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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/28/2021 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Des

    First Project with Twinmotion

    This is my first project using FormZ to Twinmotion. It was done on an iMac 2020 with 4GB of video ram, so if I get a machine with a bigger & better video card I should get better quality. Sorry the buildings (boxes) are not architecturally award winning..😁 BaldonnellUnitCDE-low
  2. 4 points
    rickdm

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    I am another 25+ year user. Had Chris Yessios as a Professor in school (way before from.z), and started on the first Windows version in 94 (?). Yes, there are things that could be done to improve this program, but the first thing you need to do is let people know you are NOT DEAD! Last time you came to the AIA convention (2015 maybe?) I talked to several folks who were surprised you were still around. But you stopped coming. Get out there. Post articles and case studies on your web site and link it to Facebook and linkedin. Get your users to send you cool images and post them several times a week on Instagram. I know money must be tight, but you are going to have to spend some money on marketing staff to get you out there. Don't die a slow death, take a risk, get out there while you still can. I am getting close to retiring, you've got to get some new folks in here! rickdm
  3. 4 points
    kim

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    Hi ZTEK, I really enjoyed your post. It made me smile as I thought I was the only person who does this kind of detailed analysis to find the best product to create a specific workflow. In my case, I reviewed Rhino and BricsCAD. I am interested in creating a workflow to go from modeling to CNC. At the end of a very long process, I concluded that Form Z is still the best product out there for my kind of work. All it needs is for Layout and Draft to be improved so that they are reliable for professional use.
  4. 3 points
    Des

    First Project with Twinmotion

    Thanks John! I was actually quite pleased with how easy it is to bring the FormZ model into TM. I exported the model in parts to make it easier when there were design changes. For example, I had layer groups in Fz for each building, the site, street lighting etc. So when I had to make a change to a building I just exported it to overwrite the asset and refreshed the import which means the rest of the model stays as it was in TM. Also I had used Maxwell for the stills but when I needed to go to TM I obviously had to place the trees again so I created a layer in Fz with small cubes where the trees were (Maxwell mxs references) and exported that into TM. Then I could place the trees in their proper places and turn off the tree placement cubes later. Here are a couple of the Maxwell stills..
  5. 2 points
    Andrew West

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Over the years I have made many comments about where I think Form.z should focus their attention. The one thing I never mentioned was social media marketing since that is beyond my level of expertise (which shows in my shrinking client list). All I hear lately is how social media is the only thing people use to discover new products. I am not sure if that applies to technical software but it certainly wouldn't hurt to try. How to create "buzz" about your product in the media world seems to be done by specialists now. While I am not one, I would be more than happy to get paid to be a social media influencer or a Youtube star. That kind of shallow meaningless existence is something I just haven't tried yet. On the other hand, I still believe that having a stellar reputation for support and rock solid software are indispensable to old timers like me. Those are the areas that I feel have been the most challenging over the last decade. However, every once and a while, they introduce something that I think will really help expand their base. The two that come to mind immediately are V-ray and TwinMotion/ Unreal. I just hope that they can aggressively promote these new features to people outside this forum. Furthermore, adding more direct integration with other third party software will be the key to survival for any 3d software. Unfortunately, that is probably going to be expensive.
  6. 2 points
    I have been away for a while, but I think it's time to upgrade. That is all.
  7. 2 points
    Yes, it got my attention too! I think this is going to be a perfect marriage. Time to get a computer with a big graphics card..
  8. 2 points
    mattedmonds

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    As I mentioned, Autodesk is an extremely frustrating developer to work with. There have been VERY simple feature requests that have stuck around for 10 years without resolution. There has been ZERO development in their site tools for 10+ years.... all because they see other programs in their suite as better suited (Infraworks and Civil 3D). But to get the best out of all these programs requires yet another cloud subscription that costs $1000 PER USER/PER YEAR. For large companies like mine, its easier to absorb software costs, for small shops, not so easy. At this point, it is what it is. For medium to large AEC firms, Autodesk owns the market in most big cities in the US, while all others are scrapping for a percentage. ArchiCAD has disappeared almost entirely in many cities because they refused to offer cross-grade pricing discounts to lure Autodesk owners over to their platform. Bentley is in similar shape but survived thanks to their Army Core of Engineers foothold. Vectorworks appeals to the small-firm sector and will likely survive. Sketchup is a toy software people make work on small projects. You can fight it or you can re-think your position in the market.
  9. 2 points
    CJTFORM-Z

