V-Ray 5 for SketchUp is here! Join us for a free two-part masterclass to learn the latest features and how they can supercharge your workflow. Ivan Kozaliev, V-Ray CG specialist at Chaos Group, and Dan Stone, Head of Operations at Archilime, will take the digital stage to showcase the new features and their specialist tips and tricks. You’ll also have a chance to ask any questions after the session. See you there!
For every attendee (one in each session!) there will be the chance to win a free V-Ray License from Elmtec along with a free 4 hour online top-up course from Archiime Academy!
Until then, why not take a sneak peak into the video from Archilime, in partnership with Chaos Group where Dan shares how these features enhance workflow in the studio.
5 mins: Welcome and introduction from Elmtec’s Marketing Manager and MC extraordinaire – Lauren Donnebaum
40 mins: Ivan Kozaliev, V-Ray CG specialist at Chaos Group, masterclass showing you the new features he loves (exteriors on Thursday, interiors on Friday)
25 mins: Archilime’s V-ray Licensed trainer Dan Stone, showing you the new features he loves (exteriors on Thursday, interiors on Friday)
15 mins: Open forum – your chance for your questions answered from the experts
5 mins: Close – Announcing winner (one each session!) of a free V-Ray License from Elmtec along with a free 4 hour online top-up course from Archiime Academy
Earlier this year, as a result of the pandemic, many companies had to make the bold leap of faith from face-to-face training to online lessons. Quite a terrifying concept for some, especially for those whose in-person training sessions were already a huge success – why would anyone want to change this for something that seemed less personal and more disconnected? And, some people asked, what even is Zoom?
Fast forward a few months, and companies and delegates have realised the amazing benefits of online learning. In many areas, the balance has been tipped, with online lessons coming out as having advantages that can outweigh face-to-face training. However, not all training providers are as good as each other, and you should choose wisely. Look for a high quality training academy that will offer the best teaching from industry experts who will take you on a learning journey to further your skills; and offer you support over the years ahead. Find an academy led by teachers who are specialists in a specific field, rather than a generic training provider; and you’ll be in good hands.
What Should I Expect from my Training Academy?
For your experience to be relevant and worthwhile to you personally, your pre-course care should not be overlooked. This involves having contact with delegates in advance of the online course, to chat through your needs to ensure a more targeted and tailored course. Neither you nor your tutor should simply rock up, without finding out, in advance, what your current skill set is, and what you would like to get out of the course. Building up a bit of a rapport before the online learning session begins, ensures that you feel more at ease at the start of the course, and makes it easier for your tutor, too!
So, you’re all set up, laptop on, poised and ready for the Zoom session to begin: this situation is easier for some than others. You might well already be a tech whizz, or your buzzing social life might mean that you have virtually clinked a few glasses of prosecco over the lockdown period with friends during Saturday nights in. For others, this may not be an experience that feels so comfortable, and this is where delegates often feel the benefits of that pre-course introduction. You also have to remember that 2020 has got a whole generation of Grannies on the Zoom software – enough said.
Zoom’s Sophisticated Software
Using Zoom for training purposes is very different to using it to toast your cousin’s birthday at a weekend virtual gathering. Used to its full capacity, it is a very efficient, smart and sophisticated piece of software thanks to its many interactive capabilities. Being able to annotate everyone’s screens actually puts training via Zoom a step ahead of face-to-face courses where the tutor potentially needs to go round the room attending to individual delegates; possibly holding up the natural flow of the course. WithZoom, screens can be shared, regularly rotating throughout each of the delegates during the course; meaning that everyone can see what everyone else is doing. This sharing experience can also build a sense of camaraderie equivalent to in-person courses.
The ability to have easy, group interaction is a feature of Zoom that should not be underestimated, as it can bring a much needed sense of community at a time when currently many are working from home and feeling quite isolated. This way of upskilling in a social setting also offers a renewed sense of optimism and empowerment for those who can’t get to face-to-face training at this time, yet want to improve their skills and future job prospects.
