trial.
What is KeyVR?
KeyShot and KeyVR are both built upon the core framework of the KeyShot application, which allows us to share many core application features, such as asset loading, while providing for “one-click” access to KeyVR from inside a KeyShot scene.
The fundamental difference between the two applications is how the data is visualised to end users. In traditional KeyShot, we use CPU-based Ray Tracing to produce a photo-real image (or depending on the materials, a stylised image, such as with toon shading).
The goal with KeyShot is to allow a user to quickly produce a final image or animation for design, marketing or manufacturing at the highest fidelity needed for the deliverable. With KeyVR, the same dataset is pushed to a GPU-based rendering platform that has been optimised for VR viewing on supported hardware. This rendering path has been designed from the ground up to create a VR experience that allows users to quickly see their designs in context, while being able to move around the model and make adjustments as they would in a real world studio.
In order to provide this “virtual world” experience, the visual quality in KeyVR can differ significantly from KeyShot, depending on the materials and models used. KeyVR is not designed to replace KeyShot as a visualisation solution, but is rather a complementary component to assist users in further exploring their design intentions.
Advantages of KeyVR
One-click – KeyVR is the quickest way to view your scene in virtual reality. From KeyShot, hit the VR icon to be transported into KeyVR for a One-Click VR experience.
Fast & Easy – KeyVR performance is unmatched, just like you would expect from the creators of KeyShot. KeyVR is GPU-powered, optimized for VR viewing, and capable of loading large data sets.
Minimal Prep – KeyVR eliminates the complex setup and asset prep required by other solutions. Simply, add materials and lighting as you normally would normally in KeyShot, then open in KeyVR.
No Coding – KeyVR doesn’t require convoluted programming. It doesn’t require outsourcing development, bringing on dedicated VR developers, or forcing conditions for your models to work in VR.
Powerful – KeyVR brings you power in a tool built for designers. It enables a return to the creative process instead of VR development oversight and brings more visualisation options to your workflow.
KeyVR is NOT a KeyShot add-on (it does not require KeyShot to be installed) • KeyVR is a new product to explore KeyShot scenes interactively • KeyVR opens KeyShot .bip and .ksp files generated from any KeyShot version (KeyShot 8 recommended) • KeyShot will work alongside any version of KeyShot • To export from KeyShot to KeyVR, KeyShot 8 is required • KeyVR is currently only available as a node-locked license • KeyVR will work with any commercial KeyShot edition (KeyShot Pro, KeyShot HD, KeyShot Floating, KeyShot Enterprise). It can not be licensed or installed as a floating product. • KeyVR is currently only available for Windows
Prerequisites: KeyShot 8 (for one-click KeyShot to KeyVR)
OS: Windows 7 and up
Recommended Hardware: Windows PC with VR ready GPU (GTX1080, Vega64 or better)
Currently Supported Headsets: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Windows Mixed Reality headsets
Interested in KeyVR?
Contact us! We can get you set up with a free trial, as well as run you through any questions you might have.
Vectorworks is the ideal professional tool for architects meeting BIM standards, landscapers designing and planning environments, event and exhibition designers putting on shows – and many more disciplines – but we often get asked “How can I pay for Vectorworks?”
Here we’ll take a quick look at the options available, and the payment methods you can use to get your own Vectorworks license.
How many versions of Vectorworks are there?
Vectorworks 2019 comes in a few flavours specifically designed for different specialisations; Fundamentals, Architect, Spotlight, Landmark and Designer.
You can find out more about each version by using the links below:
There are also add-on packages available for Spotlight and Designer; Braceworks – an easy way for rigging professionals to gauge the performance of temporary structures under load, and Vision – a pre-visualisation tool to bring a whole new level of realism to your shows.
Vectorworks Payment Options
Up Front Payment
Vectorworks itself comes as a one-off payment for a perpetual license. You can either place an order online, or contact us.
If you’re an existing VSS customer purchasing new licenses, we may need to calculate your new VSS cost pro rata. In this case, it is best to contact us directly.
Vectorworks do not currently offer a monthly payment method, so check below for some ways of spreading the cost.
We can work with our leasing partner to offer you monthly repayments on purchases over a term of your choice between 2 and 5 years. To find out more and calculate an instant estimate, visit Business Leasing.
You also free to find a leasing company of your own and put them in contact with us.
PayPal offer a 0% finance buy now, pay later scheme which our customers find helpful when making larger purchases.
Simply spend over £99 and you get 0% interest for 4 months on that purchase. It’s quick and easy – just check out with PayPal and select PayPal Credit.
Click here to find out more about PayPal Finance.
If you or your business has a credit card, this is another great way of making purchases while staying in control of your repayments.
If you’re looking to purchase Vectorworks but you’re not sure which payment method is best for you, just drop us an email or call us on 01206 804984.
“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.
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
Version 1.5 Release Orca3D Version 1.5 is now available for Rhino 5, incorporating all of the functionality of the Version 1.4 WIP, including the Marine CFD interface, ISO 12217-2 STIX stability index calculator, and stability criteria evaluation.
New Licensing System
Orca3D now uses a new licensing system. The old system had a conflict with the Microsoft Windows 10 April 2018 update for network licenses. The new system is more flexible. Orca3D Versions 1.5 and 2.0 WIP use the new CopyMinder system, and all licensed users will receive a new CopyMinder License Key to replace the your existing License Code.
Version 2.0 Work-in-Progress (WIP)
Orca3D Version 2.0 Work-in-Progress (WIP) is now available for Rhino 6 users. As a WIP, it is available to those with an Orca3D Version 1.x license at no charge. Version 2.0 WIP builds on Version 1.5 in order to achieve compatibility with Rhino 6 and includes the Marine CFD interface. Once the WIP transitions to a full release, it will become a paid upgrade for Version 1 users. as mentioned above, the WIP uses the new licensing system.
Version 2 Future Releases
After the initial full release of Version 2, development will focus on adding significant new capability, especially in the areas of compartmentation, free surface, intact and damaged stability analysis, and resistance prediction. Some of these features will be additions to the current Level 1 and Level 2 offerings, and some will form a new Level 3. As with previous versions, there will be WIP releases so our users can try the new functionality and provide feedback.
Vectorworks are returning again this year with Teaser Tuesday! Here’s your chance for a sneak peek at updates to come in Vectorworks 2019. For the first in the series, here’s a Vectorworks 2019 update that will help you save time and make your workflow even smoother.
Most design files end up with more classes and layers than one can easily manage. In Vectorworks 2019, steps have been taken to increase efficiency by adding the ability to search, filter, and add tags to layers and classes. This means you can instantly find what you’re looking for by typing in a keyword search or using filters to display class and layers based upon specific properties. Watch the video below to see the full capabilities:
“As the amount of data in BIM files increases, it gets harder to find and manage classes and layers,” said Chad Hamilton, AIA, LEED AP, Principal Architect at Hamilton + Aitken Architects. “The new layer and class filters help sort through this information so we can quickly find what we need. This is a huge improvement, especially for offices doing more complex projects.”