Jaakko reacted to johnalexander1571 in Why form•z is not popular any more:
While you all are mentioning it, my company gives me that AEC suite from AD. And Maya and the engineers use SW. Nice, but in practice, formZ is basically the "brain" program for an octopus of functionality. I do just about everything in formZ, then if I need Revit, for Families, I go there. Need Maya, no prob. Even bring in Solidworks with STEP to make Revit Families. I think the reality of today's work is that you need various apps, but I still find formZ a clear winner for the returns.
At least in the manufacturing world, I don't know how someone would do this without formZ. If someone is sitting there trying to do what I do without it, they would be spending a criminal amount of time working with slower tools and doing many more workarounds. The money being saved in this context is substantial. All models accurate and solid! formZ is truly a jewel in the crown of apps when real work is concerned. It's proper place may be in that AEC suite. It works very well with it.
BUT, the idea behind the AEC package is you wind up paying a big yearly fee to these other guys. Past what a freelancer could do. Using those programs, though, and living in the real world, it becomes clear that you need to be able to use whatever end result program you need for whatever project you have. Notice the focus on making a certain amount of income.
It is actually very nice to have a niche place right now where you can still get permanent software and individual attention. The price for the support is very very reasonable.
As far as interface, I have used them all and done real projects and they all have their downs. They also all have forums where somewhere, folk complain about the interfaces.
formZ came from an altruistic pedigree that is different than the commercial giants out there. If there was a humanitarian project in which formZ was needed, formZ was provided for those at no cost. The creators of formZ started as educators and have never been focused on income. They have always been primarily concerned with what we design and build with formZ. That's what they have been watching.
There used to be a very formal architectural forum/blog that would have articles on new buildings, and if formZ was mentioned in the article as one of the apps used, it was included in that particular thread. I can't find this now for the life of me. Does anyone remember that too and know where it is? That blog was always awesome because there were all these new and wonderful buildings that used formZ in the design process somewhere. It was very inspiring.
Jaakko reacted to Des in 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.
Jaakko reacted to kac in Why form•z is not popular any more:
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.
Jaakko reacted to setz in Creating facetted with number of poly
Simbio, this was a tricky transition for me as well. Low poly count is very important in my workflow. I made a template file with various predefined settings, and while they don't solve for your specific request, they are useful in getting polycounts down. The problem I was having was that on objects with both very large and very small radiuses the poly count would be inefficient; these presets keep counts low for these types of objects.
Attached is a copy of the file with the presets. They are listed as ".05" - ".00002" which represents the size of a poly in relation to the size of the object. Each preset roughly doubles the resolution. .05 is very coarse - .00002 is quite fine. Make sure that your Project Settings/Working Units allow for FZ to have "Number of Decimal Places" be at least 6 for the finer presets to function correctly.
You can easily add these to any file (including your Template File) by clicking on the folder button shown in the screen grab.
Hope this helps.
Jaakko reacted to Tech in 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.
Jaakko reacted to kim in 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.
Jaakko reacted to Andrew West in 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.
Jaakko reacted to rickdm in 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!
Jaakko reacted to DaveVT in form•Z v9.1 with Twinmotion and Unreal support
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
Jaakko reacted to Des in 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..😁
Jaakko reacted to Des in First Project with Twinmotion
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..
Jaakko reacted to ZTEK in Looking for a new formZ companion
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.
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.
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:
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!
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
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
Jaakko reacted to snow in 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.
Jaakko reacted to jldaureil in Datasmith for form•Z Technology Preview
Hi every body
Twinmotion is simply our favorite rendering engine for 2019
It's an amazing software at the best price (free for me because we gone in 2019l
The renderings quality is really good even it's not the level of maxwell or vray
But the rendering time are of courses more than rapid especially for videos
The setup time are mainly oriented to improve de scene with a lot of assets in from the library (not for rendering settings}
TM import natively. Skp
Si you can find for free assets from quixel to 3d wharhouse
Here is our YouTube channel to see example of our work made with formz and twinmotion
I've tested the formz datasmith plug-in successfully
The main advantages are :
The objects scene organisation is preserved
The geometry is correctly exported (better than with the fbx export that cause problems with solid objects with hole or open cut)
Objects are imported to the correct location
(with z9 fbx you should set a rotation y-90 and z 180 for an import with x axe up) Without theses settings fbx are not in the original location or weather effect in tm are not correct (snow)
With the plug-in all of this is obsolete
The only problem I've seen is with Greyscale bump map for converted materials
(tm prefers normal map
Bump map in tm are reversed
Bump in tm is set by default to 100%
In TM bump should be set to 50% to follow the normal map
Lower and higher values override the normal map intensity
So if you set the bump value in TM to 50% and prepare you normal map for this you can increase or decrease the bump effect after in the TM materials
I would like to pointed hee a very cool software to make tiled (extra) textures included normal maps from images
Simply the best software I know for that
You can also use allegorithmic b2m on steam platform) (or substance alchemist if you have money for that) but pixplant is really superior to make tile operations
I would like to congratulate autodessys for win the epic grant
And of course for the super good job
This is simply the best news for me and a super perspective for formz
I will share the info in the exceptional Facebook twinmotion communauty
(best place to see the best renderings or for information
Un grand merci à autodessys
C'est vraiment super cool
Jaakko reacted to Tech in Technology Preview v22.214.171.124 is now available
Technology Preview v126.96.36.199 is now available (formZ 188.8.131.52 minimum required) here: http://www.formz.com/fzsite1219/products/unreal.html
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.