Networking opportunities might be an added bonus too – as often happens when a like-minded group of people come together. Furthermore, online learning has logistical and monetary advantages, as it fits in well around tighter timescales and finances: no travel or overnight accommodation needed here.
Once the course is over, that shouldn’t mean the end of the support – personalised help and post-course support should be readily available. The online lessons can, and should, be screen recorded. Your training provider can then hand this to delegates (preferably free of charge), with other useful course materials. This post-course care is just as important, if not more so, as the pre-course involvement.
Do your Research
When choosing a course, look at both the quality of the course and tutors, as well as the after-care provision. Full support through video calling, emailing and phone should be offered, and delegates should be encouraged to utilise this service. Hopefully, this will then ward off the dreaded ‘forgetting curve’! The forgetting curve suggests the decline of memory retention in time; a graph showing that humans tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless they consciously review the learned material. Now, there’s no point shelling out money on a course to simply forget half of all those gems of wisdom a couple of weeks later! Therefore, these post-course materials and support are a huge benefit to your online-learning experience.
Finally, make sure you check out the reviews of any course before signing up. You should be trained by experienced, industry experts who are passionate about what they do. Find the right training academy for you, and you’ll be zooming to online learning success in no time!
To find out about the Archilime Academy and our range of courses, including SketchUp and V-Ray for SketchUp Pro, do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you! Call us on: 01364 654 267 or email: email@example.com
Modelling from CAD within SketchUp – where do I start?
If you are modeling within SketchUp, you will need to know how to import and align CAD drawings. Whether your own or somebody else’s; well-aligned CAD drawings are the literal foundations upon which you build your SketchUp models.
How to Align CAD
Let us explore how to align CAD in the most efficient way possible. To clarify; the plan is for us to import CAD before tracing over it to create our 3D model. Let’s get started!
When initially importing a CAD file (in dwg format), it normally enters the SketchUp workspace as a completely flat group.
Something else that you will notice is that all of the CAD layers are visible as tags within SketchUp. We don’t need all of these so we can compress these tags down into one which we’ll rename CAD. I would now recommend creating a tag to be used for the massing of our 3D model.
We also need to ensure that each floor plan and elevation is grouped separately.
Now that we have organised our drawing, let’s begin positioning the plans and elevations. Take the ground floor and move it over to the origin as shown (also remember to align right angles on the plan with the red and green axis as you can see here)
The next step is to align the elevations around the ground floor plan. Pay special attention to things like window and door openings, because we use these features to resolve whether or not we need to flip our elevations.
We can now stand up our elevations by using the rotate tool. A tip from us is to use the direction buttons on your keyboard once the rotate tool is active, as this will better enable you to lock the orientation of your rotation!
Now simply place your first-floor plan over the top of your ground floor plan and lift up to the correct height as shown on the elevations. Repeat this step for each additional floor.
And hey presto you have now successfully aligned your CAD drawings!
You may not know it yet, but a dome light is the answer to creating ever-more realistic lighting setups within your CGIs…
Let’s break it down…
In a day-time scene, we have direct sunlight to illuminate our scenes. Direct light also scatters through the atmosphere and illuminates our environment.
V-Ray considers both direct and indirect illumination as two separate light sources.
To create a nighttime scene, we require a technique to remove direct sunlight, whilst being able to create a nighttime environment.
To do this, we use something called a Dome Light
A Dome light is a type of V-Ray light that surrounds our entire model, forcing light inwards. Images can be loaded into these light sources, which enables the user to simulate real-world environments by using panoramic HDR images.
I like to think of a Dome Light as a giant snow globe – with our model in the center. We can choose what the sky looks like by swapping in different panoramic images.
What does it mean for you?
