Vectorworks Christmas Treats – Free Festive Webinar Series

Vectorworks

Get in the holiday spirit and learn something new in Vectorworks at the same time! Over the month of December, Vectorworks are running some festive and free-to-all webinars.

The Christmas treats webinars are purely for fun and to spread Christmas joy – but you may pick up a few tricks along the way! 

Igloo
December 6th 3pm – 4pm GMT
Register Here

In this webinar you’ll see how to make an igloo with surface array.

Santa’s Chimney
December 13th 3pm – 4pm GMT
Register Here

In this webinar, see how to create Santa’s chimney with the Vectorworks wall tool.

Christmas Tree
December 20th 3pm – 4pm GMT
Register Here

In this webinar watch how to create a Christmas tree with Vectorworks.

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.

SketchUp Student Competition Winner

SketchUp Competition

A little while back, we announced the start of our SketchUp competition for students. The challenge was to send anything built in SketchUp… but we did things a little differently this time. Instead of setting a competition theme with strict rules, we left it up to the student entrants to provide their course brief along with the work they submitted for it. As long as it was built in SketchUp, anything was fair game.

We’ve counted the votes, and settled on the entry we thought looked best while staying as close to their original course brief as possible.

And our winner is…Lukas Lipka with his excellent modern villa!

© Lukas Lipka 2019

Designed to be a large modern villa that could support a family with more than 2 children, we think this is an excellent example of what can be done right within SketchUp.

© Lukas Lipka 2019

Featuring two floors, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and surrounded by nature, there are plenty of beautiful views to be seen.

© Lukas Lipka 2019
© Lukas Lipka 2019

Inside, you’ll find guest bedrooms, a home office, a large high-ceiling living area, dining room and kitchen. There’s even a terrace with a great view of the large swimming pool.

© Lukas Lipka 2019
© Lukas Lipka 2019
© Lukas Lipka 2019
© Lukas Lipka 2019

An excellent example of building in SketchUp, paired with what we felt was a close match to the brief is what swayed the votes and took the prize!

© Lukas Lipka 2019

If you like what you see, why not drop Lukas a follow on Instagram @lukas_lipka_ to see more.

Your prize and some extra SketchUp goodies are in the post on their way to you now!

If you want to try SketchUp for yourself, why not download the free 30-day trial?

Vectorworks Annual Design Day UK 2019

Vectorworks-Design-Day

Date & Time: 1st October 2019 09.30 – 17.00
Location: 30 Euston Square, Euston, London, NW1 2FB

Register Now

Vectorworks Design Day is coming up, and this is a great opportunity to see powerful new workflows in Vectorworks 2020, and so much more.

Explore the future of Vectorworks while enjoying opportunities in the following areas:

• Architecture – Discover how Vectorworks supports the entire design process with 2D, 3D and BIM capabilities. Vectorworks will be presenting project case studies as well as being on hand to show the latest features.

• Interior Design – Learn how to establish a client’s vision using Vectorworks, with presentation boards, immersive panoramas, photo-realistic 3D rendering and augmented reality, while also having the tools required for collaboration.

• Networking – Meet and connect with over 250 of your industry peers, over lunch and through casual networking opportunities. Key personnel from Vectorworks in the USA and UK will be on hand to discuss any questions that you may have.

As an added bonus, customers attending the Design Day are eligible for a Tradeshow Discount (25% off new licenses)!

The venue is a short walk from The Prince of Wales Feathers.

Date & Time : 1st October 2019 09.30 – 17.00
Location: 30 Euston Square, Euston, London, NW1 2FB

Register Now

LIVE ZBrush Sculpt-Off to Start 2019 ZBrush Summit.

ZBrush Summit

Only a matter of days after our 3D Friday event (which you should definitely register for), Pixologic are back with the 2019 ZBrush Summit! Kicking things off is the LIVE Sculpt-Off on Thursday 26th September.

24 contenders, 3 hours, only one champion. Who will walk away with the glorious ZBrush heavyweight belt this year?

You can watch the event all around the world as you’ll find it streaming on ZBrushLive, Twitch.tv, Facebook and YouTube.

From September 26th to 29th, Pixologic will be taking over Hollywood’s prestigious Gnomon School facilities to deliver the ultimate ZBrush experience.

The live sculpt-off will lead into 3 days of presentations, which is a great way for digital artists to connect not only with the Pixologic team, but also with prominent figures across a range of industries. Many of the demonstrations feature assets previously unseen outside the studios, and presented by talented artists using a variety of techniques relevant to real-world applications.

If you’d like to try ZBrush for yourself, contact us today about a free trial!

Vectorworks Free Service Select Offer

Vectorworks 2020

Get a whole year of Vectorworks Service Select absolutely free with the purchase of a new licence or upgrade. The Service Select renewal date will be September 1st for all purchases during this promotion.

Am I Eligible?

Are you buying a new license or an upgrade of v2016 or newer between August 1st and 5:30pm September 9th? Then yes, you’ll get free Service Select!

The offer is not valid for existing Vectorworks Service Select customers. We can only provide this offer for customers in the UK and Ireland.

Using Vectorworks 2016?

If you’re on Vectorworks 2016, now is the best time to upgrade. If you don’t renew before the release of Vectorworks 2020, you’ll need to buy a brand new license as upgrades will no longer be available.

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. 

Vectorworks Summer Flash Sale – 30% OFF

Vectorworks Discount

That’s right, 30% off everything including new licenses, upgrades and Vectorworks Service Select on Fundamentals, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Designer and Vision.

