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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/05/2020 in Posts

  1. 9 points
    bmeissner

    Happy Holidays…

    … and all the best to you all! Bernd (Note: 23 years of FormZ modeled Christmas cards :-))
  2. 7 points
    We are pleased to announce AutoDesSys was a recently awarded an Epic MegaGrant to create an interface between form•Z and Epic’s Unreal Engine and Twinmotion. The Datasmith plugin for form•Z is the first product of this exciting collaboration. This plugin allows you to quickly and easily convert your form•Z 3D model for use in Unreal Engine 4 and Twinmotion. A Technology Preview of the Datasmith plugin for form•Z is now available here: http://www.formz.com/fzsite1219/products/unreal.html
  3. 7 points
    setz

    what's new webinar

    Modo and FZ are great companions. I use modo for complicated organic subdivision cage modeling (because it has really good soft selection tools) and then bring the object into FZ where I convert to subdivision and then convert into nurbs. Works really well at creating super complicated organic nurbs shapes that can then be further worked on in FZ with booles etc. Many parts of the mech were done this way (some are pure FZ hard surface modeling.) The parts in this model ended up as separate nurbs solids exports for CNC machining.
  4. 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
  5. 6 points
    Tech

    V-Ray update

    We are actively working on V-Ray 5 for form•Z. Its up and running and looking really good. We are very excited about this new version. We hope to have a beta in December.
  6. 6 points
    Hey guys I thought I would throw in my five cents worth here We have been using Lumion since version 7.....but really only a usable option since version 9 The most important consideration is end use .... I don't consider Lumion as a tool for still images full stop , only for animation. The reasons for this are the GI is not advanced enough and the lack of ray tracing require reflection planes to be manually placed of which there are a maximum of 10. Don't get too excited about the "vast" libraries as realistically , only a fraction of this is of medium quality. That being said it is possible to produce animations of reasonable quality as long as you don't get to hung up on the correctness of the render quality. It is an extremely expensive app for what it does.......the updates are frequent but you pay a huge price each time for only very limited enhancements. See below a few examples.....I will post a few more recent ones done with the latest 10.5 when the projects become public so everything below is done with version 9.5
  7. 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
  8. 5 points
    Tech

    New update 9.0.6

    "Check for update" now shows 9.0.6 as available. Please note that we always wait 24-48 hours after posting a new version before updating the "check for update" notification just to be sure the distribution is sound before mass installations begin. You can always install the latest version from the link you received with your latest license codes. Here are the highlights of this version. form•Z v9.0.6 (#A283): New stuff SKP translator updated to import/export SketchUp 2020 files. Plus these improvements: - Import performance significantly improved. - Objects will be surfaces by default unless “Construct Solids” is enabled (which is now on by default for new installations). - Import now maintains layers and materials properly. - Non-Roman characters in file names now supported for import and export. - Non-Roman characters in layer name and Material names are now supported. - Import now includes wire objects. - Exporting files with metric units works as expected. General Contour Sections no longer affected by manipulating corresponding Transform Controller Conflicts resolved that could cause Key Shortcuts to stop working. Arc 3 can be inverted with the CMD/Ctrl (Mac/Win) key. Objects created by Duplicate (Edit menu) remain selected. Reference Files window displays correct name. DXF export and import now supports Non-Roman characters in the file name. Exporting DAE and KMZ files works properly Windows Check for Update works as expected no on systems with certain Windows settings. Alt key tap key works as expected Draft Layout Grid Snap now works as expected when combined with the Guide snap Python scripting unfold.py script now works as expected. Scripts are maintained in the Extensions menu and are sorted properly. The getLayer() and setLayer object method have been improved. Additional performance and stability improvements.
  9. 5 points
    "Check for update" now shows 9.0.6 as available. Please note that we always wait 24-48 hours after posting a new version before updating the "check for update" notification just to be sure the distribution is sound before mass installations begin. You can always install the latest version from the link you received with your latest license codes. Here are the highlights of this version. form•Z v9.0.6 (#A283): New stuff SKP translator updated to import/export SketchUp 2020 files. Plus these improvements: - Import performance significantly improved. - Objects will be surfaces by default unless “Construct Solids” is enabled (which is now on by default for new installations). - Import now maintains layers and materials properly. - Non-Roman characters in file names now supported for import and export. - Non-Roman characters in layer name and Material names are now supported. - Import now includes wire objects. - Exporting files with metric units works as expected. General Contour Sections no longer affected by manipulating corresponding Transform Controller Conflicts resolved that could cause Key Shortcuts to stop working. Arc 3 can be inverted with the CMD/Ctrl (Mac/Win) key. Objects created by Duplicate (Edit menu) remain selected. Reference Files window displays correct name. DXF export and import now supports Non-Roman characters in the file name. Exporting DAE and KMZ files works properly Windows Check for Update works as expected no on systems with certain Windows settings. Alt key tap key works as expected Draft Layout Grid Snap now works as expected when combined with the Guide snap Python scripting unfold.py script now works as expected. Scripts are maintained in the Extensions menu and are sorted properly. The getLayer() and setLayer object method have been improved. Additional performance and stability improvements.
  10. 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..
  11. 4 points
    We do not recommend using Big Sur with form•Z yet. We are still investigating a few issues that have been reported.We hope to have more details on this soon. We will eventually be able to support the new Apple arm64 chips natively, however please understand that this will take some time. While the Rosetta 2 feature of Big Sur allows non-native code to run on arm64, the system prevents you from mixing arm64 code and x86_64 code in the same process. While we could make a native version of form•Z rather quickly, it will take some time for all of the vendors that we work with for extensions and plugins to make arm64 versions of their technology available. This will mitigate the usefulness of a native form•Z app in the short term.
  12. 4 points
    Bo Atkinson

