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

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.

What’s New in Vectorworks 2020?

New in Vectorworks 2020

Vectorworks 2020 has arrived, and this release focuses on design with a new perspective while benefiting from improved software performance, quality enhancements, and streamlined new workflows.

If you’re already a Vectorworks Service Select member, you can download your upgrade to the latest version today. Log in to the Service Select Portal to access Vectorworks 2020 and get started now.

Fundamentals (and all Design Series)

  • History-Based Modeling
  • Vectorworks Graphics Module Improvements

The improvements will hide covered objects, auto-reduce meshes, and simplify the level of detail on native objects. Enjoy faster file navigation, view changes, tool operations, more responsive models, and the ability to handle much larger projects.

  • List Browser Direct Editing
  • Widget Groups
  • DXF/DWG Improvements
  • Walk-through Animation

Transform walkthrough paths and camera movements into professional real-time animations that are significantly easier to accomplish. You can even create 360 panoramas with just one click.

Architect

  • Live Data Visualisation
  • GIS Improvements

After selecting an appropriate coordinate system in the Vectorworks file, you can accurately geolocate your project by simply entering an address. Instantly incorporate street map, satellite, or other imagery in your design through ArcGIS and WMS servers.

  • IFC Referencing
  • Great Section Views
  • Data Tag Improvements

New options for tag scaling, new tag fields, direct editing of tags, and a new worksheet function all provide greater automation and control of the information displayed in your project’s documentation.

Spotlight

  • Schematic Views
  • Detailed Seating Sections
  • Video Camera Object

You can define the camera by selecting the body type, lens type, stand, etc. You can also activate the camera’s viewfinder to verify the placement of your cameras in your design.

  • DMX Patching
  • Hinged Trusses
  • Braceworks Improvements
  • Vision Heat Map

A one-of-a-kind feature in a previz application, Vision 2020 creates coloured or monochrome heat maps based on the generalised intensity and range of a fixture — giving you a better understanding of different scenarios your design can undertake in your previz workflow.

Landmark

  • Hardscape Alignment

With customisable approaches to modelling hardscapes, you can now use the 3D geometry of other features to align and conform hardscape objects to 3D polygons, grade objects, roadways, or other hardscapes, making it possible to design paved surfaces to drain properly, align to other paved surfaces, and be accurately modelled and perfectly controlled.

  • Live Data Visualization
  • GIS Improvements
  • Revit Export
  • IFC Referencing

With a new ability to reference IFC files, say goodbye to the cumbersome, manual process of reimporting IFC files from consultants who make changes.

New Solutions to Work Faster and Smarter

“Data and usability are the cornerstones of this year’s product line enhancements,” said Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar. “When we looked at the future of the industry and what our customers’ needs were, we kept coming back to data, particularly data-driven insights. Vectorworks 2020 is centered around providing our customers with intuitive ways to use the powerful tools of our products, while also offering more practical ways to incorporate the use of data for an improved and insightful design workflow.”

If you’d like to know more about Vectorworks, email us on contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com, or give us a call on 01206 804984. If you’d like a free 30-day trial, click here to request a free Vectorworks 2020 Trial.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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

V-Ray Next for SketchUp – Hotfix 1 Released

V-Ray Next for SketchUp

V-Ray Next for SketchUp has just been updated with a number of bug fixes and feature enhancements to improve your rendering experience, including:

  • Optimised Scene Management – The entire asset management system has been optimised and made more reliable. You’ll find it easier to work on heavy scenes with a large number of assets and complex shading networks.
  • Improved V-Ray Scene Importer – Reliably import models using multi-materials created in 3ds Max.
  • Improved stability – This update fixes specific workflows related to loading V-Ray 3 projects, using settings preset files, overriding materials, texture colour space management and more.
  • Further improvements – Including better compatibility with some of the most popular SketchUp plugins.

