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Mike_A last won the day on June 3 2015

Mike_A had the most liked content!

About Mike_A

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  1. Mike_A

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    Long time no post here. I started with FZ a very long time ago - probably 20 years ago. In fact it was my first serious 3D tool. I still have v8 Pro on my system, but I very rarely use it. there are other tools in the world of 3D and CGI I prefer these days. I came back here for the first time in many years to see if FZ was 'still alive' - and stumbled across this thread. What is really telling is that I found my own post from 2015 quoted on the first page - "An open letter to AutoDesSys regarding the interface". FZ was always a powerful tool at its core, it's so sad that the company couldn't see and respond to the areas that needed improvement. The world has moved on and FZ missed the bus.
  2. Mike_A

    FormZ to C4D Workflows

    Have a look at the STEP format. C4D R20 has some excellent CAD import functionality.
  3. Mike_A

    formZ 9

    As the initiator of the discussion Walter mentions above - I'll second his thoughts on the matter...
  4. Mike_A

    Navigation issues

    I've recently picked up FZ again after quite a break. Currently using 8.5 I'm struggling with navigation... Is there any tool / method to enable me to rotate around an object - that is away from world zero in all axis - with it remaining 'centered' on screen? Currently I find I'm spending far too much time chasing the right viewpoint, rather than modelling.
  5. Mike_A

    Snap to Center of Face

    +1 on this.
  6. Mike_A

    Cursor display

    Looks like 27" monitors are on trend ; )
  7. Mike_A

    Cursor display

    I'm with jtucker... exactly the same thoughts. The extended cursor works OK for me, particularly if I use 'reduced extents' : 40px - but I'd generally prefer to use the 2D cursor, apart from the fact that it is easy to loose on screen. I don't have any technical software issue - simply just one of visibility of the 2D cursor. FYI: My primary monitor is 27" widescreen at 2560 x 1440px.
  8. Mike_A

    Cursor display

    Yes - I find the same. As monitor size and pixel density have both increased I often loose the '+' cursor and would appreciate something more visible.
  9. Mike_A

    Screw / bolt bug?

    v7 /v 8 /v 8.5 Windows 64bit. When using the screw/bolt tool the screw does not align correctly along a drawn line when the line is drawn along a world Y or Z axis, or if either of those axis are clicked on directly.
  10. Mike_A

    Unfolding a Nurbs surface

    You've built a non-developable surface - a surface that can't be unfolded without stretching the material from which it would be made. Hence the fact the FZ needs to convert it to a complex facetted pattern as an approximation.
  11. Mike_A

    Offset line

    Looks like a bug to me too. One workaround: Derive an extrusion from your segment - set : perpendicular to surface. Then the offset segment command works in the side view. You'll then need to pick and derive segments from the resulting surface.
  12. As the original poster of this thread I thought I would post a follow up. First: thanks to all - whether you agreed with my points or not, it's been a useful thread. I do think it's only reasonable to acknowledge the progress that ADS has made in recent years - the improvements to on-the-fly modelling guides and reference planes, Open GL rendering etc. However I do maintain that the overall UI design and layout, panels / palette system, iconography and aesthetics all need significant improvement. Asone asked what sort of interface look I was hoping to find. Well there are a number of softwares already mentioned in this thread - C4D, modo and others - that show attractive, flexible and functional UI design. Having said that, I'm not asking for a clone of any of them. Each of us are going to have personal preferences on the aesthetics of the interface, so my plea is slightly wider than a specific look. My primary request is that AutoDesSys wakes up to the fact that the design and functionality of the UI is a very important part of their product - and makes a step change in priorities / staff / resources or whatever to address this at a fundamental level. My priorities would be: 1. Fix the workspace and palette size and positioning system - as a matter of urgency. This is currently broken as far as I'm concerned and is my No.1 frustration. Fixing it will at least give each of us some ability to adapt the current interface to our needs. I find it hard to believe that a company with the undoubted technical and intellectual capital of AutoDesSys can't get this fixed. 2. Put the resources in place to developing a modern, unified and coherent UI. This work requires a skilled UI designer - not just people who can code. I would also suggest enabling some form of input from the FormZ community - right at the start of such as project. This very thread shows that there is a considerable interest and valuable input available to ADS. Here are some of the main features I'd like to see: 1. Flexible and functional workspace / palette management system. 2. Unified 'single frame' UI design with flexible boundaries for on-the-fly palette resizing that makes full and efficient use of the rectangular application frame, while maintaining the option to undock panels onto other screen(s) as required. 3. Clarified iconography and improved panel design and layout. 4. Clarified and refined preferences system. Mike A.
  13. An open letter to AutoDesSys FormZ is, in many aspects, an excellent piece of software with many powerful tools - and leads the field in many respects. However, I feel there are significant issues with the interface that let the software down and make it uncomfortable to use - and need to be addressed: specifically: The 'individual floating palette' style of GUI is dated and inconvenient. The workspace and palette management system can only be described as broken. There are icons and other interface graphics that are so badly 'designed' they are unreadable. Having used FormZ, admittedly on and off, over many years I get the impression that GUI / interface / workspace matters are not given the consideration they deserve. They are important. Fighting the interface of software you use on a daily basis becomes a very tiresome affair. To me FormZ is like the car that has had attention to tune the engine, improve the brakes and refine the handling; but the drivers seat is terribly uncomfortable, the pedals are in the wrong place and the instruments are hard to read. No matter how the performance is improved, the car remains uncomfortable, difficult to drive - and will be less than popular. Looking through the forums it is clear that interface / workspace and related issues have been raised on multiple occasions, by numerous users, over an extended period of time. Yet there seems to be no significant progress. I was hoping that v8.5 might address some of these issues, but it has not. It seems odd to me that development time is being spent on new features, while no progress is made on the GUI / interface / workspace issues that are clearly of concern. It feels to me that the maths, computing science and technical challenges of developing new tools and 3D constructs are considered so much more important than the design, functionality and aesthetics of the interface that the latter constantly gets marginalised in terms of development time and effort. Improving the GUI, and workspace management should be a priority. It is a weakness of the software that masks many of it's strengths. I know of people that take a look at FZ and reject it due to the interface. Addressing these issues should pay dividends for AutoDesSys as well as for current users. Personally I've been considering buying an upgrade to my current FZ licence for some time - but I am very reluctant to do so when the interface remains so frustrating to use. Perhaps I'm not the only one. Written in a spirit of constructive criticism. Sincerely, Mike Abbott
  14. Have there been any improvements to GUI / workspace / pallette management in 8.5?