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What’s new in eyecad VR 1.8 – SketchUp, rain and snow for Real-Time Architecture

SketchUp importer, rains and snow effects with eyecad VR

eyecad VR 1.8 comes after a long beta testing period, which involved many professionals in AEC viz industry. The latest release of our real-time rendering software brings a lot of new features and enhancements, to give a deep contribute to every development step: since 3d model import to final render. Let’s see the most important tools that architect and designer will find in eyecad VR 1.8, to get a more powerful and more simple archviz workflow.

3D models import - SketchUp importer and new selection tools

eyecad VR 1.8 introduces new SketchUp Importer, a powerful tool that makes easier and faster every step for all Trimble’s most famous 3D model software for architecture. Above all, the new importer has been designed to get a smarter meshes and texture management, taking all the informations from original .skp file. This approach is far more efficient than export a .fbx or a .3ds file directly from SketchUp. The locator helper is a new selection tool, that automatically detects every imported model, getting it ready for every adjustment, since position to object scale in the real world space. Now eyecad VR’s importer is empowered by “Unify mesh by materials” option, a simple setup panel in importer tab, that collapse every item with an assigned material to a single mesh object. This method let you to select every kind of object you want, in a way comparable to a very common “Unify by layer” option.

Terrain, vegetation and weather effects

eyecad VR 1.8 introduces a solid upgrade to Environment’s creation and management tools. Every designer can build a fast and realistic setup, inserting his project in a few clicks. The new Environment Painter is a tool that let you to create and insert every landscape item stored in software’s library. It is visualized with a circle blue semi-transparent gizmo controller, that identifies the point and the range of editing operations in real time. The Grass System has been deeply improved with a new PBR shader. It shows a lot of parametric grass configurations, with intuitive slider controllers, while new Water System has been developed with a different physical approach, respect the same tool you used in past versions. Its shader is actually empowered by a new automatic reflection and refraction editing mode, responsive to every kind of situation: from sea to lakes, from rivers to private swimming pools. eyecad VR users can get more curious situations for their projects, using new Rain and Snow system, a real time simulator tool with 3D particles developed to build realistic bad weather situations, both in still and animated renders.

Real-Time rendering - Quality, Speed and Control

eyecad VR 1.8 confirms a solid development roadmap for a true real-time 3D software, build to manage and visualize every production output with a dynamic and instant render feedback. You will never wait for rendering times, like you would have to do with traditional offline tools. eyecad VR’s real-time philosophy eliminates every quality difference between stills, cinematics, interactive display and VR animations? They are all rendered in a fraction of a second. New multiple camera options are set to grab an instant shot from 3D viewport, setting an automatic camera object in the scene in a mouse click. It’s anyway possibile to save and recall camera setup directly from render settings. General overall render quality has been improved thanks to many optimizations to shading and lighting passes, like PBR settings or enhanced real time FXs. To configure PBR reflections and refractions is easier, thanks to new automatic setup mode on transparent materials and and a new Skybox reflections mode, that affects different objects with smoother results. eyecad VR 1.8 renders more natural images, to get more realism from the entire scene, even in its secondary details.

About virtual reality? More and more immersive

eyecad VR’s real-time core is getting more and more functional to the creation of virtual reality interactive walkthrough experiences. The goal is to navigate and configurate every interior and exterior space simply wearing most common VR headsets and controllers. Every stakeholder can share with real time design variations, in every moment of building lifecycle, since concept to commercial steps. These reasons make eyecad VR 1.8 a really useful tool both for AEC professionals and Real Estate marketers, rather than for interior design and furniture Brands. Updated eyecad VR Viewer supports HTC Vive Pro and Asus Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

IMPORTER - The new "locator helper" automatically select every imported 3D model, to edit their position and scale settings in the scene, rather than rename, collapse to single meshes and other useful options.

IMPORTER – The new SketchUp Importer is a smart tool that opens every .skp file, getting models and textures correctly in eyecad VR scene. This new importer is recommended instead to use SketchUp export modes (.fbx and .3ds).

IMPORTER – The option Unify Meshes by Materials collapse every mesh with an assigned material into a unique item. You can use this command both in import and in object editing modes.

ENVIRONMENT – A rewritten Grass Shader add more realism to natural grounds, introducing a great range of possible variations.

ENVIRONMENT – Terrain Editor has a new visual controller to identify the point and the range of every editing operation.

ENVIRONMENT – New Water System is based to a true PBR shader, with a lot of ready to use setup conditions. It’s possible to create sea, lake, river, swimming pool and many other water situations with just a click. Water System automatically adds a realistic reflection and refraction mode.

ENVIRONMENT – More options available for eyecad VR Weather System, with a 3D Snow tool to get an invernal mood for interior and exterior projects. Snow results are suggestive in both still and animated renderings, thanks to real-time software essence.

ENVIRONMENT - Both snow and rain effects are editable in real-time thanks to a simple amount slider.

RENDERING – New multiple camera options create camera objects from viewport live settings. It’s possible to save and edit every camera setup in render settings panel, to recall it every time you need a render edit.

RENDERING - Transparent materials are rendered with an automatic reflections and refractions utility, to get realistic and view angle dependant results.

RENDERING – Water System’s new PBR shader automatically create reflections and refractions, giving a fine tuning option in traditional material editor.

Take a look to the log of the new release. Log Software version 1.8:

● 3D Importer Tools:
- SketchUp Importer (new!)
- Locator Helper Tool (new!)
- Auto select imported object function (new!)
- Unify mesh by materials option in 3D import window (new!)

● Landscape Tools (Pro version):
- Water shader (new!)
- Grass shader (improved)
- Terrain shader (improved)
- Digital Elevation Map (fixed)

● Object editor (new!):
- Mesh setting command (new!)
- Unify by material command (new!)
- Recalculate normals command (new!)
- Reverse faces command (new!)

● Rendermode Tab (Advanced and Pro versions):
- Save camera settings option (new!)
- Black and white sky issue (fixed)

● Graphics and Rendering:
- Automatic reflections on every transparent material / skybox independent mode (new!)
- Opaque materials reflections (optimized)
- Skybox reflections (optimized)
- Overall quality of lighting and rendering system (improved)

● FX Tab (Pro version):
- Reflection probe rotation mode (fixed)

● Environment System:
- Rain and snow system (new!)

● Main bugs fixed:
- Videomaker artifacts with landscape items issues
- General texture saves and settings issues
- Interaction icons and object's pivot issues
- Object rotation (pivot / center) issues
- Grass material macOS issues
- Resolution scale not interactive issues
- CTRL+"Button" is now CMD+"Button" (only on macOS) (fixed)

● eyecad VR 1.8 Viewer and VR:
- HTC VIVE Pro support (added)
- Asus Windows Mixed Reality support (added)
- Interactive icons wrong position (fixed)
- Interactive object rotation (fixed)

Now it’s time to get serious. Enjoy!

eyecad VR team