SoftPlan 2018 | Major Features

3D

Photon Mapping

Photon mapping has been improved to provide both direct and indirect lighting to the 3D model.

This enhancement produces softer, more pleasing images.

2018_3D_enhanced_photon_mapping_800x600

Path Trace Rendering

SoftPlan employs a technique called Ray Tracing to display how light sources directly interact with objects in the 3D model. While the Ray Tracing method is a relatively quick way to produce attractive 3D images, it can only approximate the indirect lighting that is produced from a more advanced lighting technique called Path Tracing.

SoftPlan 2018 adds Path Tracing to SoftPlan’s rendering capabilities which will allow you to produce the best looking 3D imagery yet.

The Path Tracing technique calculates the paths light rays travel as they bounce from point to point on the model until the light energy ultimately dissipates. As you let the Path Tracing process work, the image looks progressively better over time.

The biggest advantage of Path Trace Rendering is that the lighting setup is so much easier.

The resulting indirect lighting, blended with the direct lighting of the Ray Tracing, creates warmer, softer 3D images that will bring an unprecedented level of realism to your models, animations, and final renderings.

Charles_Ellen_House_path_trace

Charles_Ellen_House_path_trace_front_elevation

Charles_Ellen_House_path_trace_side_elevation


 

3D Preview

SoftPlan 2018 lets you see the immediate in-model results of your design decisions while drawing and editing floor plans and other project drawings.

As you modify a model drawing, the 3D Preview window updates to show those changes in SoftPlan’s rich Shaded mode.

Basic mouse and keyboard camera controls can be used to quickly review the three-dimensional appearance of your work.


 

Auto Basement

The Auto Basement command marks another leap forward for SoftPlan’s powerful, time-saving automation.

With a click of the mouse, you can quickly generate an automatic basement or foundation plan without the hassle of creating a new drawing.

The Auto Basement feature references your main floor plan and, after selecting your walls and wall heights, creates a foundation drawing that is automatically added to the model stack.


 

Cabinets

SoftPlan 2018 offers an assortment of new cabinet features that will deliver an unprecedented level of cabinet customization.

Greater versatility simplifies cabinet design while the addition of more details and options will help you achieve the cabinetry of your dreams in a shorter amount of time.

2018_cabinet_waterfall


 

Interface

2018_interface_flat_icons

 

 

 

An aesthetic overhaul incorporates eye-catching flat icons and sleeker menus that look modern and improve overall organization.


 

Live Schedules

SoftPlan 2018 includes the option to generate “live” schedules that automatically update as you edit items on the drawing or model. Likewise, any modifications made to the information in the live schedule will update the drawings and model to reflect those changes. According to your preference, live schedules can be turned on or off and include a new Schedule Properties menu that allows changes to be made to an existing schedule’s layout and information fields without starting the schedule generation process over again.

2018_Notes_Live_Schedules


 

Micro Keys

New keys are available.

These keys are smaller in size and remedy any hiccups associated with driver-reliant technology. A great solution for using SoftPlan on a laptop.

Note: Micro Keys run SoftPlan 2018 and newer only. These keys are NOT required to run SoftPlan 2018. An exchange fee will apply.

2018_micro_key


 

Projection Snap

With Cursor Snap enabled and Projection Snap turned on, SoftPlan will automatically create a projection of the current cursor action when referencing a snap point on the drawing.

This projection acts as a preview to assist the action you are performing, which provides a more intuitive drawing experience.


 

SoftList

The biggest addition to SoftPlan 2018 is the real-time SoftList material estimator.

SoftList generates the material list live, meaning that the report updates automatically as the user designs and makes revisions to the project.

Easy to learn and use, SoftList provides immediate, accurate feedback on material quantities and cost estimates to inform design decisions throughout the project.

SoftList’s layout tools provide complete customization over the report’s content, format, and appearance, allowing the user to create attractive material list and cost estimate reports that include a host of export and print options.


 

System Options

Another time-saving feature is the ability to save System Options as a file and then load those options when they are required for a drawing. Providing convenience and increased efficiency, saved System Options files allow you to quickly load particular configurations of SoftPlan System Options when you need them without forcing you to manually change your system’s default settings each time the circumstances call for it.

2018_system_options_save_load


 

Wall Transition Material

A Transition Option Added to Wall Materials.

Defining wall types can be a very time-consuming activity while designing a house, and, if a wall definition contains a material such as a brick ledge, even more time is spent creating new wall definitions simply to change the height of that one particular material.

One of SoftPlan 2018’s most time-saving additions is a new “transition” option that is available in the Wall Definition menu. This option provides a convenient method for specifying varying heights for transition materials within a single wall definition and eliminates the need to define multiple walls when the heights of a material should change.

