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FormZ 9 wish list...


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#41 jonmoore

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 06:26 PM

You can either speed up the double click speed of your mouse -- or you CAN just double click on the Object to rename it (and click OK), no?

 

Nope.



#42 Gary

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 06:58 PM

1. agree with above, ever since v7 double click in objects and Layers palette has been uncomfortable at best.

 

2. on top of that, ever since v7, dragging objects in the Objects palette has lost its ease for me. Always missing the group i want to drop object into etc., I have to work much slower.

 

Gary



#43 jonmoore

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 06:58 PM

You can either speed up the double click speed of your mouse -- or you CAN just double click on the Object to rename it (and click OK), no?

 

Apologies, for the curtness of my original answer. I think it's because actions happen on mouse release (not on mouse click) but a fast double click in the object palette isn't recognised hence the need for two slow clicks.



#44 jonmoore

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 07:35 PM

You can either speed up the double click speed of your mouse -- or you CAN just double click on the Object to rename it (and click OK), no?

 

The conviction of your response made me download the Windows version version of FormZ and see if the behaviour is any different to OS X. On windows a double click on the Object item, opens a sub palette as it does for layers, materials, lights etc (with Attributes, Info and Parameters tabs). This doesn't happen with a double click on OS X (on an Object item), so it appears that this particular UX issue is a bug on OS X. It's existed for so long I never thought to report it as a bug.

 

The others complaining about the same UX issue are OS X folk (at least I know ASONE to be an OS X user).



#45 Alan Cooper

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 01:41 AM

These kinds of operations are not possible without construction history (which is a huge resource hog). SolidThinking Evolve works in this manner but has none of the fluidity of FormZ.

 

http://solidthinking...evolve2015.html

 

I'm not even sure that it would be possible for AutoDesSys to create a construction history based workflow without a core rewrite. Never say never though; construction history has been requested on multiple occasions over the years.

 

I personally think FormZ strikes a good balance between editable parametric workflows and the fluidity you get with destructive workflows. I think I'd prefer to see the AutoDesSys team create a Grasshopper type parametric tool (something which has long been promised) that works as a plugin in much the same manner that Grasshopper works with Rhino. That way neither workflow compromises the other.

I am worried that if Autodessys introduces design history, we will be introduced to a whole new wave of teething problems. I don't want to suffer a slow-down while putting up with such. The number of complaints we already get from experienced users harking back to 'how something used to work in an earlier version' makes me worried that with a heavy duty new introduction, we might sacrifice something precious...like speed. I remember when Turbocad first introduced their drafting palette, which involved a lot of resources interacting between model space and paper space.....things ground to a crawl. History sounds resource heavy to me.


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#46 Alan Cooper

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 02:28 AM

Mentioned before but not yet in this list:

User interface feedback of a dimension as it is being placed, to overcome the need to zoom, and / or orbit to read it in the model itself. Sometimes it can't be read because it's too small without zooming in, other times because it is off-screen while zoomed into the second snap position, and other times because the angle of view is not readable, or even within the current limits for displaying. A popup window or even better, (in case the popup window obstructs), the value of the dimension in the info palette or tool options palette as second choice, would be most desirable. If that's not possible, maybe even a tiny new palette of its own.


Edited by Alan Cooper, 07 November 2015 - 02:30 AM.

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#47 Alan Cooper

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 02:59 AM

I expect we will see a complete redesign of the User Interface. I hope it gets perfected while still in beta. The design of this needs to be such that we get to see the palettes currently relevant. Inactive palettes which are as wide as what the length of whatever their title happens to be or what the opened width is are very unpopular as they are an extremely inefficient waste of real-estate. Ability to have the option to reduce a palette to a small colored icon until clicked upon would be nice, especially if it could be user preferenced to auto open upon the trigger of the action of our choice (preferably with appropriate suggestion[s] as we set the preference).


