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Top Ten FormZ 9 list

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Posted 31 August 2017 - 05:42 PM

I have already posted requests for most of these, but why not something to refresh your memory!  



Top Ten FormZ 9 requests:


1. Hidden line DWG export from within FormZ (not from Layout) at 1:1 scale and from common 0,0,0 point.  I can't express enough how much this would streamline and improve my workflow.  I still need to look into if this is possible from Layout, but it would be far better to have it export directly from FormZ.  


2. Return of midpoint snap


3. Select by Criteria material selection box improvement - material name list view and larger selection box


4. Operand & Edit menu palette - Status palette showing Edit drop down current choices (Keep/Delete/Ghost, Group lock/unlock, Component lock/unlock, Selection Preview on/off, etc.)


5. Real time light intensity sliders for shaded full


6. Improvement to components - stability & reliability…less buggy


7. Step by step reveal (reversing step by step isolate)


8. Loss of input box upon mouse pan and/or guideline placement - a bug since v7!


9. Shaded Full ambient occlusion on/off option box for individual objects, similar to Override edge display option


10. Fixed numeric amount Reshape option


11. BONUS =  Fix clipping plane color and add normal lineweights for cut line - color choice is buggy and doesn't always show the correct color.  Instead of 1-5 just have normal line weights for the cut line.


12.  EXTRA BONUS = Fix Imager!!!  I have posted on how & why it is broken beyond repair for me currently.  



For context I am an architect working on single family residential projects.  I also dabble a bit in commercial and furniture design.  I use Vectorworks for 2D plans, detailed 2D sections and architectural details, and notes/dimensions.  3D model is built in FormZ.  I subtract 2D elevations (shaded full renders and hidden line DWG export for CAD lines) and export to Vectorworks for notes/dimensions.  I of course also use FormZ extensively for the design process, virtual live client walk throughs (desktop software and iPad app), and rendering.  Layout just isn't as robust yet as Vectorworks and the graphic qualities of Vectorworks + the amazing set of floor plan tools keeps me there for 2D work and composing my printed sheets.  For anything and everything 3D I use FormZ from start to finish on every project.  I do not rebuild a BIM model in Vectorworks.  The more I can take advantage of my FormZ model the better.


Thanks for listening!!!  Excited to see the new version...


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FormZ PRO v8.5.  2017 iMac 4.0 GHz quad core i7 24MB RAM and a 2015 Macbook Pro quad core i7 16MB RAM, Modern Architecture in Boulder and Denver Colorado www.ASONEarchitecture.com 

#2 setz


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Posted 31 August 2017 - 06:30 PM

ASONE, really great list.


#1   +1  really imperative

#2   +1  miss this badly

#3   +1  been on the request list a long time by many users

#4   +1  Very Important - Additionally reinstitute "New Object Status" - "Object Per Volume" and "Single Object"  to stop joined objects from exploding after boolean operations.

#5   +1  sure, sounds good to me

#6   +1  In the meantime please Reinstitute Clones, they were simple and stable. A really useful "lite version" of components.

#7   +1  be sure to include a Key Sct for "Reveal All Steps"

#8        ?

#9   +1  great idea

#10      ?  Add option for Reshape to behave like Extend, basically an option that would be like a rubber banding version of the Extend Tool where segments are lengthened in the direction of their existing vector.

#11 +1  Important for Layout functionality, been looking forward to this fix for awhile.  Existing Line Weights please!

#12      sure ( I don't use Imager much )


ASONE can you describe #8 and #10?


To pile on, here are a couple more:


#13      SHFT locking on a guide when it is coincident with a segment of geometry fails.  SHFT snap to guide only works when guide is not overlapping a line of the model.  This needs attention.  An additional issue is that mouse well zooming is disabled during SHFT snapping.  Could this be made to operate as a toggle?  E.G. tap SHFT and the snap to guide is retained until action entered or esc key hit.