    V9 update

    For countless issues with many kinds of tools, when things get suspicious, I either reset workspace to restore session, or restart formZ, and if still wrong, reboot OS. Loosing custom shortcuts and prefs are usual, also loosing generalized project responses, most of which easily fix by starting new project and closing it immediately, which restores current project immediately after that trick. As for loss of the good old ways changing, yes, I have to accept that too, but the new powers are well worth it. I looked at other 3d apps and downloaded Blender, and am just amazed how they lack some of my particular favorite things. So I don't object to random formZ problems, by persisting until things work out, and new methods pop up, and then I need the outdoor work for exercise, and let the processor chips cool down. ^__^
  13. 4 points
    setz

    what's new webinar

    I've been considering making videos for FZ for a long time now. I love FZ and I have a lot of tips and tricks I could share. The things holding me back are that I have zero experience in video production, and poor voice and camera presence lol. (That's not me in the avatar.) For now, as an alternative to videos there is a great resource on FZ's website for Tips and Tricks: http://www.formz.com/fzsite1219/manuals/TnT/index.htm#t=Add_and_fill_out_Title_Block_templates_to_Layout_documents.htm
  14. 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/
  15. 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
  16. 3 points
    pipo

    wip & recent renders

    simple scenes but tricky to light
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 3 points
    Tech

    Technology Preview v1.0.1.0 is now available

    Technology Preview v1.0.1.0 is now available (formZ 9.0.6.1 minimum required) here: http://www.formz.com/fzsite1219/products/unreal.html CHANGES • Double Sided materials option enabled by default. • Datasmith now implemented as two exporter plugins, one specialized for Twinmotion and the other for Unreal engine. Each maintains its own set of export options. FIXES • Improved missing texture search and re-linking. • Renderzone procedural textures are now supported. (Bitmap texture versions will appear as they do in formZ's Shaded viewport modes). • Datasmith exporter sorted alphabetically in exporters list. • Export options now saved in formZ's preferences file. KNOWN ISSUES • Hidden objects are visible when imported into Unreal/Twinmotion. Epic is aware of this and is working on a fix. For now, keep the export option "Visible Objects Only" enabled.
  21. 3 points
    AsOne

