First impression for all attendees

The SketchUp 3D Basecamp (and Bootcamp) user conference that just wrapped up its weeklong stay in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada, is the latest in a series of bi-annual meetings. The organizers again chose an inspiring venue and the main difference with previous conferences was that the 2000 iteration never happened due to a well-known global event. Therefore, attendees were four years out from their last meetings and hence quite excited to see each other again.

Now, that is a pretty nice location for a conference!

Everyone who knows this city knows how nice the conference location in the convention center is (or is it “centre” – we are in Canada, after all). The only disruption came when cruise ships departed next door with their horns blaring.

I gave four talks on different topics at this conference. Below are the cover slides for those. When I get back home, I’ll post more here about various details that I just didn’t have enough time to cover properly during my sessions.

Overall, it was an extraordinary event. Well organized… a great crowd of like-minded people… and amazing food and entertainment. Below is a gallery of more impressions from the conference:

So, What’s New?

Of course, a few new products were announced at this event and there were several major themes. The main new product that was released at 3DBC was Trimble Creator, a visual programming tool that lets you create parametric objects with ease. It is at the heart of SketchUp’s Live Components, which had been released some time ago, but until now did not have a publicly-available authoring tool. That has now been remedied and the Creator tool promises to be a very capable step that Trimble is taking towards more parametric and universally-available content (remember: the now older Dynamic Components only work in SketchUp’s Pro version), because Creator is web-hosted and can therefore be implemented easier in multi-platform applications.

SketchUp for iPad was also showcased in all its glory, either as an on-the-go authoring tool, or in combination with various illustration tools such as Morpholio Trace or Procreate. It is amazing how so many architects have already taken to it and have created a beautiful array of cool drawings and models (of which several were exhibited at the conference).

Rendering was – as it has been in the past – a major theme in many presentations and on the product showcase floor, where the Chaos folks were demo-ing VRay and Enscape. Another mainstay topic was of course LayOut and drawing creation from SketchUp models. This included outstanding presentations by folks like Mike Brightman and Andrew Dwight (but there were many others, too).

Several presenters (including yours truly) talked about laser scanning and point cloud modeling with solutions like Scan Essentials or Undet. This was complemented by several Trimble equipment demos, that included Boston Dynamic’s Spot dog-robot-thingy that was carrying around a laser scanner.

This list only scratches the surface of the many covered topics; others included VR, design approaches, industry themes, and much more. There will likely be more posts about this conference and I will add those as links below when they come in.


  • 3D Basecamp – SketchUp’s landing page for this bi-annual conference
  • Trimble Creator – This new service is currently in public beta and available at this URL. Try it out!
  • SketchUp for iPad – This link only gets you to the product description. Go to Apple’s App Store and download the actual app from there.
  • My session files – Not sure how long this link will remain active, but feel free to download my sessions’ files from here.

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