#14      Better on the fly editing of Dimensions (in Layout) without having to Show Controls each time.  E.G. Move text, Reposition Tool, Move associated /unassociated points.


#15      Return of Get/Set Attributes Tools so that object attributes can be buffered and then used for creation of new objects.


#16      In Layout, Notes, Place Text, and Edit Text, make the Return Key represent a Carriage Return and Enter to confirm input.  Currently, both Return and Enter act as a Carriage Returns.  In addition, in the Custom Text field in Dimensions, please add the feature of multiple lines of text.



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Posted 01 September 2017 - 11:27 AM

#8 - Get the Rectangle tool.  Click once to start drawing.  Place a guideline.  Look and you will see the dimension input box is now lost.  You will have to mouse up there and click in the box to enter a dimension or tab a few times to get it active again.  Same thing happens if you pan around while in the middle of trying to draw something.  


#10 - This would be a fixed numeric value to Reshape tool.  For example, I could enter +2" and when a face is clicked it would reshape by +2".  Multiple other ways of doing this - extend tool, grab and move faces, but it would be very handy and a real time saver.  This would be most useful when I need to reshape multiple objects by the same dimension.  


#15 - Yes Get/Set attributes would be awesome.  Do you mean that I could click on an object and set all my current settings to match it?  Layer, Material, Lineweight, etc.  

FormZ PRO v8.5.  2017 iMac 4.0 GHz quad core i7 24MB RAM and a 2015 Macbook Pro quad core i7 16MB RAM, Modern Architecture in Boulder and Denver Colorado www.ASONEarchitecture.com 

#4 setz


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Posted 01 September 2017 - 01:15 PM

#15 Yep.  Genius timesaver.


Ah, thx for the explanations.  I hadn't come across #8 in my workflow as I usually use the existing guides.

#10 would be a very welcome option.  Do you like my additional request for a rubber-banding option for the Extent Tool (or alternately, an additional option to the Reshape Tool to have it function like the Extend Tool?)


Tech, is #13 clear or is my description muddled?



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Posted 02 September 2017 - 01:36 PM

#13 +10,0000


YES!!!!!  I have a lot of problems getting the drawing tool to "lock" on the axis if there is geometry behind it.  Wish there was just an axis lock or that Shift lock worked better.  I have to scroll out in to blank space to connect with the axis and get it to lock.  


The rubber banding would be great.  My reshape idea probably is meant more for reshaping a face of an object, but could be applied to any object topology.  It would be fine to be part of the Extend tool instead of reshape.  

FormZ PRO v8.5.  2017 iMac 4.0 GHz quad core i7 24MB RAM and a 2015 Macbook Pro quad core i7 16MB RAM, Modern Architecture in Boulder and Denver Colorado www.ASONEarchitecture.com 



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Posted 10 September 2017 - 06:13 PM

#17  Scenes to remember Sun settings - essential for replicating Shaded Full shadows

FormZ PRO v8.5.  2017 iMac 4.0 GHz quad core i7 24MB RAM and a 2015 Macbook Pro quad core i7 16MB RAM, Modern Architecture in Boulder and Denver Colorado www.ASONEarchitecture.com 

#7 Tech



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Posted 11 September 2017 - 10:43 PM



Thanks for the feedback. The development team is watching this thread and will be working on these items going forward.

#8 3dworks


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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:42 AM

* more speed in general, especially when importing geometry as DWG


* a better DWG import module which actually imports text correctly (please give us back the text to geometry option from older versions as well) and gives us an option to import only visible and active layers.


* better FBX/DAE export/import with surface material, camera and lights


* a industry standard level polygon reduction tool is needed. the current one in not useful in 90% of cases and seems to be unrevised since many years. geometry is mostly destroyed when we apply it. it should be focused on polygonal objects and include options for saving UV textures and the boundary shape/volume  of an object. this could be also a plugin idea, which could be sold separately.


