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Form Z for residential design & con/docs


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#1 David Paul

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:27 PM

I purchased FZ a long time ago, but I remain a frustrated newbie: I can't figure out on my own how to use Formz for detailed modelling of houses or to prepare construction documents with it.

 

Is it possible to set FZ up for residential design/working drawings, and if so, can it be efficiently and robustly organized (objects, groups, layers, views,

scenes, line type/weights, connection to Layout, etc.) for stick-frame design in US/Canada? The proven tips&tricks is what I am hoping to learn from advanced users.

 

Within the larger question, these are limitations I see are: no parametric capabilities for windows/doors, or cabinets, trim, etc. (is this coming in 9?) Would I have to create a library

of components for these items from scratch every time I need a new window or door? While Sketchup may be a toy (......?), VALI'S plugins, particularly his parametric win/door tool,

are the best in the industry. Would I have to make what I need in SKP, then bring it over and lay it flat to make a FZ component with hole-cutting capabilities? Seems like a very

painful work-around. SKP has remarkable plugins, but not FZ's power or depth. Agreed.

 

How about 2D door swings? How is that dealt with in FZ & Layout? Why not be able to move points without having to go into wire-frame every time (a free plug-in in SKP cleverly allows 

moves without going into WF)?. And so on.....

 

In any event, I would happily pay for tutoring----if it is possible to use the program effectively for the design & relatively seamless production of condocs for NA houses.

 

If so, I would also then gladly pay for Evan's fundamentals tutorials (I have spent quite a bit of time on his current videos. He is very good at explaining the basics of the program, but

it just has not been enough for what I need to see and understand. The void in advanced use educational material is mind-numbingly inexplicable: why are specific use tutorials for houses missing?

Imagine, I am still looking at generic modelling videos made 7 years ago! Just one video on using layout? This is just not right--or fair to anyone anxious to learn the program well.

 

As I say, frustrated by not knowing how to secure FZ's potential for my CAD needs. Keen though.....:)

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

David

 

 

 



#2 Des

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 05:54 AM

Hi David,

FormZ has always IMO been a 3d modelling package first and foremost with Layout being an "extra" if you like.

It's not a BIM package like Revit or Archicad, more like a very fast way to model your designs in an accurate and intuitive 3d way.

The problem with the BIM packages mentioned above is they lack in fluidity of 3d modelling that FormZ has. If your goal is to produce a set of working drawings from your 3d designs, then there will always be some work required at the 2d stage depending on requirements etc. (that goes for the BIM packages too!). Remember that BIM packages require tons of work on families before they can display drawings to your taste (although a lot are already supplied, they mostly look like @£$%).

Basically the time saved in the early design stage in FormZ will be lost at the later 2d stage if you get my drift, but I wouldn't be disheartened either. I still think FormZ is way ahead of others for designing in 3d. Not to mention the money savings as well.

 

Sorry if this doesn't help you (it's more of an opinion).

 

Des



#3 Tech

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:35 AM

Hi David, 

 

We have seen a number of users create houses/buildings and the construction documents over the years, so posting on the forum is the proper place to ask to see if any other users can give you some personal tips!

 

While you are on the right track in the sense that you would use Components for doors/windows/cabinets, you would not need to "scratch" your objects (assuming you mean delete and rebuild) when you want to make changes.  The perk of components is that you can make several of these object and place them in your model and then simultaneously change all the instances by editing the component file.  For example, let's say you have placed 20 instances of a door in a file.  If you want to change the size of all those door instances you can just open and edit the component file, save it, and that size is now changes for all those instances.

 

Now let's say the above scenario was originally linked to a Layout file as a plan drawing and then you needed to make the changes.  After you save the .fmz file with the changes, the Layout drawing will automatically update these changes.  However, lines drawn after the edit (like door swings) will have to be redrawn.

 

If you would like to review a more current video regarding Layout, we hosted a Webinar after the 8.5 release (about a year and a half ago) which can be viewed here: http://www.formz.com...new_layout.html

 

Hope this helps! 



#4 David Paul

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:53 AM

Hello Des,

"a fast way to model your designs." I have heard this said many times, and that is why I am here. However, the bigger question still remains for us at the bottom of the learning mountain: where are the video examples to provide

both direction, professional examples, and encouragement? I do not see them, other than brief glimmers of possibility in Evan's quality freebies.

 

For buildings, there is fluidity in VW or Archicad, or even in Chief Architect (my present effort), but in all these cases I have painfully arrived at an axiom: the more they try to help speed up my workflow, the more nightmarish they become and grind me to a halt.

I have walked away from the first two. Almost impenetrable. So I do agree with you on the ton of work required to interact with them.

 

"FZ is way ahead of the others for designing in 3D". OK. Where can I see this being demonstrated as I see from the very best users of SKP? 

This is my dilemma as I said in my first post. Where are the current, timely, professional video tutorials to back up a statement like this? I would love to be able to arrive at agreeing with you.......:)

 

I appreciate the time you took to reply.

 

 

 

Hello Tech.

Your comments on components I understand, but are there a current video tutorials showing how this can be done quickly and effectively?

