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

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

Postby drewpoeppel » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:11 am

http://sketchupdate.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... tchup.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...
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby kwistenbiebel » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:29 am

First, I am glad that there is still development after a deafening silence from the GSU team.
That should be applauded!

On the other hand, announcements of things being ripped out of sketchup instead of being added is not going to make Google popular.
Adding collade is good (never had a need for it though), but taking out one of the most needed export formats? I don't know.

I rather see some announcements that adress the needs of users.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby drewpoeppel » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:58 am

Yeah, I'm all for them adding cool new features and NOT making them free, but why rip out a feature that has always been free? In the post it seems like they see it as if they give away any new features they have to take away others. I'm just worried about what they'll take out next.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby linea » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:29 am

First paragraph in the update sums it up

I don't often talk about new things we're building before we nudge them gently out the door... We've been working hard ... and have cooked up a bunch of new stuff that I know you're going to like.


And that is why Google have very little idea about what people want.

I imagine they are removing the dwg/dxf import from the free version for one reason which seems so transparent. They aren't selling pro licenses anymore. At least by doing this they will realise how many architect and design practices use Sketchup.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby HPW » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:36 am

Really bad news.
Bad habit to remove features.
Just finished an automated conversion process using autocad and SU in one toolchain to create 3D-content in DWG and SKP format.
So either no upgrading or removing SKP from the offered formats.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:40 am

Seems to me strange to pay a tons to Autodesk for their crappy monopole and complain about Google decision! The problem is ALWAYS closed and proprietary file formats that holds you in companies prison! If thee were open drawing format for years...
Can you open jpgs in any image viewer? :evil:
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Gaieus » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:01 am

kwistenbiebel wrote:...taking out one of the most needed export formats? I don't know...

Chris,

They are only talking about the free version and dwg/dxf export has always been only part of the Pro version (where dwg/dxf import / export will be kept as I understand).
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby kwistenbiebel » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:12 am

Yes, 'import' I should have said.

In my case, importing a DWG in SU is often the start of a new project.
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Last edited by kwistenbiebel on Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

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

Postby Gaieus » Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:14 am

OK, I see, that's a different point then.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby honoluludesktop » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:11 am

I came to (down graded :-) "free" sketchup when my solid modeler went from hundreds of dollars to thousands between v1.1, and v2.0. Because I use Su primarily to visualize, dxf import is essential to my work flow. I am less concerned with paying for Su, then what this implies for the future of Su as an Architect's tool.

To me, "Unfortunately, this improvement won't come without a cost. Import/export capability is tough for us to maintain and tough for you to use effectively. There are just so many fiddly little settings on both sides of a file exchange that it is always a challenge to get everything working just right. Looking forward, we decided to make a trade-off." suggest that at some point in the future, dxf may be abandoned.

This action implies that the Su database may under go massive change when v8 is released. Perhaps, animation will cease to be "free", as the documantation maintains. Maybe after they fix the shadow bug. Sigh........, I just hope that the cost of "Pro" doesn't jump into the thousands >_<
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby HPW » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:55 am

Seems to me strange to pay a tons to Autodesk for their crappy monopole and complain about Google decision! The problem is ALWAYS closed and proprietary file formats that holds you in companies prison!


I do not tell that I am happy to pay tons to Autodesk, but when I want to support customers with their prefered data-format, then I have no other chance.
(And I have to accept that they want tons of money every 3 years.)
But Autocad is still a lot better in producing drawings/3D-content in a professional/automated way. (You can not use Ruby for SU-Layout)
Also it has still much more options to customise it for your own needs (LSP/DCL/CUI/VBA).

Anyway I complain about Google that they are on the way to get the same behaviour like Autodesk.
And isn't SKP also a closed and proprietary file format?
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby dedmin » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:36 pm

HPW wrote:
Seems to me strange to pay a tons to Autodesk for their crappy monopole and complain about Google decision! The problem is ALWAYS closed and proprietary file formats that holds you in companies prison!


I do not tell that I am happy to pay tons to Autodesk, but when I want to support customers with their prefered data-format, then I have no other chance.
(And I have to accept that they want tons of money every 3 years.)
But Autocad is still a lot better in producing drawings/3D-content in a professional/automated way. (You can not use Ruby for SU-Layout)
Also it has still much more options to customise it for your own needs (LSP/DCL/CUI/VBA).

Anyway I complain about Google that they are on the way to get the same behaviour like Autodesk.
And isn't SKP also a closed and proprietary file format?



We originally assumed that our free Google SketchUp users would never really need to export models into other tools. 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.
In our next release, we're going to make COLLADA an official first-class format for all modelers. You'll be able to import and export COLLADA models, as well as COLLADA models wrapped up in the KMZ format for Google Earth, with any version of SketchUp.


We are not talking about software capabilities, but data formats and data exchange! You have to own your files and exchange them freely with others. Draw with AutoCAD, save the files in an open file format and send to anybody even without AutoCAD licence.
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby Edson » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:57 pm

this is really odd. to my knowledge most modelling in sketchup starts with a dwg/dxf import whereas i never heard of anyone importing anything in collada format.

so why would google do this? to boost sketchup pro sales?

a question: can you export in collada from autocad? and would it be the same importing a plan in collada as it is today in dwg/dxf?
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Re: Bad News for Architects in the next ver. of Google Sketchup

Postby HPW » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:43 pm

Draw with AutoCAD, save the files in an open file format and send to anybody even without AutoCAD licence.


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.)

a question: can you export in collada from autocad? and would it be the same importing a plan in collada as it is today in dwg/dxf?


The Google Earth plugin from the autodesk labs seems to support this!
One drawback is that only Autocad 2007 and up are supported.
(I have currently Autocad 2006 running)
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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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