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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/09/2020 in Posts

  1. 9 points
    This assumption is simply not true. Over 95% of the form•Z code base is platform independent and we develop and test on all platforms simultaneously (i.e. not “ported”). The platform dependent code is nearly all related to interface. The file translators are over 99% platform independent. Developing for multiple platforms actually makes the code better as the various development and testing tools can identify different areas for improvement in efficiency and stability. We have no plans to drop macOS (or Windows). CUDA and RTX are great technologies for rendering performance, but offer no improvement to the linear double precision nature of modeling operations. We are also disappointed that Nvida is no longer supported on macOS, however the CPU rendering on macOS with V-Ray is very good and handles large models with ease. Performance alone is not the only reason to choose V-Ray as it offers excellent rendering features as well (not all of which are available in RTX rendering).
  2. 9 points
    bmeissner

    Happy Holidays…

    … and all the best to you all! Bernd (Note: 23 years of FormZ modeled Christmas cards :-))
  3. 6 points
    AndyD

    1995 University exam

    Made with a very ancient Z version. I made only half building for the small memory and processor of Apple Performa 360. 2d drawings made with MiniCad (now VectorWorks). Here is the complete building: Andrea Prospetti_Sezioni 2.pdf
  4. 6 points
    Des

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    I chose FormZ many years ago because it was on the mac and thought it was the best out of a pile of other software I had worked on. Guess what? I would still choose FormZ over the rest even with it's quirks and shortcomings. I continue to make a living from it as my main package and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get into the 3d modelling business. I don't have most of the issues others have such as crashing and it's not because I'm an IT expert, 'cos I'm not. In my long time experience, I have found crashing to be caused from imported bad geometry and the such. Bad imported geometry is not necessarily caused by the software it was created on but mostly the creator. I agree that the interface needs some work in FormZ, mainly pallets arrangement etc., but I actually like the look and feel/icons etc., call me what you want. I'm actually excited about the dark mode in the next iteration. valthewu, I think you think you're just trying to help but tbh I think you are just making this forum a depressing place (sorry, most of your 10 posts have been negative). We'd all love to see FormZ doing well and competing with the big boys especially since we've invested in Fz (Just to point out FormZPro is a LOT less expensive than other software it's being compared to on this forum, I mean C4D is $3500, Max $1545 per year and without add ons!, Revit $2310 per year, SU $695 but isn't a patch on Fz). But I think ADS has done remarkably well considering who they compete with. I think the future is brighter for FormZ with the Twinmotion integration (along with the existing Vray & Maxwell). Everyones opinion is important here, but lets be more positive about FormZ, it has a hell of a lot more positives than negatives. Lets do more of sharing 3d modelling knowledge, WIPS etc. (if I was considering Fz as a new user, I wouldn't buy it based on all the moaning about it here which obviously doesn't help marketing). ADS have given us this forum for our own benefit to learn etc., not as a rooftop to shout from. Dezzz 😉
  5. 5 points
    AsOne