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Hi Mattedmonds & all, I guess I'm a FORM-Z lurka, interested in the product, but never quite got around to making that purchase. Even as far back as bonZai3d, but went the SketchUP route instead. I was on the verge for sure of purchasing at one point, but when Matthew Holewinski left, it seemed FZ-HQ enthusiasm declined as well in my opinion. I lost confidence in their business model.....if one existed. Architecturally speaking, FZ has good parametric construction tools, doors, windows stairs & roofs etc, so this alone should've had more architectural users over from the SU camp. So what went wrong ? well, my case in point, it was product confidence, no real marketing & new release versions taking forever doesn't help. Looking back at MH's videos is shear joy, but I'm now on a different path as not going down the SU subscription direction, strange how things have turned out. I'd also like to note, I've never been brain washed into purchasing AutoDesk products, so overpiced for what they offer. I've used DataCAD & SketchUP for years now & currently learning ArchLine-XP, a BIM capable product with an enthusiastic company one can talk to with lots of YOUTUBE video tutorials.
  10. 2 points
    skybound13

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Even though this is an older post I’d like to share a few thoughts from the perspective of a SketchUp user. First off, it may be helpful to frame the original question in the positive: “What are the reasons formZ should be more popular?” On January 26 ZTEK said, “I would like to say that working on my designs in formZ is still the best experience by far, like fresh air, and I love it!” I’ve contacted support via email several times and they have been very helpful. I have found their quick start tutorials very helpful. There are many long-time formZ users on this forum that I’m sure can add very specific reasons they have stayed with formZ for so long. I guess I think of the positives as things to attract new users which is better than trying to convince someone to switch to formZ, if that makes sense. When they are attracted to something they want to do it and that mindset makes the entire process better. I wonder if something preventing formZ from being more popular is the perceived/imagined difficulty in learning the application. My experience so far in that formZ free is no more difficult than SketchUp for basic modeling. But I think a lot of SketchUp users have been convinced that SketchUp is the only solution because they believe/assume that everything else is hard compared to SketchUp because they’ve heard over and over that SketchUp is so easy - kind of a form of marketing brainwashing! I would not be surprised if SketchUp’s popularity begins to decline for two reasons. First, due to their switch to a subscription pricing model last fall - some people (myself included) don’t like that. Secondly, I saw a video by Chipp Walters giving the reasons he thinks someone might want to switch from Blender to SketchUp, his Number 1 reason includes his belief that SketchUp wants their flagship product to be cloud-based: https://youtu.be/8MZkjXanO14?t=702. He goes so far as to say, “SketchUp’s resources have only focused on creating cloud-based software and the product and the company is falling farther and farther behind.” Very interesting! But back to the original question… The models and renderings on the formZ site speak for themselves, there is no question the application is highly capable. One thing that draws a lot of people to SketchUp is the rendering style with the hand-drawn appearance, if formZ could develop a strong hand-drawn effect that could be something that would catch the attention of some users. This hand-drawn effect has to be more than just squiggly lines. Long before SketchUp came along people were doing perspectives by hand with techniques such as extended lines and bearing down at the end of the line to make that darker - these would be qualities to incorporate in a future version of the “Doodle” rendering style. But the effect definitely needs a new name, no architect has ever done a “presentation doodle”! :-) Some people (myself included) may be a little nervous when they read about bugs on the forum - emphasis has to be made on how well support is resolving those. Whatever AutoDesSys offers must be rock solid, it would be better to pause developing new features to refine existing features, get rid of the bugs. Of course I know no software is perfect, but to at least resolve known issues before starting anything new. Maybe to summarize I’d say this: formZ stands its ground against the competition, people who might truly benefit by switching to formZ just need to take a little time and check it out - how to get them to do that I do not know. As a final comment, the original post was made in January of last year - in the last year what progress has been made in improving formZ’s popularity? I then ask myself what could be done in the next 12 months, similar to CJTFORM-Z’s March 4, 2020 AD comment, “How to make formZ more popular.” My suggestion (as trivial as it may seem) is to refine the Gallery so there’s a section where there are albums organized by topic (such as “architecture,” “character animation,” “product design,” or whatever) - no one wants to click through the alphabetical list of users, and the keyword search is buried too deep in the search field. While focusing my attention on the Gallery, what about some kind of featured artist? I found some very cool images from Jones, Partners: Architecture (https://forums.formz.com/gallery/album/103-jones-partners-architecture/), I just emailed them to ask if they have any more cool images they can share on the forum, it’s been six years since they’ve posted anything. If you haven’t had your daily dose of eye candy you need to check out their site (jonespartners.com), they’ve got some great stuff and the presentation drawings are amazing. As it turns out the founding principal, Wes Jones, is something of an important architectural figure: “Jones is a leading architectural voice of his generation” per the Wes Jones Wikipedia article. I need to get out more, this is the first I’ve ever heard of him. Hmm, when I started writing this I thought it would be a short post! :-)
  11. 1 point
    Alan Cooper

