Sketchup Pro Future?

I bought Affinity photo and it’s pretty close to being what CC is right now. And most of the tools and keystrokes are compatible (or can be made so with the shortcut editor).

Also has live filters, and can pull in and edit, say an .svg file into your photo editor and edit some stuff too(!)

Definitely worth the small investment.


You say a lot without saying anything. Good for you. All people want to know is if their investment, both dollars and time, will be lost based on the (lack of?) future plans of Trimble.

You’ve already stated you cannot comment, so why do you still comment? Curious.

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Most likely due to the number of people who keep asking despite being told that we cannot answer :wink:

Marc is doing his best to help out without getting himself into trouble with his employer. While we would love to share everything we are doing, we are not allowed to. Marc is sharing his sentiment, which is the best he can do, right now.


Asking this kind of information from an employee is somewhat pretty unmeaningless atmost;

Surely, if they are alowed, they would say it is true and if they are not alowed, you would hear nothing at all!

As with all business, ‘A man’s life depends on a mere scrap of information around these parts’

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But the question is ‘why’ can’t you say anything? (especially when Trimble have dissapointed their customers by not sticking to the conventional and accepted release schedule)…Who/what dictates you can’t say anything? It defies logic to not talk to your paying customers and get them on side. It’s like some crazy throwback to the arcane business practices of the 80’s. The world’s moved on, so, should a business’ attitudes towards the people who pay the bills.


Alas, neither Marc nor I are lawyers and we both enjoy being employed. When told by our employer, “Don’t talk about future releases,” then we don’t do that. As @MikeWayzovski eluded to, like it or not, there’s just not a lot we can do.


Hello All in reading this I dont see how Maintaning your Support Contract means you will get a new yearly version. When you are entitled to them when they become availiable. It says Renew your Maintenance & Support for a one year period, any new version is like sprinkles …

You dont have to and if you are happy with what you have so be it. It will be your`s and stay that way till you stop recieving your personal updates!! You GET Maintenance and Technical Support
by renewing “Your SketchUp Pro Maintenance & Support agreement for the license/s below is going to expire on 2018/11/30 (YYYY/MM/DD).” and “will entitle customers to the following benefits: Upgrades to new major versions of SketchUp Pro when they become available” New Versions are benifits not manditory or included on a yearly basis… thats what I see written…??

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We all totally get that. Our (my) comments are not aimed at any of you good soles at the coal face but more specifically at the old grey suits upstairs who make inexplicable decisions. Maybe they need to read this thread or this forum a little more…BTW, it’s Christmas, you should be nowhere near this place. Put down your laptop.


I still don’t think there was any reason to think sketchup would be discontinued in the first place, and this whole discussion seems a bit pointless considering that. In my opinion.


A couple of points. Trimble, like many other public and private companies, knows it’s not wise to pre-announce unless it’s a huge deal and they are trying to generate some pent up demand. There is certainly NDAs for each employee threatening them with all sorts of stuff if they talk too much. That’s just SOP. So, I certainly understand them keeping their mouth shut. This has absolutely ZERO to do with “publicly traded companies” – that sentiment is a lark.

Furthermore, the Trimble employees talking here are self-avowed “lowly developers” and they may not be in the loop of key strategic road maps years out. There probably is a plan to someday move PRO to the cloud,

Clearly, PRO cannot go to the cloud until there is massive migration of plugin devs to the cloud as well. My guess is THAT is what they are working on, with some of the top developers like thomthom and Fredo and WHAT (though I have no such knowledge). That would certainly seem to be the smart thing to do.

Only after such a successful plugin migration could Trimble consider moving PRO to the cloud-- and for them it actually could be an excellent strategy. Don’t forget, there are world class CAD solid modelers in the cloud that perform as good and most likely better than on one’s desktop computer (Onshape for instance).

I’d bet money PRO will be on the desktop for 2019. After that, who knows. I would also bet money the future of SU is the cloud-- and that could be good depending on your bandwidth. Still, consider how having a dozen or so processors doing the work for you in the cloud and just sending the pixels back to your screen-- in fact there are many cloud based computing platforms–even GAMING platforms, that you can login to from a measly netbook and perform excellently with little to no latency. I use one to access a Windows 10 OS from my Chromebook with all my programs installed including SU, PShop and the rest. Performance is snappy.

Still, the lack of improvements to PRO is starting to take it’s toll. Fredo did a remarkable job of updating the filleting engine this year and WHATs Boolean tools are far superior to PRO’s, but the actual updates to the main program are slim and meager-- and have been since the 64-bit update.

Just my 2 cents.


I’m not sure how plugins will work in the cloud. I have spoken to many developers like myself in the last few months and we have heard nothing about movement of Pro to the cloud/web.

If it means that I have to rewrite all of my plugins into javascript or some other code that will be very painful and I honestly don’t know if I have energy or the heart to make that leap.

Based on my experience thus far with cloud based version of SketchUp I think it would be very unwise to try and migrate Pro to the cloud. For the professional user you need stability, speed and the ability to handle very large models, all of which do not seem to be strong points of the web based version of SketchUp. The desktop version is much more robust and is a tried and true platform.