Vectorworks Discount Offer

Offer expires at 5:30pm BST on July 26th 2019.

This offer is only valid for new purchases of professional licenses. Upgrade eligibility is subject to current version owned. Offer not valid on previous purchases, Service Select renewals, training, hardware or the prorated cost of adding a license to your Service Select contract. This offer many not be combined with other promotions.

Vectorworks Case Study: Ares Landscape Architects

Ares Landscapes

This is a case study by Vectorworks. View the original here.

Ares Landscape Architects Ltd mandates quality in all areas of their practice, starting with the quality of their employees. Led by Directors Ricardo and Ania Ares, the firm is comprised of 20+ members who, at a minimum, hold a postgraduate qualification in Landscape Architecture. Ares’s qualified team members offer consultancy services in all areas of landscape architecture throughout the UK; leading and facilitating landscape design, feasibility studies, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments, site planning, contract administration, modelling, and community project consultation.

In 2016, the UK government mandated the adoption of BIM Level 2 framework on all public projects; this requirement had a direct impact on the firm’s work in the public realm, particularly on the education sector. Since they serve clients in the public sector, Ares Landscape Architects knew they needed a software program that creates models with associated data — easily shareable in a 3D environment and with other construction disciplines. The opportunity to experiment with a new workflow to meet these requirements presented itself when they were appointed to work on a number of different projects such as the Nottingham College City Hub project, a new educational facility in Nottingham City Centre.

Merging Past and Future

Nottingham College is the result of joining two preexisting colleges — New College Nottingham and Central College Nottingham — developed as part of the regeneration efforts of the Nottingham City Centre. Envisioned for both College students and the community to enjoy, the new proposed City Hub is in close proximity to Nottingham’s public transport system, rail network, and the wider city’s green infrastructure. However, the constrained site needed to account for existing buildings and transport infrastructure, along with the proposed surrounding regeneration projects. They also encountered problems related to the landscape over structure as well as site conditions overall. Additionally, as part of their BIM requirements, the firm needed to collaborate with the wider design team efficiently and effectively.

In order to achieve BIM Level 2 requirements (and to reach their target completion date of May 2020), Ares used Vectorworks Landmark to facilitate the delivery of the project’s BIM execution plan (BEP). According to Sam Bailey, Senior Landscape Architect and BIM coordinator at Ares, using Landmark helped “speed up the time involved in project drafting and data reporting since the two processes are integrated, while providing useful information for other parties involved.” Although they were interfacing with collaborators using different software programs, Bailey claims that “IFC became the common denominator” and by defining BIM requirements out of the gate, the firm could clearly state expectations tied to the IFC models.

“We were loading drawings with intelligent and quantifiable information,” said Bailey. “It was really useful.”

Another useful time-saving step was setting classes in the model file during early stages of the project. “It speeds up the drafting process and takes a lot of the thinking out of it,” Bailey explained. In fact, Ares is currently developing templates that are available across their different office locations as a training tool for junior employees who may be new to working in BIM.

Ares Landscape Architects

© Ares Landscape Architects

From 2D to 3D

For the Nottingham City Hub, Ares fully embraced the 2D to 3D functionality of Vectorworks. Using features such as the Hardscape Tool, the 3D Polygon Tool, and the Plant Tool, Bailey could easily draw, adjust, edit, and replace elements of the model as needed. He could also edit the look of the graphical representation by a simple click of a button, which automatically changes the information attached.

“All of the information is embedded in the object,” Bailey said. “If something should change, such as a plant species, it can be replaced easily.” That same information can then be seamlessly transferred to a worksheet, which Bailey has used for things such as plant schedules, clearly laid out in a table that immediately updates as needed.

And for landscape architects who would rather input plant information manually, that option is available. Bailey and his colleagues can attach data such as the plant’s Latin name, common name, and anything else that the designer or the contractor may need.

Ares Landscape Architects

© Ares Landscape Architects

Import/Export Made Easy

In their plans for a roof terrace, Bailey was able to easily change elevations through design layers — and export it just as easily as one model with those proper elevations left intact. When working with the project Architects, the ability to specify stories in this nature is invaluable.

In a different phase of the project, Ares needed an export option to send files that can be read by other software programs. Nottingham College required COBie data and a Federated Model for their records; the firm was able to submit this information. By using the Object Information Palette (OIP) in Vectorworks, Ares can edit IFC data to ensure it matches the COBie information as required by multiple parties, including Information Managers across the site, the Architects on the project, and the firm’s own landscape architects.

Ares Landscape Architects

© Ares Landscape Architects

Forerunners of the BIM Arena

Ares Landscape Architects was able to meet a government requirement while simultaneously becoming a pioneer in the growing arena of BIM for landscape architecture. Through several helpful toolsets from Vectorworks Landmark, Ares significantly streamlined their workflow with a singular, all-in-one solution. As demonstrated through their work with conceptualizing and planning Nottingham City Hub, Ares proved that integrating BIM is not only possible to achieve expected results, but also has the potential to make a lasting impact on the field — thanks to Vectorworks Landmark.

Student SketchUp for Summer Competition

SketchUp Competition

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

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

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

Submit designs by
August 30th 2019

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

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

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

Previous Winner Chad Slaney’s Perfect Getaway.

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

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

Submit your entries by emailing us
sketchup@cadsoftwaredirect.com

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

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

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