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 kwistenbiebel » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:19 am

To me the 500 dollars for the Pro version is very acceptable. Anyone that uses SU in a professional surrounding will agree.
Keeping the free version feature packed would be nice though. It is the free version that made sketchup so well known and widespread.
One of Google's best strategies ever if you ask me.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Khai » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:00 am

I'm just questioning the choice of export option here...
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby wmanning » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:11 am

There is good and bad news (with work-arounds). COLLADA is not a good format for exchanging a CAD file. It doesn't recognize layers, so everything will be on layer 0. It doesn't recognize groups, blocks, or components (I'm pretty sure). And everything becomes triangulated, so a lot of architectural files will need clean-up. But if all you are doing is bringing in a floorplan to kick off a project it isn't too bad (if you have an exporter from you CAD to COLLADA).

The good news is that you can run more than one version of SketchUp on the same PC or Mac. It doesn't force you to uninstall older versions, so you can keep 7 to open a .dwg, save the .skp, then open it in the new version. One extra step in the workflow to keep using a free product.

But it will be interesting to see what workflows people develop here.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby d12dozr » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:24 am

Khai wrote:I'm just questioning the choice of export option here...


I think they are going after the gaming, art, and film markets which seem to be gaining share on the original architecture market:
Sketchupdate wrote:As it turned out, folks wanted to use Google SketchUp models in all kinds of crazy ways. Things that we could never have imagined! We decided that Google SketchUp users should be able to export their models into some easy-to-read and fundamentally hackable file format to make this easier. Your models should be yours to do with as you see fit.


Here are some links if you care to see what other uses Sketchup is being used for:
http://sketchup.google.com/industries/digitalentertainment.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlgtLXhwJSM
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=153
http://www.go-2-school.com/blog_posts/view/7
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby linea » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:43 am

I think they are going after the gaming, art, and film markets which seem to be gaining share on the original architecture market


At the moment at least, there are a lot more architects and 3d designers in the world than there are game and film designers. But anyway, if Google want more cool new friends like Massive Black, limiting the number of file formats in the free version will limit peoples' opportunities to demo the software thoroughly. I'm happy to be a pro user but I just hope that Google do have something really new for the pro version - not just dwg and dxf import and export.


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

Postby Khai » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:08 am

d12dozr wrote:
Khai wrote:I'm just questioning the choice of export option here...


I think they are going after the gaming, art, and film markets which seem to be gaining share on the original architecture market:


then OBJ would be the format most common to all the apps. seriously, if you take a look, nearly all the apps in use by the big studios down can use OBJ. few can use Collada.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Aerilius » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:25 am

I did some test with kmz files: I believe Collada must support components. Otherwise, the filesize would need to multiply after multiplying the Sketchup components.

Obj is quite an old format. But most apps do not dare to ignore it. There is already a good obj-exporter plugin and when I needed to reimport it again, I converted it in other apps into 3ds (most apps have both). It would be good if obj was in SU by standard.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby kwistenbiebel » Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:16 am

I think that the reason DWG will be ripped out is Autodesk.
Google tries to keep things open source-ish. Just like android, which is based on open source Linux code.
It is becoming a tradition.

I guess, choosing Collada over DWG adds to that strategy...
And off course, Google Earth is using it already so it makes the choice easier.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby tbd » Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:54 am

wmanning wrote:COLLADA is not a good format for exchanging a CAD file. It doesn't recognize layers, so everything will be on layer 0.


wrong. COLLADA has the <layer> element and you can even have an object on layer "glow" and on layer "light" at the same time

wmanning wrote:It doesn't recognize groups, blocks, or components (I'm pretty sure).


wrong again. they are called instances and you can do even external references (have them stored only in one place)

wmanning wrote:And everything becomes triangulated, so a lot of architectural files will need clean-up.


you can have polygons as well (and much more). it all depends on how the COLLADA specification is implemented. and if Google will have COLLADA as main format I bet it will be properly implemented.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby notareal » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:07 pm

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 would not dare to say that Blender interface is easy, all the time it feels that different types of items are just cluttered together, reading and knowing key combos wont help. For me it's simply illogical and inconsistent; try to locate all mesh editing tools..., BUT 2.5 seems to be a major change and most likely I'll then drop SU and jump to Blender wagon, but time shows how it goes. SU6 pro is still fine tool for me and if there had not been this community and generous ruby developers... I would be using some other tool.