Update Now

Read on for the full changelog:

Installation & Licensing

  • The Chaos Group License Server is updated to version 5.2.2
  • The installer now properly sets and displays a primary remote server IP address and port number – 127.0.0.1:30304

Workflow Improvements 

  • The entire asset management system is optimised and made more reliable. This affects asset creation, renaming, deletion, referencing, etc. The optimisations are most obvious in heavy scenes with big number of assets and complex shading networks
  • Render element assets are no longer deleted when the category is active and the Purge function is used. Use the multi-selection functionality to quickly delete a batch of elements
  • The Z Depth render element ‘Depth from Camera’ parameter is removed
  • The VFB Render Progress window now receives and can display log messages that have been sent before its first initialisation

Other Changes & Bug Fixes

  • Saving and loading projects no longer resets the Colour Space of all textures to the default sRGB option. Using the File Path Editor no longer changes the colour space either
  • The asset preview render process can now be restarted if it stops responding. Make sure to stop and restart the interactive preview (using its toolbar stop/start button) in the unlikely event this happens
  • The fresnel opacity of newly created Reflection material layers is now correctly displayed in the asset preview swatch
  • Invalid material or texture references can now be successfully cleared from the slot’s context menu
  • Creating a proxy from big number of SketchUp components or component instances now shows accurate progress in the Export Proxy window
  • An issue with a Water textures used in a bump slot is resolved. Negative texture values are now properly handled
  • All V-Ray taskbar processes are grouped and displayed under the SketchUp Windows taskbar icon. This applies to the Asset Editor and the V-Ray Frame Buffer window
  • VRscan materials are now correctly sized and properly affected by the SketchUp material scale. A helper texture is displayed in the viewport to ensure this. Texture Placement parameters are now listed for every VRscan in it’s Asset Editor properties panel
  • The way VFB Colour Corrections are saved within SketchUp projects is updated and made more reliable
  • A number of issues related to V-Ray 3 scenes loading and upgrading are resolved
  • A number of issues related to .vropt (render settings) files loading are resolved
  • The Purge Unused Assets function no longer causes issues on MacOS
  • Materials incorrectly saved with older V-Ray versions no longer cause issues when loaded in Next
  • A number of issues related to complex texture hierarchy manipulation and deletion are resolved
  • The Batch Cloud rendering functionality is temporarily disabled. Once a Chaos Cloud platform-side update is implemented, the feature will be re-enabled. Our main goal is to provide a system that warns users for possible issues with their batch cloud jobs(like missing external file assets, for example), letting them resolve the problem before the rendering starts
  • Images imported through the SketchUp native Import no longer produce problematic V-Ray materials. Scenes containing such images saved with previous V-Ray version no longer cause issues when rendered in Next
  • A number of issues with badly serialised V-Ray component data are resolved. A more detailed error message is displayed and a better log file is created, letting us easily identify any further problems
  • Deleting Fur, Clipper or Mesh Light widgets from a group is now reliably handled during Interactive Rendering
  • A number of issues preventing the V-Ray Asset Editor from being populated with assets on specific scene load are resolved
  • The V-Ray Scene Importer now reliably imports models using multi materials exported from 3ds Max. The material ID assignment in 3ds Max results in a single object group in SketchUp with different materials applied to the corresponding faces
  • The Scene Interaction Tool now works reliably with obstructed light widgets
  • Deleting multiple materials at once no longer produces Ruby errors and warnings
  • Using the Scene Interaction Tool before the previous action is completed no longer prints Ruby errors
  • Skatter Proxy geometry materials render correctly when using the ‘Render only’ mode. Regeneration no longer causes Ruby errors
  • A geometry instancing optimisation is implemented for Skatter objects with the ‘Render only’ mode enabled. This ensures that rendering a big number of instances is done in the most memory-efficient way
  • The way the SketchUp default material is handled by V-Ray is improved preventing incorrect lighting in specific situations
  • Activating Material Override during Interactive rendering now reliably affects all scene materials that have their ‘Can Be Overridden’ option enabled
  • Changing the SketchUp material Opacity value automatically disables the synchronisation with the V-Ray material refraction. This allows for custom opacity manipulations in the viewport without affecting the rendered result
  • V-Ray material refraction no longer resets in specific situations when the SketchUp scene is saved and reloaded
  • The Z Depth render element tooltips are fixed
  • All Smoke texture parameters are now properly named
  • Repathing files with a Windows path on MacOS no longer causes issues
  • The migration (gamma management) of render elements from scenes saved with V-Ray 3 is improved

Update Now

V-Ray Next for Katana: Hotfix 1 Released

V-Ray Next

V-Ray Next for Katana has just been updated with a number of important fixes to improved your rendering experience.

Update Now

Directional preview for LightRectangle
It is now possible to view the directional cone in the viewport, making it easier to control the spread of the light.

Added export .vrscene files in batch mode
You can now submit render jobs to V-Ray Standalone-based render farms.

VRayVolumeGrid
A rendering slowdown has been fixed that affected the V-Ray Volume Grid. Your render speeds are now back to normal!

For the full changelog, click here.