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#48 Alan Cooper

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 03:10 AM

Display options - wire frame options - show back faces as dashed line. [New additional option]


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#49 jonmoore

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 04:36 AM

I am worried that if Autodessys introduces design history, we will be introduced to a whole new wave of teething problems. I don't want to suffer a slow-down while putting up with such. The number of complaints we already get from experienced users harking back to 'how something used to work in an earlier version' makes me worried that with a heavy duty new introduction, we might sacrifice something precious...like speed. I remember when Turbocad first introduced their drafting palette, which involved a lot of resources interacting between model space and paper space.....things ground to a crawl. History sounds resource heavy to me.

 

I'm with you on this Alan. I think construction history can create more problems than it solves.

 

Over the years I've spent more time in polygon based DCC packaged than CAD packages and their approach to parametric design features is more wired to the way I work. Most of them other than Maya and Houdini don't have construction history per se but a few of them have features that enable parametric like workflows.

 

- C4D enables parametric workflows via nested objects in it's object manager

 

- 3DS Max has a modification stack for semi parametric operations

 

These are seen as strengths in each respective package as they manage to allow parametric like operations as part of what is fundamentally a destructive design workflow (polygonal modelling). I definitely miss these semi-parametric operations when working in Modo, but much of Modo's charm comes from the fluidity of it's fully destructive workflow.

 

Houdini dares to be different by providing a fully non destructive node tree of operations. It's advocates love this depth of opportunity but it has a reputation of being the 'nutty professor' of the DCC world. The freedom of opportunity provided by the node tree delights some but confuse others who see it as a rats nest where the proverbial wood can't be seen for the trees.

The reason I digress is that I see FormZ as a wonderful hybrid between CAD and DCC package. And the thing I like most about FormZ is the fluidity of it's modelling workflow in the viewport. But I do think there are ways to provide greater levels of parametric control without it getting in the way (in much the same manner as 3DS Max and C4D manage). So if the AutoDesSys dev team are able to create more freedom without breaking fluidity, that can only be a good thing.

 

A Grasshopper like fully parametric playground as a separate plugin would also be welcome. Grasshopper and Houdini share a lot of parallels but the great thing about Grasshoper is that it's a separate entity that plugs into Rhino; that way it doesn't obscure the core Rhino workflow. With Houdini, even simple transform operations become obscured by the fully parametric node tree.

 

I've wandered far from the OP's original request for history to be retained across extrusion and rounding operations but that seemingly simple request is fundamentally about construction history and parametric control so hopefully it's no too much of a digression.



#50 jonmoore

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 04:53 AM



I expect we will see a complete redesign of the User Interface. I hope it gets perfected while still in beta. The design of this needs to be such that we get to see the palettes currently relevant. Inactive palettes which are as wide as what the length of whatever their title happens to be or what the opened width is are very unpopular as they are an extremely inefficient waste of real-estate. Ability to have the option to reduce a palette to a small colored icon until clicked upon would be nice, especially if it could be user preferenced to auto open upon the trigger of the action of our choice (preferably with appropriate suggestion[s] as we set the preference).

 

There seemed to be a definitive split of opinion in the last thread here on the forum regarding FormZ UX and UI design.

 

I'm with you Alan, and am fully supportive of a more modal approach to UI design. One that's more efficient and doesn't require a host of redundant palettes for seldom used operations. But that would see a move towards an Adobe, C4D, Modo type approach to UI design and many old school FormZ users seem resistant to that.

 

I really hope change does happen though. The current UI/UX design doesn't always do justice to FormZ's rich capabilities.



#51 Alan Cooper

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 06:09 AM

Quote from Jon Moore: 'The reason I digress is that I see FormZ as a wonderful hybrid between CAD and DCC package. And the thing I like most about FormZ is the fluidity of it's modelling workflow in the viewport. But I do think there are ways to provide greater levels of parametric control without it getting in the way (in much the same manner as 3DS Max and C4D manage). So if the AutoDesSys dev team are able to create more freedom without breaking fluidity, that can only be a good thing.

 

A Grasshopper like fully parametric playground as a separate plugin would also be welcome. Grasshopper and Houdini share a lot of parallels but the great thing about Grasshoper is that it's a separate entity that plugs into Rhino; that way it doesn't obscure the core Rhino workflow. With Houdini, even simple transform operations become obscured by the fully parametric node tree.