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    Once setup my v9 UI is working well on Mac. I think it is a step in the right direction over v7 and v8. There are things to improve upon (I have posted about them and contacted support), but for me it works well once set up and I'm working very fast in v9 now. I really love the look and feel of the UI in general. I have not used or seen other software, including many mentioned in this and other threads that make me think AutoDessys should be focused on a total UI rebuild. Much more important things to do IMHO. Plus from watching these and other similar threads in the forum there is no broad consensus on a UI look or features. For example I see nothing in the Blender look that appeals to me over FormZ. 3DSMax has done quite well given it's apparent repulsive UI. Cinema 4D looks well organized, but doesn't blow me away over FormZ. If anything UI stability is the most pressing concern shared by everyone. I will take that over tweaking of fonts and icons. In general I wish updates were more frequent, even if more incremental. However to say there has been very little improvement is incorrect. What is the point of coming into the forum to simply trash a program you apparently don't even use, besides trolling. Just use something else that works for you.
  6. 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
  7. 4 points
    If Mac is dropped I would also drop FormZ. The LAST thing FormZ should do is pander to an utterly inferior OS. All the savings from a faster GPU would be wasted dealing with windows. Especially once the new iMac and MacPro's running M chips are released! I willing to bet FormZ's users are more Mac based than your 90/10 split. I can't take seriously everyone whining about the look of the UI who runs Windows.
  8. 4 points
    I have been equally as nervous for years now. But somehow this software seems to keep slowly developing a little at a time. For those of us that used it from the beginning we experienced a lot of activity and interaction that came fairly rapidly. Then things changed for a while. Now it seems like things come in fits and starts with long periods of inactivity perceived on our part. It should be noted that their latest addition of Twin Motion and Unreal are a major step toward keeping Form.z relevant in today's world. They are obviously listening to our requests and I am sure they are working on this interface issue. It just might not be their top priority for now. Personally, for me it is more important to have a rock solid program (which includes these issues) and the latest rendering engine so that I can keep my work relevant and competitive. Not more bells and whistles or a pretty interface. Those are the things that I convey to ADS, for now. As long as I can get my work done in an efficient manner I am willing to be patient. However, I am also not naive, so I do work on other programs just so that I can switch over if need be, which happens now from time to time as I use more outside assets in my work.
  9. 4 points
    Tech

