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Upgraded from 6.5 to 8.6.2 (finally!): Some questions


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#1 Spannerhead

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 10:00 AM

Hello all.  Longtime 15+ year formZ user here.  I'm an industrial designer and it's my primary tool both at my day job and also freelancing.  I love the program; it's lightweight but does exactly what I need it to do.

 

I've used 6.5 for ages and ages (love that hardware dongle!) and finally made the leap yesterday to 8.6.2.  It's pretty different!  My keyboard shortcuts made it over mostly intact, but I have some questions about setting up the interface.  I've attached a screencap of my 6.5 interface for reference.

 

  • What happened to the pick tool options?  If I have objects grouped, it looks like it will only select the group and not individual objects within?  And I can't click on a face to select an object, but have to grab an edge?
  • I like to turn off the world axes but leave the plane axes on.  How do I change their length?
  • Did the perpendicular switch make it to 8.6.2?

 

That's it for now I think.  More to come.

 

My 6.5 interface:

 

formZ-6-interface.jpg



#2 Andrew West

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 11:20 AM

Making the switch from 6.5 to 8 is no easy task.  You need to change your fundamental thinking on how things are now done.  Some of the tools and interface are the same but many have changed substantially.  For instance, now we do almost all our work in shaded view when previously I worked exclusively in wireframe.  I would recommend going through the basic tutorials to get a better feel for it.  You will eventually learn to love the new interface but even now there are certain things about 6.5 that I miss terribly.  Like the stability and texture mapping tools.  For what its worth I know they are working on a release of V9 that has the promise of changing the interface once again.  However, if history is any guide that release could be either months or years away.  They are very quiet about it at the moment.

Good luck and be patient.

 



#3 Andrew West

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 11:32 AM

I forgot to answer your questions:

In order to pick an object by its face you need to be in shaded mode.  In wireframe you need to pick the edge.  The pick options are under the tool options palette or by right clicking the pick icon.

You can change the size of the axis by using a new tool in the grid dialogue box.  It is next to the little icon that looks like a pyramid and which is next to the grid subdivision number.

The perpendicular (ortho) icon is down at the bottom in the grid snap palette.

I believe you need to ungroup objects if you want to pick an individual object within.  I do not use the group tool for this reason and instead I just use layers to group things.

Hope this helps



#4 FZnoob

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 12:22 PM

You can edit grouped objects by unlocking the group or right click and select "edit group".

You can select a face by using the "autopick" while holding down the command key (on Mac), or by using the "faces option" from the "tool options" pick pallet



#5 Justin Montoya

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 12:31 PM

Welcome!  Now get ready for a change.  :)

 

I think you will be pleased with the newer version once you get more accustomed to working in Shaded view much more often.  Also, if you look into your preferences, you can still set many of those earlier options.   Like Andrew mentioned, v9 is coming before too long, so I would expect another shift in interface again in the future.

 

The Pick Tool Options are now integrated into the top of the Tool Options palette.

 

I love working with Groups now that it has been more easily implemented.  Ctrl+G  = Group  ,  Shift+Ctrl+G = UnGroup   or you can use the right click context menu.  The Edit Group command is also handy, but you will need to add your own shortcut (I like Shift+G for this).  Using group sets has made it much easier to work on larger, more complex files without the need for so many layers.  Layers are still very important!  But using Groups can just make general modeling faster to keep things separate while working quickly on one layer.  I use both personally, but love that we have the flexibility to use many different options.  I know some people love using the Objects palette for organizing things, and even though I use Groups, I never use the Objects palette.  Layers and it's palette and Groups are all that I need to stay organized.

 

A little tip, once you setup all your tool bars and palettes customized the way you like it, this is called your 'Workspace'.   Save it by exiting FormZ and/or using the Export Workspaces tool in the Workspace Manager.  Then re-open FormZ, and go to Workspace>Workspace Manager.  Uncheck Save Between Sessions.  Exit FormZ and Restart FormZ.  Now your custom Workspace should be safe for you to use.  If you don't do this, your customized Workspace will end up causing you problems and needing many frustrating resets and preferences files rebuilt. 

 

I'm currently using FormZ 8.6.2 setup like this with a right hand tool bar to reduce the amount of mouse movement from the Tools to the Tool Options.  

 

rightToolbar.JPG

 


Edited by Justin Montoya, 08 June 2018 - 12:34 PM.


#6 Spannerhead

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 12:41 PM

Thanks for all the tips guys.  I'm on 6.5 now here at work just b/c I have to get some stuff done, but I'll be digging into 8 more over the weekend.  A few responses:

  • I use texture maps and decals all the time.  I really hope they haven't altered that too much.  How do I import texture maps from another formZ model?  Can I purge unused textures as before?
  • I don't use layers in formZ, but objects instead.  It's just more intuitive to me that way...  Probably something to do with the fact that I also use SolidWorks and that program is object-based.
  • Thanks for the tip about Workspaces.  Will have to look into that.  In 6.5 it saves the location of all my toolbars in the preference file.


#7 Justin Montoya

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 01:49 PM

Decals only work with RenderZone rendering, and is being phased out.  You should consider using another method to apply a texture map type for the future.  Planes with textures applied and shadow casting turned off works great, and is also visible in the Shaded view and VRay rendering, unlike Decals.  You can even turn off Outlines for the Shaded rendering so it looks exactly like a Decal in Shaded view without the edges.

 

 



#8 Andrew West

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 03:20 PM

Spannerhead

To import texture maps from a different form.z model you would hit Command O. Then in the lower left corner of the dialogue box there is a little box called "add to project".  Once you choose your project just select all the things you want to add, like texture maps, lights or views.  You can easily purge unwanted textures by right clicking in the materials palette and hitting purge.






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