The next annual release of SketchUp is here. Aside from the numerous performance enhancements to SketchUp and Layout, there have been some additional features added to both programs that I’m very excited about. I’ve also updated the SketchUp to LayOut book for 2014.
- SketchUp 2014 is here This is the official blog post from the SketchUp team announcing SketchUp 2014 with all of its new features. It’s got some great info regarding the new WebGL interactive 3D warehouse, as well as the new BIM features in SketchUp Pro.
- Information Modeling in SketchUp For those who use BIM in their workflow, this article provides some additional insight into the added Classifier feature in SketchUp. The Classifier allows you to add metadata to your model components
- Upgrading to SketchUp Pro 2014 If you own a previous version of SketchUp Pro, you probably don’t have to pay full price for 2014. This article details all the specifics on how to upgrade.
- Migrating Plugins from a previous version When you upgrade SketchUp, you can keep your existing plugins. You’ll just need to do a little navigating in your file system. This article explains the process.
- Trimble Press Release An overview of the new release, with emphasis on the new 3D warehouse and the new BIM capabilities.
- Sketchucation’s SketchUp 2014 Review A great review of the new features in SketchUp 2014. Includes details on the new 3D warehouse, classifier tools, Auto-Text tags, Arc tools and more.
- Ronen Bekerman SketchUp 2014 review A “not-so-impressed” review of the new SketchUp 2014. The comments at the end of this article are an interesting read.
- Alexander Schreyer’s review of the new Ruby API Alex, the author of Architectural Design with SketchUp, gives us a glimpse into the power of the new features of the upgraded Rubby API in SketchUp 2014. Although you may think this only applies to SketchUp plugin developers, you will surely benefit from this as new plugins are developed and released on the extension warehouse.
- Sketchucation Forum Discussion What’s everybody saying about the new version? Find out on the Sketchucation forum.
Where to Get it?
There are two versions of SketchUp available: SketchUp Make, and SketchUp Pro.
SketchUp Make 2014 is a fully functioning FREE 3D modeling program licensed for personal (non-commercial) use. Just be aware that when you download SketchUp Make, you’ll automatically get an 8 hour SketchUp Pro trial, so you’ll get to check out all the features of SketchUp Pro. After the 8 hours is up, it will revert back to the free SketchUp Make.
SketchUp Pro 2014 has some additional features geared towards the professional user, including two additional programs: LayOut 2014 and Style Builder. LayOut is a separate program from SketchUp that allows you to create 2D presentations of your SketchUp models. A SketchUp Pro license is required if you’re using SketchUp for commercial use. The SketchUp Pro package costs $495, plus an additional $95 maintenance fee that gets you free upgrades for a year. If you currently own SketchUp 2013, you’ll be upgrading to SketchUp Pro 2014 for free.
Are you ready to buy? If so, you can purchase a brand new SketchUp Pro 2014 license for $590. That’s $495 for the license, and $95 for a mandatory maintenance package which will get you one year of free upgrades (Including any major releases). Remember, SketchUp Pro includes LayOut, Style Builder, and of course, SketchUp Pro. If you are a previous owner of SketchUp Pro, you may not have to pay full price for 2014, in fact, you might not have to pay anything at all.
Upgrading from SketchUp Pro 2013 to SketchUp Pro 2014
If you’re an owner of SketchUp Pro 2013, you probably had to pay the $95 fee for the maintenance program, on top of the $495 cost for the program. If so, you’re in luck. You’ll get SketchUp 2014 at no additional cost as part of your maintenance agreement.
If you own a SketchUp 2013 license, you will receive an email with instructions on how to upgrade. If you’re a owner of an older version of SketchUp Pro, you may be entitled to a discount too. Use the SketchUp License Wizard to look up your license and upgrade.
New Features in 2014
- 3D Warehouse
The 3D warehouse has been completely revamped from the ground up to provide a more modern look, increased model upload size, and provide direct model upload from your web browser. It also supports live, interactive 3D model previews right in your browser, using WebGL technology.
- Classifier (SketchUp Pro)
To further enhance SketchUp’s BIM capabilities, you can now attach metadata to the groups and components within your model. Using an IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) file, you can tag groups and components as industry standard object types. SketchUp now has a tighter integration with other BIM software, making it easier to use SketchUp in your BIM workflow. (If this all sounds like jibberish to you, you likely won’t have any use for this new feature.)
- New Arc Tools (SketchUp Make & SketchUp Pro)
In addition to the standard arc tool, you will now be able to define an arc from its center point. You’ll also be able to create arcs that produce pie shaped faces.
- Faster Shadows (SketchUp Make & SketchUp Pro)
If you’re like me, you turn shadows off whenever you’re modeling because you lose so much performance when they’re on. In SketchUp 2014, the code for generating shadows has been optimized to greatly increase the performance of shadows in your model. You’ll notice an average improvement of 15x.
- Smart Labels (SketchUp Pro, & LayOut)
When you use the label tool in either SketchUp or LayOut, the text will pre-populate with the name of the group or component you’ve attached the label to.
- Auto-Text Tags (LayOut)
This is my favorite new feature in LayOut. Auto-Text allows you to insert page numbers, dates, and other information that automatically updates text boxes throughout your document. You can even create your own using custom text. (See below for more on Auto-Text Tags.)
- Improved Vector Rendering (LayOut)
LayOut now makes use of your graphics card for large models displayed as vector viewports.
- Updated DWG/DXF Export (SketchUp Pro & LayOut)
Along with a few bug fixes, SketchUp Pro and LayOut can now Export to the AutoCAD 2013 file format.
This is the best new feature to LayOut in 2014. Auto-text allows you to automate a number of redundant tasks, and provides a smoother workflow for other text entry as well.
Auto-Text lets you add special tags, such as <PageNumber> within text boxes, and that text will automatically display the value of that Auto-Text tag. So in this example, <PageNumber> will display the number of the page that the text box is on.
Watch this video tutorial on how Auto-Text Tags work:
Here is a list of all the built in Auto-Text tags:
- Page Number
- Page Name
- File Name
- Current Date
- Date Created
- Date Modified
- Date Published
These are completely automated, so you just insert the tag in a text box and it will pull the information and display it in the text box. So if you use <CurrentDate>, it will display, (you guessed it), whatever the current date is. If you open the file tomorrow, that tag will show the new date automatically.
You can also create your own custom text Auto-Text tags, for whatever you want! This is a very useful tool which will save you tons of time.
SketchUp to LayOut Book
I’ve updated my book for SketchUp Pro 2014. SketchUp to LayOut is a complete guide for construction professionals who want to use LayOut to create presentations and drawings of their SketchUp models. If you haven’t purchased it yet, buy it at www.SketchUptoLayOut.com.
When I launched the book in January, I conducted a live webinar where I went over the process of creating a LayOut document. If you missed it, you can watch the replay at www.sketchuptolayout.com.