Google VP of product management John Hanke and SketchUp product manager John Bacus announced the launch of Google SketchUp 8. The announcement took place in Boulder, CO during the bi-annual 3D Basecamp; a free conference where 3D modelers and SketchUp enthusiasts from around the world gather to share ideas and sharpen their modeling skills.
New features in SketchUp 8 include:
A redesigned workflow for geospatial modeling, which is critical for both Google Earth modelers and professionals who need to make digital site models for their designs. Modelers can now take advantage of unprecedented access to high-quality imagery and terrain data from Google Earth and a direct connection to Google Building Maker, making it easier to model existing structures.
An all-new collection of Solid tools for performing common additive/subtractive (“Boolean”) modeling operations, which allow for the calculation of volume. This is a very useful feature for engineers, product designers, math educators, and many others. These new tools (Union, Intersect, Subtract, Trim, and Split) allow modelers to generate otherwise hard-to-create 3D forms by combining multiple solids, representing a significant time savings for a very large proportion of SketchUp Pro users.
Several important additions in LayOut 3, a SketchUp Pro 8 companion application for turning 3D models into scaled drawings and presentations including drafting, dimensioning and annotation tools and an export path to DWG/DXF 2010.
Google SketchUp 8 is available today in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German with more languages to be released in the weeks to come. SketchUp Pro costs $495, upgrades from any earlier version are available for $95. And, of course, there is still a powerful version of SketchUp available for free.