SketchUp Maintenenace Release 2

Google SketchUp 8 Maintenance Release 2 (M2) is available - here's an overview of what's new.

Support for Mac OS X Lion


SketchUp now officially and fully supports Mac OS X Lion. If you have experienced any of these issues on Lion, then you are sure to benefit from upgrading to M2.

COLLADA Improvements


SketchUp's COLLADA import/export is compliant with 90% of the official COLLADA test suite, but the good news in this release is that SketchUp now preserves texture names in exported files. This should make for a smoother workflow when exchanging models with other applications.

Plugin Installer


SketchUp 8 M2 includes a new "Install Extension" button. The button is located in the Preferences/Extensions dialog. When you press Install Extension, you will be able to select a SketchUp Plugin file (.rbz) to be installed to the Plugins folder. When installed, the plugin becomes immediately available for use.

License Changes and SketchUp Pro Evaluation (Or why you may not want to upgrade right away)

SketchUp Pro has an evaluation period of 8 working hours. In previous versions after you use the 8 hours, the Pro version would automatically revert to the Free version.

Beginning with SketchUp 8 M2, the Pro version simply expires without reverting to the free version. Once expired, you need to download and install the Free version to keep using SketchUp or purchase a Pro license.

However, this change (or some other license change) has also apparently changed the behavior of SketchUp  Pro on a network. According to the comments on the Official SketchUp Blog:

The problem that arises now that you have made Sketchup not automatically switch from Pro to Free is that all of us using a floating license can't run Sketchup 8 at all when the Pro license is in use on another machine. Sketchup 8 would revert to free features when Pro was being used elsewhere in the office allowing us to still be able to work on our models.

What makes this situation worse is that I can't even use Sketchup 8 Free now because it won't allow me to install unless I uninstall Sketchup 8 Pro first. Come on guys, this has got to be fixed!
and

if I open Sketchup 8 Pro using my shared license server, I cannot open another instance of Sketchup 8 on my computer. Being able to open separate files in two Sketchup windows and compare them on two monitors is a must at my office.
If you think these changes will affect your workflow, you are encouraged to contact Google SketchUp Pro Sales. I might also bring it up on the SketchUp Pro Forum so others may benefit from the discussion.

That about covers the big changes in SketchUp 8 M2. I didn't mention the more than 150 bug fixes and performance tweaks, nor the Ruby API changes (which will be covered in another post.)

Please read the Official Google SketchUp Blog, the Release Notes, the SketchUp API Blog, and this SketchUp Forum topic for more detailed coverage and discussion of what's new in SketchUp 8 M2.


LightUp 2.3c

It has been some time since I posted about LightUp. Since then, LightUp has passed version 2 and is currently at version 2.3c sporting many great features and fixes.

From the LightUp site:
LightUp for SketchUp is a SketchUp plugin that adds realistic, realtime lighting to your sketchup models.
Add lights, add windows, and watch your SketchUp scenes glow with gorgeous reflected light, soft shadows, subtle shading. Gone are the flat, boring surfaces of old. When you're ready, you can export you lit model to a compress file containing your Model, textures and Scenes and share it with others using the free LightUp Player or LightUp Web Player.

The new release of LightUp (v2.3) is now available, in demo and retail form.
If you would like to try LightUp yourself, visit the LightUp site for a free 30-day trial, and also the LightUp forum for announcements and support.

New Version of gModeller from greenspaceLive

Derek from greenspaceLive wanted to announce the latest version of gModeller, an energy analysis plugin for Google SketchUp:

greenspaceLive www.greenspacelive.com) are proud to reveal the latest version of gModeller, the only gbXML plug-in for Google Sketchup.

gModeller is a gbXML plug-in for Google SketchUp, and has been very popular within both the SketchUp and gbXML communities for its gbXML functionality. gModeller produces a gbXML file which is useable in many different energy analysis engines including gEnergy, IES, EDSL TAS and TRANE TRACE.

In this new release, gModeller offers to help you move your modelling into the Cloud as gModeller has now been integrated with gWorkspace, greenspaceLive's cloud storage service. gModeller now gives you to the option to backup, store and sync your SketchUp model and gbXML file automatically to gWorkspace within the cloud.

Once you have chosen to use gWorkspace with gModeller, you also now gain access to versioning of your model. gModeller will sync to gWorkspace every x minutes, and each of the previous versions of your model are available.

