Opening Times and Christmas Deals

Christmas Deals

It’s been another strong year for 3D modeling and rendering. We’ve seen major releases in Vectorworks 2020 demonstrating considerable performance boosts, KeyShot 9 adding GPU rendering and RealCloth, a Maxwell 5 engine re-write built for speed, and so much more than we can list here.

As always, we’d like to extend our sincere thanks to all of our customers and partners for making this another great year, and we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. With both the year and decade drawing to a close, it’s time to send off 2019 in style.

CAD Software Direct Opening Times

Our offices are open as normal on December 23rd, so any orders placed before then will be processed as usual. We will do everything we can to get late orders back to you before the break, and there will be limited order processing between Christmas and the New Year. Otherwise we’ll be back to work and sending out orders first thing on January 2nd.

Christmas and New Year Offers – Up to 50% OFF RRP

Vectorworks

25% OFF All Purchases
Offer until December 31st

Vectorworks Offer

Excludes Service Select renewals, Dongles, Shipping, Reinstatements, and Prorated cost of adding to the service select contract.


Maxwell Render

20% OFF A New Licence
Offer until January 6th

Maxwell Render Offer


Realflow

50% OFF New Licences, 30% OFF Plugin versions
Offer until January 6th

RealFlow Offer


Rhino 6

15% OFF RRP on Rhino 6 Licences and Upgrades
Offer until January 2nd

Rhino Offer


15% OFF the V-Ray + Rhino Bundle
Comes with FREE Affinity Photo
Offer until January 2nd

V-Ray Rhino Bundle Offer


£50 OFF A New ZBrush Licence
Offer until January 2nd

ZBrush Offer


£50 OFF A New Artlantis Licence
Offer until January 2nd

Artlantis Offer


If you have any questions or would like further information, give us a call on 01206 804984 or send an email to contact@cadsoftwaredirect.com

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
from all of us at CAD Software Direct!

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.

V-Ray Next for Revit is Here

V-Ray Next for Revit

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

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

What’s New?

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

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

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.

Webinar: V-Ray for Education

V-Ray for Education

Join this free V-Ray webinar to discover the art of rendering and the career opportunities that lie ahead.

3D Artist Yordan Zarev will host a free student webinar to introduce you to the world of 3D rendering. Join him to discover what rendering is, how it is used in a number of different industries and the fascinating career paths it opens up.

Topics covered will include:

  • What is rendering? 
    You’ll learn what rendering is and be shown what you can achieve with the help of lights and materials. You’ll also get a glimpse of how various industries utilise the power of V-Ray, Chaos Group’s renderer.
  • V-Ray in Education
    Get invaluable insight on how to start with a full set-up without any previous knowledge. Learn how Chaos Group and their trusted partners are helping the education community.
  • Rendering as a tool, rendering as a career
    Learn why rendering skills are important for job hunting, your career opportunities and how to secure your dream job.

 

Session 1
Tuesday 4th June – 10AM – 11AM BST
Register Now

Session 2
Tuesday 4th June – 7PM – 8PM BST
Register Now

V-Ray – Behind the Scenes at Zaha Hadid Architects, Blur Studio and WeWork

Total Chaos

Total Chaos Masterclasses are an incredible opportunity to find out about the technology and techniques the world’s leading studios use to create astonishing content every day.

On May 16, Chaos Group welcome professionals to Sofia, Bulgaria for three Masterclass tracks. Pick from design, VFX or architectural visualisation and deep-dive into industry practices from the likes of the world-renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, Love, Death & Robots VFX firm Blur Studio and startup-nurturing coworking company WeWork — plus many more.

Tickets are selling fast, so secure yours now.

Get Your Masterclass Ticket

 

You can also become a V-Ray Certified Professional (VCP) by attending one of the V-Ray Certification exam sessions. Located in the same venue as the Masterclasses, they’ll run between 5.30 PM and 8 PM.

The VCP exam is now available for both V-Ray 3.0 and Next.

Get Your VCP Exam Ticket

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

Free Webinar: V-Ray Next for Rhino

V-Ray for Rhino

Discover how the powerful new additions in V-Ray Next for Rhino deliver great-looking results right out of the box.

CG Specialist Cory Holm will host a free webinar to show you how these new features can supercharge the design process and boost your productivity. Be sure to secure a seat!

Register Now

What you can expect:

  • Asset library management
  • New Grasshopper functionality
  • New denoising possibilities
  • Scene Intelligence
  • 2x Faster V-Ray GPU
  • Chaos Cloud rendering

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.

V-Ray Next has Arrived for Rhino

V-Ray Next for Rhino

V-Ray Next for Rhino is out now.

If you purchased a new V-Ray 3 for Rhino license after December 1st 2018, you are eligible for a free upgrade to this latest version. If you’re eligible, contact us now! The deadline for this free upgrade is April 1st 2019.

Customers with an active monthly or annual subscription of Rhino, including educational versions, will get the latest release for free as part of the subscription.

Please note that with this release, support for V-Ray 1.5 and 2 has ended. Upgrades from V-Ray 2 have also be discontinued.

What’s New?

  • An array of new tools makes it much easier to manage and render your scenes right within Rhino
  • Superior Grasshopper support – Render your parametric designs directly without needing to bake or export.
  • Keep track of everything and streamline your workflow with the new asset management system
  • Simplified render controls mean less time navigating and more time designing.
  • Enhanced lighting workflows including adaptive learning techniques to render perfectly exposed and colour-balanced images.
  • New materials and textures, as well as support for PBR metallic reflections.
  • Performance optimisations and new shaders increasing render speed up to 50%.
  • The new Nvidia AI Denoiser lets you instantly remove noise from each render element.

V-Ray Next for Rhino is available now at CADSoftwareDirect.com