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SketchUp Licensing from Zero to Hero: All the questions that you want to ask but you didn’t

So you know what SketchUp is. However, after the many updates, changes, and policies users often get confused regarding the possible SketchUp versions and licenses. Why do I have to pay annually? What do I get from a licensed SketchUp software? Does SketchUp have a web version? Do I have to install SketchUp only on my local computer? Well, we’ve gathered all your questions and prepared a structured answer that you can check below.

One of the most popular 3D modeling software – SketchUp, has different types of licensing. However, let’s begin from the beginning.

There are two types of software.

  1. Web (online, runs through a browser) 

The available SketchUp web versions are SketchUp Free, SketchUp Shop, and SketchUp Pro.

  1. Desktop (installation file for Windows or MAC, runs by starting the program)

There is only one available SketchUp desktop version: SketchUp Pro.

 

Before we take a closer look at each one of them, it is important to remember: First of all, you need to create your own Trimble account to start working. Second, remember your email and password for your personal account. 

How to create your Trimble account

You’ll need a Trimble ID to log into any of the SketchUp online resources including, 3D Warehouse, Extension Warehouse, and SketchUp Web and Shop. You’ll also need this login within SketchUp Pro for your subscription, or in the SketchUp Pro classic to use any of the previously mentioned resources within the software

Once you’ve arrived at a Sign-in page, just follow the steps to create your account.

You can access the Sign-in page HERE.

Or watch our tutorial video HERE.

SketchUp Versions

Your favorite SketchUp comes with several versions that you can use depending on your personal needs and proficiency level.  

SketchUp Free version – only Web

The free version is entirely web-based called SketchUp Free. To use it you only need an internet browser and internet access. Go to the official SketchUp Free page and log in with your Trimble account to start modeling. You do not need to install the software. Its‘ interface is different from that of the Pro version. Here you have the opportunity to model and texture your projects.

 

SketchUp Free Interface 

 

SketchUp Shop – only Web

SketchUp Shop is an improved version of SketchUp Free. To use it you need a subscription (connection) for one year. This version runs via an Internet browser. Again, you need a Trimble account to log in. The differences in SketchUp Shop are several – you can model and texture, and additionally, you have at your disposal the entire 3D warehouse library. Also, you have unlimited Cloud Storage for projects to keep and support. 

SketchUp Shop Interface

 

SketchUp PRO – Desktop

This is the most popular version of SketchUp. You need a Trimble account to log in. There are two types of licenses – annual and classic. Both of those licenses do not require an internet connection and you can start your modeling process directly on the desktop.

  1. The annual license is a subscription (connection) for one year. This license can run for 28 days a month without using the internet. You need to log in to the license server periodically.
  2. The perpetual license is permanent. After the installation you have a perpetual license, you do not need an internet connection. However, have in mind that this type of license will be available only to the end of October 2020.

 

Both license types are Desktop, you need to download and install it from the SketchUp site after logging in to your Trimble account. You do not need a browser after installation. 

The differences with the Web version are huge. After installation, you get two more software programs that work perfectly with SketchUp. The first is LayOut, with which you can easily make the technical documentation of your project. The second software is Style builder. With it, you can easily create your own style of your project. You can upgrade the software by installing your preferred extensions.

 

SketchUp Pro Interface

 

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

Be healthy & happy Sketching!

What’s Behind Update 1 in V-Ray for SketchUp?

V-Ray for SketchUp is a wonderful way to bring high-end ray-tracing to the world of architects and designers using SketchUp.

Not only is the render engine seamlessly integrated into SketchUp itself, but its also optimized for the native SketchUp user. Additionally, it has an easy interface with many presets and libraries available.
People who have been using it for a while are familiar with V-Ray’s update policy. With every major release, there come a few new service packs filled with new features. In previous releases, those were called exactly that – service packs. With V-Ray’s latest major release – V-Ray Next – the service packs have a new name – Updates. Although the naming is different, the idea is the same – you have the main release and you get the updates for free. So the only thing you need to do is just download the new version. Next, finish the install and you have access to a completely new set of features!

So what’s new

In this article, we will take a look at the major new features in the first update of V-Ray Next for SketchUp. We will focus on the latest updates but as well mention a few key ones from the major release, which was V-Ray Next.

The first thing a user notices is the updated V-Ray Asset editor. It has a new approach to providing direct visualization. And tips for almost everything, as well as dedicated sections for Render Elements and Textures. Although a bit hard to get used to in the beginning, the interface becomes easier to navigate with practice. With V-Ray Next for SketchUp Update 1, the new addition to the UI is the Color Temperature in the Color Picker.

This might seem like a small change, but is a highly useful one when it comes to setting White Balance and color temperature for lights. Architects and interior designers will find this as a very big time saver and most importantly – an easy way to adjust light based on photographic approaches.

UI Advancement

Another UI advancement based on user demand is the fast switch of the Denoiser, including a picker between Nvidia AI Denoiser and V-Ray Denoiser. This only shows how much the workflow has been affected by the denoising technology and how much of a time saver it is. A great way of exploring this is switching the NVidia AI denoiser on when you are in interactive (IPR) rendering. And on top of that – the latest release – V-Ray for SketchUp Next Update 1 has additional speed optimizations when it comes to IPR so the results are faster than ever.

Post-Production Features

Then, Update 1 comes with a few extra special updates when it comes to post-production after the render is done. Over the years the V-Ray Frame Buffer (VFB) has become better and better when it comes to color correcting and additional elements in V-Ray itself, without the use of a 3rd party software. With V-Ray, Next Update One there come a few great additions to the lens panel options including the possibility to add Dust and Scratches as a post effect directly in the VFB.

This is a great addition to the family as it allows you to create accurate lens effects directly, even in interactive render and with the Nvidia Denoiser on!

To those of you who still prefer to do post-production in additional software, with V-Ray Next update 1 there comes the support for Cryptimatte. Although a bit advanced, this render element allows you to get automatic IDs and use them in post for fast and easy masking.

Head in the Clouds

And at the end of the day, if you want to save some time in the final render as well – you can always take advantage of V-Ray Cloud. Which is not a new feature per se. However, it is a great feature for sure. Using the V-Ray cloud allows you to send your renders with just one click to your Chaos Cloud account. Here you can render in high quality and resolution them without having to invest in your own render farm. If you have not – check V-Ray Cloud. It is a lifesaver.

Finally, V-Ray Next Update 1 is a great addition to the Next pipeline. It gives you more speed when look-developing the image and even more powerful when finishing the whole render.
It’s even more seamlessly integrated with SketchUp than previous versions. Which shows how Chaos Group develops the connection with every new release, listening to their users. 

Go check it now! 

 

Author: Kalina Panteleeva