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.
KeyShot 9 is almost upon us, and in anticipation of the release we’re giving customers a free upgrade to KeyShot 9 when purchasing or upgrading to KeyShot 8 on or after October 1st 2019!
The promotion is valid for all new KeyShot 8 purchases and upgrades (from KeyShot 6 and KeyShot 7) to KeyShot 8 on or after October 1st. The promo excludes KeyShot Education products, KeyShot add-ons, and KeyShot for CAD licenses (KeyShot for ZBrush, KeyShot for Solid Edge, etc).
What’s New in KeyShot 9?
As always, there are some big changes. Here are just a few that are on the way:
GPU Ray Tracing – GPU ray tracing in KeyShot 9 means that you are now able to take advantage of NVIDIA RTX GPUs to render in the real-time view and for local render output.
Denoise – Now included in the Basic and Photographic Image Styles is a deep learning Denoiser that allows you to reduce noise in the real-time view and render output to achieve smooth results in much less time.
3D Models Library – Adding context and detail to your scene is easier than ever with Models now available on the Cloud Library to download straight into your KeyShot Library and add to your scene.
RealClothTM (KeyShot Pro) – This powerful new material type allows you to visualise realistic woven materials with control of the weave pattern and ability to add flyaway fibres.
‘Fuzz’ Geometry Shader (KeyShot Pro) – In the KeyShot 9 Material Graph you will find a new Geometry node for Fuzz that allows you to add hair-like growth from the surface of any material.
Still on KeyShot 6?
With KeyShot 9 coming out soon, this means you will no longer be able to upgrade from KeyShot 6. If you’re on KeyShot 6, this is your last chance to upgrade. After the release of KeyShot 9, KeyShot 6 versions and prior will be required to purchase a new license.
The improvements will hide covered objects, auto-reduce meshes, and simplify the level of detail on native objects. Enjoy faster file navigation, view changes, tool operations, more responsive models, and the ability to handle much larger projects.
List Browser Direct Editing
Transform walkthrough paths and camera movements into professional real-time animations that are significantly easier to accomplish. You can even create 360 panoramas with just one click.
After selecting an appropriate coordinate system in the Vectorworks file, you can accurately geolocate your project by simply entering an address. Instantly incorporate street map, satellite, or other imagery in your design through ArcGIS and WMS servers.
Great Section Views
Data Tag Improvements
New options for tag scaling, new tag fields, direct editing of tags, and a new worksheet function all provide greater automation and control of the information displayed in your project’s documentation.
You can define the camera by selecting the body type, lens type, stand, etc. You can also activate the camera’s viewfinder to verify the placement of your cameras in your design.
Vision Heat Map
A one-of-a-kind feature in a previz application, Vision 2020 creates coloured or monochrome heat maps based on the generalised intensity and range of a fixture — giving you a better understanding of different scenarios your design can undertake in your previz workflow.
With customisable approaches to modelling hardscapes, you can now use the 3D geometry of other features to align and conform hardscape objects to 3D polygons, grade objects, roadways, or other hardscapes, making it possible to design paved surfaces to drain properly, align to other paved surfaces, and be accurately modelled and perfectly controlled.
Live Data Visualization
With a new ability to reference IFC files, say goodbye to the cumbersome, manual process of reimporting IFC files from consultants who make changes.
New Solutions to Work Faster and Smarter
“Data and usability are the cornerstones of this year’s product line enhancements,” said Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar. “When we looked at the future of the industry and what our customers’ needs were, we kept coming back to data, particularly data-driven insights. Vectorworks 2020 is centered around providing our customers with intuitive ways to use the powerful tools of our products, while also offering more practical ways to incorporate the use of data for an improved and insightful design workflow.”
If you’d like to know more about Vectorworks, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call on 01206 804984. If you’d like a free 30-day trial, click here to request a free Vectorworks 2020 Trial.
We’re excited to see that a new update for KeyVR has been released which delivers unmatched quality for transparent objects in VR, colour transmission, transparent objects in VR as well as the attenuation of light through coloured glass.
Optimised Load Time Open a KeyShot scene with one click, even faster. Load times have been optimised for long or disabled animations as well as for degenerate or small objects or triangles, saving you time when you need a VR environment quickly.
Reflections on Transparent Materials Reflections and colour transmission on transparent materials have been improved significantly. Reflections are incredibly realistic and the colour of your transparent materials will more accurately transmit the colour based on their thickness.
Glass, Solid Glass, Gems and Dielectrics Support for Glass, Solid Glass, Gems, and Dielectrics has been added which includes refraction and light attenuation. Though this is an approximation, it produces the most realistic and highest quality appearance for glass and dielectrics in any VR software yet.
