Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) has announced the integration of V-Ray, one of the world’s premier rendering technologies and a market leader, into SketchUp Studio, the company’s flagship SketchUp offering. SketchUp is the world’s most widely used 3D modeling software.
This latest integration will enable users of SketchUp Studio to produce high-quality, photographic-realistic renderings directly within Trimble’s SketchUp Studio.
“Design visualization is a critical element in conveying a compelling visual story, showcasing the merits of a proposal and in making better design decisions,” said Hugh McEvoy, director, Strategy and Business Development at Trimble. “The ability to generate both high-definition, photorealistic visualizations and real-time renderings within SketchUp Studio allows AEC professionals to make great design decisions and communicate those decisions to project stakeholders.”
As part of the V-Ray integration, SketchUp Studio users will have access to V-Ray’s web-based 3D content library called Chaos Cosmos. The library includes a variety of render-ready content that users can download and use in their SketchUp modeling scenes, thus enhancing the value of SketchUp Studio. The content is directly accessible via the V-Ray toolbar in SketchUp and allows searching for finding content and downloading and editing the 3D content.
“V-Ray is a natural complement to Trimble’s SketchUp capabilities to make design easier, smoother, and more enjoyable for AEC professionals,” said Peter Mitev, CEO of Chaos. “We’re excited to give the SketchUp community the power to create photorealistic renders for everything from quick design models to detailed 3D scenes, without leaving their favorite design tool.”
With SketchUp Studio with the new V-Ray integration users can add global illumination, artificial lighting, realistic materials and textures, and atmospheric effects, and a lot more to 3D models.
Trimble’s SketchUp Studio subscriptions are available now and feature V-Ray Integration. SketchUp Studio is a Windows-only solution and includes a suite of tools for AEC professionals, including Trimble Connect for collaboration, Scan Essentials for creating models from point cloud data, and V-Ray for rendering.
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
Architosh readers may recall our recent review of SketchUp Studio from last year. It seems that Trimble has decided to do two things that both surprised us. Firstly, they have taken the Sefaira tools for early-stage analysis for better building performance out of SketchUp Studio. They used to be the meat and potatoes of that offering, justifying the much higher price for SketchUp Studio compared to just SketchUp Pro. SketchUp Pro is USD 299.00 per year while SketchUp Studio is USD 699 per year, down from over a thousand US dollars per year when the Sefaira tools were its main point. In essence, Studio has really become about modeling and rendering and not about building energy performance—something that never quite matched the intentionality of the product name before.
The second surprise is that SketchUp Studio is now a Windows-only product. We think this is a limitation of Chaos’s side because there is nothing Windows-only about SketchUp itself nor the Sefaira tools we reviewed on macOS last year. Readers not aware should know that V-Ray is native on both platforms.
Putting the platform availability issue aside, this change to what constitutes the “Studio” part of SketchUp Studio is a good one, reflective of design studies and what they do. Based on conversations we have had with Trimble recently, the energy analysis parts are shifting a bit with the introduction of the PreDesign tools. The pricing with the integration of V-Ray is now quite attractive. Currently, a separate V-Ray for SketchUp license is USD 350 per year or available perpetual for USD 790. Given a subscription path, and given that SketchUp Studio also comes with native point cloud support, Studio is a very attractive offering.