By using gModeller with gWorkspace, you now gain great productivity. Never again will you lose a model, and, by using gWorkspace's added functionality, you can now access previous versions of your model or gbXML and access them anywhere (provided you have internet access).

In addition to this, gWorkspaces sharing capabilities also allow you to share models with other greenspaceLive users, who you can connect with and share your models, including the latest versions.

gModeller and Google SketchUp just got more powerful.
Thanks, Derek!

WebDialog#set_html fails under Safari 5.0.6

It seems Safari 5.0.6 has broken SketchUp plugins that use the WebDialog#set_html() method. SketchUcation moderator ThomThom has summarized the issue and posted a work-around:

WebDialog.set_html fails under Safari 5.0.6:

Thom has also released an updated TT_Lib2 which resolves the issue for his many plugins.

Self-Serve Google+ Invitations

Google+ is telling me I have 145 invites, so click this link if you're interested.



Today in SketchUpland

Check out Keyframe Animation at its new home at http://regularpolygon.org/


SkIndigo 1.0.15 beta was released today: "Many big changes here including major export speedups. Please consider this a test release. Requires Indigo 3.0.X. "


The SketchUp API Blog is "highly recommending" developers of plugins for SketchUp use the SketchupExtension class for their plugins.


Thomas has recently released a couple of interesting new plugins and updates including Shell and Quad Faces


LimitlessComputing released SightSpace 3D which  "enables mobile viewing of Google SketchUp™ models."


A couple of interesting new plugins under development - bim-tools (scf topic) which creates walls from lines and hopes to be able to export to IFC, and Hatchfaces which applies a hatch pattern as a Group onto faces in SketchUp.


A new plugin by TIG called Drop Verticies allows a multitude of vertex manipulations along SketchUp's Z axis. Supports moving verts to nearest object, nearest below, nearest above, lowest, highest, and more.


And finally, scf user kyyu released a great utilility that limits the available handles when using SketchUp's Scale tool. This is a great help when modeling with lumber and sheet components.

PlayUp - Making it Easy to Make Games

PlayUp, a SketchUp plugin for exporting content to a 3D game engine is under heavier-than-usual development recently. The latest releases include initial support CryEngine 3, as well as bug fixes.

PlayUp - Making it Easy to Make Games - www.PlayUpTools.com

Kerkythea Echo Boost (Release Candidate 2.5.2)

At the end of March, a new version of Kerkythea named "Kerklythe Echo Boost" was announced on the Kerkythea forums.

At last, a release candidate has been release and is available from the Kerkythea Forum.

Please note this version (2.5.2) is not the final, stable relase but a release candidate for people interested in testing the software.

Visit the Kerkythea Forum for more information and download.

SUperPlan: 3D-based Automated Construction Planning for SketchUp

Over the past few years, Mark States (Delivery Simulation Ltd) has been developing an automated construction planning plugin for SketchUp.

The plugin has not yet been released, and Mark is looking for "Quantity Surveyors and/or Construction Planners who use SketchUp (PC preferred to MAC)" who are interested in testing and providing feedback on the plugin.

If you're interested in helping out, please contact Mark at http://www.superplan.info/

[ via SketchUcation ]

Keyframe Animation version 1.3 Released

Version 1.3 simplifies the creation of animations by elimating the need to name and select each target object in the animation. The result is more intuitive and efficient work-flow.



[ via Regular Polygon: Plugin: Keyframe Animation 1.3 ]

New Version of Kerkythea Under Testing

An announcement earlier this month (Mar, 2011) on the Kerkythea Forums brings some great news for Kerkythea users. A new version, named Kerkythea Echo Boost, is currently being tested and will be made available "as soon as possible" according to Kerythea developer giannis:

[the new version] comes with 2 significant improvements: 64-bit builds and speed increase of 50% or more! This is why, we decided to call the new build "Echo Boost".
[ via Kerythea News Forum ]

Fredo6's Curviloft 1.1a (beta)

Fredo6 has released version 1.1 of his Curviloft tools for SketchUp. Curviloft is still considered a Beta release meaning it is not guranteed to be bug-free, but it does include a number of fixes and improvements:

Curviloft 1.1a – 12 Jan 11: Fourth beta version, dedicated to Loft Along Path. Main evolutions are:
  • Some fixes in Loft by Spline and Skinning.
  • Loft Along Path should be functional and handle 1, 2 or more contours with 3 methods: Stretch, Offset and Sweep
  • Two-phase loading of the script
On top of potential bugs and geometry issues (including bugsplats), there are still some limitations and unfinished work:
  • VCB is not active
  • No interactive edition in the floating palette
  • B-Spline and F-Spline do not close nicely in loop mode
  • No later reedition of shape generated (this will come)
  • all texts and labels are not reviewed yet

Note that this release requires LibFredo6 3.6 or higher.




