It's been a busy week for software developers! Rather than repost all of the new info for the two apps that have come out with all new version, I'll touch in some highlights and link you to the right place so you can read about everything that's new.
Cinema 4D 12 looks like a really solid upgrade for digital artists - lots of improvements in the physics engine and other places. Perhaps the biggest news for architectural designers are the new architectural materials and a new name for the bundle. I think they took a page from Autodesk on this one and tried to make the whole texturing process easier. We reuse the same materials so much that it really should be a no-brainer when it comes to texturing our scenes.
They have renamed their packages and are focusing the Cinema 4D Visualize bundle on architects and designers.
Cinema 4D Visualize
I've been using SketchUp 8 for a few weeks now and I can say that the new tools are a really nice addition to an already robust app. The solid tools alone make things go faster, even though I still prefer Bonzai3d for working with solids. This is a feature only available in the Pro version.
Another nice visualization tool is the ability to see back faces in your model represented by dashed lines. This could come in handy when trying to convey something in 3d for someone not used to looking at a volume.
Another nice enhancement for us architectural designers is that the new terrain tools include color satellite imagery, and is much more accurate. They have also put a lot of work making our buildings fit into their context by really pushing the geolocation features out. Every building can now be easily located, and one of the best things about this is that it can automatically pull in models that are within a certain distance of your project that have already been modeled. So for instance, if you are working on a site in downtown LA, you can pull in the other models form that area into your models really easily.
I also like the scene thumbnails - it's a nice touch and make it easier to navigate through your model's saved scenes.