Our Free to Attend 3D Friday is Back this September

3D Friday Event

Interested in how buildings get built?

3D Friday is back, and this time we have Vectorworks joining us for a live demo walking you through a typical architectural design process. Held at Firstsite in Colchester, you’ll also have a chance to get hands on with our Oculus Rift VR set, browse some 3D modelling and CADCAM applications, and more!

20th September 2019 – 1pm to 4pm
Register Now >

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester
Essex, CO1 1JH

Vectorworks Presents “The CUBE”

Architect Product Specialist, Luka Stefanovic, will be on hand showing the process of modeling a project in Vectorworks Architect whilst following UK BIM standards.

In this live demo, you’ll learn about BIM standards and the framework, as well as be guided through RIBA design stages and follow along with a complete typical architectural design process.

The presentation will show various parametric tools, along with some new features from Vectorworks 2019. We might even see a preview of some brand new features ahead of Vectorworks 2020… Once the presentation is over, there will be plenty of time for Q & A, and an opportunity to see what else we have.

Try Virtual Reality with our Oculus Rift

If you want to know how VR can benefit your business, or you just want to see what it’s like for yourself, come on in and have a go! We’ll be showing 360 degree images rendered in V-Ray, as well as some interactive KeyShot scenes.

Learn About CAD CAM for Engineering

If you’re more of an engineer interested in machining parts, we’ll have BobCAD set up as well so you can take a look at how 3D CADCAM makes milling, turning, nesting and more, easier than ever.

20th September 2019 – 1pm to 4pm
Register Now >

Firstsite
Lewis Gardens, High Street Colchester
Essex, CO1 1JH

Win a FREE SketchUp License worth £547!

SketchUp Competition

There’s still time to enter our latest 3D competition with a top prize available for the taking!  Remember, 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.

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.

At Least 15% Off Sale This Summer

15% OFF for Summer

We don’t need any excuse other than the sun being out to celebrate summer with some discounts!

From now until August 30th 2019, we’ve got at least 15% OFF RRP on a wide range of 3D software. Whether you’re in product design, mechanical engineering, visual effects or architecture, you’ll find a good deal.

Save on Altair

Enter SUMMER15 at checkout on Evolve and Inspire.

Leverage solidThinking’s robust solution set for Model-Based Development, Concept Design and Manufacturing Simulation.

Inspire
Powerful and easy-to-use Generative Design/Topology Optimisation and rapid simulation solution for design engineers.

Evolve
A high quality 3D Hybrid Modeling and Rendering environment that enables industrial designers to evaluate, research and visualise designs.

Save on Thea Render

Enter SUMMER15 at checkout on Thea for SketchUp, Thea for Rhino and Thea for Cinema 4D.

Unbiased, Biased and GPU Rendering
Thea Render is a physically-based global illumination renderer of high quality, using state-of-the-art techniques.

Presto Engine
Thea Presto is an advanced rendering engine that has been written from the ground up and is optimised for simultaneous GPU (NVIDIA & AMD) and CPU execution, maximising your computing power.

Save on Maxwell

Enter EXSUMMER15 at checkout on all new licenses of Maxwell V4 including Maxwell for SketchUp, Maxwell for 3ds Max and more.

Non-biased rendering – Maxwell Render Studio is a standalone render engine for making perfect images, films and animations from 3D models. It is the complete solution for anyone who demands immaculate results on a deadline. Maxwell Render is now also available as a plugin for a wide range of modellers. Please visit our Maxwell Render category for more information.

Save on RealFlow

Enter EXSUMMER15 at checkout on all new licenses of RealFlow including RealFlow Cinema 4D, RealFlow 3ds Max and more.

Non-biased rendering – Maxwell Render Studio is a standalone render engine for making perfect images, films and animations from 3D models. It is the complete solution for anyone who demands immaculate results on a deadline. Maxwell Render is now also available as a plugin for a wide range of modellers. Please visit our Maxwell Render category for more information.

Save on formZ

Enter EXSUMMER15 at checkout on formZ Jr and formZ Pro.

Architectural 3D – formZ pro is the full version ready to assist you with all of your 3D modeling needs. Animation, layout, and a customizable interface are all here. If you can imagine a form, you can build it with formZ pro. formZ Pro is a general purpose 3D solids and surface modeler. Not only can you build any form you imagine with formZ, it can also ignite discoveries of forms that you may not have thought of otherwise. formZ, the 3D form synthesizer, is above all a 3D modeling program, even though it also includes drafting, rendering and animation. Additional photorealistic rendering is offered by formZ RenderZone.

Save on BobCAD

Enter SUMMER15 at checkout on BobCAD products including BobCAD Mill and BobCAD Lathe.

CAD-CAM Solutions for Your CNC Business
Faster cuts with a modern interface, BobCAD-CAM is powerful, modular software designed to help shops of all sizes.

