Is it just me?

Is it just me?

Postby solo » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:01 am

I have been on this site for over a decade, I have seen the rise of the plugin, I remember when there was a new plugin every week.
I cannot remember the last new plugin here, is there another place they releasing them?

Is it just me, or do you feel a fizzle out?
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby rv1974 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:35 pm

You know how to rub salt into the wounds :)
The number of REALLY usefull and usable new-coming goodies for archviz monkeys is very limited.
What saddens even more is that many existing plugins with a good potential stay semi-abandoned- no bug fixes\new features\usability improvements.
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Last edited by rv1974 on Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is it just me?

Postby pilou » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:36 pm

As all was quasi all made...new things are some rare! :)

Fredo, Didier Burr, Medeek, Tig, Whaat, Halroach ... post here as usual!
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby solo » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:49 pm

rv1974 wrote:You know how to rub salt into the wounds :)


Not at all, I am just wondering if plugin releases are done elsewhere like Facebook, as there are many active groups out there.

As for the frequency of new plugins, that is something I cannot be sure of, possibly the loss of SU make/free has a lot to do with it and the general decline of SU, as the online version is rather lackluster.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby rv1974 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:47 pm

IMO Everything eventually will pop up on Extension Warehouse\Sketchucation. Additionally you can check Curic and SU for You pages on FB- they have a large fan base there.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby pbacot » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:12 pm

I hadn't thought so much about the releases of extensions. I am thankful that the developers have been able to keep the great extensions updated. But in general times have changed for SketchUcation. Some of the traffic is over at the SketchUp forums, but there seems less SketchUp interest / activity altogether. For those using SketchUp (new and old) the enthusiasm is still there, tempered perhaps by some disappointments.Just less online participation.

I still appreciate very much the resources here.

There continues to be ongoing development with some larger, more elaborate, or specialized plugins. PB3, Animator, Ghost, Flex tools, and, of course, Medeek Tools come to mind. TIG and Eneroth have already created everything else you need. Many of the old favorites have been made even better. There is so much out there that ideas for new ones are running out. I know I often see a plugin mentioned and think, that's exactly what I've been looking for!, but then I don't always find the time to go get it and learn it.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby kaas » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:06 pm

solo wrote:I remember when there was a new plugin every week...Is it just me, or do you feel a fizzle out?

I think its a combo of;
- a lot of necessary and wonderful plugins already have been made for SketchUp the last 10+ years.
- more complicated plugins either are too difficult to make in SketchUp OR don't match the user base of SketchUp (user type and/or user count).

imho; SketchUp has lost some of its momentum since 5 / 3 years ago so maybe plugin developers also might have moved to other places. I think a part of the old user base has/is.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby Pixero » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:20 pm

I recently made this plugin but since it was such a quick thing I didn’t bother to post it in the plugins sub forum.
I only posted it in the thread.
viewtopic.php?f=79&t=71570#p652499
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby fredo6 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:51 pm

On my side, plugins downloads have been stable for the past years. So users are still there.

However it's a fact that
  • less developers publish their extensions on Sketchucation, versus only on EWH
  • EWH now includes a lot of plugins that does not exist anywhere else (~780)
  • EWH does not allow users to post comments (due to spams)
  • The Sketchup forum is quite active, but is more oriented toward questions / answers, newbie learning curve and generalist problems, than to include a consistent directory listing of plugins.
  • Sketchucation has also less active members and less active threads, so the extension published there get less comments and seem less active
  • Finally, the drop of Sketchup Make in favor on the online versions, plugin-less, has decreased the richness of the demand, and probably the spontaneous emergence of new developers.

It is also a fact that a lot of plugins covering basic needs have been published already, and therefore, the new ones may be more specialized, for a smaller user-base and set of use-cases.

I still think there is a lot to create or to improve. The Sketchup API seems limitless, despite the scarce evolutions provided by Trimble in the past few years.

But it is clear that, from the outside, it looks like there is less enthusiasm in Sketchup overall.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby glro » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:10 am

solo wrote:I have been on this site for over a decade, I have seen the rise of the plugin, I remember when there was a new plugin every week.
I cannot remember the last new plugin here, is there another place they releasing them?

