Another important update for SketchUp 8

In the world of software, the designation “M2” refers to “Maintenance Release #2”. Maintenance releases are mini-versions that come out between major updates. They aren’t really about flashy new features; they’re more like tune-ups for your car; squeaks and rattles get fixes, tires are rotated, fluids are changed. You get the picture.

It’s been a few months since we released M1; since then, we’ve collected a fresh batch of performance tweaks and bug fixes—over 150 of them, in fact. M2 is a free update for all users of SketchUp 8 and SketchUp Pro 8 in all 12 languages. The best way to get it is to open SketchUp and do this:

Windows: Choose Help > Check for Update
Mac: Choose SketchUp > Check Web for Update

Having stated that maintenance releases aren’t always flashy, we couldn’t resist adding a few shiny, new things that we think you’ll appreciate:

Better Ruby Script Installation

We’ve had a way for other folks to build SketchUp plugins and extensions for years. Anyone with coding skills can use the Ruby API (application programming interface) to whip up new tools that they can distribute any way they like. People have created thousands of great scripts—we consider the API one of the most useful things we’ve done.

The tricky part has always been teaching SketchUp modelers how to install and access the Ruby scripts (Rubies) that they want to use. Adding a sophisticated Ruby used to involve finding a specific folder on your system and putting a bunch of files in all the right places. Try explaining how to do that to your boss.

The Extensions panel in SketchUp Preferences has a new button...

In SketchUp 8 M2, we’ve added two features that should make using Rubies a whole lot easier: The first is a new button on the Extensions panel in SketchUp Preferences. Clicking it lets you install any properly-configured ".RBZ" (ruby zip) file, which puts the needed files into the correct spot, without having to dig around in your computer’s file system. It’s simple, but huge. We’ve also added a lightweight set of “hooks” in the API that should help scripters build their own script-management tools.

Better COLLADA

All versions of SketchUp 8 can read and write COLLADA, a 3D file format that works with lots of other 3D software. It’s managed by the Khronos Group, an industry consortium that decides which features COLLADA should support. As of M2, SketchUp’s import/export support for COLLADA is now compliant with over 90% of the official Khronos compatibility test suite, only leaving out support for animations and shaders—neither of which can be authored in SketchUp anyway.

We think you’ll like SketchUp 8 M2’s ability to seamlessly import and export clean and compliant COLLADA geometry. One particular thing to note: SketchUp now preserves texture names in exported files. This makes it easier to work with COLLADA files in 3rd party rendering tools.

Advanced Camera Tools included in Pro

Back in March, we announced the Advanced Camera Tools for SketchUp Pro 8. The ACTs let set designers, cinematographers, storyboard artists and other people in the entertainment industry work with simulated real-world cameras in their SketchUp models. Until now, the ACTs were a separate plugin that you had to install. In M2, they’re built right into every copy of SketchUp Pro 8.



More Straightforward Pro Trials

After you download and install SketchUp Pro, you can try all of the Pro features for 8 hours (of use) before deciding to buy a license. Up until now, we’ve simply switched off the Pro stuff if you don’t enter a license after the trial period. Effectively, Pro reverted to being just like regular ol’ SketchUp.

The problem was that lots of people didn’t realize that they weren’t actually running Pro anymore. Even worse, folks who had bought Pro licenses and had forgotten (or otherwise been unable) to activate those licenses were missing out on all the great stuff they’d paid for. Our Pro Support team has been fielding dozens of “Why can’t I import a CAD file?” questions per day. It’s been a bit of a mess.

Starting with SketchUp 8 M2, the SketchUp Pro Trial will no longer revert to “free mode” when the trial period expires. A separate version of SketchUp will still be available to download for free, but SketchUp Pro will require a valid license file to run after your trial period has expired.

Mac OS 10.7 Compatibility

Users of Apple’s latest operating system, take note: SketchUp 8 is fully compatible with your hardware. And I ain’t lion. Rawr.

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29 comments :

amalisheski said...

I can't seem to find this update. It says I have the latest version, but I don't have any of the features from above. Is it rolling out by region?

Tyler Miller said...

Hi amalisheski -

Just go to sketchup.google.com and download the latest from there. We usually wait a few hours after we launch before we activate the in-product updating system, just so that we can make sure all is going well.

Thanks,
Tyler
Google

amalisheski said...

Thank you, Tyler

Joel Edwards said...

The problem that arises now that you have made Sketchup not automatically switch from Pro to Free is that all of us using a floating license can't run Sketchup 8 at all when the Pro license is in use on another machine. Sketchup 8 would revert to free features when Pro was being used elsewhere in the office allowing us to still be able to work on our models.

What makes this situation worse is that I can't even use Sketchup 8 Free now because it won't allow me to install unless I uninstall Sketchup 8 Pro first. Come on guys, this has got to be fixed!

Joel Edwards said...

AND in addition to the problem I stated above, if I open Sketchup 8 Pro using my shared license server, I cannot open another instance of Sketchup 8 on my computer. Being able to open separate files in two Sketchup windows and compare them on two monitors is a must at my office. This problem needs to be resolved.

jbacus said...

Hi Joel,

Network license holders require a special solution– we didn't forget about you and I think you'll like how the new system works. We'll have additional information for you shortly.


john
.

aidanchopra said...

Hi Joel (and others),

If you have a network license for SketchUp Pro 8 and you think this change might affect your workflow, please drop us a line:
http://goo.gl/6DfWf
We'll do our best to help you find a workable solution.

Thanks, Aidan

GENKI said...

Great Update !! I can change MacOS to LION..

krz said...

free version still needs an admin account to install. it would help me a lot in my restrictive office environment if i could circumvent this limitation

Gate Guy said...

Why is this still not compatible with IE9 and Windows 7?

Gate Guy said...

