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Tidbits: Rhino, SketchUp, Autodesk news

Mac CAD and 3D News: We have news on SketchUp 7’s maintenance release, new improvements; we also cover Rhino and Autodesk’s AREA news items, including the Unity Game Engine.

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SketchUp 7 Maintenance Release Out

Google has issued a maintenance release for SketchUp 7 and SketchUp Pro 7 for all users and recommends they update SketchUp 7 at their earliest convenience. A new feature is the ability to place model underwater in collaboration with Google Earth and Google Oceans. You can read all about it here.

In other SketchUp 7 news Lucerne, Switzerland and Santa Rosa, California, have both submitted themselves as 3D modeled cities via the Cities in 3D Program, in doing so they joined others who view Google Earth as an effective way to promote their towns to virtual tourists, enabling potential businesses to evaluate a new site, and help city planners share design proposals. In other news the Google SketchUp Ruby API website has received a big overhaul. 

Autodesk’s AREA Website Highlights “Unity Game Engine”

Autodesk’s AREA website has an interview with Unity Technologies co-founder and CEO David Helgason. As some of Architosh’s readers may know, the Unity game engine is a hot new 3D technology platform. Actually what Unity is is an integrated game development and authoring software tool. It is both similar to Director and the Torque Game Builder insomuch as it is centered around a GUI environement.

Screencapture: Image of latest Unity Game Development running on Mac OS X, from the AREA interview with Unity CEO David Helgason.

Screencapture: Image of latest Unity Game Development running on Mac OS X, from the AREA interview with Unity CEO David Helgason.

In the interview Helgason talks about “democratizing game development” and how its users were stressing the importance to make it target iPhone and Wii games, in addition to Web-based and PC and Mac games. Unity has just been released for Windows for the first time, but its been hugely popular with thousands of game developers on the Mac for over four years.

Helgason tells AREA that part of the reason why Unity has the look-and-feel it does is because it was based around tools like Maya and 3ds Max as well as because it started on the Mac and they have an obsession with simplicity akin to Apple.

This is an excellent interview with tidbits on where Unity is oriented, what game platforms it will support in the future besides iPhone, Wii, and more interesting details. To read the interview go here.

Rhino News

In Rhino news the company (Robert McNeel) has announced a new Rendering contest, DOSLib 8.0 for AutoCAD 2010, nXt video tutorials for SketchUp and the announcement that AccuRender nXt is out as a new version. The AR nXt rendering engine is still in development but can be used with AutoCAD, Revit and SketchUp. It is only available for Windows however.

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