Corona for SketchUp – What Happened?

Corona for SketchUp

While the latest news surrounding Corona for SketchUp may have been announced way back in 2018, we are still seeing search activity on Corona for SketchUp. Here’s a little bit about what happened, and some alternative suggestions.

In early 2018, the team behind Corona admitted that the SketchUp plugin was not successful due to a small team of developers undertaking work before moving on to other projects. Little progress was made and some development roadblocks surfaced, which combined with limited manpower dedicated to the plugin, pulled the project to a halt.

It was around this time as well that Chaos Group released version 3.6 of their highly successful V-Ray for SketchUp plugin. After seeing where their own project was at, and comparing it to Chaos Group’s offering, the Corona developers decided it best to concentrate their efforts into Corona for 3ds Max and Corona for Cinema 4D – especially as the Corona team have since joined to become part of Chaos Group themselves.

It is a possibility that a unified API for Corona and V-Ray, or a universal export format may appear at some point, but this is far from an official plan so don’t hold out hope on this one.

Corona for SketchUp Alternatives

Fortunately, there are a wealth of renderers for SketchUp.

V-Ray for SketchUp offers easy photo-realistic rendering for artists and designers in architecture, interior design, film and games design as well as visual effects and much more.

Maxwell Render is available as a plugin for SketchUp as well as a standalone package. Maxwell Render provides unbiased rendering for stunning lighting and realism.

KeyShot is a standalone render that can be used with SketchUp files. This is ideal for photo-realistic product shots.

If you’d like to know more about which render is best for you, contact us or find out more at CAD Software Direct.

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

KeyShot 2019 Render Competition

KeyShot 9 Competition

For the month of December KeyShot are hosting the 2019 Holiday Render Competition! This is your opportunity to create an amazing KeyShot scene using the all-new features in KeyShot 9. To be in with the chance of winning, make use of these brand new features including:

  • RealCloth that brings you creation and visualisation of realistic woven materials.
  • Fuzz that allows you to add any amount of fuzz or fur (or tinsel!) you need to the surface of any object.
  • Contour Texture that lets you add an illustration-like effect on top of real-world materials such as metal or plastic.
  • 3D Model Library that provides high-quality, specially curated 3D models to complement the products in your scene.

You can even use the new Web Configurator, Animation Curve Control, Substance Painter Import, and VStitcher Integration, plus the new GPU support and Denoise to render it all out.

The top 3 finalists will receive big KeyShot prizes!

Entry Requirements

– Create your visual using one of the new features listed above.
– Use a seasonal theme of the Winter Holidays (i.e. Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years).
– All rendering and/or animation must be done in KeyShot 9.
– Screenshots, fully rendered images, animations or KeyShotXR’s and Configurators may all be submitted.
– Submit your entry on the ‘2019 KeyShot Holiday Render Competition’ forum board
– Multiple entries are acceptable
– Post edits are acceptable
– The competition is open to everyone
– Team entries are welcome – prize will be transferred to team leader

Render Output Specification:
Resolution: 16:9 Ratio (at or above 1920×1080) and/or 1:1 (1080×1080)
Filetype: .jpg, .png, .mp4, .avi, .html

Need A Licence To Enter?

If you need a licence for the competition, you can request a trial here:
https://www.cadsoftwaredirect.com/request-keyshot-trial

Extra Details

With your submission, mention what modeling software or other tools were used. Provide credit to where you downloaded or who created any supporting models as well. If post editing is done, show a before and after!

Luxion retains the right to use any image or animation submitted for purposes of promotion and marketing. All rights to the image belong to the person creating the image and attribution will be given when an image is used. Additional requests for use of render or animation files may be requested of the user via email.

Luxion’s Judging Criteria:
The entries will be judged on three criteria:

Innovation – How is it being used? What is the application?
Creativity – What is the content? What materials/lighting?
Execution – How was KeyShot used? How is the experience?

Prizes:
3x Grand Prizes  – KeyShot Pro (worth £1,520 each!)
3x 1st Place Prizes – KeyShot HD (worth £760 each!)
Honorable mentions (up to 10) – KeyShot Prize Pack (t-shirts, mug, etc.)

Deadline:
Tuesday, December 31st 11:59 PST (7:59 GMT)

Announcement:
The winner will be announced Tuesday, January 14th on the KeyShot website, forum and social media sites.

The contest is already open and ends
Tuesday, December 31st.

Cyber Monday Deals Now Live

Cyber Monday

Black Friday might be behind us, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still deals to be had. If anything, these are even better! Check out the links below and grab a big discount.

20% OFF New Licenses, Upgrades and Add-Ons
Offer until 6th December

Enter CMKEYSHOT at Checkout!

KeyShot Offer

Excludes EDU and Maintenance products. KeyShot for ZBrush not included.


Vectorworks

40% OFF perpetual licenses when purchased with Service Select
Offer until 5pm Tuesday December 3rd

Contact Us for the Vectorworks Offer

Those who have previously purchased a Vectorworks licence or Vectorworks Service Select maintenance agreement are ineligible.


First introduced on Black Friday, these deals below expire today so now is your last chance!

Next Limit

20% OFF All New Licenses / 10% OFF All Upgrades
Maxwell Render and RealFlow
Ends 5pm Today


SketchUp

15% OFF MSRP on SketchUp Annual Subscriptions
Ends 5pm Today

Enter BFSKETCHUP at Checkout

SketchUp Offer

If you’d like more information about any of the deals, email us on contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com

Black Friday is Here (and Cyber Monday on the way!)

Black Friday

It’s that time of year again, and there’s some big discounts to be had this time around. Take a look below for what’s available right now.

20% OFF All New Licenses / 10% OFF All Upgrades
Maxwell Render and RealFlow
Offer until 5pm Monday 2nd December


SketchUp

15% OFF MSRP on SketchUp Subscriptions
Offer until 5pm Monday 2nd December

Enter BFSKETCHUP at Checkout!

SketchUp Offer

Save 15% on Trimble’s MSRP when purchasing up to 5 new SketchUp Pro annual termed subscription seats. Discount only applies to the first year term. Offer available until 03.12.19 06:59 (UTC) through participating resellers only. The promotion does not apply to previously placed orders. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer. Not valid for SketchUp Pro Classic licenses or any other SketchUp license type, Maintenance & Support fees, or Reinstatement fees. Valid in UK and Ireland only. Non-transferrable.

Trimble Inc. reserves the right to cancel or modify part or all of this promotion at any time without notice, for any reason in its sole discretion.


Image result for cinema 4d logo

10% OFF a 1 year or more Subscription of Cinema 4D
Offer valid November 29th only

Contact Us for the Cinema 4D Offer

As for Cyber Monday, December 2nd, watch our blog, social channels and website for deals you won’t want to miss on Vectorworks and KeyShot.

If you’d like more information about any of the upcoming deals, or would like to be notified, email us on contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com

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.

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.