Collada support sounds good and I have a feeling that many free users will welcome that. It feels a bit like strategic move to only offer dwg import in pro, but I would not complain as long as old SU stays in working condition.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:11 pm

I know that every change is hard, but we have to try to cut off Autodesk's monopoly! Ask your clients to send you collada files - after all it is your interest! If you want to escape from SketchUP, you will have a bunch of collada files to open easily in any other compatible application! I have jpg's since 1999 and can open them in any viewer - that's freedom!
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby thomthom » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:08 pm

dedmin wrote:I know that every change is hard, but we have to try to cut off Autodesk's monopoly! Ask your clients to send you collada files - after all it is your interest! If you want to escape from SketchUP, you will have a bunch of collada files to open easily in any other compatible application! I have jpg's since 1999 and can open them in any viewer - that's freedom!

Seeing how most people in my office doesn't know what an PNG file is - and keep asking me if everyone can view it - I doubt Collada would make it into the architectural office I work in. Never has that format been mentioned. People stick to what they know works. Asking clients for collada file will just annoy them.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:40 pm

Wrong - there were times before SketchUp, before Autodesk and even before Google. Where are the pencil and the papers - changes happen all the times but usually too slow to see them :enlight:

It is always the same - the first reaction is annoyance, doubt and looking for arguments why the change won't happen :roll:
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby thomthom » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:56 pm

Can't really see how the digital revolution can be compared to using different file format. Using computers instead of pencils became a requirement - not and option. DWG vs Collada is a matter of choosing flavour.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:29 pm

thomthom wrote:Can't really see how the digital revolution can be compared to using different file format. Using computers instead of pencils became a requirement - not and option. DWG vs Collada is a matter of choosing flavour.


Not revolution but change, not file format but open file format and yes - more choices! You still have choice to use Pro or any other program. Where is the free version of AutoCAD or 3DS Max?
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dale » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:12 pm

From my understanding Autodesk has been a participant in the development of collada, is that not true?
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Master » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:23 pm

I hope they add in 64 bit support as well as multicore support. I could care less if they remove the import export features of the free version. I know that is a massive downgrade but the program is free after all. All you would need is to find a program that can convert dwg -> collada and you would be back in business.

The free version of sketchup has been too good of a deal for far too long. Put it back in it's place in the product line up and maybe they will start to get some more income from sales.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:51 pm

SolidWorks Lab:

By exporting your SolidWorks assembly in the Collada format, your design is now defined by an open standard for 3D applications. This enables you to leverage other 3D authoring applications which may not import native SolidWorks files, including applications on different operating systems. Not only is your model geometry preserved in the export, but colors, textures and motion are available as well.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dna » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:13 pm

dale wrote:From my understanding Autodesk has been a participant in the development of collada, is that not true?


not really, Autode$$$$k have their own version of collada.

although collada is a useful format as i use max and personally have need for it (sadly the beta version doesn't work yet) it is not a big deal and i haven't had any problems getting files from SU to max yet (or any other software for that matter)

second, THAT'S IT? nothing else? no improvements to UI, dynamic components, rendering, sandbox etc. this is becoming a trend with google, following Autode$$$$k in offering nothing with a new version other than incompatibility with previous versions.

i think all the broohaha over adding collada is a joke, and i agree with everybody else that taking away anything from a new version of any software is a horrible idea, once you get used to a certain feature, it is expected to exist, or improve.

remember that Autode$$$$k got here by offering free version of autocrap to students for many years, and never once took away a feature (not that they added anything useful either recently)
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby solo » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:16 pm

second, THAT'S IT? nothing else? no improvements to UI, dynamic components, rendering, sandbox etc. this is becoming a trend with google, following Autode$$$$k in offering nothing with a new version other than incompatibility with previous versions.