CAM Software and Modules
Machine parts faster and easier with BobCAD-CAM. Alternatively, leverage the Solidworks environment with BobCAM for time-saving toolpath capabilities right within Solidworks.

Support & Maintenance
BobCAD-CAM offer a variety of Email, Standard and Premium support packages for both BobCAD-CAM and BobCAM for Solidworks to fit any budget. Advantage Plans are also available to allow you to always work in an up-to-date CAD/CAM development environment. Stay competitive and improve operational efficiency with the most current tool to maximise your investment.

KeyShot Product Rendering Webinar

KeyShot Product Rendering

CGI Pro Tim Feher will take you through the complete start-to-finish process to create amazing product visuals in KeyShot. Register quickly and join in early as space is limited!

Thursday 30th May 2019, 6PM – 7PM BST
Register Now

In this webinar:

  • How to set up your 3D model
  • Creating Environments
  • Add your Cameras
  • Adding Image Styles
  • Bringing it together with Studios
  • The top HDRI Editor tips
  • Using the Material Graph
  • Optimise your render settings
  • Using render passes in post work
  • Q&A

 

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

KeyVR – Interactive VR Experiences for KeyShot

KeyVR

KeyVR from KeyShot is here to make complex visualisation easy and fast.

Virtual reality is an immersive experience inside a computer generated environment. It might have started as a niche product in the gaming industry, but the benefits of VR have now been transferred and proven within business.

Using VR, your business can create true to life simulations in a cost effective and risk free setting which is perfectly suited to architects, interior designers, product designers and more. Imagine being able to build your product in 3D and place it in your clients hands (or put your client right inside your 3D building!) – with VR you can.

KeyVR is virtual reality software that allows you to take a KeyShot scene and generate an interactive experience all with one click. Here, we’re going to take a look at setting up KeyVR, as well as some of the key benefits, potential limitations, and our experience with it. We’re using the Oculus Rift, but KeyVR also works with the HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality.

Our Set Up

To run KeyVR you will need a supported virtual reality kit, as well as a computer to run it that meets specified requirements. For the Oculus Rift, you’re going to need at least:

  • An NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti  / GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470 / R9 290 or greater
  • An Intel i3-6100 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 1x USB 3.0 port and 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Windows 10 OS

Here’s what we used:

  • Oculus Rift including headset and two hand controllers
  • Performance Laptop meeting minimum VR requirements
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 2GB
    • Intel Core i7 @ 2.20GHz
    • 16GB RAM
    • 1x HDMI
    • 3x USB 3.0
    • Windows 10

What often goes unconsidered as well is that you will need some space to move around. The Oculus Rift, for example, requires 1 x 1m of ‘play space’ to work, but 2 x 1.5m is optimal.

If you don’t have the hardware to meet these requirements, you won’t be able to run any virtual reality software and will need to tackle that first.

KeyVR-1

Benefits

KeyVR works both directly from KeyShot, and also as a standalone solution, that requires limited preparation and no coding or scripting knowledge. Simply install the program to your VR enabled computer, load the keyShot file, and off you go.

This is a viewing tool that allows users to explore designs interactively and in a real world context, which is perfect for refining sizes and scales using real world dimensions. Viewing through VR not only gives great scope for analysing buildings, but is also a natural way to find angles for product design shots.

There are even options to choose while viewing the model including material change, environment change, model sets and animations which can all be used to breathe life into your designs.

KeyVR is intuitive and impressive with a certain ‘wow’ factor when clients view projects in virtual reality for the first time. Viewers can explore in a real-world context rather than just looking at a screen, while easily reviewing designs and making model, material and environment variations on the fly.

KeyVR is also GPU powered, so it is capable of loading large data sets to power more complex scenes.

Limitations

The fundamental difference between KeyShot and KeyVR is how the data is visualised to end users. In traditional KeyShot, CPU-based ray tracing is used to produce a photo-realistic image (or depending on the materials, a stylised image, such as with toon shading). KeyVR does not use ray-traced rendering, which improves the frame rate (resulting in little to no risk of motion sickness), but can result in a less realistic visual quality. Scenes will look different in KeyVR compared to rendering with KeyShot due to technical limitations or performance considerations. Some features may also not currently be supported.

There is a fairly high up front cost to get started with virtual reality. You may be able to find other uses for a performance machine in your business, such as rendering and 3D modelling, but you may struggle to find additional uses with a dedicated VR headset to make up for the cost. If you’re planning on regularly using VR though, this is not a problem.

The image resolution isn’t high enough for complete realism yet, though this is not an issue with KeyVR specifically, but the current state of VR headsets. There are some in the works which tout higher resolution to boost the realism, but we’re yet to see actual results.