    Importing 3rd party models

    I am an architect. I use FormZ as my primary 3D modeler on every project. I transfer that information to Vectorworks for construction drawings or anything involving notes, text, formatting on a sheet. I have built a system for the two to "talk" and it's an ok system. It could be a lot better if FormZ had the basic capability to reference other file types (DWG in my case). I would LOVE to see Referenced files that are always placed at the same world coordinates (relative to a 0,0,0, point). That way if I need to import consultant data, another 3D model, or my own 2D work from Vectorworks I can do it ONE TIME and then every time the referenced file is updated I won't have to re import. This would allow fluid and fast communication between two programs. Essentially extending the new Reference file capability to file types beyond .fmz. I know the current Reference file capability leaves a lot to be desired, but at least it is a start. I agree 100% with the need to clean up the UI, fix the bugs, and improve import export. I would rather ditch some of the customization of the UI for stability. Occasionally I have to reset the Workspace and I don't mess around with the palettes anymore now I have them where I want them. For a new user the UI would be difficult. Palettes still can get completely lost and the scrolling speed through the dock is very slow. Even the fact that I have to hold Option to scroll the Dock is unintuitive. Who would know this if you just started in the program? I really miss having a scroll bar in the dock. However I believe the desire to have a "one stop shop" is unrealistic in todays marketplace IMHO. Sure it might work out for one person, but is there a program that does it all - for everyone? There isn't really. Sure some do people find one program that works, but for many a hybrid approach is the best way to go. There are too many diverse needs and workflows out there. I could care less about FormZ adding tools to add notes, dimensions, text. Useless for me. I would rather do that in a program already well suited for that task. There would need to be such a quantum leap in FormZ's ability there to get me to use it given how far advanced Vectorworks is in this regard. There are other priorities in my opinion for FormZ. I understand why they came out with Layout (I presume to compete with SketchUp) and I use Layout to export my information (plans, sections, elevations) to Vectorworks, but I don't need them to spend time trying to make it a full fledged production program. For some the modeling in SketchUp is just enough and so is their layout program. For me it isn't nearly robust enough in either department. Does Rhino, Modo, Cinema have a way to create construction documents, full of notes, dimensions, and specifications? REVIT may be amazing at production work, but it sucks at fast fluid modeling. Is there a program that models fast, also has amazing rendering capabilities, AND produces construction documents? And that works equally well for a one man shop, a small firm, a big firm, product design, architecture, visualization specialists? I hear the complaints about 2D work. Seems legit and it would help my workflow. I guess I don't care that much as I can do that work in Vectorworks. However, until we get referenced DWG files it still takes way too much time to keep reimporting information from outside the program. I would rather FormZ concentrate on its strength - fast fluid solid modeling and quick texturing/rendering. At the same time the weaknesses need to be fixed: bugs, UI issues, and then there needs to be some sort of marketing to expand the user base and outreach of the program. If anything I would rather it become or specialized not more general. Of course I'm biased so I want that to be in architecture. Trying to be a program that solves everyones problems is not possible.
  22. 3 points
    FZnoob

    New update 9.0.6

    When they get to V9.5 let me know. That seems to be when things are sorted. Until then I will stay with 8.5.6
  23. 3 points
    allanjl

    New update 9.0.6

    I seem to have issues deleting geometry with this version. Selecting an object and hitting de delete key, doesn't seem to work. More alarming, and definitely needing a fix: 99% of my 2D plans saved as a layer inside my model have disappeared. Yes, disappeared! PLEASE FIX THIS. I reverted to the previous version. Cannot work without my 2D cad plan layers. Windows 10.
  24. 3 points
    Andrew West

    Bump Maps

    For those of you out there that are still using Form.z and V-ray there is something you should be aware of with bump maps. As of today I finally found what was causing my image map materials to appear odd. They were too dark and they did not accept shadows correctly. The sun just didn't cast an accurate shadow on my stone wall planes and it looked like a mess. I finally found that if you remove your bump map it cleans it up instantly. As a matter of fact if you remove all bump maps from your project a lot of issues suddenly disappear. I even went so far as to remove any native V-ray materials that had bump maps. I am only trying to help those who are experiencing similar issues and hope that they don't have to spend a lot of time figuring it out like I did. Hopefully this will be addressed soon. In the mean time use displacement if you really need 3d relief on your surfaces. Very unfortunate.
  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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