If you’re looking to become a certified Rhino specialist, McNeel offer certifications for experts and educators.
Certifications are a way to test knowledge and competency in both Rhino software and in 3D visualisation. Typically, proficiency with Rhino skills allow users to excel and develop more advanced skills, build a greater understanding of advanced concepts, and continue advancing in their knowledge of 3D visualisation.
The Certified User exams are online, computer-scored, randomised, limited time, open note, self-tests.
Rhino certification is helpful to many employers
Certificates are available immediately upon passing
Users can add the certificate to a CV or portfolio as proof of Rhino expertise
Currently, there are two types of certification; Rhino Level 1 and Rhino Level 2, and they are both offered in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.
The SketchUp Subscription version has been on sale for about a year already and has proven popular with its lower up front cost, easy version updates (no more waiting for serial keys!) and straightforward renewal process. With a SketchUp Subscription, you are free to renew every year, or skip a year (or 2, or 3…) without penalty – it’s up to you.
Whatever you choose to do, with a subscription you will always have the latest version and features at your disposal.
Read on for answers to some frequently asked questions.
What If I Buy a Classic Licence Now?
This will be yours to keep no matter what you choose to do in the future. Please be advised: if you purchase a Classic Perpetual License or renew your Maintenance & Support license prior to November 4, 2020, you will not be able to upgrade and access additional features on that license every year as you have in the past.
Can I Still Renew My Maintenance?
Yes, until November 4th 2020.
Will My Licence Still Work?
Yes! You will not lose access to a perpetual licence you already own. This is yours to keep and use in perpetuity, even when the maintenance expires for good. Please note that we do advise you keep a saved copy of the installer file if you ever need to reinstall.
If you would like to explore your options and talk to us about getting started with a subscription, or if you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call.
This is a common question we hear from new Vectorworks users. Typically, a user knows that Vectorworks is the right software for them because they’ve used it as a student or in-practice but now need their own licence. When starting out, it can be a substantial purchase and in this post we’ll have a quick look at options to assuage or mitigate the initial purchase cost.
Recently Graduated/Moving from Being a Student to a Professional
Vectorworks offer a low cost route to purchase a commercial licence if you were previously a student. It is contingent upon several things. Here’s what Vectorworks say:
Graduates within the past 12 months from a post-secondary design-based program are qualified to purchase one (1) software license under student2PRO. Additionally, student2PRO also includes a discounted membership to Vectorworks Service Select.The student2PRO purchase scheme is available only to design students who have graduated within the past 365 days. To qualify, graduates must have completed a degree at a university, college, or a post-secondary vocational or poly-technical school within the past 365 days and submit transcripts or a diploma showing degree completion and graduation date.
If this applies to you, contact us today to help process proof of eligibility and get you up and running as quickly as possible. Savings are very generous – so speak to us today for a quote.
New User, Never Had Vectorworks Before
If you have never previously purchased Vectorworks yourself, you will be eligible for a discount on VSS – Vectorworks Service Select. If you are looking to use Vectorworks over the longer term and wish to keep it up to date, Service Select is the most cost effective option.
If you don’t plan to upgrade your hardware and don’t need new features, it can be more cost effective to run a licence for many years and then purchase a new one when necessary. However, many of our customers do like to update their hardware and software – and in particular Mac users tend to update operating systems frequently. In doing so, this often causes conflict with older software at which point Vectorworks can only be upgraded from the last three versions and customers who have missed this window will need to purchase a new licence. On the other hand, Service Select is several hundred pounds per year but means no more lump sum new licences or big upgrades and provides access to cloud tools, online training in addition to all releases.
In short, for those who wish to stay up to date, Vectorworks with Service Select is the cheapest way to do that.
Vectorworks now offer a subscription option. This is great for short term usage or in times of limited cash-flow; however, it is not cost-effective in the medium or long term as the accumulated cost quickly overtakes the cost of a perpetual licence. Vectorworks subscriptions are available here. If you’re looking for longer term options, please read the next section.
