SketchUp Maintenenace Release 2

Google SketchUp 8 Maintenance Release 2 (M2) is available - here's an overview of what's new.

Support for Mac OS X Lion

SketchUp now officially and fully supports Mac OS X Lion. If you have experienced any of these issues on Lion, then you are sure to benefit from upgrading to M2.

COLLADA Improvements

SketchUp's COLLADA import/export is compliant with 90% of the official COLLADA test suite, but the good news in this release is that SketchUp now preserves texture names in exported files. This should make for a smoother workflow when exchanging models with other applications.

Plugin Installer

SketchUp 8 M2 includes a new "Install Extension" button. The button is located in the Preferences/Extensions dialog. When you press Install Extension, you will be able to select a SketchUp Plugin file (.rbz) to be installed to the Plugins folder. When installed, the plugin becomes immediately available for use.

License Changes and SketchUp Pro Evaluation (Or why you may not want to upgrade right away)

SketchUp Pro has an evaluation period of 8 working hours. In previous versions after you use the 8 hours, the Pro version would automatically revert to the Free version.

Beginning with SketchUp 8 M2, the Pro version simply expires without reverting to the free version. Once expired, you need to download and install the Free version to keep using SketchUp or purchase a Pro license.

However, this change (or some other license change) has also apparently changed the behavior of SketchUp  Pro on a network. According to the comments on the Official SketchUp Blog:

The problem that arises now that you have made Sketchup not automatically switch from Pro to Free is that all of us using a floating license can't run Sketchup 8 at all when the Pro license is in use on another machine. Sketchup 8 would revert to free features when Pro was being used elsewhere in the office allowing us to still be able to work on our models.

What makes this situation worse is that I can't even use Sketchup 8 Free now because it won't allow me to install unless I uninstall Sketchup 8 Pro first. Come on guys, this has got to be fixed!

if I open Sketchup 8 Pro using my shared license server, I cannot open another instance of Sketchup 8 on my computer. Being able to open separate files in two Sketchup windows and compare them on two monitors is a must at my office.
If you think these changes will affect your workflow, you are encouraged to contact Google SketchUp Pro Sales. I might also bring it up on the SketchUp Pro Forum so others may benefit from the discussion.

That about covers the big changes in SketchUp 8 M2. I didn't mention the more than 150 bug fixes and performance tweaks, nor the Ruby API changes (which will be covered in another post.)

Please read the Official Google SketchUp Blog, the Release Notes, the SketchUp API Blog, and this SketchUp Forum topic for more detailed coverage and discussion of what's new in SketchUp 8 M2.

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