SketchUp 2020 – New Features and How to Get It.

SketchUp 2020

SketchUp 2020 has arrived! Trimble have been watching comments in the forums throughout the year, and discussing ideas during training events to make sure the latest version of SketchUp addresses everything that users want to see out of this new release.

We’ll take a look at what’s new in SketchUp and Layout down below, but first let’s take a look at how you can get your hands on it as an existing user.

If you read just one thing in this post, make it this:
Please ensure that any plugins and renderers you rely on are compatible with SketchUp 2020 before upgrading, and be aware that there is no support for OS X 10.12 (Sierra) any longer. You must use OS X 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer.

With that out of the way…

How Do I Get Started?

Annual Subscription Users
The great news for you is that you’re eligible and are ready to use SketchUp 2020 right away. Simply download the application here. When the application is installed, all you need to do is sign in with your existing credentials.

Classic / Perpetual Licence Users with Active Maintenance
If you have an active Maintenance & Support plan, you will be sent your new SketchUp Pro 2020 licence details within the next few days via email.

Not sure if your maintenance is active? Check here or email us on contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com where we’ll be happy to help.

Network Users
Licences are automatically upgraded to the newer version.

Your old license is marked as “On Hold” in Trimble’s licensing database, and the new license is marked as “Active.”

The SketchUp Pro 2019 network license will remain in the “On Hold” state until a computer is authorised with your new 2020 license information. When this happens, you will have access to both SketchUp Pro 2019 and 2020 for 60 days. After 60 days, you will only have access to SketchUp Pro 2020.

See more about network upgrades here >

So, What’s New in SketchUp?

Introducing a new Outliner
In an effort to increase model performance, you no longer have to create Layers upon Layers – you can manage and organise your model straight within Outliner. Use the eye icon to toggle between the major sections of your model, such as main floor plans and furniture.

New grips on bounding boxes
When you grab a point that is obscured in an object (such as a back corner or centre point) and start to move it, your object will automatically go transparent when something in your model interferes with the object you are moving. This works with both the Rotate tool and Move tool.

Better control of hidden objects
You’ll notice in your drop-down menu that hiding objects are separated from hiding geometry. This will give you the ability to better manage hidden geometry and hidden objects for an even easier modeling experience. For example, now you can hide objects that are nearby (like trees, bushes, or a building) while still being able to edit hidden edges in a landscape or smoothed surface!

Updates to your SketchUp dictionary
There are a few updates to the naming conventions used when talking about SketchUp. This isn’t going to change how you use SketchUp, but we want to make sure you’re up to date with how some things are going to be referred to.

Objects are now a collective term for: groups, components, and dynamic components. Layers are now referred to as “Tags”.

What About Layout?

More power to adjust model views
LayOut now understands a lot more about your SketchUp model and what you’ve overridden. This means you can safely change a style or camera angle directly in LayOut without accidentally losing your changes.

How do you know what’s different in your LayOut viewport versus your model? When you make changes in LayOut, parts of the menu bar will go dark grey, alerting you that you’ve made an override.

Keep in mind – just because you made some changes in LayOut, doesn’t mean you’re stuck with those. You can always re-sync your viewports back to your SketchUp model if needed.

Improved customisation of your drawings
You can now take your LayOut documents to the next level with different models and views. If you have one SketchUp model that exists across several viewports, you can now re-link just one of those viewports to another SketchUp model. Previously, you had to delete that viewport, insert a new SKP model, and reset all your scale settings and viewport sizing.

You also have the ability to toggle Tag visibility within your LayOut document. Now you don’t have to create extra scenes just for your LayOut files, which will save you a lot of time going back and forth between LayOut and SketchUp.

Buy SketchUp 2020 as a perpetual licence, or the SketchUp Subscription 12 month bundle from CAD Software Direct where it is available right now. Not sure if SketchUp is for you? Try SketchUp free for 30 days.

Start Ray-Tracing, Animating, Shading and Rigging with Modo 13.2

Foundry Modo 13.2

What is Modo?

Modo is a creative 3D modeling, texturing and rendering tool available for Mac, Windows and Linux. With Modo, artists can explore and develop ideas without the steep learning curve.

Modo features an artist-friendly set of tools that let you focus on creation rather than construction. The photorealistic viewport, award-winning MeshFusion Boolean toolset, Python and C++ APIs and flexible tool assembly system all mean that you have total control over your projects.

Out of the box, Modo offers modeling, sculpting, texturing, painting and photorealistic rendering in one cohesive, easy-to-use content creation package, with unlimited network rendering capabilities included.

What’s new in Modo?

The Graph Editor has been improved to include velocity and speed curves as well as additional enhancements.

The new Channel Modifier, Twist Extractor, allows riggers to get the twist of a joint relative to its parent.

AxF 1.1 and 1.4 are now supported, allowing more complex materials and presents to be used in an efficient workflow.

mPath is a new renderer in Modo that enhances speed and quality. The new framework lets users take advantage of modern technical advances without sacrificing legacy compatibility.

If you’d like to know more about the latest features in Modo 13.2, click here.

Modo offers a unique combination of robust tools and a flexible system, including integrated sculpting and retopology functionality. With automated options and supported UDIM workflows, you won’t be stuck with tedious UV tasks either thanks to full integration with modeling and selection workflows.

Express your artistic ideas using brush-based sculpting tools to intuitively rough out volumes and add multiple levels of fine detail with speed. Create convincing materials with drag-and-drop presets or the high library of realistic physically-based materials.

Once you’ve constructed your idea, enjoy photorealistic rendering at limitless resolutions and even use network rendering at no extra cost.

Modo is available now as both Modo Perpetual and Modo Annual from CAD Software Direct.

