Here in Europe, Google’s SketchUp site has now been updated to announce SketchUp Pro 6 ($495). The site update is still in the process of being rolled out — there is a navigation tab for the free SketchUp 6, but no link there yet to a download page.
The download page in the Help Center, meanwhile, doesn’t lead to a live link yet. But perhaps that’s enough of a tease to watch those spaces like a hawk:-)
[Update: The download links for the free version now definitely work.]
In the meantime, SketchUp Pro 6 has a new announced feature that’s only available in the Pro version, and which may tempt pro users to buy the full version: Layout (beta), a very slick-looking presentation tool aimed primarily at architects and CAD designers. There’s an 8-hour free trial of SketchUp Pro 6 available, which includes Layout.
Other announced features for SketchUp 6, in both the Pro and Free versions:
Photo Match: “Photo Match allows you to designate lines in a photograph that correspond to the axes in Google SketchUp. Then SketchUp calculates the camera position and field of view to equate the modeling environment to the photograph.” Well, WOW. Just in time to populate that 3D Warehouse default layer in Google Earth.
3D Text: “Converts text to 2D outlines, filled surfaces, or extruded 3D objects. It’s easy to create signs and letters directly in SketchUp…” All you need now is to find out what typeface the Hollywood sign is in:-)
Watermarks: Either create backdrops to create landscape effects, or proper watermarks in front of the image.
Sketchy Effects: Make your model look hand-drawn. Cheats!
Styles: Watermarks and “Sketchy Effects” are in fact saveable styles, and these can be applied to any model with a single click. Reminds me of the Styles palette from my QuarkXpress days.
One final note while rooting around the new site: Vista isn’t fully supported yet.
One Final final note: The Mac version is Universal!