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    Thank you for taking the time to post, however we can only wonder what you motivations are. We can find no communication with our sales or support teams from you so you have no basis for your comment that we are not responsive. Obviously you do not like some aesthetics of the software and you are entitled to your opinion. You are also basing your comments on form•Z free which only has a small percentage of the features found in form•Z pro. Many professionals use form•Z daily for productive modeling so it is clearly not "appalling software" to them. You do point out a few minor aesthetic issues that we are already working on (along with support for dark mode), but frankly we find delivering new technologies like the recent TwinMotion/Unreal interface much more interesting and important to our users.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 4 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..
  13. 3 points
    My contributions on the subject of UI have nothing at all to do with «product bashing». On the contrary: I have a deep commitment to Form.Z – and a deep concern. Have a look: I got to know this software in 1995 during my industrial design studies. I have been using it since then and it helps me earn my daily bread at my workplace. I am dependent on this software. That worries me a lot because I always fear that one day it will no longer exist. It is even more likely that I won't be able to buy a new iMac because it will only run the latest software versions And v9 is simply not yet suitable for daily work from my point of view. For example: As a long-time user, it is simply problematic for me if I don't trust myself to place palettes differently Because I never know whether they can still be found later. Can you imagine what that's like for someone who is evaluating the product? And then paired with a look that gives the feeling of having installed an old version... Besides, it is not only the question of the «aesthetic design» of the UI that makes a well-maintained software today. Take a look at how others do it: There you can see perspectives as movies with the upcoming implementations. There are regular tutorials on YouTube and in their own forums. There is a download section that explains exactly which build is up to date and which issues have been fixed and which are still in the pipeline. Personally, I am sad that «my» programme, in particular, cannot offer me a home, subjectively speaking.
  14. 3 points
    It has been hard for me not to comment here so let me try to be constructive. I will stay away from technical suggestions. Everyone has something that they feel needs immediate attention and everyone has their opinion. These opinions are obviously based on how one uses the program. My priorities are certainly not those of others here, nor should they be. So how do we form some sort of consensus on what needs to be addressed first and then get that to ADS in a constructive manner? It could even be something that the users vote on individually every quarter. Just random posts griping about one thing or another seems very inefficient and I can tell that it grates the dev team the wrong way. We do need them on our side. I have used almost every other program out there since I started CAD work in 1985 at Cal Poly. Back in those days you had to type in coordinates in order to build a simple line. It also took a main frame at UCLA to calculate it (MegaCad). Fast forward to today and I can still see remnants of some of the old programs lingering around decades after they should have been abandoned. Max is a perfect example of a program that seems like a collection of plug-ins, scripts and add ons tacked onto a shell that has rarely changed. Given the work it takes to completely rethink the interface of an entire program it is obvious that it would take a lot of time and money. Otherwise others with deeper pockets would have tackled it years ago. Form.z has evolved several times over the last 30 years. Not all of us were happy with the changes but we learned to adapt (slowly sometimes). My main concern with how this is evolving is that with each additional change to the main program certain other parts and tools get corrupted. It then takes a lot of time to chase each issue and resolve them. By the time we get something really stable it seems like it's time to shake it all up again with a new release. As others have said it feels like we are on a constant Beta release. This is why I why, at the time, I refused to give up on 6.7 which was a fast production powerhouse for my office. Now, for the record I have tried many other programs thinking that maybe I might migrate over. I have not. Each has its own issues and quirks and I have crashed every one of them. It is just the nature of the beast that we will always be chasing the elusive "perfect program", whatever that may mean to you.
  15. 3 points
    I share this sentiment. I use Cinema 4D and formZ equally in my day-to-day workflow and I find myself trying to learn how to model more effectively in Cinema simply because the UI is that much better. Criticism is fine, but constructive criticism is better. I agree with your original post that the icon design is in need of a facelift. I'd love to see a streamlined look among the icons and I allude to how C4D uses color schemes to identify toolsets. Purple for modifiers, blue for primitives, and green for... mograph? I'm not sure what to call this toolset. The basic functions are all orange (select, move, rotate, point/line/poly). In formZ, the generate toolset is pretty solid, and I would argue that the subdivision edit tools are pretty effective only using one extra color for the icons. If I were to change these, I would dial back on the "shine" of the icon objects. they can still be 3D, but the whole gradient from white to dark blue is unnecessary and makes small icons look too busy. When you get into other toolsets (modify, measure, modify NURBS) there's a lot of other colors going on and it loses a sense of uniformity among the interface. It would be cool to see all "generate" "shapes" "primitives" so have one color scheme, modifiers to have another, and then all the editing tools just use the two color scheme like subD edit. I would also like to see formZ ditch the "depressed icon" look that you see in the tool dock and the tool options. it's a pretty antiquated appearance and wastes precious pixels that could be used for larger, clearer icons. I think Cinema also nails this by just highlighting the active tool/functions in blue. it's super clean and easy to spot. Same with the red outline in the tool dock. Other programs probably use this approach as well, but I don't have them at my disposal to show as an example. I know that these are simply cosmetic issues and 100% do NOT effect the functions of the program, which is why I don't spend much time posting about it. HOWEVER, I have tried other 3D software and I'm immediately repulsed by the cluttered UI (lookin' at you 3DS Max) which makes me never want to open that program again. I would suspect that formZ might have the same issue for new users who are borderline OCD designers that put a LOT of stock in aesthetic such as myself, but I could be wrong. SO.... is it imperative that formZ updates the interface to keep users? I don't think so. Would an interface overhaul help gather new users? I don't know the answer, but it's definitely worth a shot. After all "good designers copy, great designers steal"
  16. 3 points
    I never understood the point of product bashing. It seems you like blender better, if so then why spend money on FormZ? Go back to blender and stick with it. Personally I have no problems with FormZ here. I did take the time and read through the manual on the tools. Reading is a powerful function many don't bother and would rather flame a product than learn how to use it as it was intended. I have been doing 3d modeling since the early 90's, been on beta teams for major brands.
  17. 3 points
    AsOne

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    How about instead of one day you take a week and deliver us a perfect 3D software...I'll be waiting...
  18. 3 points
    ZTEK

