Free version of SketchUp released by Google (butthere's a catch)

I second John's evaluation of SketchUP. It is an amazing tool that
allows you to do pretty advanced 3D drawings in no time. Another caveat
for Radiance users: SketchUP geometries can have two different materials
attached to the two sides of a surface. When you export into Radiance
(via 3ds) the material attached to the front of the surface is exported.
This can lead to surprises so bear this 'feature' in mind when you set
up your SketchUP model. Also, do not make your material names in
SketchUP too long as the names will get cut to eight (?) characters in
the 3DS model.

Christoph

···

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected]
[mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of John
Mardaljevic
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 9:19 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [Radiance-general] Free version of SketchUp released by Google
(butthere's a catch)

Google bought SketchUp a few months ago. Today they have released a
free, but limited, version of SketchUp (Mac OS X & Windows):

http://sketchup.google.com/

Pro version is as before with, I think, one or two minor additions.

SketchUp is so easy to use that I managed to create a 3D model for a
project whilst learning how to use SketchUp and got it done well before
the 8hr evaluation period ran out (Pro version). Search this site for
"3ds2rad" for how to convert from 3DS to Radiance format.

Here's the catch: only the Pro version exports SU models to formats such
as 3DS etc. So I'm afraid that the offer of a free version of SU is not
terribly useful for Radiance users. Where it may count is to have it
sitting there as a freebie which you can toy with every
now and then and perhaps learn how to use as a 'background' task.
Then when you really do need to use SU to make a Radiance model, you
could either buy the Pro version or see how much you could get done
during the 8hr demo period. I don't know if you could run the Free and
Pro versions alongside each other; that would be a sneaky way of getting
a lot out of the 8hr trial period. I never said that.

Well worth a look -- but not quite the gift (for Radiance users) that it
might have been.

-John

-----------------------------------------------
Dr. John Mardaljevic
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development De Montfort University
The Gateway Leicester
LE1 9BH, UK
+44 (0) 116 257 7972
+44 (0) 116 257 7981 (fax)

[email protected]
http://www.iesd.dmu.ac.uk/~jm

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Radiance-general mailing list
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http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

I wonder if it would be possible to write a Radiance export plug-in for the free version of SketchUp. By the way, the free version is not licensed for commercial use, so even if it had full export facilities, there would still be problems using it commercially; Google can afford lots of lawyers. I wonder about research use.

Randolph

···

On Apr 28, 2006, at 6:45 AM, Reinhart, Christoph wrote:

I second John's evaluation of SketchUP. It is an amazing tool that
allows you to do pretty advanced 3D drawings in no time. Another caveat
for Radiance users: SketchUP geometries can have two different materials
attached to the two sides of a surface. When you export into Radiance
(via 3ds) the material attached to the front of the surface is exported.
This can lead to surprises so bear this 'feature' in mind when you set
up your SketchUP model. Also, do not make your material names in
SketchUP too long as the names will get cut to eight (?) characters in
the 3DS model.

Christoph

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected]
[mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of John
Mardaljevic
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 9:19 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [Radiance-general] Free version of SketchUp released by Google
(butthere's a catch)

Google bought SketchUp a few months ago. Today they have released a
free, but limited, version of SketchUp (Mac OS X & Windows):

http://sketchup.google.com/

Pro version is as before with, I think, one or two minor additions.

SketchUp is so easy to use that I managed to create a 3D model for a
project whilst learning how to use SketchUp and got it done well before
the 8hr evaluation period ran out (Pro version). Search this site for
"3ds2rad" for how to convert from 3DS to Radiance format.

Here's the catch: only the Pro version exports SU models to formats such
as 3DS etc. So I'm afraid that the offer of a free version of SU is not
terribly useful for Radiance users. Where it may count is to have it
sitting there as a freebie which you can toy with every
now and then and perhaps learn how to use as a 'background' task.
Then when you really do need to use SU to make a Radiance model, you
could either buy the Pro version or see how much you could get done
during the 8hr demo period. I don't know if you could run the Free and
Pro versions alongside each other; that would be a sneaky way of getting
a lot out of the 8hr trial period. I never said that.

Well worth a look -- but not quite the gift (for Radiance users) that it
might have been.

-John

-----------------------------------------------
Dr. John Mardaljevic
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development De Montfort University
The Gateway Leicester
LE1 9BH, UK
+44 (0) 116 257 7972
+44 (0) 116 257 7981 (fax)

[email protected]
http://www.iesd.dmu.ac.uk/~jm

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

_______________________________________________
Radiance-general mailing list
[email protected]
http://www.radiance-online.org/mailman/listinfo/radiance-general

Well worth a look -- but not quite the gift (for Radiance users) that

it might have been.

It looks like sketchup is using opengl, so it could still be possible to
get the model
with a few efforts and text file editing using GLIntercept + OGLE

GLIntercept
http://glintercept.nutty.org/index.html

OGLE
http://ogle.eyebeamresearch.org/

I haven't tested it yet, so I can't promise it works ...

Good luck!

Francesco

···

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Randolph Fritz wrote:

I wonder if it would be possible to write a Radiance export plug-in for the free version of SketchUp. By the way, the free version is not licensed for commercial use, so even if it had full export facilities, there would still be problems using it commercially; Google can afford lots of lawyers. I wonder about research use.

Randolph

If you're looking for a free modeling software that exports to Radiance there are several. Not as easy to use as Sketchup, mind you, but still, 100% legal GPL 3D software is out there. And the 'full' version of Sketchup is $500, much cheaper than anything else.

Sketchup Pro uses Ruby as an API. So I don't see why someone wouldn't be able to make an export plug-in for it to talk with Radiance. Ruby is a great language, from what I've seen it a lot simpler than many other ones, and if I was a Sketchup user I think I'd dig into it. It looks like a lot of fun...

Jeffrey

Francesco Anselmo wrote:

It looks like sketchup is using opengl, so it could still be possible to
get the model
with a few efforts and text file editing using GLIntercept + OGLE

GLIntercept
http://glintercept.nutty.org/index.html

OGLE
http://ogle.eyebeamresearch.org/

I haven't tested it yet, so I can't promise it works ...
  

It works with Google Earth. It's a lot of fun. Takes a couple of tweaks to get it running, but once it is it's pretty fun to 'screenshot' 3D models out of it and pull them into modeling software. I've got all of downtown S.F. this way as a background model. It's a copyright nightmare, but really, really cool...

Jeffrey

Jeffrey McGrew wrote:

Sketchup Pro uses Ruby as an API. So I don't see why someone wouldn't be able to make an export plug-in for it to talk with Radiance. Ruby is a great language, from what I've seen it a lot simpler than many other ones, and if I was a Sketchup user I think I'd dig into it. It looks like a lot of fun...

Yeah, looks interesting. I assumed that the Ruby API would have been one of the things they crippled with the free version, but no, it's there! =8-) Problem is, what I do not see in there is the ability to set up object snaps, snap grids or direct coordinate input -- things I use all day long. Bummer. There is a user-definable coordinate system, but entity creation seems to be limited to drag & drop and some default object snaps (that are always running).

Am I just missing something?

- Rob