Select the highlighted tool to add a Dome light into your scene. Putting this into practice is straightforward. Pick out the Dome light tool from your V-Ray toolbar…
Load in your HDRI…
Hit render! Don’t forget to rotate your dome light to adjust the position of the sun
Over the years we have come across many different sources for HDRIs…
We would like to recommend just two…
For variety, we highly recommend taking a look at Poliigon. Besides offering free assets; they operate a simple, subscription-type service where, depending on your package, you obtain different amounts of credits every month to spend on HDRIs, textures or models
If you are looking for top-quality HDRIs, look no further than Peter Guthrie’s shop – PG Skies. This in-depth collection of ultra high-quality HDRIs contains skies for all occasions. The handy preview renders show each of these in action, to make picking out your favourite that much easier!
We have no affiliation with these guys – but we rely heavily on their models. Without a doubt; they are the place to go for high-quality SketchUp models of furniture, lighting, and accessories.
For over 10 years, they have worked with premium brands to provide photorealistic 3D models of their products – so that SketchUpand V-Rayusers like us can download and import these into our scenes!
All models are (or can be) made available in SketchUp format, and all textures are correctly applied to each model, meaning it is the closest thing to a plug-and-play technique that exists for our workflow for furnishings
Again, we have no affiliation with this website, however, we have really benefited from the vast 3D collection that they offer.
If models are not available on DesignConnected, we head over to 3DSky, safe in the knowledge that we will find something that we can use.
Rather than the standard SketchUp file-type (.skp) that we are used to; models from 3D Sky tend to be in a different format – a filetype called obj…
In a nutshell, they store the geometry and textural information that makes up a 3D model. Different 3D modelling programs use different file types to save models – however, the .obj file type is the closest thing to an industry-standard in this regard.
To import .obj models, we use an extension called Transmutr. The easy-to-navigate interface allows you to convert these into .skp files – for you to then import into your scenes.
If you are working under a tighter budget, without the capacity to spend much on 3D models – there is no better source than the 3D Warehouse within SketchUp’s interface.
If you own or have owned, SketchUp Pro – there is a very good chance you know about this already.
Use the sliders on the left to control the quality of the models within your search parameters.
Take note… these models are not quality-checked before being uploaded to the warehouse – which means that you can end up with a real mixed bag in terms of quality.
To be safe, we always recommend saving the desired models into their own files, rather than importing straight into your scene – as this protects your master file from any latent errors that may be present within the imported models!
Good news – Archilime’s online learning option is here to stay! We know that many of you have really enjoyed, and hugely benefited from, online training at the Academy. We want to reassure you that we are in no hurry to withdraw the courses, as these Zoom classes offer many (perhaps unexpected) advantages. Face-to-face training and in-house training has always been central to the Archilime Academy, and we were initially hesitant to move away from this. We love the camaraderie and rapport that we build in our small groups and doubted that this could be replicated over Zoom – how wrong we were!
We will still be offering the all-important 1-1 training if clients need it, and of course those private business to business coaching courses, but we will certainly have an online presence for the foreseeable future. We think that Zoom rocks, with its interactive features, including being able to annotate each other’s screens and share displays; we’ve found it to be a great way of learning. This makes the impossible possible in the realm of classroom learning, with features that actually hold the advantage over face-to-face group training. The main bonus of Zoom training though, is of course its convenience and the fact that you can participate from the comfort of your own home. This saves on time and costs of travel, in addition to any possible overnight accommodation costs.
A Win-Win Situation!
Many of our delegates were equally pleasantly surprised by how effective it is as a learning tool. A recent delegate, James, said, “you don’t have to go home and try and transition what you’ve learnt on to your own computer because you’ve already been using it for 4 hours so it seamlessly sets you in motion”. The fact that it is pre-recorded is also really useful, and delegates have told us they’ve gone back over the lessons in their own time, which of course you can’t do from in-house training. With the Zoom training also being 25% less expensive than face-to-face courses, we think it wins hands down in these current times that hold certain restrictions for us all, both in terms of finances and logistics.