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Form Z pro is brilliant for woodworkers. It covers a very wide spectrum, so there are some special tools we appreciate and others we never use. Marketing to specific audiences, pointing out features of specific advantage is key. A few years ago there was a big push for V-Ray, yet not everyone needs that, I don't need realism, just a good impression is enough. The features I as a woodworker really appreciate are the extremely fast basic modelling with good viewing controls, excellent object and group management, information management, renamer extension, and I just feel very at home and productive with it. Form Z is still very relevant today and probably always will be, it just lacks the marketing to do it justice. I can't speak for V9 but as far as V8.6 is concerned, it is a reliable essential tool for me, (you get to know what might cause a crash or hang, and it is much improved as far as that is concerned.) I see no good reason to look elsewhere and would never go back to Sketchup. I expect that part of the reason why there is so little activity on the forum is that many users just get on with their working routine, most problems have already been covered and rectified. Lack of activity doesn't attract new users though, better marketing and especially You Tube, as well as social media is essential to getting that valuable stream of new users. I doubt it has to be any more expensive than employing someone who can both use the program and do social media. I expect that investment would pay dividends. I hope so because I would love to see FormZ to take a higher profile and become useful to more users. Definately underrated.
  12. 1 point
    Just tried Twinmotion with FZ 9.1. No problems with the 9.1 upgrade. Very easy install of the FZ plug-ins for Twinmotion. The exports are very quick and effortless however some texture maps do not come over accurately. Had a couple that did not export or exported as a different material and a couple that exported as glossy when that is not the case when rendered as smooth shaded or in V-Ray. Install of Twinmotion and Unreal Engine required a few tries but after that it is a very short learning curve. Adding landscape is fantastic and adds much to the image quality. Wish their vegetation library was available in FZ. Tried 2 different architectural models (.fmz) with detailed interiors and furniture one at 37Mb and one at 351 Mb
  13. 1 point
    FZnoob

    off topic

    Millions of dudes would still ask it out.
  14. 1 point
    skybound13

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    Des, I, too, have noticed the lack of skill and/or desire to produce nice drawings. By “nice” I mean well drawn (such as effective use of lineweights, appropriate level of detail for the scale of the drawing) and well organized (placement of dimensions and notes,) both of which contribute to how easy the drawings are to read and use for construction. You are correct that the reflected ceiling plan should not be mirrored, plus there would not be any door or window openings unless they continue to the ceiling plane. Regarding manually drafting on translucent media, back in studio I did a few drawings on trace where I cut out a piece of trace to put behind the area of the drawing (such as the bounds of the floor plan) which made the drawing stand out from the surrounding field of the single layer of trace. I was wrapping boards with the trace so you’d see some of the color of the board through the trace. It’s kind of funny, my last year of architecture school I stopped using vellum and just used white trace, I think they were some of the best drawings I’ve done.
  15. 1 point
    Pobo

    Learning Python with fZ slant

    Hi Chris, Sorry, it bumped into this thread almost a year late ... 🙂 I think this is a very interesting initiative. Did you take it any further?
  16. 1 point
    Shibui Design

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    AsOne, I follow a very similar process. When a drawing package contains 30 to 40 drawing sheets, this becomes labor intensive. Work smarter, not harder follows a familiar mantra! If only the software became a little smarter...
  17. 1 point
    AsOne

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    Shibui: I also use Vectorworks. I use Layout for DWG export. I setup Scenes in FormZ (plans, elevations, sections). Open in Layout. Then export DWG linework to Vworks as a referenced file. Works quite well. If we can get referenced DWG into FormZ then the process would go both ways quite seamlessly.
  18. 1 point
    skybound13

