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Sketchup, from Google to Trimble !

TMA_80
Enthusiast
Hi,

Sketchup will not be a Google product anymore .

http://ww2.trimble.com/3d/
AC12_20 |Win10_64bit|
15 REPLIES 15
stefan
Expert
I have read about it and while I'm not sure what the immediate benefit will be, it is also clear that Google has done what it wanted to do with SketchUp:
a cheap/free modeler for 3D Warehouse and Google Earth

The core of SketchUp has not changed that much lately and there have been almost no new updates or versions.

I do hope sincerely that the real innovative style of the @Last era will return, although SketchUp might be just too mature for that. Initially (I do recall release 2) each new version had a new, fun and wildly creative new feature (follow-me, slices), but even if you strip most out of the program and only leave the pencil and the eraser tools (along with the display options and the tremendous interference or snapping helpers) you would still be able to model almost anything.


Do they see "Trimble SketchUp" (9? 2012?, just "new" ?) as the place to manage huge point-clouds? Do they really care for the different domains where SketchUp has become big: architectural design, game development, hobby modeling, pre-viz?
--- stefan boeykens --- bim-expert-architect-engineer-musician ---
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Ralph Wessel
Mentor
stefan wrote:
Do they really care for the different domains where SketchUp has become big: architectural design, game development, hobby modeling, pre-viz?
I'm inclined to think SketchUp was doomed to gradual, protracted death from the moment Google bought it. A product like that only thrives in the hands of people who are passionate about what they do. Google is an advertising firm, and did little more than put it on life-support. I suspect we'll see the remainder slowly cannibalised into other software. It's not the first time I've seen this - I've watched the same, slow death of other products I liked several times in the past.
Ralph Wessel BArch
I'm inclined to agree with Ralph here.

Everything I've read about this acquisition and everything I've read and found out about Trimble seems to indicate that Sketchup is going the way of the Dodo bird, or more pointedly the way of Lightscape, T-splines and other software/plugins that were bought out by bigger firms only to have their assets and features cannibalized into the new firm's flagship software and to have them die a slow quiet death.

Trimble are the same firm that owns Tekla Structures and they tout this deal as positioning them for the BIM landscape of the future although everything in their website tends to point more towards the Structural/Construction side of BIM as opposed to the Architectural/Design side, which is what Sketchup primarily deals with and what it really is - Architectural design software - at the most basic conceptual level.

I feel sorry for a lot of firms that rely heavily on Sketchup in their design workflow and office toolset pipeline, since it really really does help a lot in quickly roughing up massing ideas into a form and clarity that even non-architecturally trained clients can quickly understand.

And I also imagine that the free version is also going to go bye-bye since there's no incentive on Trimble's part in keeping that going in the same way that there was for Google to have a lot of freelance Sketchup users out there populating their Google 3D warehouse and Google Earth maps.

I'm just glad that from a purely intuitiveness, interface and workflow perspective, ArchiCAD's modeling tools and environment are much closer to Sketchup than Revit is.
I recall once working in the 3D window in ArchiCAD building a model and a Revit user who was looking over my shoulder remarked at just how Sketchup-like it seemed and felt.
Especially considering the fact that they can't work in Perspective 3D in Revit and that the graphic handling is atrocious at best.


I hope Graphisoft continue to focus on developing and improving the modeling tools in ArchiCAD in continuing the theme they began with version 15 and the freeform modeling tools, and I hope the extend the ability to quickly do massing and conceptual models ala Sketchup and which can easily transition to the parametric environment for documentation.

Autodeks tried a similar thing with their Vasari project, but being a neutered version of Revit itself, it doesn't come close to comparing to working conceptually in Sketchup and is just as horrible to use.
Eduardo Rolon
Moderator
BC,

Didn't know that Trimble was the owner of Tekla.

Thinking out loud since BimSight is part of Tekla:

1. SketchUp + BimSight, keeping both free and BimSight can benefit from having an integrated modeler.

2. Use SU Mac code base to develop a Mac native BimSight option.
Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC27 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

ejrolon wrote:
BC,

Didn't know that Trimble was the owner of Tekla.

Thinking out loud since BimSight is part of Tekla:

1. SketchUp + BimSight, keeping both free and BimSight can benefit from having an integrated modeler.

2. Use SU Mac code base to develop a Mac native BimSight option.

That's quite an optimistic view of it.
And I hope you're right.

But nothing in their website suggests they are interested in developing Sketchup that much to help the purely Architectural community versus the Construction and Engineering fields who are their main marketbase.

They may keep it alive, but I just don't see what motivation they have to developing it further.
Let's not forget that Google themselves didn't really invest that much themselves into developing Sketchup neither when they owned it and each upgrade was just a change in number with minimal changes to the actual toolset.
In fact Google's biggest contribution seems to have been making it free, or at least providing a free version that made Sketchup more popular even in other fields like Game Design, Interior design, Product development.

But I guess we'll find out in the coming months and/or years.
TMA_80
Enthusiast
Sketchup has not evolved as many of us have expected during the Google era .

However, its obvious that the number of SketchUp users has more than doubled during that period (even schools has access to this wonderful tool ). The free version was a blessing solution, not only for users but also for the SketchUp develoment itself: how many Ruby scripts and how many plugins have been created during that period.

Trimble should keep this spirit ( not in giving a useless free version or an expensive Pro version ).The @last original team is always on the head of SketchUp devlopment, so lets hope everything will be Ok...
AC12_20 |Win10_64bit|
I found an interesting take on the Trimble buyout of Sketchup, on LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Trimble-did-WHAT-98421.S.111066575?view=&srchtype=discussedNews&gid=9...

I especially like the analogy he made in terms of what happens when a 2D oriented company buys out a 3D (or Multi-dimensional) oriented product or software in the hopes of leveraging its own brand, and the comparison he makes between this Trimble buyout and the Autodesk buyout of Revit almost a decade ago.

Trimble didn't actually develop Tekla but only just bought them out, and are in many respects pretty similar to Autodesk in terms of how they buy out products that they own rather than developing them in-house.


The real question is, who gets the kids in the Google-Sketchup divorce?
And by 'kids', I mean the original @Last developers who went on to get positions in Google when Google bought out Sketchup the first time and who conceivably kept up with the development of Sketchup.
Do they leave Google to join a totally different corporate/development culture at Trimble? Or do they stay at Google (which was ranked as one of the best places for software developers to work at in the US) thus spelling the real end and doom of Sketchup?
TMA_80
Enthusiast
the kids are living to Trimble.
That’s why I’m sharing today that the SketchUp team and technology will be leaving Google to join Trimble. We’ll be better able to focus on our core communities: modelers who have been with us from the beginning, as well as future SketchUppers who have yet to discover our products
that's what they've said in the official Skp blog.
AC12_20 |Win10_64bit|
Anonymous
Not applicable
Ralph wrote:
stefan wrote:
Do they really care for the different domains where SketchUp has become big: architectural design, game development, hobby modeling, pre-viz?
I'm inclined to think SketchUp was doomed to gradual, protracted death from the moment Google bought it. A product like that only thrives in the hands of people who are passionate about what they do. Google is an advertising firm, and did little more than put it on life-support. I suspect we'll see the remainder slowly cannibalised into other software. It's not the first time I've seen this - I've watched the same, slow death of other products I liked several times in the past.
I was a sketchup user from the very early @last days and it is THE reason that I moved to AC from vectorworks - it opened a 3D world to me and then made me want an integrated 3D BIM solution (which VW was not, and in a way still isn't).

I find Ralph's comment particularly depressing - because it rings true. Fortunately or unfortunately I have not touched sketchup since I found my feet with AC.

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