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SketchUp: The Latest Architecture and News

Six Tips for Creating Compelling Design Proposals

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Most architects are looking to win more work; not just higher-paying projects but those that allow them to unleash their creativity and passion. These opportunities can be won or lost on a professional's ability to communicate their design vision — so the proposal has to be on point. These tips from leaders in the design field can help architects win bids and create their dream projects. 

4 Essential Elements of Site Analysis

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Site analysis is a crucial first step in creating a viable building design. Considering site location, topography, zoning regulations, traffic conditions, and climate allows a designer to maximize opportunities and anticipate potential issues. The following four factors are crucial in getting the most value out of site analysis.

Cutting-edge D5 Render now available in UK and Ireland through Elmtec

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D5 Render SketchUp Extension | Elmtec SketchUp, a real-time renderer for digital designers, brings a whole new layer to the industry thanks to cutting-edge technologies, making it easier to render ultra-realistic images with real-time raytracing, creating a transformational movement within the design industry. From 28th September 2021, Elmtec is the official distributor for D5 Render in the UK and Ireland.

How to Communicate your Design Intent Through Visualization Styles

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Creating a compelling visualization that communicates your design intent and gets stakeholders on board is no easy feat. While designers have plenty of visualization tools to deploy— from powerful rendering engines to the simplicity of pen and paper — there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to visualization. As your design evolves, you may need multiple renderings at various levels of detail. 

According to Jim Kessler, Director of the Visual Media Group at Jacobs, "When a design is in flux and conversations with the clients are taking place, a photorealistic rendering signals completion of the project and that design changes are no longer possible. Whereas, a non-photorealistic rendering visual suggests a sense of flux and has a huge artistic element to it, which architects gravitate towards."

6 Easy Tutorials for Better SketchUp Renders

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V-Ray is an incredibly powerful renderer — but it’s also remarkably easy to use. The number-one* 3D renderer used in architectural visualization is battle-tested and industry-proven, used daily to realize world-class products, buildings and much more. And if you like to spend the majority of your time being creative but still crave the highest quality images possible, V-Ray can help you easily and speedily render everything from your quickest concepts to your largest and most detailed 3D models.

What’s more, it works seamlessly with SketchUp’s versatile 3D modeling tools while also being built with a full set of creative tools for lights and materials. The best part, perhaps, is that you don’t need to be a rendering expert to get great results with V-Ray. This collection of six, simple, quick-start tutorials will help you learn how to use V-Ray Next for SketchUp — and give your renders a boost in no time at all.

Let’s get started!

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Free Plugin Exports 360-Degree Images from SketchUp to be Seen in Virtual Reality

With the popularization of virtual reality and augmented reality, new ways of exploring architectural representations have become available to professionals and students. Immersion in three-dimensional digital models is increasingly common, whether through a computer screen, smartphone or VR headsets. In light of this reality, which seemed overly futuristic up until a few years ago, the online platform Tour Fácil has launched a free plugin that can view exported 360-degree images from SketchUp in virtual or augmented reality.

5 Architecture Offices Using VR to Present Their Designs

Presenting designs to third parties can be a challenging task. Architects may find it difficult to describe spaces to their clients, therefore more firms are incorporating virtual reality into their workflows and project presentations.

Below are 5 architecture offices using SentioVR to present their designs. To see the content in 360º, click on the image and move the mouse.

The Best Architecture Software of 2018

When you think of the age of hand drafted architecture drawings, what images come to mind? Is it the iconic plans of the Palladian Villas? Fast forward to present day, where architecture software is favored over hand drawings due to its efficiency and ability to create increasingly innovative structures. With all of the software available to architects, have you ever wondered which one might be the "best"? Luckily, TechRadar has just released their list of leading architecture software for this year.

How Real-Time Rendering Can Reduce Your Time and Effort in Architectural Design

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Architects are always trying to be more efficient and adding more value for clients. But with most software, rendering is very time-consuming, impairing efficiency significantly. It is exhausting for designers when the process of visual processing uses energy that would be better invested in design and architecture itself.

With the Enscape plugin, real-time rendering and virtual reality can help to remedy this situation. The plugin integrates as a toolbar in the popular design platforms Rhino, Revit and SketchUp, with a version for Archicad also currently in development. Because the software is a plugin for these popular programs, architects do not need to learn to use new software, but work in their familiar system with some additional features. And since the software runs on the local graphics card, projects do not have to be uploaded to the cloud.

This Simple VR Tool Instantly Communicates Your Design Intent in 1:1 Scale

Communicating design intent and conveying space to non-technical clients has always been a challenge for architects. Fortunately, advancements such as virtual reality (VR) are starting to pave the way for new tools to address this challenge. The most immersive and effective solutions are ones that empower you to fully navigate 3D models, like Prospect by IrisVR. Created by architects, Prospect enables designers to easily jump into a 1:1, true to scale VR version of their 3D model.