@krz:

Those restrictions are there *FOR A PURPOSE*

Do your IT guy a favor and quit trying to circumvent them.

overturned said...

Turning off the automatic switch from pro to free features is devastating for an office who runs on shared licenses. Also closing the program when another user pulls a license is a disaster.

This updated version is unable to install the free version along with the Pro, unable to open dual Pro windows and unable to switch from Pro to free. can you send me the link to the old version.

aidanchopra said...

@overturned,

I'm sorry you've been negatively affected by the update. Please fill out the form here:
http://goo.gl/6DfWf
... and we'll do everything we can to help you resolve the issues you're having.

Take care, Aidan

Chesterimp said...

Aidan

Same issues as other network license users here, filled out your form and am being fobbed off with advice to switch to single user license (s).

Google's response so far therefore to network license users is:-
(a) switch to fixed user licenses to maintain old level of functionality and play musical chairs around the office; or
(b) continue to live with the problems succinctly outlined by 'Overturned' above.

Just not good enough. Can I have my old version back too, please?

aidanchopra said...

@Chesterimp,

Thanks for taking the time to fill out the form; you did the right thing. Our Sales Support team is working with everyone who contacts them to find a good solution. I'd encourage you to please continue the conversation with them via email. We understand how important this is, and we're doing our best.

Thanks for you patience, and for using Pro,

Aidan

DF said...

The continued 'push-back' by Google on what customers can do with their Network Licences is regrettable.

If Google wants to simply do away with Network Licences altogether, then give us our money back! Instead, this gradual building pressure to try to induce people to buy stand-alone Pro is damaging the image of Google as a 'serious' software vendor.

Unknown said...

Chesterimp... I just got your wish. Had the updated 8.0.48 whatever installed and not knowing the version's well I told SketchUp (free version) to check for updates... got version 8.0.11752 for whatever reason. One step forward, almost 4 steps back!

Shealin said...

Well i appreciate this initiative, indeed is a good way to keep people making more comments and to seem your blog is more active.
Facility Maintenance Software

Unknown said...

I am using SketchUp Pro 8 on Windows 7, and just did as suggested and clicked Check for Update. I get a message "The update service has been disabled. Please contact your administrator for more information." Well, I AM the administrator - this is my personal home computer, and no one else uses it. What gives?

Thugston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thugston said...

Same update issues with network license. Google is confusing...one minute its
"Network license holders require a special solution– we didn't forget about you"
implying there is a work around for network license holders, but then its
"We understand how important this is, and we're doing our best."
which suggests they had no clue and are now scrambling!

I just want it to go back the way it was, when I wasn't forced by Google to understand the difference between Free and Pro (read their reasoning/argument for this downdate)!!!!!

Joel Edwards said...

Where is the download link for Sketchup 8 Free M2? All of the download links I'm finding on Sketchup's website directs me to 8.0. I have uninstalled the Pro version and installed the Free version but it still says I'm running Pro and must enter my license information.

Come on guys, you are really making this unnecessary upgrade difficult for everyone. Get this right so we can get back to work. Not sure if you know this or not, but many people's jobs depend on Sketchup running correctly...

andrew arbaugh said...

If we have the paid, SketchUp Pro8, do we have to pay again to get the update?

rongeyer said...

When will this ridiculous Pro/Free issue be addressed? Its a killer. Luckily, the competition's getting better and easier to use.

Chesterimp said...

Update for Pro Network Licence users -we're officially second class citizens. I've been communicating with Google since before Christmas and its pretty clear they aren't going to address the issues raised here.

While they are still selling Network Licences, I trust they are making clear to prospective buyers that they will be getting an inferior level of performance to fixed seat licenses. In UK and Europe at least Google could be liable to prosecution under consumer protection legislation if they don't, or they'll need price network licenses less. They will probably kill off this alternative in due course anyway, for whatever reason they've decided they don't like it and its crystal clear that they don't understand (or care about) the benefits this arrangement has for many end users.

I've invested a lot of time and effort making Sketchup work for my employer, and at a critical point one of the key benefits in my selling it to them has gone up in smoke. Thanks a bunch, Google.

Very poor state of affairs. Rongeyer, what's the competition?

jbacus said...

I checked in with the Sales gang this afternoon and it looks like they've been able to help just about everyone who has contacted them.

@Joel Edwards, @chesterimp and @rongeyer– it looks like you're already in contact with the Sales folks and they are helping you work through the change.

@Thugston, @DF, @overturned, and @Unknown… if you haven't already contacted our Sales folks through the link above, please do so– and reference the nickname you used here so we know when we've satisfied your needs. Since we'll be talking about your personal license, we should really carry on the conversation via email.

If you are still having trouble with SU8M2 and your network license and you haven't contacted us, please use this form to ask for help. Here's a recap of the changes that impact network license holders:

+ If you have a network license and you want to use it offline, you can now do so with full Pro features. To take advantage of this new feature, you'll need a new single-user license installed locally.

+If you have a network license that is being used regularly by more than the number of users allowed by the license, you'll have to increase the number of seats on your license.

+If this whole Network License thing just makes your head spin, you may convert your Network License to an equivalent number of Single User Licenses for simplicity's sake.

jbacus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hello,

I paid for the pro license a while back, hardly use sketchup, but upgraded to the 8 pro, won't accept my license. I may pay the upgrade fee but want to know will it work on my mac as well as my windows. I've never tried it on my mac, but thought it was a separate program that may have to pay separately. MAX OSX 10.6.8

Thanks

John Smith said...

QUESTION: If I create a dynamic component during the 8 hour trial of Pro, and share it in the Warehouse, and then I do not take up Pro. Will myself and others be able to use that dynamic component and its behaviour as users? It is an important consideration for me. Please let me know! thanks a lot for any response.