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Visualising Customer Success with SketchUp, the Archilime way.

Customer relationships are important to us and we’re delighted that our good friends Archilime Visualisation have agreed to share some insight into their work and processes, while also offering a few nice words about their favourite reseller!

Cadsoft Solutions Limited was founded over 15 years ago. From the very beginning it has always been about adding value for our customers and partners. We pride ourselves on extensive product knowledge and the provision of first class technical support, assisting all customers to solve problems in a timely and helpful manner, and to find the right solutions for their business. We recognise that buying software is an investment and getting the right solution for that investment is paramount. That’s why we value the relationships with all our customers, offering them insight and an honest appraisal based on customers’ needs and requirements. Over to you, Jack!

Please introduce yourself and your team. 

I am Jack Dicker, founder of Archilime Visualisation based on the outskirts of beautiful Dartmoor in Devon! I have an extremely talented team of seven that deliver high-quality digital media content primarily focused around the creation of CGI and Animation for marketing and planning purposes, along with the launch of the Archilime Academy in March 2019 providing bespoke SketchUp & Vray NEXT training in the South West. Our team of in-house creatives specialise in high-end bespoke Interior & Exterior CGI, VR, Fly-through & Fly-over Animation, Drone photography, 3D Design Development, interactive plot selector web-apps and property marketing brochures for a range of clients, internationally. – The complete marketing package for any property development

Why use SketchUp? What is it about this application that you like? 

This is something we are asked a lot of the time from people we meet at networking events and business lunches because everyone assumes we use 3DS MAX or C4D. When we say we use solely SketchUp, they look at us shocked. SketchUp is hugely underrated, the truth is it can do just as good a job if not better. This month alone we managed to successfully issue out 52 still images to clients, all created in SketchUp and rendered on V-Ray. 

I may run the risk of echoing what we say through our Archilime Academy marketing but SketchUp is the fastest modelling tool out there from our point of view and for visualisation it’s the key for efficiency. The modelling/rendering phase is probably about 90% of our workflow and the last 10% is Photoshop so the rumour that SketchUp cannot handle big files is just not right. When optimised correctly, SketchUp is the simplest way to demonstrate project development and it allows us to discuss, sketch and elaborate on live project design when in any 3D Design Development meeting. I think I would struggle to do something so seamless in more advanced software like 3DS MAX. Personally, our business model relies heavily on the construction of the scene before post production so we have the ability to secure further profit opportunities with any additional imagery added to an order. To be able to do this we create everything in the model space and then render it directly in V-Ray from SketchUp. 

Along with SketchUp, you use Laubwerk and V-Ray? What’s the stand out functionality of these applications? 

We have a gigantic list of plugins we use for different projects whether master planning, residential, interior or exterior and aerial but our five most used plugins right now? These are V-Ray, Laubwerk, Skatter, Thru Paint and Soap Skin. Something that is also huge for us is Profile Builder and whilst not everyone uses it, it’s prominence and use will be integral to our process in 2020. 

Laubwerk has been a game changer for us in the past two years. I was heavily involved in the BETA testing with a few other artists around the world to try and get this into the public eye and iron out the creases! Through this stage we tested models, transparency, proxy delivery and general render times for most species on the first pack. I must say, for anyone using SketchUp, Laubwerk is a must have plugin. We would not be able to do case studies as quick without Laubwerk. Yes, we have libraries full of planting from companies like Vizpark, Xfrog, Evermotion etc but Laubwerk is a pre-constructed model library built into SketchUp so there is no messing around with OBJ files or re-texturing materials. Rumour has it that they are also developing some other incredible features too which will only strengthen what they already offer for SketchUp.

Generally speaking, each project requires a plan of attack and could feature an array of software and external plugin requirements along the way but we import CAD into SketchUp, mass (model) the proposal, add detailing, hardscaping, landscaping and then start testing materiality within V-Ray. 

Can you share a project you’re most proud of?

This is the ongoing discussion we have every year and I’m sure the team have their own favourites. I’ve asked the room and it’s all different and I guess that’s because certain artists worked on certain jobs, but mine has probably got to be Maris Meadow.

Working closely with your reseller…..

The excellent relationship Archilime has with Cadsoft, particularly Nick Johnson, is important. Cadsoft Solutions always surpasses what has been expected of a reseller. I always receive honest advice from Cadsoft, along with time to help resolve technical issues with swarm rendering, node setups, licensing over our PCs and news on what’s happening for the future which is massively important because we can then make strategic decisions in advance. We are comfortable and confident about calling to discuss issues too. If something cannot be diagnosed there and then, I know full well it will be looked into and get a call back.

Thank you, Jack! Archilime Visualisation and Cadsoft Solutions Limited have worked closely now for many years. We value their business and greatly admire the ambition, creativity and talent of this industrious organisation. We look forward to serving Archilime’s software needs for many years to come.

If you would like to be featured as a customer case study, contact John Quinn in our Marketing team.