 

I've wandered far from the OP's original request for history to be retained across extrusion and rounding operations but that seemingly simple request is fundamentally about construction history and parametric control so hopefully it's no too much of a digression.'

 

Sounds good, Jon.

I think it is worth mentioning some useful features in Solid Edge. It is able to recognise entities intelligently as they continue to enhance their 'Synchronous Technology' - even bringing intelligence into those objects which have been created in other packages, recognising likely relationships between them, especially in their new feature: 'Like me, pattern recognition'. This is something which I would welcome in FormZ and could be useful to overcome need to maintain some history aspects, and keep FormZ flexible to general manipulation. Some form of pattern recognition would add additional uses in any case if it can be done without infringing on patents. I appreciate I am bringing an example from a much more expensive design product and one which is more geared to engineering.


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#52 jonmoore

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 06:37 AM

 

 I appreciate I am bringing an example from a much more expensive design product and one which is more geared to engineering.

 

 

All good Alan. I think it's good to discuss workflow influences from a raft of 3d technologies be they CAD or DCC, high end specialist or low end generalist. It's all food for thought. 



#53 Alan Cooper

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 06:43 AM

Auto balloon labelling for part diagrams.


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#54 DanM

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 09:39 AM

These kinds of operations are not possible without construction history (which is a huge resource hog). SolidThinking Evolve works in this manner but has none of the fluidity of FormZ.

 

http://solidthinking...evolve2015.html

 

I'm not even sure that it would be possible for AutoDesSys to create a construction history based workflow without a core rewrite. Never say never though; construction history has been requested on multiple occasions over the years.

 

I personally think FormZ strikes a good balance between editable parametric workflows and the fluidity you get with destructive workflows. I think I'd prefer to see the AutoDesSys team create a Grasshopper type parametric tool (something which has long been promised) that works as a plugin in much the same manner that Grasshopper works with Rhino. That way neither workflow compromises the other.

You are absolutely right, but I totally disagree with you regarding the balance between fluid work flow and edibility. A program that is aimed at designers can't ignore the fact, that designers need to explore their design and during that process, we need to be able to edit models that are more complex then a primitive object or extrude or lath etc. Also, modern 3D programs found ways to do so without sacrificing fluidity. They do that by direct feature manipulation, similar to Form-Z push pull tools.

 

Dan 



#55 jonmoore

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 10:42 AM

You are absolutely right, but I totally disagree with you regarding the balance between fluid work flow and edibility. A program that is aimed at designers can't ignore the fact, that designers need to explore their design and during that process, we need to be able to edit models that are more complex then a primitive object or extrude or lath etc. Also, modern 3D programs found ways to do so without sacrificing fluidity. They do that by direct feature manipulation, similar to Form-Z push pull tools.

 

Dan 

 

The are many industrial design specialists that use a destructive polygonal modeller such as Modo in tandem with a specialist CAD toolset specifically because of the fluidity of the workflow. When modelling concepts you're not worried about manufacturing level accuracies so a workflow akin to working with real world prototyping tools such as clay, wood etc can be a great way to rapidly explore design ideas. If you go through the posts on http://www.solidsmack.com, they rave as much about a destructive tool like Modo as they do CAD design software featuring construction history and such like. And I'd say the folk at SolidSmack are pretty well respected in the CAD world.

 

Construction history has nothing to do with how modern a piece of software is (it's been around as long as CAD software has been around). It's inclusion of lack of is more a matter of the design strategy the software designers are working too. SketchUp is modern software but it has none of the rich toolset of FormZ or construction history for that matter but it's still successfully used across a wide range of design disciplines. Archicad, Revit, Vectorworks & Bently dominate the architectural sector yet none of them have construction history (although Archicad, Revit and Bently are heavily skewed towards parametric tool-sets and Vectorworks introduced a bunch of parametric tools in its latest version)

 

If you're adamant that you want construction history there are plenty of software suites on the market that offer construction history. However I'm not sure it's entirely fair to label FormZ in some way archaic because it lacks construction history. It's just that it's lack of construction history doesn't meet your specific needs. FormZ has always been centred around direct modelling interactions, long before the introduction of the SketchUp like Reshape tool in v7 (and Bonzai before that). Many of the construction history based CAD software suites are playing catchup here. Most of them introduced these direct modelling tools in an attempt to attract SketchUp users who've become frustrated with SU's parred back toolset (yet again a purposeful design strategy on the part of Google/Trimble and not necessarily a weakness per se).