Fredo also updated several other plugins to take advantage of the newer LibFred6 3.4, so you may also want to install these at the same time. I made a short-list of the most recent updates in this SketchUcation topic.




SketchUp 8 M1 (Maintenance Release 1)

Google SketchUp released a Maintenance upgrade for SketchUp 8 yesterday. The upgrade includes a long list of improvements - most notably a fix for the long-standing "Shadow Bug."

Other important fixes will enable Windows users to export images at higher resolutions, and to take advantage of more memory when exporting images. Also on Windows, it is now possible to select a codec when exporting a video.

Mac users will benefit from a number of fixes to the Outliner, Scenes, Add Location, and 3D Warehouse features and dialogs.

View the complete release notes for SketchUp 8 M1, Layout, and Style Builder.

The US English language version numbers for version 8 M1 are:
  • 8.0.4810 (Mac)
  • 8.0.4811 (Win)
 [ via the Official SketchUp Blog ]

SketchUp 8 Free & DWG/DXF

As you probably know, SketchUp 8 Free does not include the ability import/export DXF/DWG files.

Although there are some free and commercial importers/exporters available, none can match the quality of SketchUp's original plugins. Currently, the best way to exchange DWG/DXF with SketchUp is to use SketchUp 7.1 & the DWG/DXF import plugin for SketchUp 7.1 (Free)

Although SketchUp Free 7.1 also does not have the DWG/DXF import/export capabilities, Google SketchUp did release an optional installer which enables it.

As of now, both SketchUp version 7.1 and the optional installer are available for download. Only the Pro version of SketchUp 7.1 is available for download, but that's OK - it will revert to the Free version after 8 hours use, and you will be able to continue using it.

SketchUp 7.1 can be installed along with version 8, and the 2 versions will remain separate. However, if you install version 7 after version 8, you may need to go back and repair the version 8 installation to fix some minor issues (Windows thumbnails, file associations.)

It was also stated on the official Google SketchUp blog that the installer would be available for a limited time, so it's anyone's guess when it will disappear.

Downloads: [ SketchUp 7.1 Pro | DWG/DXF import plugin for SketchUp 7.1 (Free) ]


LightUp v2.0 sneak peek (part 1)

Adam Billyard leaked a little info on the upcoming LightUp v2.0. The update will include not only many fixes and improvements to existing features, but some fantastic new features to make LightUp even more fantastic-er.

Multisampling/Anti-aliasing - v2.0 offers realtime anti-aliasing if your graphics card supports it. LightUp v2.0 and LightUp Player both leverage this GPU feature to produce realtime anti-aliased images. LightUp v2.0 will also use the GPU to significantly accelerate rendering out movie frames.

Animated Dynamic Light Sources - Adding dynamic elements to you model helps produce eye-catching movies and LightUp Player files without requiring complex authoring.

Material by Layer Rendering - New in v2.0 is the ability to render using the SketchUp Color By Layer mode as well as existing normal rendering, lighting-only, and Lux analysis styles.

Styled Edges - LightUp v2.0 introduces realtime styling controls. Your geometry can be outlined with a realtime adjustable edging to complement the lighting you've added to your model.

Visit LightUp Home for more info and images: LightUp - LightUp v2.0 sneak peek (part 1)

3D File Format CheatSheet -

As much as we all love SketchUp, it isn't always the right tool for every job. Designer and educator Evan Troxel has made a really nice 3d File Format Cheat Sheet to help when sending models to other applications.

Cheat Sheet - method digital training for architectural designers

TT's UV Toolkit Plugin Updated to version 2.0.0

Thomas Thomassen has updated his already great UV Toolkit plugin for SketchUp:

Fit Texture to Quad-faces (2.0.0)
Copy UV Co-ordinates
Paste UV Co-ordinates
Allows you to copy the way a texture is mapped on a quad-face to another quad-face. (See video for demonstration.)

Fit Texture to Quad-faces
Will try to fit the texture of the current material onto all quad-faces in the selection. The texture should fit once across the face, no tiling.