Is it just me, or do you feel a fizzle out?


for me it is obvious that sketchucation is less active, just counting the posts

  • i agree with the comment that most generic extensions have already been made
For the next stage of development, it is necessary to deal with the details of each specific use of sketchup, and i see sketchucation as mostly generic

  • i guess some programmers began writing ruby code for plugins and posting it on sketchucation, for free, hoping it would bring them some money in the end
since money didn't come, they stopped writing code for plugins and/or posting it on sketchucation
extensions.sketchup.com has a commercial aspect, you can buy extensions there, so programmers hopefully can make some money too
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby JQL » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:58 pm

Sketchucation is less active not only because of plugins, but because Sketchup forums work nicely and are official.

Before you had Sketchucation as the best source of info and plugins. I learnt everything here and it seemed everyone that mattered was here too. Now it's no longer the case.

I think this site could also get a bit more modernized. Forums are different these days, but the content around here is huge and people still follow it, so it shouldn't die.


EDIT: At the bottom of the page there's a BlendUp banner. It has been discontinued. I owned it and I can't use it anymore on recent Sketchup versions. You click the links there and it seems dead.
I understand why, but it saddens me a bit that Sketchucation is a bit in decay.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby medeek » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:28 pm

I think some of the decrease in new plugins is largely due to there already being a huge number of them out there already that do just about every imaginable task. Eneroth alone has 65+ excellent plugins that do a myriad of general modeling tasks, and there are many more.

Sometimes I think up an idea and think to myself that would be a useful idea for a plugin, then I do a bit of searching and sure enough someone has already created such a tool. When it comes to general modeling tools there is not really that much more that can be done in my opinion. However, specialized (deep) plugins are where things could get really interesting for SketchUp.

The SketchUp forum does seem a bit more active these days than this forum but I get the sense that most of the forum regulars here are of the more seasoned variety whereas a lot of posts on the official forums are by newbies who are just trying to figure the SketchUp thing out.

I regularly post my updates to both forums on their respective threads since I realize each forum has its own audience. Development of my plugins has been very active and even though I would like to think there is a light at the end of the tunnel I keep coming up with more needs and wants of users. I will be posting almost daily to this forum for the foreseeable future.

I do believe that the discontinuation of Make has hurt SketchUp in the long run. A very poor move by the SketchUp sales people in my opinion, much better to charge a small amount for it than to discontinue it completely and try to force people into the web based version which is virtually useless for any real work or modeling (no extensions).

SketchUp as a modeling software is really a blank slate, to which you must add plugins to help generate your workflow and speed it along. Without plugins SketchUp is still a viable modeler but is no longer an efficient modeler. If you want various industries to adopt SketchUp as a serious contender you need to have high quality extensions to provide speed, automation and parametrics. When it comes to the real world time is everything. Let's face it, no one can afford to spend three hours modeling up a foundation plan that should only take 15 minutes to complete.

SketchUp, coupled with some well crafted extensions, is unstoppable.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby medeek » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:43 pm

If you give people the right tools they will jump on it. "Build it and they will come."

I've always believed in this philosophy and I'm noticing a large increase in the number of users with my plugins recently as they begin to slowly mature. A lot of these new users are small contracting and building operations across the world who don't have the inclination, expertise or budget to acquire larger BIM products like Revit and then use them effectively.

For many of these smaller companies SketchUp offers an easy learning curve and an exceptionally intuitive 3D environment that they need in order to get off the ground with a CAD system and move away from previous archaic practices.

No, I'm not seeing a waning of interest in the use of SketchUp. In fact, I see many more firms jumping on the SketchUp bandwagon and trying to find their footing and workflow. These are exciting times. I do believe that in the near future SketchUp will become the ubiquitous solution when it comes to residential design and architecture.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby JQL » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:57 am

I agree with you medeek. But Sketchup needs some (a lot of) finetuning. Especially in Layout and Sketchup's integration in Standard workflows.

Sketchup is easy in modelling, not as such in technical presentations. We are capable of creating them, but we are not fast.

So producing what matters is where Sketchup shines, the final product, is not easy to achieve.

