The state of Skatter v2 as of January 2019


#1

Let’s talk about Skatter v2.

TL:DR

  • No worries, skatter v2 is still under development :slight_smile:
  • We’re integrating a new marketplace in Skatter to offer a wide variety of assets
  • We initially developed Transmutr as a Skatter module, to help populate this marketplace, but in the end it actually became its own product!
  • We rebuilt Skatter from the ground up so that you can create faster and larger compositions, and we already added a few novelties such as clustering and new distribution types
  • Once Transmutr gets released in a few weeks, we’ll be able to focus on Skatter v2 until its release


Now, for the longer version:

@rombout and @peterbrobie wrote on our Trello roadmap:

First off, I would like to reassure you: Skatter is still our flagship product and v2 is going to happen. But we had to release Transmutr first.
Let me explain our strategy:

As mentioned when we announced Transmutr, we have had many requests to expand the Asset Library for Skatter with specific plants or objects. We figured that we can’t fulfill everybody’s needs so we decided to offer two new solutions:

  1. A SketchUp importer that automatically converts/generates rendering data. This makes it way easier to use assets from various sources like 3dsmax, Cinema 4D, etc.
  2. A marketplace where everyone can share and sell their assets and Skatter compositions.

We want to launch the marketplace at the same time as Skatter v2. But when we launch it, we need content already present on the platform, so that it’s not empty when people first browse it. This is the reason we needed to release Transmutr first, as it will allow content creators to easily bring their libraries in SketchUp and share/sell them on the Skatter marketplace.

At first, Transmutr was actually meant to be part of Skatter v2, but we figured that it can be useful to people who don’t use or need Skatter. That’s why we decided to make it a separate product.

We have been working on Transmutr during the past few months, but once we release v1 in the next few weeks (hopefully), we will go back working on Skatter v2.

Regarding Skatter v2, I probably need to explain why it has been taking so long to develop.
We have actually rewritten the whole codebase pretty much from scratch (I’d say around 90-95% of all the code has been rewritten). This is because when I first developed Skatter v1, I was learning while doing it. It’s working for the most part, but there are many things I did wrong, big architecture flaws, etc. It was really a pain to maintain and especially expand. Some of the features we planned for v2 required to change things so much that we decided to recreate a clean base to build upon.
Merwan is a doctor in computer science, he actually knows what he’s doing, so he took the lead on all of the low-level stuff. What we have now built for v2 is much more robust, less error-prone, performance has improved drastically, and it’s much faster to add new features (still needs some time, though!).

The UI has changed quite a lot, here is a sneek peak of its current state:



#2

#3

That’s great news, Thomas! Thanks a lot for providing a full update and including a few sneak peeks. The new UI is really looking fantastic. Can’t wait to try it out.

Both of these add-ons are really well done and fill huge gaps in Sketchup’s toolkit for Archviz. Look forward to seeing what the future holds for Lindale.

Keep up the great work!


#4

Great news. Nice looking interface. Looking forward to trying it.


#5

I like everything I’ve seen. Great job!


#6

Very good news. It has definitely been worth the wait.

Thanks for all the excellent work. :+1:


#7

Amazing, I’m going to promote it on my Facebook page. :wink:


#8

Can’t wait to try the new cluster feature! this is what I’m most missing in skatter V1


#9

That UI looks sweet!

One thing im a bit scared of now is that v2 will be WIndows only as is Transmutr.

It would be nice if it is written in C++ which could be run on both Windows and OSX. I think you can run code much faster than. But im not sure if such things can be done


#10

Hi @rombout,

Skatter v2 will work both on Windows and OSX.

As a matter of fact, the Transmutr beta is currently Windows only but we’ll also have an OSX version in the future.


#11

Hi Thomas and Merwan,
that’s a great news, I already Purchased Skatter but I can’t take the full benefit of it as Maxwell render doesn’t support render only feature, so is there any possibility that it will be supported in V2 so I will upgrade to v2, because without this feature Skatter is useless for me.
thanks.


#12

No sorry, this is a limitation on how the Maxwell plugin is built.
To get technical, it runs as a C++ exporter, that doesn’t have access to the Ruby space. But Skatter can only store data in the Ruby space. Hence, Maxwell is not able to access it.
Unless the Maxwell developers are willing to have a small Ruby script sending Skatter data to the C++ exporter, I’m afraid that there’s no solution.


#13

@merwan,

okay thanks for the headsup


#14

Good for you!

Great for us!

Thank you


#15

thanks Thomas we are ready for the marketplace :wink: thats a good news … so in this market we are able to sell our own model only right ? (not like the warehouse where there is some illegal import i think ) (sry for my english) :smile:


#16

Yes we will try to moderate the platform as best as possible, and remove non-authorized copyrighted content.