Big Update for SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse

SketchUp 3D Warehouse

Did you know that SketchUp comes with a huge library of 3D models right out of the box, ready to use in your scenes at no extra cost?

The 3D Warehouse has gotten even better with a whole new way to organise, filter and find models.

User Content Manager lets you bulk manage your models and create private folder collections. Have a large collection of models that you need to keep track of? This one’s for you.

3D Warehouse collections 2019

The New Profile Style has been simplified to include just the essentials. All you need to do is fill in the profile details and get searching!

User profile 3D Warehouse

To download a 3D Warehouse model, all you have to do is sign in to your account and your content experience will be tailored to you.

Visit CAD Software Direct to learn more about SketchUp Pro, or request a free SketchUp Trial.

KeyShot 9 – What’s New?

KeyShot 9

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.

Buy KeyShot 9

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

© Luxion

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.

© Luxion

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.

© Luxion

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.

© Luxion

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.

© Luxion

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.

1907-keyshot-9-gpu-nvidia-rtx-01
KeyShot 9 detects NVIDIA GPU-accelerated graphics cards to provide real-time ray tracing via the GPU.

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.

Interested? Find out more about KeyShot, or contact CAD Software Direct now for a quote.

Maxwell 5 Launches Today

Maxwell Render 5

The physically-correct, unbiased spectral engine at the core of Maxwell not only produces beautiful images, but also lighting-accurate simulations. You may have heard in the past that Maxwell achieved such high quality by being quite slow, something Next Limit themselves will admit.

With Maxwell 5, the story has changed. A fully rewritten multi-GPU core now delivers final results in minutes and accurate previews in mere seconds.

With the latest version now released, anybody who pre-ordered their upgrade can now download it from their Next Limit Customer Portal.

As an added bonus, the pre-order offer has been extended to November 4th, so you’ve got a little longer to lock in your upgrade price if you haven’t already!

Plugins Available

Plugins Coming Soon for Download

Maxwell 5 Features

V-Ray Importer

Additive Materials in GPU

Lights Group

GPU FIRE

Multi-GPU

With multiple GPUs working in parallel, you’ll get the most accurate renders available on the market without compromise on speed.

Cloud

A brand new Cloud Rendering Service gives you access to some of the most powerful machines available to speed up your render times and productivity. Easily dispatch cloud render jobs straight from Maxwell to free your computer from high CPU loads so you can get on with more important things.

Visit CAD Software Direct to find out more about Maxwell 5, or contact us if you have any questions.

Mac OS Catalina (10.15)

Mac OS Catalina

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.

Vectorworks SP5.1

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

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.

Rhino

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 – Free Upgrade!

KeyShot 9

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.

What’s New in Vectorworks 2020?

New in Vectorworks 2020

Vectorworks 2020 has arrived, and this release focuses on design with a new perspective while benefiting from improved software performance, quality enhancements, and streamlined new workflows.

If you’re already a Vectorworks Service Select member, you can download your upgrade to the latest version today. Log in to the Service Select Portal to access Vectorworks 2020 and get started now.

Fundamentals (and all Design Series)

  • History-Based Modeling
  • Vectorworks Graphics Module Improvements

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
  • Widget Groups
  • DXF/DWG Improvements
  • Walk-through Animation

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.

Architect

  • Live Data Visualisation
  • GIS Improvements

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.

  • IFC Referencing
  • 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.

Spotlight

  • Schematic Views
  • Detailed Seating Sections
  • Video Camera Object

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.

  • DMX Patching
  • Hinged Trusses
  • Braceworks Improvements
  • 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.

Landmark

  • Hardscape Alignment

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
  • GIS Improvements
  • Revit Export
  • IFC Referencing

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 contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com, 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.

KeyVR – Glass Refraction, Improved Reflections, Faster Loading

KeyVR Update 2019

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.

New Features

OptimizedLoadTime_Text

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_Text

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_Text

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.

HideShow_Text

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.

Move_Text

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 contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com or give us a call on 01206 804984.

Rhino 6 for Mac is Available Now

Rhino for Mac

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.

Rhino for Mac Grasshopper

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.

Licensing

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.

For more information about what’s new, head over to Rhino 6 for Mac.

SketchUp 2019 and LayOut Feature Update

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 images

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. 

Workflow improvements

Invert Selection

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).

Importing files

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.

Eraser Tool

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.

Section Planes

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

Isometric dimensioning

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.

Auto-text

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’.

Workflow enhancements

Rotating dimensions

Now, when you rotate your object, the bounding box is also rotated with so you can continue to scale in the right orientation. 

Quicker editing

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-Day SketchUp Trial to see for yourself how these updates can enhance your professional workflows. 

ZBrush 2019.1 Available Now as a Free Update

ZBrush 2019

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

 

Feature Additions

  • 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.

 

 

Plugins

  • SubTool Master, with a new Show Hidden Points function.
  • ZAppLink
  • Scale Master
  • 3D Print Hub, with better handling of large STL files and support for more STL formats on import.
  • Intersection Masker
  • FBX Import/Export
  • ZBrush to Photoshop
  • ZColor
  • Decimation Master
  • Image Plane

 

Improvements

  • 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