It's this gap that plugins cannot overcome and Trimble hasn't yet been able to deal with. It will get there I believe and when it does, then Sketchup will be a true leader, and it will coincide with your plugins maturity so I think you're in the right track.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby medeek » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:20 am

I do have a lot of beefs with Layout and I am rather disappointed that Trimble would spend so much time and energy on this web based version while at the same time letting Layout just hobble along. Layout needs some serious attention and it is really holding back the entire SketchUp ecosystem.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby andybot » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:01 pm

Just seeing this post, since I am here much less frequently than I used to be. ;)

I would say another factor is corporatization. Before the EW, extensions were a lot more freewheeling, plus the owners of SU weren't hiring plugin authors. For me, a lot of activity here used to be around the V-Ray plugin - but that has changed significantly with the way Chaos Group has reshuffled their development team and how they are developing the plugin. I agree with @medeek that many large companies are using Sketchup - but the proportion of hobbyists seems to have decreased, especially with the abandonment of Make.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby pbacot » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:25 pm

andybot wrote:Just seeing this post, since I am here much less frequently than I used to be. ;)

I agree with @medeek that many large companies are using Sketchup - but the proportion of hobbyists seems to have decreased, especially with the abandonment of Make.


It seems like the maker movement is alive and well, with 3d printing in the hands of more people. What do these people use to model their widgets?
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby jtri » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:38 am

Working in architectural millwork we work with a lot of architect firms, some of the largest in the country. They all seem to have SketchUp, which is great as I can send them files, but almost all have no clue as to how to use the software and no desire. So that world seems to have no use for plugins. Personally I have almost all the plugins I think I need, but have new need.
I have purchased a toy CNC and I am try to decide on a workflow to get G code. Fusion 360 is free and might be an answer. So far not enjoying learning a new CAD software. Fabber seems to be a very interesting plugin and they easily integrate with VCarve.
For a hobby SKetchUp is costly. Fabber is subscription (oh joy) and VCarve is costly. Software costs alone for makers starting out can be an issue.
How about a robust and simple tool pathing plugin for G code and the or maybe built in to SketchUp like Fusion 360.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby dtrarch » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:31 pm

Hi Solo
Right on
Skechup is just in old age and the Forum is no longer a place that professionals are now a part of.
For sure most of the needed addons have already been developed and shared for free too.
I'm just a collector of the plugins but actually need and use a very small collection for even pretty complex architectural projects.
Just check out the Gallery which is just a place for the few now to show simple and personal work.
I remember WellHorse from China and the scope of his work.
(see render)when there was a torrent of all kinds of really killer like renders right out of Sketchup.
The assembled today have forgotten just what @Last was all about which is to be just the best fast and easy design study tool for both the hobbyist and serious professionals yet ever to be developed.
The scope of what SU can do has been stretched about as far as one could hope for and with the Trimble business model in place it is no longer personal in nature and just a for profit app.
The professionals have moved on and only the few like Didier,Fredo and others still bring new and creative ideas to the Forum.
Heartfelt thanks to those who still hang on and bring even a few new plugins that are well worth the price for more work specific needs.
The days of free Sketchup and motivation for sharing is just over and it is a Camalot we all have been most fortunate to have experienced.
Thanks to all.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby McGyver » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:41 pm

The plugin thing has been winding down for a while, mostly since Trimble took over... once they got clever and killed off plugins in the free version, they pretty much guaranteed that SketchUp will eventually be left behind.
The generosity and vision of the majority of the plugin creators gave SketchUp it’s greatest value... without all the plugins given away for free, SketchUp would have been an obscure curiosity, a good idea, but very limited in what it could do... it was given power and versatility by the free plugin community.
Those plugin creators gave away their brilliant work because they were part of a community that shared ideas.
I can’t speak for plugin creators, but I make freebie models using Blender, if Blender were to become paid software with a “Pro” version able to use free models, and a “free” version locked into a small library of models included with the free version, I’d be pissed that someone was making money off of something I once donated to the free community. I would leave my models up, but I wouldn’t update or offer any fixes and I’d never donate or share another model.
It’s the principle... they bought software given value by free contributions, then they decide to limit access to the free items to profit on someone’s gift... that’s BS... yes, it’s raw capitalism, but who cares.
Yes, my silly hypothetical example isn’t exactly the same, but it conveys the basic idea. I can’t imagine a lot of plugin creators weren’t either disappointed by the situation or fairly turned off.
I’m sure plenty of brilliant people will still contribute either free or paid plugins and maybe SketchUp will continue for many years to come... who knows... I’m glad and very thankful I was able to experience the exciting times when SketchUp was still growing and seem to have a promising future.
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