Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:40 pm

First autocad would have to support this open file format!
(And it is not sure that any other data-format transport the datat exactly as DWG.)


Then ask Autodesk to fully support collada export - you are paying for their softwarae, not for the free SketchUP! Or to fully open dwg file format! Big boys always try to kill the small fishes - here in East Europe multinational companies are doing this since democracy!
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby tomsdesk » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:47 pm

I suspect this is the beginning of the end of the pro version: way to see how many dedicated pro users really exist before dumping the rowdy bunch we are.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby solo » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:03 pm

Let's not jump to negative conclusions just yet, remember he also said "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by many of the changes we've made", ;) , I would trust him on this one.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby linea » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:40 pm

I'm hoping you know something we don't Pete!
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby ely862me » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:43 pm

If i remember well when i had skp 5 i was hoping for great improvements to skp6 and when comes out.. it was almost the same...same happened with skp7 which i almost find slower than 6 and i even don t use it..
To believe they made great improvements I have to see first..
My most wanted improvement is supporting high polys models...if this is fixed i almost don t need anything else..of course an integrated render engine will be high5,but that s something more difficult and much expensive .
My 0.002$!

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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby jstanton8869 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:46 pm

Well, I have the Pro version so I'm more interested in what's actually coming - proper 64 bit and GPU support and therefore real improvements in performance maybe? I'm happy to pay for software that has real value and is up to date.

I'd rather Google actually made money from Sketchup and then had a real incentive to keep supporting it. Ever since they bought @Last the momentum just seems to have slowed down IMHO

John
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby mhtaylor » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:56 pm

For those of you who depend on the importers we plan to remove, we'll be providing an optional download that enables them again. But remember! This installer will only be available for a limited time, and it will not be supported at all in our next major release.


This statement in the post seems to indicate that it's not going totally away if that's hope to any of you.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby david_h » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:04 pm

What are the ramifications for the Education Side of SU? I teach SU to Interior Designers at a private college and they use Google FREE Version (they are students after all) and they import their Acad Floor plans into SU For their presentations. This sounds like it would seriously interupt their work flow. I do not COLLADA at all, so I guess I need to look at it, but Some answers to these quesitons would be helpful.


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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby mhtaylor » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:22 pm

Also, why not keep a version of SU7 around and import using that - you could open the model in SU8 afterwards?
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Edson » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:47 pm

tomsdesk wrote:I suspect this is the beginning of the end of the pro version: way to see how many dedicated pro users really exist before dumping the rowdy bunch we are.

tom,
you are the second to suggest that but i do not see any grounds for that assumption in the quoted statement. they are saying the dwg/dxf import will come out of the free version and that it will be kept in the pro. thus in what way this amounts to dropping it?
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby honoluludesktop » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:37 pm

Hi Ed, I too "fear" along with Tom, but would be happy to be wrong. The support for importing dxf to "free" Su will not be supported, perhaps implying changes to the v8+ database. The stated difficulty they are having with dxf, suggest that for 3d to grow, it may have to be dropped.

I have not heard of "collada", is it a text file like dxf? My software has no support for "collada". Is there a dxf2collada utility?

In fairness to Google, v7 included dynamic components, and a better layout (neither of which I use). Each of us have unique ways of using Su, but for some of us Architects, Google is just not growing in our direction:-(

I suppose like a lot of other software in my system, I may just have to stop upgrading Su versions, and hope that other products will fill the gaps.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Ecuadorian » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:48 pm

DWG drawings other people send to me are often so poorly drawn and cluttered that I've had to spend entire hours doing clean-up before being able to use those lines in SketchUp. Not anymore. Now I export those drawings as bitmaps from DoubleCAD XT, reverse the brightness in GIMP, and set the proper scale in SketchUp. A much cleaner start 8-) .