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    As an update on my email to Jones, Partners: Architecture, Steve, the contact on their formZ gallery page, responded to my email today. He did not specifically respond to my asking if they might consider posting new content to the gallery, he noted they are working on publishing a new monograph so I assume that’s the priority. I asked him about the highly detailed elevations on their site which include nice shading, I suggested that they were projections from a modeling application. He said they are actually 2D drawings done with PowerCADD then noted that it is helpful to have the detailed formZ models as a guide. So, assuming that all the perspectives on the Jones, Partners: Architecture site were done with formZ, perhaps it would be helpful to help promote formZ by posting a list of firms that use the software, I know at one time Ilexsoft did that for HighDesign. This could be tied in to my suggestion for a featured artist section on the gallery.
  19. 1 point
    ZTEK

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    Skybound13, Thanks for your comments. Yes, a lot of thought, but not too much effort. I have fun and enjoy the learning process also. Your observations are in alignment with my own experience and way of thinking. More than anything, in this area, I believe in the right tools with the best method of integration. I learned this when I try a vertical app like Archicad long ago. I learned a lot, but in the end, it didn't work. At the beginning of my career, I worked for 15 years at an architectural studio specializing in residential design. The owner is a famous Chilean architect, from the old school, and with a particular mix of traditional Chilean and Mediterranean style. In the office, the work was done only by hand drawing with drafting instruments. A little later, I bought two Archicad licenses, one for the office and another for my personal use, setting up a studio offering custom 3D modeling and visualization services. In the end, in the office, we could not solve the kind of architectural details, and the expression of our new digital plans was of lower quality and disappointing. Later, I left Archicad after I discovered formZ, and then the office moved to AutoCAD. The teaching was clear: you cannot force yourself if the tool doesn't allow you to do otherwise. My search is still a work in progress. As I mentioned before, AutoCAD works very well with formZ. To me, that means seamless integration and the ability to produce accurate and expressive 2D drawings. I measure efficiency in terms of flexibility rather than speed. That's how I work in formZ, and I expect the same for my 2D production tool. BricsCAD accomplishes perfectly well, and with the plus of complementing with formZ in the 3D side better than ACAD. Much better, according to my particular way of working. On top of that, you have the possibility of further expansion to BIM, which is not part of my goals now, but it could be like an expansion pack for later. The only drawback could be that Bricsys, the developers, have a Wintel oriented history. As a result, the Mac version is a little behind and not so polished, but supposedly they are working to resolve that, and the Apple Mx processors are pushing to make it real. We will see what happens soon. With Vectorworks, the issue is more about the 3D integration and the modeler in itself. It's a beautiful app that produces excellent drawings and graphic work, and there is no problem with the support to macOS. I need more learning time and investigate more to visualize a better way to integrate them. Now, I can do it acceptable, but degrading and losing some of the info on my formZ models. It works, but the methodology is not very good. Probably, it would force me later to make some changes in the way I work in formZ. For example, as we know, the DWG format only carries the material info at the object level and not at the face level. I use the latter a lot in my architectural models. I build complex solid objects with different associated materials. Before exporting, you can separate those objects by color. formZ has all the tools to do this easily. Then, in BricsCAD, I can rebuild the topology, stitching into a solid all the surface objects preserving the edges, and maintaining the face colors with very little work, the same way you do it in formZ. In Vectorworks, I couldn't find yet a way to repeat the same procedure. I can change my method in formZ, but I don't want to do that in the early stage of the design process because it's not very efficient. I could also obviate this step and equally produce the 2D drawings with the section tools, keeping the surface objects unstitched. It works, but it degrades the models. About the possibility of expansion to BIM, this is not part of my search now. I do not need it, but it would certainly be interesting to explore, to see which could be the advantages for later. The BIM part, or modules, of this kind of apps, includes specific tools to facilitate or enhance different aspects of a project. I want to try some of them, not the BIM itself in terms of the concept. What attracts me the most is the possibility to move from my generic solid-based formZ models to a BIM-ify model. That is what BricsCAD offers in its implementation, to design/model with freedom using generic 3D tools first and convert your designs to BIM in the process. Without knowing the app deeply, I have the idea that Vectorworks could allow something similar. Again, my interest is in the process of integration and the workflow. People who use Rhino-Grasshopper have Rhino.Inside and other connections to link their geometry to different BIM apps. I use formZ for my designs, so I need to find my customized method.
  20. 1 point
    ¢hris £und