Hide/Show Multiple Model Sets Explore all model variations or just a few with this new feature that adds support for hiding and showing multiple Model Sets. View and switch between them quickly with the click of a button and provide a faster way to explore your product options.
New Move/Rotate Widget To provide even greater control over moving and rotating objects in your scenes, KeyVR now provides a Move/Rotate Widget for selected objects. It’s a great option when you want to add more context or interaction to your environment.
Why Use KeyVR?
With KeyVR, you can:
Explore designs interactively in a ‘real world’ context.
Review designs to refine fit and function.
View model, material, and environment variations.
Experience in-context product animations.
Use natural views to determine the best product shots.
All current KeyVR subscribers will receive a notification and update option when they start KeyVR.
If you’re interested in virtual reality or KeyVR, send an email to email@example.com or give us a call on 01206 804984.
The latest version of Rhino, Rhino 6, has been available to PC users for a while now. Rhino for Mac users now have the opportunity to get up to date and start using features not previously available to them. The wait has been long, but it’s been worthwhile as there are even some new features not seen in the PC version.
What’s New in Rhino for Mac?
Faster display using modern graphics hardware
Updated Material and Rendering system
Grasshopper updated with multi-threaded components, Kangaroo 2, and more
Ray-traced viewport display mode
Faster, cleaner Make2D with more customisable results
Grasshopper In Rhino 6, Grasshopper, the wildly popular visual programming language has been fully embraced. Now integrated as a fully-fledged part of Rhino, users are given a solid foundation for many productivity enhancing third-party components ranging from robotic control to environmental analysis, and everything in between.
Presentation Major changes have been made in this release to rendering, materials and viewports so it is now easier than ever to present, discuss and iterate designs while communicating to clients, customers, collaborators or the public at large.
As of version 6, Rhino are using a single universal serial key usable on both Windows and Mac. This means it’s easier than ever to use Mac in an environment where many different computers are used, or even if you just work on a PC but would like to use your Macbook when out of the office.
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.
ZBrush 2019.1 is now available as a free update for all users, and Pixologic strongly recommend upgrading to this latest version as soon as possible. It includes several new features as well as a number of enhancements or fixes within both the ZBrush feature set and various plugins.
How to Update
For users with serial numbers including subscription licenses, there are three methods that you can use:
1 – Close ZBrush, then browse to its folder on your computer. Run the ZUpgrader application that you will find there. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the update.
2 – Download the updater application for either Windows or macOS. Place this application in your ZBrush 2019 folder before running it. Then simply follow the on-screen instructions.
3 – Uninstall ZBrush 2019 and delete its folder. Then log into My Licenses where you will be able to download the stand-alone ZBrush 2019.1 installer. Run that to reinstall ZBrush, then (if requested) activate it again.
For floating license users, please have your IT team submit a Support ticket with Pixologic to receive the update instructions
A new split mode, which isolates the current SubTool from all others, displaying them on separate sides of the screen.
A Screensaver has been added which (after a predefined amount of time) will display curated images straight from the ZBrushCentral.com community. Unlike your operating system screensaver, this one will only affect the ZBrush application window.
A new “Groups Intersection” mode has been added to the Smooth Brush Modifiers.
GoZ has been updated with support for Adobe Photoshop® 2019, Autodesk Maya 2019 and Autodesk 3DS Max 2020.
The FBX format now supports up to 64 cameras at import and export. Imported cameras are listed in the Camera selection list in the Draw palette. FBX will now support up to FBX 2019.
SubTool Master, with a new Show Hidden Points function.
3D Print Hub, with better handling of large STL files and support for more STL formats on import.
ZBrush to Photoshop
A pop-up message is now displayed when exiting Edit mode, asking for confirmation.
SubTool folders now support Move Up and Move Down functions.
SnapShot 3D with reference images will no longer apply a DynaMesh Boolean process. (Pressing ‘Sub’ is now required for the SpotLight image to be cut out of the DynaMesh surface.)
Updated keyboard shortcuts for macOS to now create a Folder with Command+F.
Updated keyboard shortcuts for macOS to go full screen with Command+Ctrl+F rather than creating a new folder.
Saving and loading files across a network have been improved.
Stability and Fixes
Ctrl+Shift brushes no longer jump when holding Space Bar.
Assigning a hotkey now gives a warning if the hotkey is already in use.
Snapshot 3D snapping points now respects canvas Zoom.
Support has been added for .jpeg and .tiff image file extensions.
Total Points Count display has been improved.
Improved Boolean generation.
Crease Level slider will update results when Dynamic Subdivision is enabled.
Dots display mode is now disabled when Transparency mode is active.
Improved stability of the Surface Noise editor.
Improved stability when switching rapidly between Edit and Move modes.
ZBrush 2019 is available now at CAD Software Direct .com
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.
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
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