Ummm Nik, did you not sign a NDA?
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dna » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:19 pm

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

Postby linea » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:20 pm

I know that every change is hard, but we have to try to cut off Autodesk's monopoly! Ask your clients to send you collada files - after all it is your interest! If you want to escape from SketchUP


I would love to see Autodesks monopoly to end but the reality is, if most of us suddenly did what you are suggesting, our client base would dwindle. I'm all for open standards but the dwg and dxf have a few years in them yet.

SolidWorks Lab:

By exporting your SolidWorks assembly in the Collada format.... Not only is your model geometry preserved in the export, but colors, textures and motion are available as well.



Great, but a very large number of Autocad users are still just exchanging 2d plans.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:26 pm

It was a sample that is not a problem for the big boys to implement collada.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dale » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:51 pm

dna wrote:
dale wrote:From my understanding Autodesk has been a participant in the development of collada, is that not true?


not really, Autode$$$$k have their own version of collada.


Is it possible to have your own version of an open standard interchange file format?
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dna » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:10 pm

dale wrote:
dna wrote:
dale wrote:From my understanding Autodesk has been a participant in the development of collada, is that not true?


not really, Autode$$$$k have their own version of collada.


Is it possible to have your own version of an open standard interchange file format?


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

Postby dale » Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:33 pm

So I confess I didn't know dick about collada before now, but my reading tells me that the patent which was originally Sony's is now jointly owned by Sony and Khronos group. So how does Autodesk develop it's own Collada and not be taken to task on copyright infringements. I mean I know that Autodesk is a big company, But Sony.....
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby honoluludesktop » Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:43 pm

Hi Dale, Good point, DXF was once an open format too.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Al Hart » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:08 am

I presume that both Max and Collada are different than FBX? (We are currently working on a contract where we have to read FBX)

I recall a discussion had with a developer about 20 years ago about why we should (or shouldn't) convert all our formats to OpenGL (or whatever Silicon Graphics was calling their new 3D standard then)

Why can't someone come up with a 3D standard that we can use?
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Chris Fullmer » Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:52 am

(note most of this is rather speculative. I do not the entire details of autodesk's alleged collada format. But I think that my take on G.E.'s implementation of collada is accurate - this might be very boring to read :) ).

As for a company like autodesk making their own version of collada....that can happen because most open source licenses work in way that anyone can develop the code and then submit the code back to the orignal preoject to be quality checked.

But since its open source, the license that makes it so anyone can develop the core product also makes it so anyone can develop their own offshoots and package it and sell it as their own, with the stipulation that they have to make the original source code and all added source code open source also.

So if autocad has developed their own version of collada - presumabely to expand Collada's capabilities, but probably to try and still be Collada compatible, Autodesk would probably still have to legally post their code in its entirety, and publish all the details of their file format specs.

But still, its arguable if it does anyone any good to have multiple versions of the same file format.

But, KMZ being able to hold collada files is precisely the concept I would imagine. Since its an open standard, they have the right to use it and add to it as a 3d format (though my understanding is that they submit their file format changes back to the collada core and make it a collada standard, meaning that whatever they implement is implemented throughout the entire collada file format).

So long story short is that since its an open source format, anyone can use it, tweak it, however they want (though I would need to verify what type of license its filed under to know exactly what extent they allow their code to be used). Heck, you could make your own 3d file format based entirely off of colada, just change the name, and call it your own.

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

Postby Gus R » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:52 am

I strongly disagree with Google's decision to remove the dwg/dxf importer in the next release of the free version of Sketchup. While there may be a workaround such as using SU7 to import I think Google should reconsider this move.

That is all.

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