    MIMI updated :: Sort of

    As it currently Stands, no. The new API is based on python, not FSL, which is what MIMI is written in. ADS is working on real easing the new API and documentation. Once I have the documentation, I will get to work on it. While I have been able to figure some things out without the documentation, not totally. As, everything figured so far is from their examples. Am also wondering at this point, to what the changes are in the C/C++ API are. from what I can see, 9 doesn’t load 8.5.6 plugins either. Which is interesting. Could be something simple, and not significant. Can’t help but wonder though. thanks for the props on MIMI, it is appreciated. I do intend on making it more useful as well. Such as, setting a base material so that all imported maps share its settings but the map itself. Other shaders, not just renderzone. Open to suggestions as well. cheers! €£
  21. 1 point
    Tech

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Paul was a valuable member of our team as our tech support lead for many years and we miss him professionally and personally. Paul was enthusiastic and always someone who would be the champion of the end user to our team. However, he was never a developer of form•Z. False rumors like the lead programmer is dead simply do not help our situation. form•Z was created by Chis Yessios and David Kropp. Chris has retired but is still a valued advisor. David continues as president and leads the development team (not the rumored sole developer). The Joint Study Program still exists and between this program, the form•Z student edition and form•Z free there is a solid install base in schools (but it could always be better). We stopped the Partnerships in learning publication as it became increasingly difficult publish, as a younger generation of faculty became less interested in providing the student feedback that made the publication interesting. In general schools no longer teach software leaving the student to pick their own solution often without much guidance. We give the software to students and faculty for free (in Switzerland as well), yet others charge (some significantly). We are not sure where these market share numbers come from, but form•Z is used at a lot more than 930 companies, this number is at least an order of magnitude off. Are we a small team at the moment? Yes. But we challenge you to find another group that is as dedicated and believe in what they do. Do we make mistakes, sure, but we will always try to address the issues as fast as possible. Are we great are marketing? No. Andrew has provided some stunning images and kindly allowed us to use them in promotional material. We need to get better at marketing and ideas are always welcome. Thank you for everyone’s feedback, it will only make us better and we believe that the best is yet to come.
  22. 1 point
    Yeah, I ask myself that question a lot, too. I myself have been using this software since 1995. I got to know it during my studies. And that's probably where the problem lies: In the early years, they offered discounted license sales. We students were able to purchase the software relatively easily and affordably - and thus remained loyal to it. Later this offer was stopped (at least in Switzerland). The younger generation switched over to Rhino. Other reasons in my opinion: The UI catastrophe that came with version 7. Unfortunately, the UI will not take itself to the next level with v9 either. Also the communication / PR is unfortunately very neglected. Hardly any news about upcoming updates, no tutorial channels on Youtube...
  23. 1 point
    Very impressive sheet setz.. technical art 😮
  24. 1 point
    7. Improved memory capacity for drawings with lots of imported images. Addition of transparency for images. 8. Option to automatically import both a scaled vector Hidden Line drawing and an internally generated Full Shaded image, cropped and aligned with the Hidden Line in one step. Ability to edit generated images in external image software and have the image update upon save, as is now possible in the Modeler with Texture Maps In Materials. I'm including a simple sample sheet which shows how I typically set up drawings. Here is a link to the V6 file: https://we.tl/t-eNLZQwxCPQ
  25. 1 point
    jwiede

    8.5.x kill FSL?

    There seems to be a clarification needed about precisely what does and does not work in the SDK provided. The previous "SDK" included both scripting and API-level bindings for the app, so it isn't so surprising that folks seeking scripting expect the SDK to contain that functionality. For the record, while I'm interested in API-level access and plugin development, as a hobbyist user I definitely am also more than a bit disappointed that after so long we still have no scripting functionality. Witnessing both Rhino and MoI3D users adding visual dev environments on top of their extensive scripting environments hasn't improved my feelings. Autodessys need to hurry up the process of re-enabling scripting -- at the current rate of progress, by the time Form-Z again supports regular scripting, the others will sport user-to-app direct neural interfaces. 1/2 but 1/2 too.
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