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Improve simple shaded performance

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#1 allanjl


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Posted 01 May 2018 - 09:04 AM

I know I'm using an old machine. During business trips I used a MacBook Pro 2011. 


If I use shaded mode, no textures, on a 200 MB model, consisting mostly of surface modeling, isolating and revealing geometry is excruciatingly slow. (yes the model has been checked for bad geometry, it's clean)


I have colleagues who use rhino on their laptops, and they leave me in the dust. It's embarrassing... I know, before you go tell me to buy a new machine, does anyone else notice that FormZ is very slow when doing these types of functions.


I will try my Mac Pro trash can from 2016 and report how this compares, but I shouldn't have to resort to very expensive machines to expect faster refresh. Especially if I have the simplest settings in shaded, such as no textures, antialiasing, etc.


I would welcome comments please.

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#2 snow


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Posted 01 May 2018 - 10:12 AM



I think in the 8.6.1 patch notes Tech mentions that there's a High Performance Open GL setting you can turn on.  I haven't used it yet, but maybe give that a shot?


If you do try this, I suggest you keep whatever version you're using on your computer alongside of 8.6.1 in case there's some sort of fatal flaw with the current version.

#3 Justin Montoya

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 11:42 AM

To be honest, a 200mb file is quite large for such a low powered machine.  Especially if you are trying to use Shaded mode with the puny built in GPU.  Shaded mode uses the GPU heavily and you should consider a new machine with at least 3gb of VRAM on the GPU side.


My recommendation is to get a mid range WINDOWS machine.  Something with a dedicated NVIDIA GTX GPU, such as a GTX 1050ti or 1060.  NVIDIA is better than AMD these days on the GPU side.


I switched from a pair of Mac machines, a MBP 2012 i7, and a 2012 Mac Pro Tower with 12 cores.  After many many years loving my Mac, I was so tired of the poorly designed hardware updates offered that didn't help us 3d professionals, and made the switch to a Windows workstation.  


Now everything is much faster, cheaper, and upgradable.  Macs have not kept up proper hardware for 3d professionals and as much as I loved MacOS, once I got used to Windows 10, I like it just as much.  I even switched to an android phone!  


Here's a GTX 1060 equipped Dell laptop for under $1k.  - 1060 laptop


That will walk FormZ circles around anything Apple sells for under $3k.  

Edited by Justin Montoya, 04 May 2018 - 11:42 AM.



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Posted 07 May 2018 - 11:08 AM

Make sure Ambient Occulision and Multi Sampling are off.  


I miss my old 2011 MacBook Pro.  Mine was also slow in the graphics department, especially with a 200 MB file.  It might just be asking too much for that old beast.


My new iMac 2015 handles Shaded Full quite smoothly with shadows, AO and MS all on - the difference is shocking.  My 2015 MacBook Pro is also a significant upgrade over the 2011.  

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 

#5 setz


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Posted 08 May 2018 - 01:08 AM

The display resolution of the object’s attributes plays a big role in performance. I loaded the same step file into rhino and into FormZ. My settings for the display resolution of .stp imports into FormZ increases resolution on large curves and decreases the resolution on small curves. The end result was that while the apparent smoothness of the display of smooth objects was similar in both programs, the poly count in rhino of the imported objects were high enough to make navigating very laggy. The low poly count of the same objects in FZ enabled very fluid navigation, even with occlusion and shadows enabled. Setting custom display resolution(s) is the key to dramatically improving display performance. Form Z makes the process quite easy by simply selecting all objects and setting their resolution in a single edit using the attributes tab/display resolution in the tool options palette.

#6 allanjl


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Posted 09 May 2018 - 04:21 PM

Thank you all for your responses. You're right... I do need a new machine. It's time.


Regarding going back to windows: I have been using windows for 18 years, and have been very frustrated by how unstable formZ has been. About 3 weeks ago I had to use formZ on a mac. I was amazed that in one entire day, working on a big model it only crashed once! ONCE. In windows 10, crashing occurred minutes into each session. Too many crashes to count per day. 


I don't think I want to go back to formZ on windows. But if I have to, it will be on a new machine with at least an NVIDIA GTX 1060. 


BTW, I am now working on a trash can mac, 64 gigs of RAM, AMD Firepro D700 6GB. Refresh is much faster, but I also discovered that on huge models, for example, a street full of buildings, it is best to keep everything faceted. Otherwise, shaded work is way too slow.


Again, thank you all for your advice. I will keep it in mind.



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