To start out with I will work backwards from your last comment. I watched all of Evans videos prior to buying this software and while in demo mode. I was astonished at how quickly his program worked compared to mine. The only real difference is that he was working within Bonzai and I am using Form.z. That and of course his computer system. The system I am trying this on is running a quad core i7 at 3.2 ghz. with 32 gigs ram.
I am not running Fire continuously as his video clearly states that it kills the program speed.
I disabled all virus protection software to see if it would speed things up. It did not. I am running Norton.
I re downloaded the software, disabled virus protection and reinstalled the program. I do not have any other copies of the program on my computer.
As for bitmaps here is my issue:
File/New MXM/ click on BDSF/ go to reflectance 0/ click on checker board pattern/ texture picker comes up/ click on folder icon/ navigate to my form.z texture folder/ click on texture map/ ERROR MESSAGE: the image cannot be loaded.
Here is another issue I am having:
I download a material from your website/ place it in my Maxwell texture folder on my D drive/ Unzip it/ click on the maxwell texture/ it launches the MME program/ I click on save MXM to compile the image maps/ Windows explorer crashes every time.
Concerning point and cone lights.
I thought maybe it was an exposure problem so I had tried making the room very dark with just a slit for a window. Set up two cone lights and a point light. Set the lights to be accurate and set their output to 100 and then 1000 watts and efficiency to 80%. Nothing shows up in Fire except the little bit of light coming in from the slit. I have tried all the different setting in Form.z intensity with no change. I have changed the cone and point lights to Maxwell's intensity settings with no change. The only way I can get Maxwell Fire to recognize the point and cone lights is to change them to softbox lights.
By the way, I am also an architectural photographer so I am aware of how lighting and exposure work in the real world.
One more interesting quirk is that in From.z 7 both the Maxwell Render button and the RenderZone buttons were displayed in the Display Tools palate. In Form.z 8 the RenderZone button disappears and can only be accessed from the upper menu once Maxwell is installed.