This is at the heart of my uncertainty in giving FZ the time: there are no guides for me to study and learn from that are up to date, let alone comprehensive, for how to model buildings in detail.

In this vacuum, I could be wandering in the learning desert for months, not days, stumbling over solutions on my own. Surely there has to be a better way.

In any event, everyone knows FZ has the timeliest forum in the industry, so I am also appreciative of the courtesy of your response.

 

Thank you both.

David

 

 

PS. Here is an example of one question (of hundreds) I would have for FZ:

Is it possible for walls to be in different view, scenes, or layers and with different line styles/weights at the same time, so that they show up as gray and dotted under thick roof lines, and then solid and thick in floor plans (I am not even sure 

I have asked the question accurately....)? Can the program be organizationally stretched to produce standard drawing readability by a clever arrangement of layers, scenes, views, and linestyle/weights?

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 9.33.35 AM.png

 

 



#5 etroxel

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:14 PM

 

 

PS. Here is an example of one question (of hundreds) I would have for FZ:

Is it possible for walls to be in different view, scenes, or layers and with different line styles/weights at the same time, so that they show up as gray and dotted under thick roof lines, and then solid and thick in floor plans (I am not even sure 

I have asked the question accurately....)? Can the program be organizationally stretched to produce standard drawing readability by a clever arrangement of layers, scenes, views, and linestyle/weights?

 

 

attachicon.gifScreen Shot 2017-04-20 at 9.33.35 AM.png

 

I think for that form•Z would need to have layer/object overrides per Scene or per Layout Frame, which it (currently?) does not. You can change the layer visibility per Scene or Layer Frame, but not line styles or weight. This, of course, would be a fantastic addition. 



#6 David Paul

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:19 PM

Helpful observation. Thanks.



#7 Des

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:38 AM

In FormZ, designing in the 3d environment and then going to the 2d environment is the way to go and not the other way around. There are videos available both on this website and on YouTube. Obviously you have to alter your workflow to suit your project, but here is one example showing the model to layout https://youtu.be/UslpCswTm1o

 



#8 Tech

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Posted Today, 11:13 AM

David, 

 

As Des notes, formZ and formZ Layout are designed to take the 3D model in formZ to the 2D environment in Layout.  Changes made to the model in Layout are not expected to be carried over into the 3D model.  He also posts a link to the same video that we posted in our first response.  Have you viewed that webinar, yet?  It should help clarify this workflow for you.



#9 David Paul

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Posted Today, 11:25 AM

My workflow has always been as you suggest Des, from 3D to 2D.

I have looked at the video quite a few times, yes.

 

What I note in the video---and had asked how to deal with---is seeing 2d plan representations in 3D (door swings, shower stall, etc.) I do not want to see them there.

Is it possible to have a system (2 layers for the same component, for example), where you see the door swing in plan, but it is not there in 3D?

 

I am not sure what to do next in regard to FZ for design/condocs, but in any event, I do appreciate your making the time to respond to my initial inquiry. Thank you.



#10 Tech

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Posted Today, 11:40 AM

David, 

 

Could you just draw these objects on a separate layer and turn them on and off based on your needs?  You can do this in the 3D model and then the Layer will be imported into Layout where you can still turn it on/off.



#11 David Paul

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Posted Today, 11:54 AM

A 2D symbol HAS to be connected in some way to the 3D component it represents in 2D.

A 'hybrid' symbol, if you wish. Otherwise this engenders chaos in the design workflow. A massive problem

if not dealt with properly, I suspect.

 

In SKP an object can have many layers, but they are controlled by styles and scenes. I am not sure I understand how your views and scenes are 

intended to function, whether they might work in the same way or not.

 

However, as I say, I have to step back and assess if I can make FZ work for my needs and where I can secure the training it will require. 

 

With my thanks.

 

 

 



#12 Tech

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Posted Today, 12:18 PM

So, what you're asking is for a way to draw a door swing (which is basically a 2D arc on an XY plane) in Layout, but have it be Parametrically editable back in the 3D environment (like changing the width of the door in 3D)?  Is this correct?



#13 David Paul

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Posted Today, 12:26 PM

No.

I want a 2D door swing added to my 3D door and have it show up in PLAN only, both in the model environment and in layout.

If I take any kind of view (perspective, etc.) then the swing should disappear and I only see the door itself. 

A component with 2 sub components.

Attached is an example from SKP (I apologize for the heresy, but it is a non-BIM modeller like FZ, so the solutions should/could be similar?).

 

 

Attached Files



#14 Tech

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Posted Today, 12:45 PM

Ahhh, okay thanks for clarifying.  Perhaps we could add a "show in plan view only" option to certain object attributes.

 

For what it's worth, this should still be able to be done with Layers in Layout.  

• Make all your door swings on a separate layer in the 3D model... call it "Door Swings"

• Create a Layout Frame, set the view to Floor Plan, make sure "Door Swings" is visible

• Create another Frame (a perspective view) and make sure the "Door Swings" layer is not visible in the Frame Parameters  

 

Does that help?

Attached Thumbnails

  • Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 1.42.38 PM.jpg
  • Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 1.43.23 PM.jpg





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