* a better management of components. the current solution is unreliable and slow. if i click onto a component in the model, i should get to the respective library entry with one mouse click. as FZ is slow on the screen, please add again some option for a proxy with lower polygon count as we had it in V6 and before. please add a better library manager with options to resort and to group components


more to follow...

3dworks visual computing + photography

#9 Justin Montoya

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:16 PM

* New Graphics API.  Metal to replace OpenGL on Mac and Vulkan to replace OpenGL on PC.  Or Vulkan for both using Molten - https://moltengl.com/  Until this happens, we are going to be stuck using old OpenGL limitations.  It's especially noticeable when using Apples awful, dated, OpenGL 4.1 while trying to work with Shaded Full on medium to large projects.  Want to do a virtual fly through animation with Shaded Full?  Crash.


* New Interface, or at very least a new default Interface that doesn't waste so much space.  Too many unnecessary palettes, some toolbars leave unsable wasted space.  Default Icon size is a oversized cartoon, very unprofessional.  Default project background should be white or grey, none of this hideous beige.  No need for separate workspaces.  Give us an ULTIMATE workspace with all tools available.  Use Tabs for palette stack, or anywhere it can help reduce tool clutter.  Look closely at what Adobe is doing, they have the best GUI in the software world.  Ignore Sketchup, which has a terrible GUI.   V6 was actually much better in this regard.  Simple, approachable.  Tools would expand into windows as you called upon them, then disappear when you executed the function.


* Stability.  There are lots of small bugs, particularly when pulling in geometry from v6 era files.  More robust error reporting.  Error reports are currently going unanswered.  What's the point of them if you all aren't using them to make things better?


* Texture Mapping.  v7/v8 was a step in a new direction with the interactive style of shaded mapping.  This is great, but it's still not as robust as the old way with the detail mapping window.  Mapping on a cylinder now is a great example of how it's not working well.  We need both.  I also don't see why a UV mapper couldn't be added.  There are some open-source ones that should be easy enough for AutoDesSys to implement.


* Vray.  Biggest industry standard in rendering inside of FormZ means more people will take FormZ as a serious option.  Let's just make Vray the standard rendering engine.  A more robust Shaded Full is great for concept development, but RenderZone should be left in the field to rust.


* Wider adoption.  This is a tough one, but if you can fix the above, it'll be a huge help.  Next, is the need to get FormZ back in students hands so they can fall in love with it's speed of modeling and flexibility.  The competition is getting much harder these days, and if FormZ is to succeed, we need continued generations of users.  Years ago, AutoDesSys sponsored professional, schools, and student competitions.  The minimal cost to the company generates huge positive feedback.  Let's get this going again!


What else?


* Components!  Fix them!  It SHOULD be simple to share .fmz files as connected components when working together on large projects.  How about Cloud connected component sharing??

Edited by Justin Montoya, 13 September 2017 - 12:20 PM.

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#10 Alan Cooper

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 12:06 PM

I concur on these requests.

Some more concerning dimensioning in FormZ:

Improve dimensions at creation by adding feedback in the input palette; offer more straight-forward and immediate color over-ride for dimensions; allow toggle for over-ride for dimensions to not be hidden by a clipping plane.



Much nicer text input. Current text note options are very lacking. We need access to full text properties options, and further annotation tools would be very welcome indeed. This could also be an alternative for leaderline in some cases, but I am not suggesting abandoning the existing leaderline which is able to display dimensional info.



Options to display hidden lines in shaded work and shaded full.

Edited by Alan Cooper, 15 September 2017 - 12:15 PM.

FZ8.5 pro with Renderzone on Windows 7 64bit.

Family Plan.

#11 3dfever



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Posted 19 September 2017 - 05:39 PM

For formZ it would be great to have a parametric door and window creation tool where libraries of all common door and window types could be modified.  This would include libraries of interior and exterior casing profiles, sills, vertical and horizontal muntins counts, frame types, etc - all with dimension inputs.  Perhaps someone has already produced this but cannot find.

Edited by 3dfever, 19 September 2017 - 05:40 PM.

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