Problem with most recent SketchUp/Trimble survey

Am I the only one who thinks the most recent SketchUp/ Trimble survey titled How does SketchUp fit into your design process? was seriously flawed.

Real time rendering is very important to me (and a boat load of other SketchUp professionals) … but the survey assumed (presumed?) that VRay was the only solution. No mention of Enscape.

And working with point clouds is also very important to me … but again the the survey only referenced Scan Essentials. No mention of Undet.

Trimble touts the “openness” of SketchUp … until they decide to offer their own product in a particular space … then they use their clout to shut down anyone competing with them. (Anyone remember Skalp)?

This is a free market … so any company that bases their business on extensions to SketchUp should be fully aware of the inherent risk in “partnering” with Trimble. Obviously Trimble is free to extend SketchUp as they see fit … that’s not what I find flawed.

What I find so problematic about this most recent SketchUp survey is that it completely ignores the product offerings of Enscape and Endet … dismissing out of hand the possibility that there might be some functionality there that SketchUp users find useful.

Ostensibly the objective (of the survey) is to help determine how best to improve SketchUp. But when the survey presumes that the existing product roadmap is indeed the best … then the survey will deliver no useful information. It will only confirm the genius of the current roadmap.

This is a survey failure of the highest order.

The last couple of surveys I’ve abandoned after a couple of sections due to the nature of the q’s / the restricted available answers….I’m an Enscape user too.

I’ve come to the conclusion that they’ve already decided what they want to say in their marketing material and are tailoring the surveys to be able to make statements like “80% of our users say bla bla bla”

… but the survey assumed (presumed?) that VRay was the only solution. No mention of Enscape.

actually not necessary either
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We have some exciting news to share with you as we start the new year! For a while now, we’ve been looking into how we can better serve you and push visualization forward in a meaningful way. Visualization touches all of our lives, whether it’s in architecture, design or through entertainment and visual effects.

This year, we’re joining forces with the talented team at Enscape. The combined company will retain the name Chaos and bring together even more talent to deliver you technology that helps you achieve your creative vision.

Enscape is a leader in real-time visualization and design workflow technology. And with our award-winning photorealistic rendering technology, we are looking to push what is possible with computer graphics. Whatever your vision, whatever your project, whatever your timeline, we’re moving visualization forward.

Enscape, along with V-Ray, Corona, and all other products and services, will live under the Chaos brand. You can still expect the same high level of development, support, and commitment for all your Chaos products.

We’ll have more to share with you later. It’s going to be an exciting year and we’re grateful to have you with us.

Peter and Vlado
Chaos co-founders

@egodsey : thanks very much for questioning the motivation behind our surveys.

As the head of the group that is responsible for our market research (alongside many other things), I’ll put my hand up and say that the buck stops with me in terms of how they’re written. If we got it wrong, I apologise.

I can assure you that our intention is not to dismiss others’ products or downplay them. We have a broad and active community creating extensions for SketchUp, including larger companies such as Chaos (which now also includes the Enscape team), Lumion or others of similar size - all the way down to individuals releasing extensions to the community. Some of those extensions - such as V-Ray and our (Trimble-built) Scan Essentials - are part of our commercial products, but most are not. Our SketchUp users can pick whichever options they want. We like it that way.

I’ll also answer @PaulRussam ‘s comment that: Paul, I can state categorically that we’re not trying to “rig” the questions so we can say “All our customers love everything we have ever done” or similar. Customer surveys are one of the tools we use to get a better insight into what our customers use, what they like, what they don’t like, what they want etc. I’d much rather we understand SketchUp users’ needs in as unbiased a way as possible, so we don’t invest time and effort into the wrong things, which ultimately helps no-one.

That said, there may be cases where we ask questions about specific products that we sell in our subscriptions - in those cases we may not ask about alternatives.

We will check our upcoming surveys again to make sure that we provide as much latitude in answering as we can.

Finally: thanks. Good feedback. Noted.

All the best


Director of Strategy and Business Development / Partnerships
Trimble Architecture and Design

The surveys that I have done, many of the questions appear to be not relevant to me as a one person operation.

I’d like to answer the questions put but often there is no option available that bests describes how I wish to answer…


I work in property marketing where I build and render models of houses/offices etc to be used in brochures/online to promote the scheme - Example. Prior to this, I’ve used SU since 2004 within architectural practices as a design tool.

I can’t remember exactly the q’s but a typical one could be " How do your or your org use SU in your construction process?"
All the available answers totally assumed I only use SU within an architectural/construction practice. there was no way for me to answer without lying.
If I remember most q’s were like this with no option to pick ‘other’ … so … I simply abandoned the survey.

Whilst I may have been a little harsh in my reply above (sorry), the surveys from yourselves I’ve attempted to fill in do seem to have a very targeted audience and thus expected response(s)

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Too many times, no option is right but the survey does not allow skipping the question. These surveys need to have “other” as a possible answer and then you fill in the blank.


I was not questioning the motivation behind your survey. I understand perfectly well why you survey users. I was questioning the usefulness of this survey … because it was so poorly constructed.

Example: If point clouds are important to a SketchUp user’s workflow … but (for whatever reason) if Scan Essentials is NOT a good solution for them … then the survey completely misses this user.

  1. You won’t know that there is another user for whom point clouds are important.
  2. You won’t know how this user is working with point clouds … and how point clouds fit into their workflow.
  3. And you won’t know why this user is not using Scan Essentials.

And this is just one example.

Meanwhile, I (like many, many other professional designers) am absolutely dependent on SketchUp. As a group we have a keen interest in the future of SketchUp. With that in mind you should be able to understand why it is beyond frustrating to see sophomoric surveys like this. And the frustration has absolutely NOTHING to do with the motivations for the survey … and everything to do with the survey revealing that you seem to have very little understanding of how (and perhaps why) we use SketchUp.


E. Godsey
GTA Design