BTW, mhtaylor does have a point. Even if in the future you receive a file in a new dwg format SU7 can't open anymore, you can always convert it to a previous version with the free utility EveryDWG. Just make sure you keep the SU7 free installer in a safe place before it becomes abandonware.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Khai » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:01 pm

actually the free version outputs collada already
export as KMZ, rename to .Zip, unzip and there's the model as a DAE Collada File already.


the main issue is, Collada is not a well supported format.
Today I tried to use the collada I got out of the google earth export. it's hard to find anything that does support Collada, (other than Max, Maya, Cinema, Lightwave.. erm I don't have that kinda cash actually). I've found plenty that outputs it tho.

the better supported format is OBJ. almost everything opens OBJ. so why not use that???
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Mike Lucey » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:38 pm

drewpoeppel wrote:http://sketchupdate.blogspot.com/2009/08/coming-soon-in-google-sketchup.html
As an architect I could care less about import export of 3d models. COLLADA? I want to be able to use my working drawings to build my model. A BIG step back for me. I cant justify the price of Sketchup Pro. Now what do I do? No updating for me. Blarg...


Hi Drew,

I could see the point you make if you were talking as a student, hobbyist or non commercial user but coming from an architect I fail to understand. SU Pro is by no means expensive by any stretch of the imagination for professionals, even in 3rd World countries.

I would not be surprised if Boulder have to look at ways of 'paying their way'. Currently it looks to me that they are the poor relation to Mountain View. Maybe if GSU was degraded to some extent from the architects / engineer's and enhanced from the Google Earth and hobbist users point of view, they would see more sales of SU Pro and in turn more funds being available for the further development of SketchUp as a whole.

I am aware of quite a few large professional offices that have just a couple of copies of SU Pro and the balance (in one case 15) using GSU!

I feel quite the opposite to what Tom says could be the case. As big as Google is, they probably require to see their acquisitions paying their own way at some point. That's normally how these firms become large in the first place. Normally these objectives are achieved over a 3 year plan.

Unless we see GSU made less useful to professionals using it for commercial gain we may indeed see the Pro version becoming a lot mre expensive in order to pay the salaries of the guys at Boulder. It makes some sense if thought about.

Oh! and I have thought that maybe this was 'the plan of action' at the initial take-over by Google and the decision to provide the free version. If so, it was a brillient strategy as it has achieve huge .skp market penetration, to a level now that is probably unstoppable!

Mike
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Aerilius » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:25 pm

I cannot really comprehend the dwg issues (if I used Sketchup for work or commercial I would rather be able to pay for it than in my current state)
We originally designed the Free and Pro versions of Google SketchUp for pretty different groups of people.
So most people do not agree to Google's new interpretation of this sentence.


Mainly I wanted to tell that I noticed a discussion in the SU help group, where someone angered Sketchup Guide Barry. A bit irritable, Barry could not conceal some details about the new features:
> I hope to see SU improved in v8. Why has development slowed under
> Google? I wish it was still owned
> by people who care about architects!

Because we look at questions regarding performance on the crappiest
graphics card known to the planet Earth? :-)
b

It's only a guess, but the SU guides have mentioned several times that they are working with full speed on something (secret), presumably a better performing rendering engine...
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby honoluludesktop » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:40 pm

Hi Mike, You are beginning to sound biased towards Google. That's OK, I am too most of the time, but it is also OK to lament the passing of "free" dxf import into Su. Guess I an one of those few poor Architects that don't have enough cash around to spend a few hundred dollars on anything if I don't have to:-(
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby pichuneke » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:52 pm

I've heard that Blender is going to have dxf support soon. But its interface is very complex. I don't know programming, but an easy interface for blender like sketchup's one would be fantastic.