 

I'm not against construction history, I think it offers many possibilities but it will require very creative thinking on the part of the AutoDesSys development team to introduce it in a manner that doesn't disrupt current workflows, it will probably necessitate a core rewrite (which would take many years) and it may not even be up for discussion because it goes against the fundamental design philosophy of FormZ.


Edited by jonmoore, 07 November 2015 - 10:48 AM.

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#56 DanM

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 01:01 PM

Well it's not up me to solve for ADS technological issues regarding possible solutions. And personally I don't think that classical construction history is the right solution for a program like FZ. But it's not impossible to make the program more parametric then it is right now. I'm not talking about a full parametric program such as solidworks (which I also use) but some level of freedom to edit a bit more complex object by extending direct editing to more then polygons. If other industrial designers use Modo, well that's their problem. I believe based upon more then 20 years of experience that design workflow must include file exchange between CAID and CAD programs.

You mentioned "design philosophy of FormZ" can you explain what it is exactly?

 

Dan


Edited by DanM, 07 November 2015 - 01:06 PM.


#57 jonmoore

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 01:15 PM

Well it's not up me to solve for ADS technological issues regarding possible solutions. And personally I don't think that classical construction history is the right solution for a program like FZ. But it's not impossible to make the program more parametric then it is right now. I'm not talking about a full parametric program such as solidworks (which I also use) but some level of freedom to edit a bit more complex object by extending direct editing to more then polygons. If other industrial designers use Modo, well that's their problem. I believe based upon more then 20 years of experience that design workflow must include file exchange between CAID and CAD programs.

You mentioned "design philosophy of FormZ" can you explain what it is exactly?

 

Dan

 

Dan, from the sounds of things your experienced with CAD software and I likewise have approximately 35 years esperience in various 



#58 DanM

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 01:45 PM

If I may ask, what kind of work, you do with Form-Z?

 

Dan



#59 jonmoore

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 01:56 PM

Apologies Dan, my last response was submitted without me even finishing my first sentence. I then attempted to edit it and lost a three paragraph response as the forum software timed out on me.

 

I consult for a range of creative studios in the UK on creative software technologies. My clients include IDEO, WPP, Publicis Group and Mother as well as a number smaller full service design studios and architectural specialists. I was a creative partner in an independent agency called Lateral and looked after Levi's design work across multiple disciplines for over 10 years.

 

My interest in FormZ is that I have a number of clients that own licenses on my recommendation.


Edited by jonmoore, 07 November 2015 - 01:57 PM.


#60 jonmoore

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 02:26 PM

 

You mentioned "design philosophy of FormZ" can you explain what it is exactly?

 

Dan

 

All I mean by 'design philosophy' is that good software developers usually work to a set of guiding principles (no different to any design discipline). If they don't have a clear set of guiding principles they end up with a product mired with feature creep and a set of features designed by committee.

 

I have no idea as to the specifics of the guiding principles behind FormZ but I suspect that fluidity, simplicity and abstraction of technicalities are central tenets. I also believe that remaining as generalist as possible is also important to AutoDesSys. The main customer segments seem to be architectural, interior & set design, and exhibition design (there are of course product designers and furniture designers that use FormZ too). It's for this reason I believe that AutoDesSys aim to create a balanced user experience that can be used by all customer segments and the feature set is also balanced so that it doesn't become skewed to any particular specialist discipline.

 

At no point of the conversation thread did I say that a greater level of parametric design or a deeper level of construction history wouldn't be welcome. I just stated that it's a difficult challenge to do this without impacting the fluidity of the UX. I also suspect that providing these features may require a core rewrite (which would take a number of years) so it may be a challenge to see them in v9.






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