This 3D Printer, Designed Specifically for Architects, Is Surprisingly Easy to Use

Have you ever spent hours calibrating the nozzle of a 3D printer or preparing a print-ready file – only to find that the model has failed because of a missed zero-thickness wall? With this in mind, the Platonics Arka 3D printer currently being developed in Helsinki, Finland—has one simple goal: to remove all unnecessary set-up and technical processes by means of intelligent automation and, as a result, almost entirely eliminate the wasted time that architects and designers spend calibrating printers, or working up print-ready files.

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Good News SketchUp Users! This Free Tool Eases the Pain When Using Revit is an Absolute Must

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Are you a SketchUp user? Don’t let Revit hold you hostage! Break free with rvt2skp and get back to your beloved tool.
The rvt2skp plugin enables the Autodesk® Revit® to SketchUp export option in Revit — conserving the geometry, materials, and linked models of your 3D model. It’s now available on the Autodesk App Store and supports Revit 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, including Revit Architecture, Revit Structure, and Revit MEP.

A New Generation of Tools: The 3D Visualization Multiplex

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A 3D visualization multiplex is a system to instantly visualize 3D models on multiple devices: desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, augmented reality gear, and virtual reality glasses.

It's an everyday tool to streamline conversations between architects, engineers, contractors, their clients, and the rest of the world.

With the formidable combination of CAD software programs - e.g. SketchUp or Revit - and a multiplex, 3D storytelling has never been simpler.

It works on both high-end immersive headsets and on smartphones with - or without - very capable $10+ glasses. Using augmented reality, a model can be directly integrated into the real world.

From Foundations to Roofs: 10 Detailed Wood Construction Solutions in 3D and 2D

Developed by the POLOMADERA Program at the University of Concepción, the 3D Building Construction Solutions Catalog is a free tool that helps users design construction details for lightweight wooden structural systems.

Though created with the intention of meeting new standards soon to be implemented nationally in Chile (and therefore in Spanish), the catalog was developed jointly with international experts from the Wood Construction Institute at the Holzbau Institut in Germany, and thus incorporates best practices that are applicable around the world.

The catalog allows users to find and download different construction solutions in wood, with details categorized under Foundations, Mezzanines, Doors and Windows, Partitions, Roofs, and Terraces.

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How To Improve Your SketchUp Skills

For decades, SketchUp has been one of the most well-known 3D modeling programs in the design world, owed to its intuitive working tools and labyrinth of user-generated accessories, from open source libraries to plugins. Quite often, SketchUp is the software of choice for engaging children with architecture, due to its availability, flexibility, and ease of use.

Later in your design career, you could be forgiven for dismissing SketchUp as a 'rookie tool', a beginner's level below the advanced stages of Revit, Rhino, and AutoCAD. However, as SketchUp has evolved throughout the years, it now contains a formidable array of functions, capable of producing complex, exportable results in an organized, efficient manner for students and senior partners alike.

From geo-location to sun-paths, here are 10 very useful tips to make you the model SketchUp user of the office.

10 Awesome Sketchup Plugins That Will Up Your Modeling Game (Explained With GIFs)

After the success of its 6th edition in 2007, Sketchup became one of the world's most widely used 3D modeling software products. This is thanks to its intuitive toolbar, interdisciplinary use within the creative industry (not just architects) and having a free version that doesn't use watermarks.

Its open source library helped the software to provide a wide range of 3D objects, while hundreds of users developed their own plugins not only to solve the problems of each version but also to exploit the potential of their tools.

We’re going to introduce you to 10 of the plugins shared by Sketchup Tutorials Facebook page using their demonstrative GIFs. If you don’t know how to add a SketchUp plugin, don’t worry! You can learn in this video also posted by them.

Trimble's SketchUp Viewer Allows You To Manipulate Hologram Models in the Real World

SketchUp developer Trimble has launched SketchUp Viewer, a new virtual and mixed reality app for the Microsoft HoloLens that will allow users to inhabit and experience their 3D designs in a completely new way. Using the holographic capabilities of the HoloLens, SketchUp Viewer creates hologram versions of models that can be placed in real-world environments –allowing architects to study and analyze how their buildings will react to their context while still in the design stage.

At today’s Trimble Dimensions keynote, architect Greg Lynn presented SketchUp Viewer for the first time, demonstrating the technology using his re-imagining of the Packard Plant in Detroit, commissioned as part of the “Architectural Imagination,” the U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale exhibition.

"Trimble mixed-reality technology and Microsoft HoloLens bring the design to life and bridge the gap between the digital and physical. Using this technology I can make decisions at the moment of inception, shorten the design cycle and improve communication with my clients,” said Lynn.