It's just a dream, but...
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby tomsdesk » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:22 am

I was only saying: We're a rowdy demanding bunch, us design professionals, besides to a man being mostly poor (or cheap because we've been poor...a lot). One way to get more of us to buy pro is to cut such an important pro feature from the free version (seems to me I've been in agreement with a lot of you, so far anyway :`)

Then I was saying: We're a rowdy demanding bunch, us design professionals, besides to a man being mostly poor (or cheap). And we will still be poor (or cheap) even with this change in the free program. Sales will surely not meet typical corporate expectations (you can't think I'm too far out of the ballpark here, unless you have been asleep for the past twenty years :`)

Finally, I fully agree that Google bought SU to make a profit, and boy have they...but not to make a profit selling SU to a rowdy demanding bunch, us design professionals, to a man being mostly poor (or cheap) (surely, considering all the professional issues that were ignored from 5-6 or 6-7, you can at least see my point :`)

I hope I'm wrong...but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for corporate magnanimity. (What I would do, if I had a pot money buried in the backyard, is prepare for the sale of pieces of a dismantled SU pro :`)
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby honoluludesktop » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:26 am

Not knowledgeable of Bender, but Dxf I/O with a interface is something I have never seen. Most of the time a program will just read, or write a dxf file. Maybe Blender will have options to modify entities subject to your requirements. That would be good, not difficult. There will probably be a "default" I/O that is the way programs currently work. It also means that you can go from a dxf generated by any program into Bender, something no render software that I know of will do (not that I know of many).
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby CHARLIE__V » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:43 am

Well, ya can never know for sure but I see the silver lining here.

How many were upset when @Last sold to Google?

Then GS free was released, many a grumble from the @Last paying crowd. [IE:woaaa... limited/no funds for development....SU will die]

Now it seems GS is taking a serious turn to Develop.

Well, having been a Pro user for a number of years, what I have read sounds like the GS folks have gotten serious about their little piece of software.

Nothing wrong with that, in fact quite the opposite.....perhaps little ole SU will wow us all again!

Guess me glass is half full :~)
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby kmead » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:07 am

Tempest in teapot. If the software is making you money, pay for it. If you pay for it you get the features you need to make money. Simple. We expect to be paid for the work we do, why is Google any different.

I am also hopeful about this development as it has been a while since I have seen that there is life at Google for SU.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby kwistenbiebel » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:05 am

For the first time in a long period I am POSITIVE about GSU development.
There are enough signs in the sky that Google is taking a turn with Sketchup and that they are doing some serious work on it for version 8.

The best thing is that Google is openly communicating about development now. (see the dev Blogspot)
That means they are proud enough of what they are doing.

I expect the Collada/DWG announcement (not the coolest announcement I admit) is the beginning of a longer series of open communication about v8 by google. :thumb:
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby HPW » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:35 am

There are enough signs in the sky that Google is taking a turn with Sketchup and that they are doing some serious work on it for version 8.


My understanding of the blog post is that we will see a V7 update (Free to V7 User) soon with the removed DWG-Import (and a seperate install for it).

And in future V8 Major release this feature will be removed.
I do not see other announcments specially for V8.

So we will see what V7 brings other than the import-change.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:56 am

Collada support is very positive - a lot of companies are improving their support - Blender, SolidWorks, Modo etc.
The real problem is Autodesk's monopoly and arrogance! If dwg is a standard - make it open standard! About Blender - this hype about the difficult interface is nonsense! Actualy it is very easy if YOU READ ABUT IT! There is coming a new version with a lot of improvement in the UI side ! Read this http://www.blender3darchitect.com/
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby kwistenbiebel » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:42 am

dedmin wrote:Collada support is very positive - a lot of companies are improving their support - Blender, SolidWorks, Modo etc.
The real problem is Autodesk's monopoly and arrogance! If dwg is a standard - make it open standard! About Blender - this hype about the difficult interface is nonsense! Actualy it is very easy if YOU READ ABUT IT! There is coming a new version with a lot of improvement in the UI side ! Read this http://www.blender3darchitect.com/


