Working Together with Dropbox and Visualizer

Visualizer's great strengths are simplicity and speed -- especially when you're trying to collaborate. One of our product testers showed us how SketchUp and Visualizer play very well together using shared file services like Dropbox, and we'd like to share that with you, too.

DropBox allows any folder on your Mac or PC to be shared with other Mac or PCs you own or with specific people you designate. They can set it up so that any changes in your folder automatically appear in their shared copy. You probably see where we're going with this -- if both users share the same Visualizer image destination folder, then as both people work, both can share the results -- even if you're both in separate locations, like an architect in their office communicating with a contractor at a job site, or a client in a distant city.

Here's a quick example, showing the same shared folder of SketchUp SKP files and images and variations of a tiny house design, while two different users are at work on different modifications:

Windows View of a Shared Visualizer Project Folder Windows View
Mac View of a Shared Visualizer Project Folder Mac View

Visualizer is especially well-behaved in these contexts -- in this case, though both users are generating JPG photos named by the pattern "hall_ave_shared_" Visualizer is careful not to overwrite one with the other (though Dropbox is also smart enough to catch cases where they might! Say, when both users are copying files from external directories).

One precaution: it's really best if each user has their own copy of the SketchUp SKP file, since SketchUp itself, unlike Visualizer, doesn't watch for filename collisions if you just hit "Save." 

This technique can also be used when you just want to share your project with yourself, between multiple computers of your own: say, between your office and home locations. In which case you probably don't need to worry about your doppelganger overwriting your file while you're modelling (Visualizer's flexible license allows this, of course!).

Living Room Using Color by Layer Living Room Using Color by Layer
Kitchen in Standard ColorsKitchen in Standard Colors

As we mentioned, we were introduced to the style of fast, super-easy collaboration by one of our users -- do you use a similar scheme? Maybe something even simpler? Let us know in the comments!

In the mean time, we'll share just one more shot of the tiny house design above, "hOMe" from TinyHouseBuild.com:

Visualizer View of hOMe from TinyHouseBuild.com