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.

KeyShot 8.1 Released – Available Now

KeyShot 8.1

KeyShot 8.1 focuses on stability, feature updates and new usability features to improve output, issue reporting and the visual creation workflow.

Just over a month ago, KeyShot 8 was a pivotal release introducing features like displacement mapping, bubbles, flakes, interactive image colour and intensity curve adjustments, and much more.

KeyShot 8.1 follows quickly on the heels of that release to introduce 16-bit PSD output, in-view indicators for geometry shader, full-resolution HDRI update, in-app problem reporting, and invert selection capabilities, along with many other improvements and bug fixes. Head to the bottom of this post to see the full release notes.

Current KeyShot 8 users can update to 8.1 for free starting today. If you already have KeyShot 8 installed, you’ll be prompted to update, or you can also go to the KeyShot “Help” menu and select “Check for Updates“.

If you purchased KeyShot 7 after August 15th 2018, you’re also entitled to a free upgrade to 8.1 by using your current serial code.

You can view the release notes below, but in the meantime, don’t forget that we have great deals on KeyShot starting November 26th through to November 30th across new licenses and upgrades. View our KeyShot Deals blog post.

Release Notes

New Features

  • In-app Problem Reporting. Presented automatically when a crash dump is detected or accessed via Main menu > Help.
  • 16-bit PSD Format for Still Images, Animation Frames, and Configurator output.
  • In-view indicator button to Execute Geometry Nodes when change is detected.
  • In-view indicator button to Generate Full-Resolution HDRI when change is detected.
  • Invert Selection command in right-click context menu of Real-time View and Scene Tree.

Improvements

  • Added five new splash screens.
  • Added “Add Geometry Node” button on ribbon in Material Graph.
  • Added a Label input indicator on the Material Graph root node.
  • Execute Geometry Nodes button in material properties now only affects that material.
  • Improved Displacement mesh quality. Resolution is now Triangle Size with option to define by units or pixels.
  • Added unique icons for Bubbles, Flakes, and Displace.
  • Added Seed for Flakes and Bubbles.
  • Added support for multi-selection of objects in Cutaway > Add Excluded Objects dialog.
  • Added support for object outlines when selecting Excluded Objects in Cutaway properties.
  • Added pointer support for Spotlights in the Geometry View.
  • Now supporting Move Tool hotkey in Geometry View.
  • Added a right-click context menu to the Image Styles list.
  • Now retaining Photographic-specific Image Style values when toggling to Basic.
  • Added message when “Use GPU” is disabled and Photographic Image Style Mode is enabled.
  • Now automatically enabling Accurate Tessellation on Import of Datakit formats for periodic surfaces i.e. springs, screws to improve mesh quality.

Noteworthy Bug Fixes

  • Fixed issue with Bubbles applied to geometry with per-triangle vertex normals or no normals i.e. C4D, 3ds Max, Maya, ZBrush.
  • Fixed UV meshes with custom UV layout and Displacement.
  • Fixed Geometry Nodes respecting disabled state.
  • No longer showing Splash Screen as top-most window.
  • Now ignoring Show Only Hotkey when Mapping Tool is open.
  • Fixed radio buttons in Move Tool dialog.
  • Now using fixed format for Render Layers output format is set to PSD.
  • Fixed crash when loading scene with Motion Blur.
  • Fixed error in node type changes in the Material Graph.
  • Fixed removal of discarded sub-materials from Material Graph.
  • Fixed occasional crash when removing Multi-Material.
  • Fixed issue with lost material name when toggling Multi-Material.
  • Fixed crash when assigning Curve Color Randomizer to a geometry node.
  • Fixed crash when loading large .png in Library.
  • Fixed error when right-clicking on Free Camera is scene tree.
  • Fixed selection in pivot move tool dialog.
  • Fixed performance of Project > Materials list with many materials in scene.
  • Fixed loss of textures with same name in different folders when saving .ksp.
  • Fixed FOV not being saved with camera.
  • Fixed Global Illumination Quality when using Custom Control with Global Illumination Cache disabled.
  • Fixed extraction of .hdz from KeyShot 6.3.
  • Fixed corruption of KeyShot 6 color library when loading into KeyShot 8.
  • Fixed dielectric-based material Cutaway Caps.
  • Fixed tiling in ground shadows visible through cutaway object.
  • Fixed Cutaway color caps when camera is inside Cutaway object.
  • Fixed Glass and Thin Film as Excluded Objects for Cutaway.
  • Fixed issue with Color Cutaway Caps in Interior Mode.
  • Fixed issue with hot pixels caused by Cutaway on Windows.
  • Fixed Move Control Point for Camera Path animation.
  • Fixed flicker when moving Animation Wizard.
  • Fixed dataloss when cancelling Re-Tessellation.
  • Fixed issue with non-default location for KeyShot 8 Resources folder.
  • Fixed issue Rendering KeyShotXR via scripting with Add to Queue to Send to Network.
  • Fixed issues with import settings when using scripting to import.
  • Fixed issue with Queue thumbnail when Add to Queue from Options.
  • Fixed issue pasting a copy into a Model Set.
  • Fixed quality of image-based HDRIs with HDRI Editor Adjustments applied.
  • Fixed gamma handling of colors saved from the color picker to the Library.
  • Fixed Delete key in Scene Tree.
  • Fixed crash with Copy/Paste Position.
  • Fixed blur when rendered in Background mode.
  • Fixed KeyShotXR flicker in Microsoft Edge.
  • Fixed Zoom buttons for the Project > Materials list.
  • Fixed Exit button visibility in Compact Presentation Mode.
  • Fixed Preferences > Screenshot > Quality slider.
  • Fixed text visibility for Studios in Presentation Mode.
  • Fixed Parent/Component tab text when single top level titles are hidden.

