Monday, December 7, 2009

New SkIndigo Beta 2.2.9

We're getting close to 2.2 stable! SkIndigo 2.2.9 contains a lot of important bug fixes and adds support for the new Absorption Layer Transmittance parameter (A.K.A. Surface Color). This feature can be used for accurate simulation of things like true stained glass windows, projector film, and skin blemishes. It is used in 'Specular' or 'Glossy Transparent' material types.

Get SkIndigo 2.2.9

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Beta of UVTools

I recently released a new beta version of UVTools (0.2 Pro beta). It allows you to send SketchUP faces to an external UV mapping application and then import the UVs once you have finished your UV mapping. Read more about it here at SCF.

Watch a video of the plugin in action.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Indigo Artwork Stinkie Style

'Stinkie', a long-time Indigo/SkIndigo user has been posting a series of artwork in his trademark style on the Indigo forums. He uses SketchUp to compose the scene and SkIndigo to export the scene to Indigo for rendering. He is able to create unique moods and images unlike anything you may have seen before.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Messing with SkIndigo UI

Just playing around with the SkIndigo UI to make it a bit nicer.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New SketchUp Page on Indigo Website

Ben Nolan of Glare Technologies has revamped the SketchUp page on the Indigo Renderer website. It's a really nice improvement. You can find it here.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Indigo 2.0 Stable Released!


I'm pleased to announce the release of Indigo Renderer 2.0 stable.

The Indigo 2.0 series has been in Beta for the last 3 months, and has recently reached a point of sufficient stability to be released as a 'stable' version.
Indigo 2.0 is the first commercial version of Indigo, and represents the latest results from over 5 years of development.

The Indigo graphical user interface (GUI) has been rewritten to improve power and ease of use.
Interactive tone mapping, layer blending etc.. is now possible with the GUI.
Major new Indigo features include motion blur, easy network rendering with a customised render node GUI, and full Unicode support.
Sub-surface scattering has been sped up, and aperture diffraction (glare) has been improved.

The Indigo exporter plug-ins have also been greatly improved, and now come with easy-to-use installers. Indigo exporter plug-ins can also now read and write Indigo material files, allowing artists to make use of the Indigo material database (, a free online repository of high-quality Indigo materials.

The Indigo 2.0 stable version sets a solid foundation for further improvements due in the 2.2 series, including large speed-ups and more realistic materials.

You can download it from:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blog still alive...SkIndigo 2.0

It's been a long time since I posted anything, mostly because there hasn't been anything too exciting to post. I've been very busy getting SkIndigo 2.0 ready. This has involved lots of tweaking, and bugfixing as well as making everything 100% Mac compatible. Things are working quite well, I might say. Even though Indigo 2.0 is not officially announced yet, the beta is now working very well on both PC and Mac. I encourage anyone interested in rendering to check out the most photorealistic rendering engine available (and SO easy use). Indigo 2.0 (beta) and SkIndigo 2.0 can be downloaded for free right here.

Unfortunately, my other projects have taken a back seat right now, but I'll get back to them eventually. Bye for now!

Monday, June 15, 2009

SDS Tutorial Contest Ends

Congratulations to Takeshi Hashimoto for winning the SDS tutorial contest with his outstanding tutorial of how to accurately model a Panton Chair using the plugin. He presents a very interesting workflow that might give you some new ideas on how to put Subdivide and Smooth to use. Great work Takeshi! Unfortunately, I am not quite ready to post the actual tutorial video yet. Hopefully tomorrow! Here is a screen grab in the meantime.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New SketchyPhysics Render Test

I've been doing some work on SkIndigo animation. With SketchyPhysics3 RC1, CPhillips included an API that allows to export to a render engine. Great job Chris! Implementing the animation export was a breeze! Thanks!

Check out this animation of a Rubik's cube (scene by Kus)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Profile Builder Tutorial by Eric Schimel

Eric Schimel has a cool SketchUp blog that is focused primarily on kitchen design but he has also posted a few video tutorials and plans to make more. He recently posted a great video tutorial of Profile Builder that shows some of the basic functions and how the plugin can be used in kitchen design. Check it out!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

SDS Anniversary Special and Tutorial Contest!

I can't believe it's been a year since I released Subdivide and Smooth. To celebrate the anniversary of the plugin, I am dropping the price by 50%! for the month of May. That's only 11 bucks! Where do you get it? Right Here!

That's only half of the news! I am also announcing a tutorial contest! Submit a Subdivide and Smooth tutorial and you could win:

First Prize: $500!!! (US)
Second Prize: $100 (US)

Each honorable mention (maximum 3) will receive a free license to Profile Builder! I'm greatly looking forward to seeing the submissions. Thankyou so much for all the support over the past year!

Contest Rules

  1. Tutorial must take between 5 and 15 minutes for a typical user to complete.
  2. Tutorials for all skill levels will be accepted.
  3. Tutorials must be in a commonly used file format (eg. AVI, SKP, PDF)
  4. Contest Entrants give permission for redistributing (eg. uploading to Youtube) and modification to the tutorial and to use it for marketing purposes.
  5. Judges decision is final and not negotiable.
  6. Prize money will be transferred via Paypal only.
  7. Tutorials must be presented in English.
  8. Entries are limited to three per email address.
  9. Tutorials will be judged on the basis of usefullness, presentation, and clarity.
  10. No copyright or commercial material may be used.
  11. All entries must be received by 12:00am June 1, 2009 to be eligible.
  12. Results of the contest will be posted on the blog before June 15, 2009
  13. Prizes will be awarded before June 15, 2009. Winners must have a valid Paypal account.
  14. Contest entries and questions are to be submitted to

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

SDS News Coming...