Delivering webinars is another new and exciting development for us. Currently in collaboration with Chaos Group, we are in the pretty cool situation of testing the new V-Ray 5 for Sketchup, which is the newest version not yet released: we knew there were some perks to this job! Watch this space as we explore and test other software to present to you in the near future via webinar.
Two-part online FREE V-Ray Next for SketchUp master class!
In association with Chaos Group and Trimble SketchUp, Elmtec is hosting a fabulous two-part V-Ray Next for SketchUp master class with Archilime as one of the featured panellists.
V-Ray NEXT for SketchUp webinar
Learn to model 3D topography within SketchUp from CAD. From point-height data to modelling landscaped gardens; in our 3-hour live sessions, we coach a step-by-step ‘how-to’ for improving the quality of your landscaping, as accurately & smoothly as possible. Release your inner Charlie Dimmock on our new Landscaping bite-size course.
Learn to model architectural details or furnishings from photographs, using SketchUp. Flexibility is key when modelling in SketchUp. Join us to learn tips and tricks from Ivan Kozaliev, Choas Group’s V-Ray CG specialist, as we take a deep-dive into creating stunning exterior rendering using V-Ray Next for SketchUp. Before joining Chaos Group’s team of CG Specialists, Ivan developed a solid background in architecture, participating in various building design projects up to high-rise buildings and skyscrapers. Ivan’s additional enthusiasm about programming logically brought him to Chaos Group and nowadays you can find him involved heavily in visualisation projects where his architectural knowledge and experience is a combination of his 3D skills and programming logic.
Dan is quite simply the mastermind behind all the course structure and content design of the Archilime Academy and has almost 10 years of experience within the VIZ industry whilst managing the operational team for Archilime Visualisation. His vast experience coming directly from Archilime Visualisations as Head of Operations has meant that he has coached a creative team for many years ensuring that Archilime’s artists are fluent in the art of 3D production with SketchUp & V-ray. Dan will be explaining the importance of V-Ray for SketchUp has on our company and why we believe it’s worth using as we continue to produce CGI for clients all over the UK.
Schedules (all times BST)
June 3 – Exterior Webinar!
16:00 – Welcome and introduction from Elmtec, Chaos Group, and SketchUp
16:05 – Ivan Kozaliev, V-Ray CG specialist Exterior Masterclass
17:15 – Archilime presentation
17:35 – Q & A Forum, Prize Raffle Giveaway
June 4 – Interior Webinar!
16:00 – Welcome and introduction from Elmtec, Chaos Group, and SketchUp
16:05 – Ivan Kozaliev, V-Ray CG specialist Interior Masterclass
The Archilime Academy: Bite-size it! SketchUp Short Courses
For you all at home, we have now designed three excellently crafted SketchUp courses that will make up a perfectly timed, bite-sized course for you to learn new skills! This learning experience could be an excellent way to advance and grow your knowledge within any industry that uses 3D modelling.
Taking a short online course like this could be just the ticket to advance your skillset for when you either go back to college, university, your professional studio or even to look to add to your current armoury.
We want to personally support all those out there struggling with our current affairs, who are needing some much-needed breathing time to unwind and have some fun. Whilst developing your skills at our Academy and meeting new friends in your industry, what better way to do that than join us on a live-online course?
To support you through this period and to make this possible for most, we have decided to promote these courses for just £75.00 for the full 3-hour course. We will also limit the course number to 4 to keep to our core values of offering quality over quantity.
Shaping your Topography
Learn to model 3D topography within SketchUp from CAD. From point-height data to modelling landscaped gardens; in our 3-hour live sessions, we coach a step-by-step ‘how to’ for improving the quality of your landscaping, as accurately & smoothly as possible. Release your inner Charlie Dimmock on our new Landscaping bite-size course.
The Creation of Textures
Learn to wrap your textures around all types of 3D modelling details. Re-sizing, colour grading, repositioning and randomising your imported custom textures are key processes to ensuring your 3D model has the most accurate texture identification available. Texture like a true whizz!
