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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/03/2021 in all areas

  1. 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.
  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. 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...
  4. 2 points
    I have tried the export to TwinMotion/Unreal and actually find this option very interesting. But for me, the development of this plugin is first and foremost a sign of life from Form.Z - for that I am very grateful. But... and if you would please also pay attention to my contribution just above: I am a creator, a designer - and I work on average 8 hours a day at the computer and with your software. When I create something beautiful and functional, I also want my tools to be beautiful and functional, or to reflect these attributes. That is the alpha and omega of why design exists.
  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. 1 point
    Hi Tech So you are saying: «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.» I have been using FormZ since 1995 . Since version 7, the user interface and its stability has been a tragedy. For years I have tried to draw your attention to this with constructive contributions by E-Mail or here in the Form. Here are a few examples:
  11. 1 point
    Sure, being sarcastic helps a lot! I did not claim so. My feeling is that development is slow, no ui goal can be seen. blender is far from being the industry standard in ui design, but for me it just seems that form•z keeps only keeps rearranging the chairs on the deck.
  12. 1 point
    kim

    Form Z version 9.1.0 (Build A396)

    I am blown away with this latest update on FZ 9. I am finding it a lot smoother and faster than the previous version. Usually small updates don't make a difference but this recent update certainly has. IMHOP. I just love it when an upgrade makes my computer feel new again. Thanks to everyone at Autodesys for working so hard on improving FZ for us all. I am currently running FZ on Catalina 10.15.7, on a MBP 16 inch.
  13. 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
  14. 1 point
    FZnoob

    off topic

    Millions of dudes would still ask it out.
  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
    ZTEK