  • Select a textured material. (Make it the current one in the Painbucket tool.)
  • Select all the quad-faces you want to apply the texture to. (Anything else will be ignored.)
  • Plugins->UV Toolkit->Fit Texture to Quad-faces

  • The faces has to have only four corners. (Before 0.2.0b a quad-face could only have four vertices.)
  • Orientation is not uniform.
  • Texture is currently mapped to front faces only.


Get it at SketchUcation.com (login required)

Plugin: Construction Line Tool

The Construction Line Tool allows you to draw constructions lines in a similar way as the Pencil Tool.



Toolbar: View > Toolbars > Construction Line Tool
Menu: Draw > Construction Lines

Usage
  • Activate the tool using the Construction Lines Toolbar or Menu item.
  • Use the Ctrl key to cycle thru 3 modes: End-Points, No End-Points, or Infinite Construction Lines.
  • Use the Tab key to cycle thru the 4 line styles (stipple).
  • Use the Shift key to lock inference.


History


2011-01-05
  • Fixed potential bug when using the Measurements Box.
  • Enable/Disable the plugin using SketchUp's Extension Dialog.
  • Tab key cycles thru line stipple instead of raising a dialog. Watch a partially drawn line to see the stipple change.

2010-02-17 - Version 1.0
  • Added infinite Construction Line creation. Hit Ctrl again to cycle.
  • Added selecting the 4 Construction lines types available in SU.
  • Fixed clipping on start-up.
  • Created a Windows Installer.
  • Changed the name of the Toolbar to JF Tools. (Sorry!)

2009-07-12 - The construction points are not overlayed added. (Henry Schorradt)
07/19/08 - Use the Ctrl key to toggle creation of construction points. Modify length of last drawn line in VCB.
06/09/08 - Updated to draw the lines in the current active context - when editing a Group, for example. Thank again, John.

06/08/08 - Updated to use John Clements' Toolbar icon
Thanks John!
02/14/08 - Added a Toolbar button for convenience.
02/22/08 - Fixed small bug ($exString undefined)
03/02/08 - Added a better Toolbar icon. Added a 'clinetool' folder for the images.

Download






Download clinetool.zip

Image of file hierarchy in the Plugins folder:


Plugin: Ruby Toolbar

This Windows-only plugin creates a Toolbar for controlling the Ruby Console

It can open and close the Ruby console, clear the console, load a ruby script, reload the last script, and browse the Plugins folder.

Updated Jan 11, 2011
  • Remembers most recently used folder and file between SketchUp sessions.
If anyone is feeling generous, I could really use a set of nice-looking button images in a consistent theme. I threw the current images together from free images I found online.


----

Update Jan 5, 2011
  • Changed Toolbar name from "Ruby Console" to "Ruby Toolbar"  ( TT )
  • Wrapped in additional module namespace RubyToolbar
  • Made to use SketchUp's Extensions Dialog
  • Use $suString.GetString to get proper "Ruby Console" name string.
  • Better check if TB was previously visible.
  • Use UI.start_timer to restore Toolbar.
 ----


Installation
  • Download rubytoolbar.zip
  • un-zip the archive to your Sketchup/Plugins folder, and re-start SketchUp. The extracted files should be located as in the following image:


Installation files relative to the Plugins folder:




The First SketchUp Sunday Social (SUSS)

Rich Morin and Thomas Thomassen are organizing a SketchUp/Ruby developers IRC chat for this coming Sunday.


Thomas (ThomThom) and I would like to invite you to the first SketchUp Sunday Social (SUSS):

Date/time: Sunday, 2011.0109
1000-1200 (PST - CA, USA)
1800-2000 (GMT)

Venue: sketchup-dev (irc.freenode.net)

Agenda:

* introductions and chatter
* optimization techniques
* Best Practices in plugins

As the acronym hints, SUSS is supposed to help us suss out how to solve SketchUp programming problems.
However, it’s also supposed to be a way for us to meet each other, hear about events and gossip, etc.
Hope to see you there!
Hope to see YOU there. (join #sketchup-dev channel via qwebirc)

Plugin: Jitter

Update Jan 3, 2011 Minor Update; Thanks to ThomThom
  • Internal changes which should speed it up a bit.
  • Works on geometry selected within a Group or Component.

Jitter randomly moves the vertices of the selection. Jitter operates on vertices, but you can select any combination of faces and edges.

Menu: Plugins/Jitter

Use: Select a collection of Faces and Edges, select Jitter from the menu. Large selection may take a long time.




Download

jitter.rb <- Right-click this link and save the file to your computer. Move the file to your Plugins folder, then restart SketchUp.

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