ZBrushCore 2020 Available Now

ZBrushCore 2020

ZBrushCore 2020 is out now, and is available as a free upgrade for registered users! If you’re already a ZBrushCore user, you can upgrade for free here.

What is ZBrushCore?

ZBrushCore is a suite of the most essential elements from the full version of ZBrush. It includes everything that you need to get your start and make your mark in the world of digital sculpting and painting. These features are streamlined into a package that is approachable for artists of all experience levels. With ZBrushCore you can sculpt, paint and create nearly anything you might imagine.

Whatever your experience level, ZBrushCore is so natural to use that it’s almost like modeling with actual clay (without mess, but also with the ability to undo!). ZBrushCore’s powerful toolset will allow you to create amazing details with ease, as well as paint and colour your models exactly as you imagine them.

ZBrushCore 2020 is available to buy now at CAD Software Direct.

KeyShot 9 Feature: RealCloth

KeyShot 9.1

With KeyShot 9, you get access to brand new features including GPU Mode rendering, advanced denoise, fuzz and more.

The webinar below focusses on RealCloth, the tool that lets you create highly realistic woven materials within KeyShot 9. Follow along as Creative Specialist Karim Merchant takes you through the incredible new RealCloth feature and see how you too can render realistic soft goods with ease.

Request a free KeyShot trial today to get started.

Artlantis 2020 is Out Now

Artlantis 2020

The latest version of Artlantis is available, and with it comes a host of new features.

Buy Artlantis 2020

What’s New?

RAL Colours – Artlantis 2020 offers 243 codified colours and tints from the RAL Effect, RAL Design and RAL Classic colour charts, which are the defining paint standards in the world of architecture and building construction.

Denoiser Tool – Decrease or even cancel the noise from your renderings, typically produced by the reflection from shaders. Want a little noise in your image? Decide for yourself to activate this option or not. The Denoiser tool analyses the image’s pixels and reduces the noise.

3D Grass – The integrated Media catalog offers 4 new grass types and 6 updated types of 3D grass enhanced with new settings to adjust the colour of the grass tufts and apply density variations.

Portals Tool – A new optimisation setting for managing light in Artlantis. When using low settings for a fast calculation of your renders, this option improves the lighting of your indoor scenes and removes the noise from the image.

Got an Older Version of Artlantis?

If you’re using a version of Artlantis older than the 2019 release, you can take advantage of an offer to upgrade at a discount before the 31st December 2019.

Upgrade Artlantis

V-Ray Next for Revit is Here

V-Ray Next for Revit

Revit is the latest platform to be upgraded to V-Ray Next, as it has now been announced that V-Ray Next for Revit is available! Architects can now get more creative, using dozens of new features and improvements to produce photo-realistic imagery faster than ever before.

V-Ray Next for Revit is available as a perpetual licence, monthly or annual subscription.

What’s New?

  • New Asset Editor – Create, edit, save and manage V-Ray materials all in one place. Advanced materials give designers even more control when fine-tuning their designs, simplifying the process of recreating real-world materials with complex surfaces.
  • Appearance Manager – Basic Revit assets can now be switched to photo-realistic V-Ray assets at render time to keep BIM models unaffected and clean. 
  • Better Entourage – With .vrscene linking, architects can now quickly populate visualisations with high-quality entourage from any V-Ray product, giving designs a more custom look.
  • Randomise Objects – Add variety to plants and trees by randomising the scale and rotation of V-Ray Proxy and V-Ray Scene instances.
  • Lighting Analysis – Easily evaluate real-world lux values from daylight and fixtures to determine the true illumination levels of a design.
  • Speed Boosts – Rendering speeds are now up to 50 percent faster in V-Ray Next. Improvements to GPU rendering offer another 200 percent, further extended through V-Ray’s new Adaptive Dome Light, which can show improvements up to 2x.
  • Auto Exposure & White Balance – The V-Ray Physical Camera can now set the correct camera exposure and white balance automatically, offering picture-perfect renders every time.
  • Real-Time AI Denoiser – No-input denoising eliminates image noise almost instantly to give an immediate sense of lighting.
  • New Lens Effects – Add an extra touch of photo-realism with the fully redesigned camera lens effects. Simulate real-world bloom and glare; add lens dust and scratches; or get feedback in the Aperture Preview for more refined control.
  • Improved Toolbar – Redesigned icons and features make for a more intuitive user experience.
  • Revit Decals – With full support for Revit Decals, users can now easily render paintings, signs, screens and more.
  • Settings & Work-Sharing – V-Ray settings can now be saved within a Revit project, making it easy to adopt and share the same render settings across teams and projects.
  • Direct Render Saves – A streamlined workflow now allows for direct saves to a Revit project from the V-Ray Frame Buffer.
  • Background Image – Stunning light setups can now be combined with custom background images through a merged dialog, making it easier to separate out different elements of a lighting simulation.

V-Ray Next for Revit is available now at CAD Software Direct as a perpetual licence, monthly or annual subscription.

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 9.1

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.

Maxwell 5 Upgrade Pre-Order

Maxwell 5 Upgrade

Next Limit have launched the Maxwell 5 upgrade pre-order!

This release of Maxwell Render has been long awaited, and you patient Maxwell users deserve an exclusive offer to reward your trust and support.

If you’re an existing Maxwell Render user, you can get a Maxwell 5 license before anyone else, at a never seen before price – it’s the lowest upgrade price ever!

Don’t wait to upgrade. This offer will end whenever Maxwell 5 launches.

Upgrades are sold as individual licenses, and the upgrade price is the same whether you’re upgrading from V4 or even V1!

Upgrade to Maxwell 5