Modelling with Photography
Learn to model architectural details or furnishings from photographs, using SketchUp. Flexibility is key when modelling in SketchUp. Make use of our vast experience by enhancing your modelling capabilities in this concise 3-hour online course. A versatile 3D modeller should be capable of constructing models from any precedent image you receive from your client
Contact us about these courses!
If your keen to find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org – We are currently developing our new Archilime Academy website which will be live very soon but for now, we will be keeping an eye out for all your emails. Please title the email with the course topic and we will get back to you ASAP.
When we launched our Academy, we had the vision of making Sketchup skills available to the many, not just the few. Because we believe that many types of business benefit from having basic 3D modelling capabilities in-house.
From initial concepts of complete development schemes, right through to visualisation of ideas for bespoke furniture creations, 3D modelling helps to bring ideas to life. Of course, we’re happy to do modelling for our clients, but sometimes the flexibility and economy of doing it in-house makes it far more appealing to do so, especially in the early stages of a project.
Since its foundation, we’ve provided plenty of training sessions, but our location has made it difficult for some to attend. So, we made a big decision.
We’re moving the Academy to a brilliantly accessible location in Exeter.
Only an hour away from Bristol and within easy reach of many parts of the South West, the Academy will be located within the awesome grounds of our good friends ‘Attention Media’ on Southernhay. The facilities are conducive to enjoyable and effective learning, maximising the results of the two-day course.
The Academy still boasts the core benefit of training by practitioners, to practitioners. Training that is not just abstract theory but the sharing of practical experience and real-life know-how. It’s also a perfect way to network with other professionals within your field.
And now it’s viable for many more to attendthe course.
We’ll be sharing more on the new opening, but in the meantime, contact us to find out about our upcoming sessions and the dates for the first ones being run in the new location.
For jsut £480.00 +VAT you could book yourself a seat on our ‘Access into SketchUp’. For multiple bookings of 4 seats or over, contact our studio to qualify for up to a 20% group discount.
Call our studio on 01364 643 241 for more details.
Did you know the highly-rated Academy that delivers much sought after courses such as the ‘Access into SketchUp’ course is now based in Exeter? This is great news for the South West, as we are now located in an area that is easily accessible from many locations. Based in Southernhay, Exeter, within the wonderful office space of Attention Media and surrounded by cool eateries, top branded shops and other high-end businesses such as Burrington Estates, Strutt & Parker and Expedite: The Archilime Academy is in good company.
The Academy is just an hour and a half by train or car from Bristol or Bath (82 miles), 20 minutes by train or 30 minutes by car from Honiton (22 miles) and 50 minutes from Plymouth(44 miles). Therefore, we are fortunate enough to be on the doorstep of a number of locations from which people can reach us in no time at all. Exmouth is only about 20 minutes by car (15 miles) or 50 by train, and further down South into Cornwall we are only 55 minutes from Saltash by (47 miles) car or an hour and 20 minutes by train. Both the train and bus stations are just minutes away.
Finding a place to rest your head after a stimulating day on your Archilime Academy course will not be a problem in Southernhay, Exeter. Right on the doorstep of the course premises, are a range of hotels to suit every budget. Treat yourself to the fabulous Hotel Du Vin from £85 a night (dubbed a “contemporary wonderland” by Alistair Sawday) or relax at the Mercure from £67. For those on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the comfortable Premier Inn for a good night’s sleep, from just £43 a night.
An Academy like no other!
So, what are you waiting for? Being the only Visualisation company in Devon offering specific SketchUp Pro Coaching that has been designed for industry experts like ourselves, and is delivered by us, we feel that The Archilime Academy is pretty unique in what it offers. For just £480.00 + VAT you could book yourself a seat on our ‘Access into Sketchup’. For multiple bookings of 4 seats or over, contact our studio to qualify for up to a 20% group discount.
Call our studio on 01364 643 241 for more details.