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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Vectorworks Render Quality – Architect

Vectorworks Render Quality

Unlike a lot of 3D applications, Vectorworks features a high quality renderer built in and included as standard. Whether you’re creating OpenGL, draft or final quality renderings, you’ve got all the tools you need straight out the box.

If you’re ever in any doubt as to just how good Vectorworks renders can look, see below for a selection of renderings created using Vectorworks Architect:

Astor

© Astor | Courtesy of Osar Architects

Astor

© Astor | Courtesy of Osar Architects

Impress clients with your renders by adding realism without big time investment. For example, working with Depth of Field and adjusting F-Stops will create a realistic focus distance and add the right amount of blur to contrast your focal points. Once you’ve worked on your lighting, a bit of lit fog (if relevant to your scene) can add an extra layer of depth as well.

Scott Sports

© Scott Sports SA Headquarters | Courtesy of Itten+Brechbühl AG

A high quality render requires high resolution. Be sure to change the web standard 72dpi to at least 300dpi for quality good enough to print.

Pontoon Dock

© Pontoon Dock | Courtesy of Assael Architecture

Lighting can make all the difference when looking for quality in a render. If you’re willing to exchange a little render time for better quality, enable indirect lighting and ambient occlusion. Glowing textures and lights will bounce around the scene and create a more cohesive environment.

ZAC Masséna

© Hamonic+Masson Associés

ZAC Masséna

© Hamonic+Masson Associés

ZAC Masséna

© Hamonic+Masson Associés

BIM models are often designed for the technical benefits they provide, but these same BIM models can be used to great effect in presentations and visualisations for clients when selling and articulating creative concepts. Vectorworks helps you turn your 3D data into stunning images to win more business.

Villanova Icône

© VILLANOVA ICÔNE |Hamonic+Masson Associés

Buy Vectorworks now at CAD Software Direct.

30% OFF New Maxwell Render Licenses – Very Limited Time Offer

Maxwell Render

The International Day of Light is held on May 16th every year to commemorate the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. This year, we’re celebrating the International Day of Light with a big discount on the most precise lighting software around.

New licenses of Maxwell Render purchased on May 16th or 17th will get a 30% discount when MAXWELL30 is entered at checkout.

Get the Discount >

 

Maxwell 4 | SketchUp 2019 is Here.

Maxwell SketchUp

Maxwell 4 | SketchUp 2019 is officially here to give you the best of Maxwell for SketchUp. You can even get 10% OFF Maxwell at CAD Software Direct throughout April.

Maxwell for SketchUp

Maxwell for SketchUp is really simple to set up – just install the plugin and you’re off. Maxwell | SketchUp offers seamless integration with SketchUp Pro, allowing you to work comfortably within the SketchUp interface.

Maxwell has been specifically designed for rendering in SketchUp with a simple yet comprehensive toolbar, giving you advanced Maxwell Render technology in a simple, self-contained package.

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!