Any real work done by design professionals is still done on workstations and does not rely on an internet connection. I’ve worked in many industries (construction, aerospace, manufacturing, tooling, crane design) and everyone of them rely heavily on desktop programs for calculations, data analysis and drafting and design.

It seems everyone (companies) are all to happy to jump on this whole cloud/app bandwagon but in my opinion they are really only well suited to certain (computationally light) activities. When I need to send out a quick response or email, yes I can do it with my Ipad or phone, but a longer response, such as this post, is much easier sitting at my desk and typing it out with a full size keyboard.


While you make some good points, I would suggest that cloud computing can far exceed the performance of desktop computers. Deep learning and other cloud based AI algorithms/platforms are performing remarkably well these days, and I would ask you to try Onshape as it is a full fledged engineering CAD system in the cloud brought to you by the inventors of the #1 CAD system, Solidworks. So, it’s definitely possible. I would say the current SU web version is quite simple compared to it, and not a good example of what the future portends.

As far as plugins go, I would think they might create a smart translator which can mostly convert the Ruby to the necessary new plugin language. At least that’s how I would approach the problem. And, it doesn’t require too much in the way of current developer input, as most all SU plugins have visible code, so such a translator can be put into an automated test environment.

Furthermore, most all high end CAD/3D packages (Autodesk and comparable) all have cloud components to them. And some, including Autodesk, cannot operate without an Internet connection.

So, yes there are some hurdles, and perhaps Trimble doesn’t have the requisite skilled programmers. The devil is always in the details.

Lastly, consider this scenario. Say a future version of SU PRO ran on a TRIMBLE cloud based virtual workstation, and used the native plugins just as they are. You could subscribe and run it from any Chrome browser on any device. The plugins are always updated. You can work from anywhere on any good or lame computer. As I mentioned before, I have already used such a system on my Chromebook. I have an external monitor and two screens and I can use SketchUp just as if I were at home on my big rig.

Now, how to wrap all of this into a nice package someone would be willing to pay for? I have ideas.


“To the extent that thousands of folks invested millions of hours into mastering a product that has become an integral part of how they make their living, for them - us - to want some visibility into where the product they RELY ON is going does not seem entirely unreasonable?”

A little late to the discussion, but fixed it for ya!


You make a good point, however if these forums’ attendance is any indication 99% of Sketchup “power” (aka paying) users are in the construction industry. Blender looks to be a fantastic program in many respects, but (as you pointed out) it is not very well suited (yet) to dimensional modeling and 2D docs creation, so it is unclear how viable of an alternative it really is. I’ve watched a couple of videos a while back that showed a guy modeling a building in Blender, and it looked pretty painful. Even the guy in the video seemed to be having a tough time of it :slight_smile:

I’m not suggesting you switch to Blender for your modeling. The course I mentioned takes you through opening SU models directly in Blender 2.8, which keeps the material settings you applied in SU. There you can create photoreal images for render (8K in 15 seconds!) and animate walk throughs.

The fact is, if you want photoreal rendering in SU, you have to use a third party product. Why not use a product like Blender-- the navigation is exactly the same as SU, and the new interface is a breeze to use (in my course I go over all the basics you may want).

That’s it. Blender does not have Layout, nor is it’s modeling paradigm anything like the unique SU Push/Pull + plugins.

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because it’s an external solution, lots of even free extensions running directly inside SU here, e.g. neat Twilight Render.

If an external solution is preferred check the free SimLab Composer Lite too.

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Thanks for the clarification. Over the years I’ve owned Thea, Podium, Twilight, Kerkythea, Octane, all of Fluid Interactive products, ShaderLight and some I’ve probably forgotten.

Not Vray. Can’t take the dongle.

Some were more robust than others. Some just never worked (Octane) and other had to force a very strange and confusing interface (not unlike Blender :wink: to get them shoehorned into the limited palette and screen space SU could offer.

After spending a significant amount of time porting SU projects to Unity, I got used to the pipeline and realized so much more could be done-- like realtime animations with event scripting. The shader node editing helped to create truly realistic materials. So, I published a lot of free YouTube videos about how to go from SketchUp to Unity for realtime rendering.

Blender now has the same workflow. And I prefer it. Not everyone does.

SimLab Composer, a derivative of KeyShot technology if I’m correct, is an excellent choice as well.

no dongle any more, actually deprecated yet.


I’ve used SketchUp from the very beginning when it was @last software and I have seen many changes over the years. Some good and some bad and I continue to use it because it really is the best I have used. My latest use was in story-boarding for a promo video with my company. Sure there may be better ways to accomplish the same goal but I am so used to SketchUp it has become my “Go-To” for most anything that needs a 3D view.

Check out the video Promo Video Using SketchUp for Story Boarding

I’m going to stick with SketchUp because I have been, and will continue to produce top notch content as long as my mouse fingers continue to work for me.


Just watched your promo video(props. Well done.). How in the world did you achieve that using only SU? I’ve been studying up on Blender and post-production software for my work. I consider myself very competent in SU and have been using since when Google owned it. Would love to see your workflow. Thanks.