 

Workflows

A common VR workflow is to model in your 3D application of choice and then import to Unreal or Unity to build a VR experience. Unity and Unreal are great for immersive environments, but will never be the tool for quick decision making. Unity and Unreal are also not built for designers, whereas KeyShot and KeyVR are, meaning you’ll be comfortable using them in no time.

KeyVR is the ideal solution to add to your tool box to quickly view your assets in context without any need for scripting. It complements existing workflows by allowing you to make a decision faster than going into Unity or Unreal first.

KeyVR Designers

Key Points

• KeyVR is not a KeyShot add-on, so KeyShot does not need to be installed for it to work.
• KeyVR opens KeyShot .bip and .ksp files generated from any KeyShot version (KeyShot 8 recommended).
• To export from KeyShot to KeyVR using ‘one-click’, KeyShot 8 is required.
• KeyVR is currently only available as a node-locked license.
• KeyVR will work with any KeyShot edition (PRO, HD, FLOATING, ENTERPRISE). It cannot be licensed or installed as a floating product.
• KeyVR is currently only available for Windows.

 

Our Experience

KeyVR is intuitive and simple, expertly demonstrating the power of virtual reality in a business world. There are some limitations in the hardware, and there is an upfront cost, but the payoff is a leading-edge, exciting and efficient way to show off your designs in their best light.

Are you interested in KeyVR? Whether you’re an expert with VR already in your workflow, or a complete novice still in the evaluation stage, talk to us today about trying the software, and ensuring your hardware is sufficient to provide a great experience.

Webinar: Kubity One-Click 3D Communication

Kubity Webinar

Reimagine your SketchUp and Revit workflow with Kubity.

Webinar Sign Up

Thursday, March 7th 2019 | 2 pm GMT

 

Kubity PRO is a simple plugin that takes your SketchUp models and Revit projects from the desktop to any device without compromising the original file.

Kubity automatically syncs 3D models to your phone or tablet in a single click. Imagine exploring a model onsite with push-button augmented reality, walking through a space with clients in next-gen immersive 1:1 VR, or pulling a model out of your pocket to present in big screen style in seconds.

The webinar is free and will last about one hour, including the Q&A session.

Who should attend?

Architects. Engineers. Designers. Anyone who uses 3D and is looking for cutting-edge communication tools and affordable AR/VR solutions.

Sign Up

Vectorworks Promotion: Make the Switch

Vectorworks Offer - Make the Switch

Forget workarounds and complicated design processes that limit your creativity. If your design software isn’t doing exactly what you need it to, it’s time to move to one that does.

Now’s the time to make the move.

If you’re a new Vectorworks user purchasing a new Vectorworks license, you get a 25% discount PLUS a whole year of VSS absolutely free!

Make the Switch >

This offer is running from February 18th to March 29th

 

KeyShot 8.2 Now Available

KeyShot 8.2

Introducing KeyShot 8.2 which current KeyShot 8 users can upgrade to today for free. If you already have KeyShot 8 installed, you’ll be prompted to update to KeyShot 8.2 when you start up KeyShot. You can also go to the KeyShot Help menu and select Check for Updates… to start the update.

If you’re a KeyShot customer on maintenance subscription or purchased KeyShot 7 after August 15th 2018, you may upgrade to KeyShot 8.2 today using your current serial code.

This update has a focus on improving stability and integration with 3D modeling software, but there are a lot more improvements and important new features as well. Read on for the full list of updates and improvements:

Highlights

  • Offline Rendering Pause
  • Interior mode speed and performance increase
  • Vertical orientation for Presentation Mode
  • Shift-key drag-and-drop to add sub-materials
  • Network Rendering for Linux
  • Alembic Vertex Colour/Deformable Curve support
  • Autodesk Revit 2019 Import
  • Updated SOLIDWORKS integration
  • Updated PTC Creo integration
  • Updated Fusion 360 integration
  • Updated Cinema 4D integration

 

Workflow Performance Improvements

You can expect your workflow in scene setup, material application and rendering to flow much better. Users are now able to pause offline rendering at any time, and if you use interior mode, you’ll notice improved speed and performance. Along with this, there are many, many updates and fixes to the KeyShot UI, making elements and actions more consistent and work how you expect them to.

 

More Network Rendering Options

KeyShot Network Rendering for Linux is here. Both Master and Slave can now be installed on Linux. There’s also a silent installation option for KeyShot Network Rendering on MacOS as well as many more Network Rendering improvements.

 

Increased Integration Capabilities

Perhaps the most input provided by KeyShot users was regarding KeyShot integration with 3D modeling software. Too many updates to list have been made, but the top improvements include optimised and updated SOLIDWORKS integration, direct import of Autodesk Revit 2019 files, and support for Vertex Colour and Deformable Curves included in Alembic output.

 

If you haven’t tried it yet, we invite you to try KeyShot 8 and tell us what you think. If you would like to purchase KeyShot 8 or upgrade your current KeyShot license, simply visit our website, or contact us!