    Looking for a new formZ companion

    Thanks, guys, for your comments and info. Thanks, Kim, for your support... you made me laugh also. I would like to know more about your CNC workflow... share something later 😉 The link between formZ and Dynamo sounds very promising R2D2, could you share something? I'm a Mac user though, but I would like to try it sometime soon... I could take a walk to the dark side to try using it with my Parallels shield! (sounds like a conspiracy theory!)... oh, and my mask, of course! For years, I have been using the method you mention skybound13. Generating drawings in AutoCAD (ACAD) from orthogonal projections of my models, sectioning them first if necessary. Both ACAD and BricsCAD (BCAD) have a tool called Flatshot, which works perfectly well as a smart version of a hidden line view. The method is simple. You start importing your formZ models in DWG-ACIS format, slice them as necessary to produce the horizontal or vertical sections, and using Flatshot, generate the flat projections as blocks. It requires some methodology, but it's simple to do and systematic. Then you explode the blocks and continue editing and drawing in 2D, like in any CAD software. The results are excellent if the models are well constructed, with clean geometry. This method is essentially manual, and the only part automatic is the use of the Flatshot tool. But it works very well if it suits you. Updating the drawings could be tedious if the model changes too much, but it will depend on how organized it's everything. To do it right, I usually generate a new block without exploding it and overlay and lock it. This way, I can edit my drawings with some ease. Both ACAD and BCAD have all the necessary capabilities and tools for that. A newer option is to compare two DWG files to update changes with ease and systematically, which sounds great, but I did not test it yet. formZ can help if you are organized. For example, if you make changes, you don't need to export the whole model each time, and you can export only the modified objects selecting them beforehand. Again, it's more about the method than anything else. Next phase What I'm exploring in my testing is how to move to the next phase, more automatic than manual, similar to what formZ Layout is trying to do. BCAD is superior to ACAD to achieve this, which is saying a lot. BCAD has more tools that expand it to other areas, and some tools in common more developed. After using it for a while, ACAD feels like a younger brother. Two major A/E/C developers are pushing the DWG format to a higher level than Autodesk. One is Bricsys with BricsCAD, and the other is Gräbert with ARES Commander. The way BCAD works to produce drawings is similar to Vectorworks and others. In simple terms, they offer an automatic system to generate drawings sectioning a 3D model or directly from 2D information, which could be previously drawn with 2D tools or imported. Based on viewports linked to drawing sheets. The info is organized, managed, and displayed according to a system of layers/classes. In theory, not destructive, and the flow is alive from 3D to 2D only. Everything will be easier if you model or draw in the same software, of course. But the situation changes a bit if you model in another 3D app and you import the geometry. That's why the quality of the exporter module is so important. More recently, all the new connections between different apps like Rhino.Inside, Dynamo-Revit, etc. ACAD and BCAD are DWG-based, and the DWG exporter in formZ is great. VW is based on the Parasolid kernel and not on ACIS, like formZ, and I'm still not clear if this may produce some limitations for what I want to do, based on VW's implementation. Archicad uses the proprietary GDL and is a different history, but they have their custom connection with Rhino-Grasshopper. One possibility is to import the 2D information generated in formZ Layout as an intermediate step, the way that Shibui and AsOne work. The other is to import the 3D geometry directly, like R2D2. The latter is the one I'm trying with BCAD in my test. In my case, I want to redefine the connection with formZ, looking to establish a new workflow that integrated both apps in 3D. My idea is simple Find the right app, learn it well and develop a new workflow with formZ that complements and integrates them on the 3D side, blurring the boundary between the two. For me, the key is to establish the link as a relationship of "intersection" where the two apps share an area and stop seeing it as if it were a "bridge" to cross from one to the other. In practice, I imagine the method modeling interchangeably in both applications using their best tools efficiently in a combined way, exporting and importing in both directions, and editing the resulting drawings as little as possible. The method has to be systematic, without causing more problems than it intends to solve, and efficient and not a waste of time. As I said before, I prefer it to be flexible rather than fast, and with good quality results, of course. I have been using formZ in different areas in the past, not only in architecture. I used it for a couple of jobs in hardware design with prototyping, working with geodesic domes and fabric patterning, and fabrication. Base on these experiences, using fZ Layout does not appeal to me in its current implementation. Just as I never liked the 2D drawing module in version 6 and earlier. I tried it many times and even used it on a couple of multi-story buildings in the office where I was working at that time, but in the end, I decided not to insist any more. It works if you are trying to make architectural drawings at the usual scales to generate plans, and small errors don't cause trouble. But it doesn't work for other purposes that need the precision of a CAD program. In the end, it's not about how much it's needed or how many decimal places. The problem is with the transfer of information and how fZ Layout degrades it, producing little errors. formZ is a double-precision floating-point CAD application, and fZ Layout is NOT in its current implementation. That is the problem for me. The same doesn't happen with software like ACAD or BCAD, Rhino, and I'm guessing in VW or Revit either. I leave Archicad aside because it's not a very open application. It's the same reason I use formZ and don't use Sketchup, and if you need to share a 2D file with a co-worker or provider that requires precision, fZ Layout doesn't work as an intermediate stage. About the test I made some modifications to the formZ test file and generated all the plans again. In total, the "redrawing" process in BricsCAD took me no more than 1 hour, including deleting the entire previous model, importing the new version, and generating all the sections replacing the blocks automatically. The only new thing was to reapply the gray glass hatches. In total, the whole test took me between 35 to 40 hours of work during one week, measuring the entire apartment with my new laser meter while learning how to use it, haha. Modeling everything simultaneously in formZ and then generating the plans in BricsCAD. The latter took no more than 10 hours to produce the complete test drawing sheet. FZC-BC-model 6 test sheet Arch D 210206.pdf
  17. 1 point
    First off I should say that while I have tried many times to use V8 for Drafting I repeatedly return to V6 to generate my construction documents. I am very biased towards the older version. I understand that I am a lot more familiar with it, so of course it would be a lot faster and easier for me to use. Over the years I have made many attempts to switch and have found too many impediments to be able to be able to produce drawings in the way in which I want them to look. While V8 has some great new features and more of an automated feeling, it all comes at an unacceptable expense in flexibility. I think that the older version had a superior foundation. It would be great to begin with that foundation and then to include the beneficial features from V8. There are some serious issues and bugs in V6 Drafting which needed correcting. My suggestions will include pointing out both the problems and the benefits unique to V6 and V8. If anyone has ideas of how to combine the two versions where issues conflict, they would be very welcomed. Please feel free to add to the list as I too will be doing so in the coming days/weeks. 1. V6 had a Draft / Draft Layout workflow format which was a lot more flexible than the Page / Frame format in V8. While I appreciate the automatic updating of the Frames to reflect the state of the current model, I was losing a lot of time in going back and forth between the 3D and the 2D world and having to wait long periods of time for all the many frames in my drawings to update. I got into the practice of "freezing" the Hidden Line renders to break the file linking but this felt tedious and counterproductive in V8's workflow. In addition, I miss having an "offscreen" area [Draft] in which I could organize and hold variations etc. off to the side and which was hidden from view in the Frames [Draft Layout] on the final printed sheet, but which was still easily accessible and editable by switching to the Draft Mode. That being said, having a pages palette added on top of the old system would be a great addition. 2. I like the way that frames were not limited to rectangular shapes in V6, but could be polygonal, like the shape of an "L" or "T" for example. It enabled you to nest details around each other and gave you a lot more flexibility in organizing information on a page. Round and oval Frames would be helpful options for detail insert bubbles. 3. V6 had bugs in Repositioning dimensions which often caused them to fly off the screen when adjusted. V8 has no Reposition Tool which is dearly needed to quickly and efficiently edit either single dimensions or whole strings of dimensions which have been pre-selected. 4. I prefer the (Horizontal/Vertical and Dimension Parallel) Dimension Tools with a double click to signify the completion of a string of dimensions rather than using a separate tool to create Multi-Dimensions. 5. I miss being able to quickly select and move the associated/unassociated points of dimensions without having to show them first as in V8. These were invisible until selected in V6 which worked well. 6. Reintroduce the Colors Palette and the Color Tool in Drafting. Only being able to adjust Line / Hatch colors via Attributes is a limitation in comparison to V6.
  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
    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.
  20. 1 point
    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
  21. 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.
  22. 1 point
    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..
  23. 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! €£
  24. 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...
  25. 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
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