A simple Wall edit allows you to control the height and slope of the transition material so that you can achieve a wide variety of constructions.

This is very useful for stepping walls or sloping the material to follow the grade.

32 Comments

  1. Can the new version create a scaled dwf? I’ve been trying to convince my company to switch to softplan but haven’t been able to because we use dwfs more than PDFs.

  2. Just downloaded SoftPlan2018. It appears that the “SoftPlan+ Support” button is inactive. Is that the case ??? This was one of the better support features. Also, can I delete SoftPlan2016 from my hard drive to gain the space ???

  3. Hello, I am currently using a 32″ 4K monitor. Will 2018 support the higher resolutions? Specifically, running 3840 x 2160 looks awesome
    but the softplan icons are very small and I can’t increase the icon sizes! Even with windows scaling at 150% they are still tiny.

    Thanks!

    Dean

  4. First: Are the ‘High Contrast Themes’ in Windows 7 pro going to be better supported? I mean right now with 2016 when I draw a line I have to guess what it looks like instead of seeing what I am getting. I would like to see more and better support of the black background (eye saving) features in 2016 expanded in 2018. Is this possible? We have very limited support at present in 2016 which I am very grateful for. Thanks in advance.

    Second: What are the parameters for video card support. When I applied the 2016 upgrade I eventually had to upgrade my video card to an Nividia GTX 1070 to get better proformance and less seizing as the project I was working on had the ‘textures’ button on but still it isn’t as fast as I would like. For most jobs it is okay but there are bigger jobs that cause it to ‘think’ awhile as much as a minute or two in length. I am running a amd fx 8350 (8 core processor) with 32 gb ram on an asus usb3 m5a78lm motherboard. Will this hardware work with the 2018 upgrade? or do I need to be saving for a newer motherboard/ram/video card setup, I am already using a 960mb SDD presently and it works well with my current setup. I like windows 7 pro because it is easier to reset the registers than window 10 is. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Probably questions better for support but trying to run current hardware and software on a 10 year old operating system may not be the best way to go.

  5. If I upgrade with the new micro key and save a plan, will someone that also upgrades and has an older key be able to work on the plan also? or do they also need the micro key?

  6. Great question! So with a dual monitor set-up you can dedicate one to the 3D model and the other say,your floor plan?
    Will the 3D model reflect any changes done on the floor plan automatically?

    Thanks.

    • Yes. The 3D on one monitor is a live model and the floorplan on the other is a live drawing, changes in one update the other.

  7. I would like to get the ability to add plumbing sysmbols so the adding of ISO’s for the water suplly and waste lines could b added to the drawing.

  8. Wow, I am excited about the Live Schedules feature! I gave input about the need to improve schedules and specifically custom formatting; cannot wait to get 2018 and see how this works!! Thank you SoftPlan for listening.

  9. Looking forward to 2018 when it is released. The short key is going to be great as I work of my laptop most of the time and the old key always is hitting something. Been using SoftPlan since Ver. 9 so I have seen a lot of great changes.

  10. Cannot wait until 2018 is released. Been waiting for the short key forever. I work off my laptop most of the time and the old key is always hitting something.

  11. Like the changes, keep them coming. Has anything been done to allow me to work from home with a network key. That is really one feature that needs to be addressed.

  12. I am very much looking forward to this update. A lot of these enhancements will definitely make my workday easier. Even the smaller key…I’m always paranoid the current one is going to get snapped of hanging out the side of my laptop when I’m working remote.

  13. I really like the rendering results of the path-trace engine. Nice job Softplan Developers and Programmers. Do you have any renderings showing the path-trace engine at work in interior shots? Would be great to see some. Also (if you can) a video showing the path-trace engine at work would be great as well and showing how it works. (by that I mean show it process a rendering) :-)

    Thanks

    Dominic

  14. Yes I have been designing with softplan since Ver 7 yes the famous 7 I have always supported your efforts to improve.
    I am a custom home designer as well we do a complete HVAC design.

    regards

    Bob

  15. I haven’t used cloud so this request may already be available.
    does softplan have a cloud that lets you store all your settings, including custom walls, symbols etc along with project folder so you can pull from remote locations (ie work from home rather than office)?

  16. Interesting but it looked like the product name did not change in the schedule. Could be very confusing if someone just quickly reads the name and assumes that this is the correct selection.

    • James, When the product code is adjusted, it changes to read “192X84 – 1 PANEL-MODIFIED”. This is because we are modifying a already existing product code, not changing it to a completely different product code. We have updated the video to make this more clear. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

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