I still think Blender should get a 'sketchup UI skin' :)
But Blender will never be able to level the default presentation power Sketchup has.
No one does instant model presentation better than Sketchup and that alone makes Sketchup a killer app, especially for design communication!
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby pichuneke » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:16 am

kwistenbiebel wrote:
dedmin wrote:Collada support is very positive - a lot of companies are improving their support - Blender, SolidWorks, Modo etc.
The real problem is Autodesk's monopoly and arrogance! If dwg is a standard - make it open standard! About Blender - this hype about the difficult interface is nonsense! Actualy it is very easy if YOU READ ABUT IT! There is coming a new version with a lot of improvement in the UI side ! Read this http://www.blender3darchitect.com/


I still think Blender should get a 'sketchup UI skin' :)
But Blender will never be able to level the default presentation power Sketchup has.
No one does instant model presentation better than Sketchup and that alone makes Sketchup a killer app, especially for design communication!


I fully agree. I have used Blender a little, and its very powerful, but has a very difficult learning curve and it takes you a lot of work to start using it (at least me). In other words, its interface is non-intuitive. Perhaps in a month you can manage very well with it, but for a newbie... a newbie likes the interface of Sketchup.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:56 am

Blender is not any difficult that any other 3D software in the same class. But with Collada you can import from SketchUP to texture and render - there are very good free renders for it. You ask to much - free, easy and powerful! No way...
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby pichuneke » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:21 pm

dedmin wrote:Blender is not any difficult that any other 3D software in the same class. But with Collada you can import from SketchUP to texture and render - there are very good free renders for it. You ask to much - free, easy and powerful! No way...


You can find even OS free, easy and powerful, like Ubuntu Linux. Or tools like firefox, Openoffice... Anyway I don't know programming, I was telling an idea. And in fact I never use dwg/dfx for my desings, but I am giving my opinion as I see that, as a bad new. I have exported skp to blender without Collada before, so for me Sketchup free is getting "smaller".
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby drewpoeppel » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:48 pm

I get the feeling some people think we Google Sketchup users should all shut up and be happy that Google has even blessed us with a free version of this product. And if you don't fork out the $500 for the pro version you shouldn't have any say in development. As far as I'm concerned they can do what they want with the PRO version of Sketchup. I don't use it and I'm doubtful if I ever will. I am disappointed that, in my mind they are downgrading a part of the free product that I use. Google Sketchup. Google are the ones who decided to make this free version. I like it and want to continue using it they way I'm used to. This change makes that harder. A lot of their other products are free too and if they started ripping out stuff I like in gmail or google earth or whatever, I'd also be upset. I want the features I'm used to and made me choose this program over the others. If they and others don't value the opinion of users like me then fine. I'll move on.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Mike Lucey » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:53 pm

Guys,

From what I read the only reason some users do not opt for the Pro Version is because of the price. I still don't think the price is any way high but maybe it could be to users that do not operate in the Western World.

I have often thought that maybe a policy software companies could adopt might be to operate different pricing levels that would relate directly to average income levels in various countries around the World.

This idea may not be as daft as is sounds! Once the company has recouped the initial production costs they are in profit. They are limiting their profit levels by having one 'set price'. I think it should be quite possible to structure a sales system that would sell the software at reduced prices in countries that have lesser average income levels than the West.

A move along these lines would definitely eliminate a lot of piracy (big problem) also as I believe many genuine users would be more than willing to buy at a price within their means and be able to avail of backup. Online downloadable software is one commodity area in which this could work well. All it would need is a bit of foresight and planning.

When you think about it, it does not make much sense making something in ones own country and targeting the price at 'local' buyers then also expect buyers in countries with lesser means to pay the same price.

With regard to the $500 price tag on SU Pro, as I said I don't think its that high for most 'local' users. However Google could quite easily offer a 'payment plan' spread over 12 months, say $45 per month via CC and Google even have their own online payment system to make life easier. I don't think any user could seriously complain at paying $10 a week over a year, but again!

Mike
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