My favorite 3d modeling software has been upgraded! SketchUP 2014 hit the market today, and although the core SketchUP Pro features did not change that much, I like the fact Trimble keeps a steady update cycle with a great beta testing program. I just wish they focused on SketchUP just as much as Layout. 2013 was mainly a Layout upgrade, with 2014 they overhauled the 3d warehouse and more Layout upgrades… Trimble – Make 2015 a SketchUP Pro core upgrade only please! it is long overdue. I guess that bottom-line, the most valuable update in this release is the introduction of Ruby 2.0 for 3rd party developers.
3D Modeling & Performance
Considering almost any 3rd party plugin for SketchUP tops the added features in this release is just sad! Looking forward to see what Trimble is cooking behind the scenes (if not, then start cooking please).
New Arc tools
Now you can draw arcs using any of three different methods: the default 2-Point Arc tool lets you pick two end points and then a third that defines the bulge. Or, pick the center point of your arc and then pick two points on the edge, defining your arc by its angle. The Pie Arc tool works the same way but produces a wedge-shaped face.
Faster Shadows in Large models
Casting shadows is no longer something youll have to sacrifice when working on really big, complicated models. We dug deep into SketchUps shadow engine code (actual name: ShadowMaster) and found some optimization gems. Our tests on a dozen hulking, customer-derived models show an average speed improvement of 15x. Your results may vary.
In light of the above, it is great to see the upgrade to Ruby 2.0 allowing for better extensions to be made for SketchUP. Those of you interested in BIM capabilities will love the new classifier feature.
The Ruby programming language is the syntax that makes an entire universe of SketchUp extensions possible. In this release, weve brought our API up to Ruby 2.0 standards, giving developers a shiny platform for creating new SketchUp tools. Our API now offers improved support for non-English characters, section plane plugins, text and dimensions tools, and more.
Enrich your model with important metadata and improve its compatibility with other building information modeling (BIM) tools. Our new Classifier tool tags geometry with industry-standard object types: walls, slabs, roofs, and hundreds more. Work with existing classification systems, or crack open a fresh TXT and create your own.
The 3D Warehouse
This seems to be the prime focus for the 2014 release.
A new look for 3D Warehouse
For SketchUp 2014, weve rebuilt 3D Warehouse from the ground up. The new Warehouse is easier to use than ever and a million times better looking too. Find a model of anything you need, create your own collections for organizing content, and become a model citizen by sharing your work with the world.
Every model on the new 3D Warehouse now works with our integrated WebGL viewer. This means you can preview models in full 3D before downloading them into your own project. You can even embed 3D models on other web pages so visitors can explore projects using SketchUps standard navigation tools or your own pre-set scenes.
Direct model upload
With the all-new 3D Warehouse, you can upload 3D models directly from your web browsertheres no need to open them in SketchUp first.
Increased uploaded model size limit
Weve increased the maximum size of models you can upload and store on the 3D Warehouse by a factor of five, from 10 to 50 megabytes.
New product catalogs
With the addition of Catalogs, 3D Warehouse is now even better for finding that faucet or that washing machine. Why approximate a fixture, when you can model with the exact component youll end up using?
Testing 3D Model embed here with the New National Gallery model…
I’ll skip the Layout features here and if you use SketchUP Pro as your main tool for modeling – Please share with us what you think of this release in the comments section below.
You can see the full release notes on the What’s new in SketchUP 2014? page.