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    Hi, Recently I moved from Santiago, Chile, to live in the city of Seattle. As a result of this big transition, I started to research different software to expand my toolbox and capabilities. One of my goals is to find a new 2D/3D/BIM companion application that complements with formZ as best as possible. After re-reading many criticisms about formZ development and Draft Layout implementation, I decided to share part of my search, knowing this is a fundamental topic for us, the users, and AutoDesSys. I don't usually comment on other software in the forum, and this time I do it in a pro-positive way, hoping that my post could be useful. formZ is my principal design tool and central in my work, and I'm not looking to replace it. Like many of you, I would like to see some improvements and missing pieces taking shape at a better pace. Of course, but in general, version 9 is working well, and I consider it's evolving in the right direction, and I love to work on it as always! For many years, I have been using formZ on Mac along with AutoCAD for 2D drawing production. Both complement well for that purpose, and the combo is versatile, efficient, and productive. Nevertheless, it's a good time for a new change, and I'm proactively seizing the opportunity and looking for a significant upgrade. I decided many years ago not to use the 2D drawing module in formZ, although I always keep an eye on it and see how it progress. However, I have been using formZ to draw dimensioned plans of simple projects and other schematics directly in 3D using different techniques. For example, it works perfectly well for cabinet design projects. Before formZ and AutoCAD, I used Archicad for some years and experienced the BIM world. I bought a license long ago when I was starting my career. At that time, I thought that Graphisoft's "Virtual Building" concept was great. Some years later, I discovered formZ, and I immediately decided to buy it without even trying it. Possible prospects After more than 30 years of evolution, we can see in the A/E/C field developing players offering new options and possibilities. Along with the established and more traditional ones, all provide diverse and enriching alliances. As a result, some BIM applications no longer seem as self-enclosing as before and appear more flexible, with novel options versus the standard "Lego" type modeling approach that I tend to resist. By the way, Archicad and Revit, the big two competitors, are not part of my search. Already, I started relearning Archicad, considering there is a significant user base in the Seattle area. After my initial research, I decided to try BricsCAD and Vectorworks. Among other general and fundamental aspects, both are well-established platforms under active development. They evolved to the BIM realm more recently, with different kinds of implementations than the main actors. They look more flexible and seem more adaptable to different types of uses. They have direct connections with other relevant modeling and visualization apps and the necessary I/O capabilities. Both are 2D/3D hybrid software, with a good set of direct modeling and parametric tools, which I consider fundamental. And, of course, both are fully capable of 2D drawing and documentation production work. The test To test them, I'm doing a practical exercise using a small project I'm developing. It's an interior design study to see the options for remodeling a one-bedroom apartment with an area of 820 SqFt (76 m2). I started in formZ modeling the unit with its existing conditions, working as I always do and without any special consideration. Then, I exported the 3D data to both programs to obtain the plans automatically using their section tools, without drawing and almost any editing. Using demo-versions of 30 days, I have been focusing on the essentials but keep the mind open and experimenting. In simple terms, the testing process is the following: Test and define the necessary options to correctly import the original model developed in formZ, preserving the topology and the organization by layers. Check the imported model and edit the 3D geometry if necessary. Define non-destructive horizontal and vertical sections to extract the 2D information. Generate the blocks of all sections, placing them numerically in the workspace without further editing. Edit and organize the layers system to visualize appropriately the new 2D information generated. Minimal and systematized editing, by layer only, for better visualization of segmented lines. Create a drawing sheet with all section viewports and add a title block. Add some annotations and graphic elements just for testing, like dimensions, symbols, titles, notes, etc., and hatches. Export to PDF the test drawing sheet. On the other hand, this process is never linear and always iterative, requiring updates to the 3D geometry to correct errors, add more information or make simple changes. Therefore, it's essential to establish an efficient working method and preview a reliable and fluid system. Initial results to share After some intensive learning and a positive preliminary round of testing with both programs, I decided for logistical reasons to focus first only on BricsCAD, and I plan to return to Vectorworks as soon as possible. The following are my observations and initial test results that I would like to share. I'm very optimistic about what I accomplished