Spreading the Cost of Vectorworks
There are a range of ways to do this, other than subscription, which would spread the cost but leave you in control of the software at the end of the term. Please take a look at our ‘Spread Vectorworks Payments‘ page for more information.
In the current situation, more and more people are working remotely to keep business running as normal. At this unusual time, you might be unsure of how to keep using your CAD programs. Read on to find out how to move licences in popular programs, or how you can connect to the office without moving anything over.
Depending on your software, you may simply be able to download it at home and log in using your email address to gain access. Other programs require you deactivate one computer before moving it to another. Read on for information about the differences between some of these programs.
If you don’t want to deal with moving licences, buying extra licences, or if you know that your temporary computer isn’t powerful enough to work on, jump to this section.
If you sign in to SketchUp using your email address:
You can download and install SketchUp to your temporary computer and sign in as normal. If you have already used all your available activations, you may need to deauthorise unused ones in your Trimble Account.
You can install V-Ray onto as many computers that you own as you like. Install as normal and sign in with your username and password when prompted. Note that you may need to ensure V-Ray back at the office is closed so your licence is available for use elsewhere.
We can also provide a fully featured 30-day trial to help while you work from home. Request a trial.
You can use the CloudZoo the access your licence from any computer with an internet connection. To find out how to migrate your licence to the Cloud Zoo, read this article – https://wiki.mcneel.com/zoo/to-cloud-zoo
“We are happy to provide free extra form•Z installations for individuals and companies who need additional capacity to accommodate work from home during these unprecedented times. Please email support@formZ.com with your form•Z serial number and we will add extra installation slots to your form•Z v8.6 or v9.0 license. These extra installations will remain in place until the crisis abates.”
There are a number of options for using Orca3D remotely:
If you have a network license and can access the computer that hosts your Orca3D license server through a VPN, Orca3D should work normally.
If you have a network license but cannot access the server via VPN, you can “check out” a roaming license, which is essentially a time-limited standalone license. Instructions for setting this up are on page 21 of the Orca3D Installation Instructions. Note that this is limited to the number of network licenses that you have; if you need more licenses for you and your colleagues, see #5.
If you are a student or instructor at an institution which has a Lab (network) License and you’re not able to access the license through one of these methods, please contact Orca and they will provide a temporary license to you at no charge.
If you have a standalone license on your office computer, you can use the same License Key to activate Orca3D on your home computer. The Copyminder system allows installation on multiple computers like this, as long as it does not happen frequently and the license isn’t used on both computers within a certain period of time of one another. Therefore, when you are able to return to your office, you should uninstall Orca3D from your home computer. If the license becomes “locked” because it has been installed too many times, simply contact Orca and they will reset it. If you don’t know your License Key, contact us and we will look it up for you.
If any of these options aren’t suitable or convenient, or you need more licenses for your staff during this time of working remotely, please contact Orca and they will provide temporary standalone licenses to you at no charge.
If you have had Orca3D installed on your home computer in the past (for example, an evaluation license), you will need to follow these steps for a new installation. Step #2 is important; otherwise you will not be given the opportunity to enter a License Key.
a. Using Control Panel, uninstall Orca3D
b. Delete the folder:c:\ProgramData\BCO\Orca3DV1 for Version 1, or c:\ProgramData\BCO\Orca3DV2 for Version 2
d. Start Rhino; you will be given the opportunity to enter a new License Key. Remember that sometimes the Orca3D license dialog is “hidden” behind the Rhino splash screen; if Rhino seems to be “stuck,” please look for the Orca3D license window behind it (you can use Alt-Tab to cycle through the open windows on your computer).
What if my computer at home isn’t good enough?
If you’re not able to access your software at home due to licensing restrictions, or your home computer doesn’t have the processing power required for your work, it would be time to look into something like TeamViewer.
TeamViewer will allow you to connect to another computer (for example, yours back at the office) over the internet so you have access to all of your software and files. All licensing, processing, rendering, etc. are handled on your main computer, so there’s no need to licence software on your home computer that you’re remotely connecting from.
If you’ve got any questions about working remotely with your CAD Software, you can email us on email@example.com
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.