Watch this blog for some exciting Subdivide and Smooth news coming very soon.... :)

Indigo Going Commercial

So...the word is out. Indigo is transitioning into commercial software but will maintain a free version with some limitations (resolution, watermark). There have been mixed reactions to the move, but it seems that most users understand and accept the fact that Indigo probably could not stay free forever. I myself was a bit surprised at the move, not that I didn't think it would ever happen, but I didn't think it would happen now. No real advance notice was given to anyone except the beta testers who found out only a few days before the public announcement.

What does this mean for SkIndigo? Well, the other exporter writers and myself are currently negotiating a deal with Glare Technologies to make sure our efforts are properly compensated. I think we all want to be on this team. It is exciting to think of where we can take Indigo once we have some more committed resources. The high priorities will be better documentation and tutorials. I have a feeling that there is lots of good stuff coming down the road from the Indigo Team. Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bought a Mac!

That's right, I am now the proud owner of a new iMac! This obviously means better support for Mac users now that I can finally test everything myself. It should also mean less time beta testing new plugins since the majority of beta testing time is usually spent bug-fixing the Mac versions (very difficult when you don't have a Mac...) Thanks to all for supporting my plugins this far, without which, this would probably never have happened. My wife thanks you too! Now, we don't have to fight over the laptop anymore!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Subdivide and Smooth 2.0 in Development

SDS 2.0 is in early development and I was hoping to get some feedback on what features you would like to see in the next version. I have some really exciting features planned already (that I can't talk about yet...) but I am sure there are lots more ideas out there, espcially from those who have used the plugin extensively. I have opened a discussion thread in the SCF forums if you would like to share your thoughts. Or, just post a comment on the blog!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Not enough time in the day

It's been tough to get any work done on my plugins. Things have felt more busy lately but it might just be my imagination. I finally finished SkIndigo 1.1 Official (not yet released) awhile ago so I've been experimenting with some new script ideas. These experiments may end up as new features in Subdivide and Smooth 2 or possibly a new separate plugin.
Meanwhile there has been a flurry of activity in the SketchUcation Ruby Forum. Many cool plugins have been released lately led by the jaw-dropping update to FreeScale by Fredo6. Then, there's Chris Fullmer who is releasing a new cool plugin almost every week! It's become almost plugin-on-demand over at the forums!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Smustard Forum to Offer Much Improved Customer Support

I was thrilled to see that the Smustard team has created a discussion forum. This will surely be a huge improvement from the outdated FAQ page and the email contact form support system that has been in use for some time. I strongly encourage all users of my commercial plugins to register and post questions there.

Australian Steel Profiles Now Available for Profile Builder

Andrew Carter (aka utiler) has graciously shared his profile libraries of Australian steel shapes. These profiles libraries can be used for my plugin Profile Builder. Get them both from here. Thanks Andrew! If you have created your own profile libraries that you would like to share, please let me know!

Monday, March 9, 2009

SketchyPhysics SkIndigo Animation One Step Closer to Reality

Chris Phillips has released SketchyPhysics3 beta. It includes several changes since the alpha version but the most notable change for me is this:
Added interface code to SketchyReplay to allow renders to call an export
This will allow me to add SkIndigo animation support for SketchyPhysics very easily without having to hack into the code. I had already created a 'proof-of-concept' SkethyPhysics/SkIndigo animation awhile ago but I had to modify the SP code to do it:

If you have never heard of SketchyPhysics, try doing a search on Youtube. There's some really cool animations that have been done by users and by Chris. Being able to render these animations should be pretty exciting and open up some really cool possibilities.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Future of SkIndigo

I've been trying to get SkIndigo (a.k.a the plugin that will never be finished) ready for the next stable Indigo release. Onosendai (creator of Indigo) will soon be releasing Indigo 1.1 stable. SkIndigo is basically ready to go. However, loading IGM materials is still currently broken and I am finally working to fix it. I have been dreading working on this because it is very time consuming and a lot of boring work. Users probably don't realize the huge amount of effort it takes to get this feature working. The challenge is that Onosendai added and changed so many things in this new version including emitting materials and procedural shaders. Plus, the XML syntax has changed substantially as well. My goal is that 95% of all materials in the Indigo Material Database will be loadable by SkIndigo. Therefore, my code must not only be fully compatible with the latest Indigo release, but it also must be backwards compatible with older IGM materials saved with previous SkIndigo versions.
What about the future? Well, here are some features you might (no promises) see in the next batch of SkIndigo beta releases (versions 1.2.x)
  • the return of internal textures (texture maps workflow has changed a lot in versions 1.1.x)
  • network rendering options
  • SketchyPhysics SketchyReplay animation export
  • Scene tab object animation support
  • OSX support
As a matter of interest, the latest stable release of SkIndigo has been downloaded almost 16,000 times! I know you will all enjoy the next stable release of Indigo. It's going to be killer!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Let the blogging begin!

Today is the launch of my SketchUp plugins blog! I have several goals for this blog including:
  • An information hub for all my plugins
  • Updates on what I am working on
  • Links to other SketchUp plugins sites
  • Links to tutorials, videos and support for my plugins
  • Image galleries for my plugins
  • Posting general ramblings of a SketchUp Ruby addict
I hope I can keep up the blog. I guess it will depend largely on how much interest there is in it. Don't expect updates every day or even every week. I'm pretty lazy when it comes to this stuff (too busy programming ;) ) Let the blogging begin!