on BricsCAD in such a short period, exceeding all my expectations. Because it started as a clone of AutoCAD, its interface and logic are very familiar to me, but I think other factors could be the main underlying reason. First, BricsCAD is a native DWG application, and formZ has a well-implemented DWG exporter, which I have been able to confirm after years of working with ACAD. Additionally, its modeling engine is ACIS-based, which formZ also uses to export its smooth geometry, with the option to include the facetted objects written as embedded ACIS entities. Last and very important, the 3D modeling module in BricsCAD shares with formZ some fundamental modeling tools and concepts with similar implementations. In the end, it seems feasible that both applications could integrate and complement strongly in the 3D work field, and not only with the more narrow-ish and specific purpose to produce technical 2D information, which was a great and very positive surprise. After my limited but intense test experience and base on those assumptions, I can say that moving to technical drawings production was pretty easy, considering that the 3D geometry in the formZ model has to be well built and organized. The process was quick, systematic, and very straightforward, with predictable and accurate results. I can visualize with clarity that it's also possible to define a fruitful 3D-based workflow between both applications, with multiple and enhanced connections that further facilitate and deepen the whole process. As an example, parametric 3D blocks, which you could model in formZ and parameterize in BricsCAD. All clear so far to me. However, I would like to add that a very intriguing aspect and a big difference could be in the next step. Although I tested it only superficially (and perhaps I'm projecting, my apologies!), if this application delivers what it promotes within its BIM module, it would be possible to define a method that allows moving from formZ to the BIM world. Files to share Due to the size of the files, I'm sharing in the forum some of them only. The others, including the 3D models, can be downloaded in the following link to a Dropbox folder for that purpose: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6rkb2j3vr3i1thw/AAB0--IWUjDS2kNLtyoWQu1Va?dl=0 The following files are attached: A PDF file with a simple topology comparison between formZ and BricsCAD models: FZC-BC-model 5 topology comparison 210124.pdf A PDF file with the Arch D test sheet with the drawings produced: FZC-BC-model 5 test sheet Arch D 210124.pdf Additional files in Dropbox: A PDF file with multiple shaded views of the original formZ model. FMZ file with the original formZ model for the test. DWG file with the BricsCAD model and drawings. Finally, I would like to say that, in the last two months, apart from using BricsCAD and Vectorworks for this test, I was also experimenting for other purposes with Archicad, Rhino3D, and exploring some 3D tools in AutoCAD. In this regard and before closing, 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! Take care, Marcelo P.S. I leave you two links related to formZ that I discovered during my search, one very up-to-date and the other techno-vintage and cool! Integrating Parametric Modeling With BIM Through Generative Programming For The Production Of NURBS Surfaces And Structures Lilian Silva (1), Neander Silva (2) and Igor Lacroix (3) (1,2) Universidade De Brasilia, Faculdade De Arquitetura E Urbanismo, Brasilia, Brazil (3) Centro Universitário de Brasilia, Faculdade de Tecnologia e Ciências Sociais Aplicados, Brasilia, Brazil http://papers.cumincad.org/data/works/att/caadria2019_103.pdf It Cost About $65 To Have A Cold Pizza Delivered In The Middle Of The Night To Skywalker Ranch The Intensive Previs Process On "The Phantom Menace" By Ian Failesmay 22, 2019 https://beforesandafters.com/2019/05/22/it-cost-about-65-to-have-a-cold-pizza-delivered-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-skywalker-ranch/
  19. 3 points
    cobrien

    Reflections

    Incase someone else is having the same problem It's the Saturation slider in the Global Illumination section of V-Ray Settings. It's set to 1 by default
  20. 3 points
  21. 3 points
    pipo

    wip & recent renders

    simple scenes but tricky to light
  22. 3 points
    setz

    Happy Holidays…

    I was saddened because I thought we weren’t going to see one this year and was happily surprised Christmas morning. Cheers and Merry Christmas Bernd!
  23. 3 points
    snow

    New update 9.0.6

    I'm curious if an implementation of a "purge" tool could help here. Instead of individually purging layers, materials, ghosted objects, animation tracks, empty groups (I've noticed excess groups that contain one object and aren't actually grouping anything, can slow things down a bit. I get this a lot importing SKP files or after I happen to delete multiple objects in a group and don't realize I have one object left in said group, but I digress), etc., the user could call the PURGE tool, and check/uncheck various things to purge in the tool options.
  24. 3 points
    Tech

    New update 9.0.6

    The cause of the hanging in Hugo's file was determined to be an excess of empty animation tracks. The development team is devising a better way to handle these in the future.
  25. 3 points
    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
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