Presentation - the missing link?


Continuing the discussion from Please integrate VR module:
In the above referenced discussion, @DanRathbun made a parenthetical remark:

Conceptually, I really like this idea. Many professional workflows involve all three of these steps. And the SketchUp/Layout universe really only covers the first two and overlooks the third (presentation).

SketchUp itself can be used for presentation, but only if the presentee is physically present at a computer with (at least) SketchUp Make installed (yes, I’m ignoring the possibility of using screen sharing programs).

In many fields where SketchUp is used, the workflow goes something like:

  1. Client makes initial specification
  2. Professional does initial model (SketchUp)
  3. Professional presents design to customer (through improved Viewer)
  4. Customer provides feedback (through improved Viewer)
  5. Professional refines the model (SketchUp)
  6. Repeat 3-5 as needed until customer is satisfied (SketchUp/improved Viewer)
  7. Professional produces documentation set (Layout)

I’m guessing there would be a lot of interest if Trimble were to offer a free - or very low cost - viewer app that would cover steps 3 and 4. Features would include:

  • Professional can “script” the initial presentation
  • Customer can “annotate” the model (thus providing feedback)
  • Customer can interact with model - including walk-throughs, Dynamic Component Interaction, DC Component Options (with ability for Professional to lock out)

Possible Bells & Whistles

  • Professional can purchase licenses for improved viewer (if the improved viewer isn’t free) at a significant discount (and build the cost of the viewer into their client billing)
  • Viewer integrates easily with consumer level VR systems - such as Google Daydream, Samsung Gear, etc.

I can think of at least 4 custom tiny home builders that would jump into this if offered. For you design professionals using SketchUp: Please speak up if you would integrate this into your client interaction workflow!

Please integrate VR module
Component/group/file copyright feature

While I agree with most of what you are saying, I personally do not like having to install a viewer (or having the client install a viewer). I would rather see something like say Sketchfab or CL3VER (just as examples) that employs WebGL or some technology that would permit the interaction but without the viewer having to install something special on their end.

I guess for me the bottom line is that I would like to have full interaction as you describe but done via a browser based solution. Even there though, I have to admit that there is a challenge since not all browsers fully support WebGL or other technologies like that, I think (but cannot prove) that there is still a huge audience that use IE which is the least supportive of web based capabilities like that. Edge does a better job but browsers like Chrome and Safari are better with Chrome probably being the best.

I am looking forward to see what others think along these lines. In particular I would like to be able to present complex models with full interactive 3D capabilities (orbit, pan, zoom and walk-thru) via a web page so that the can be shared with clients and potential clients. IMHO this is the wave of the future and could open many doors for many companies especially if it can be done without a ton of complexity. It would also be great if you could accomplish this on your own servers without having to do it through a cloud based service. Again, just my opinion.


I’m really hoping that Trimble Connect + will lead us there. I use screen sharing (Zoom) to present and teach, as well as SketchFab and the good old PDF with notes on it. I’d love to have a SKP model that can have everything setup the way I want on my desktop, upload to Trimble Connect / and ‘lock’ the file for ready only, and have the option to prevent downloads.

Sent client the link, and they can explore it - scene by scene, or when they are comfortable they can walk through it / orbit / etc.

A key to this would be an easy to use redline / markup tool. Ideally this is an overlay over a scene that the client can write / type / draw on (with a bunch of pull down symbols…). This way clients can annotate without the designer, or, if sharing a screen / model the designer can make notes right on the hosted presentation.

Bonus points if LO gets some sort of web based functionality - basically generating a series of HTML pages based on the LO files, and offer an overlay for mark up / notes. Yes, plenty of PDF markup softwares out there, but if there was one stop shopping… I’d bite.