Maxwell for 3ds Max 4.2.3 is Available Now

Maxwell V4 3ds Max

Maxwell for 3ds Max users can update for FREE from the Customer Portal:

https://portal.nextlimit.com/downloads

What’s New in 4.2.3?

Fixed:

  • Maxwell was not available as render engine in 3dsmax 2015 or older.
  • Maxwell Parameters camera panel was missing from Target and Free cameras.
  • The channels’ output formats were including HDR and BMP, which are not supported by Maxwell; it was saving the channels as EXR. Now those formats are not available.
  • Some of the channels’ output formats were not showing in their drop-down menus in Windows 7, as they didn’t fit in the box.
  • 3dsmax was crashing when the Object Properties dialogue was called and Maxwell was not the current render engine.
  • Scenes made with the previous versions of the plugin were not opening in 4.2.2. Now they will. (WARNING: please, notice that most probably the scenes saved with version 4.2.2, which was removed from downloads, won’t open in 4.2.3; the ones made with 4.2.1 and older will)
  • The interface of the new Material Preview Options in the Material Editor, was a bit misaligned and too tight on the sides.
  • 3dsmax 2019 was getting frozen when previewing Maxwell Bitmap in Material Editor in Slate mode and in some particular cases.
  • MxLight target line was disappearing from viewport as soon as the Mxlight gizmo was moved out of the viewport.
  • Some lines in MxLight Projector Gizmo were showing too big or too small depending on the units used in the scene.
  • The radius of the MxLight, Area type, with Geom set to Sphere was not changing in the render according to the radius shown in viewport.

Improved:

  • The falloff and highlight cones of the MxLight Spot type won’t show in the viewport when the light is not selected (so the viewport is cleaner and ligther).

Interested in trying Maxwell? Download the trial here:

http://www.nextlimit.com/maxwell/try/

 

Maxwell Render is available for purchase at CAD Software Direct.

formZ 8.6.3 Update

V-Ray for formZ

We are pleased to announce that form•Z 8.6.3 update is now available for formZ pro and formZ jr.

If you are using v8.6.2 or v8.6.1, you can update your installation by selecting “Check for Update” from the Help menu within form•Z. You can read more about what has changed in the release notes.

If you are using v8.5 or v8.6.0 (or if you experience issues with the software update feature because of a firewall or other connection issue), you will need to install from here:

Click Here for formZ pro | Click Here for formZ jr

 

V-Ray for form•Z image nominated for CGArchitect Architectural 3D Award

Congratulations to TILTPIXEL on their nomination for a prestigious CGArchitect Architectural 3D Award. Their stunning image of the Harbin Opera House by M.A.D. Architects was modeled in form•Z and rendered with V-Ray for formZ.

V-Ray for formZ brings unprecedented rendering capabilities to formZ with superior results in less time. V-Ray for formZ is integrated naturally into the formZ interface allowing rendering to be a part of the creative process.

V-Ray for formZ features GPU and CPU based rendering, a vast material library, stunning lighting effects, stereo and VR headset support, multiple rendering channels, powerful de-noising and so much more.

Maxwell Render Now Compatible with ArchiCAD 22

Maxwell ArchiCAD 22

Maxwell V4 users can update for free from the customer portal.

If you haven’t tried Maxwell Render yet, you really should! Download the trial at http://www.nextlimit.com/maxwell/try/

You can also buy Maxwell Render at CAD Software Direct. Remember, we’ve also got the Summer Price Drop until August 31st – so now is a great time to get Maxwell Render!