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Everything posted by bbuxton

  1. bbuxton

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    2D sketches, though usually these can be exported as dxf as working drawings. Most ID fabrication still requires 2D drawings, machinists work from 2D drawings. If there is a problem it is the 2D drawings that come back because a part does not fit.
  2. bbuxton

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    The elephant in the room is 2D drawings and 'parameters' not driving the model in FormZ. Editing the model will update the drawing in Layout but not the other way round. Most parametric CAD, e.g. Solidworks, Fusion 360 Catia etc. work from the drawing first, not the model Most architectural applications like Autocad Vectorworks etc. also work from 2D first (parametric doors and windows are just exposed values for a 2D drawing driving a model) FormZ works from the model first, edit the model and the drawings update. Working in this very direct way with the model first is much faster than the other approaches, but once an idea settles and needs constraint-driven changes, it is time to move the process out of formZ to another application. I almost always start projects in FormZ but invariably finish them elsewhere.
  3. bbuxton

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    formZ can work parametrically to a very small extent- 'show controls' and 'edit parameters' but it is not the same as editing a sketch and having the model update. Although it can be seen as a shortcoming this 'direct' approach is what makes formZ so fast to rough out early concepts. History-based CAD is better for iterative and ideation phases but formZ editing is still fine for most simple edits. As much as I would love to see formZ develop more for industrial design, it has always been focused on architecture. Perhaps BIM and ICF support will get some attention in the future??
  4. bbuxton

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    FormZ has one of the most user-friendly and fastest CAD modelling workflows on the market. Recently there have been minor issues with the UI (glitchy pallets and poor alignment of text) BUT the issues you talk of do not seem to be related to the FormZ UI but rather inexperience and lack of practice. If you rarely use something how can you be proficient? What I often see is confusion over the distinction between CGI and CAD. It is hard to do CGI in a CAD program just like it is hard to produce manufacturing drawings in a CGI program. I wish someone would remove the clickbait title or this thread entirely, what useful purpose does it serve?
  5. bbuxton

    Displacement map baking and UV editor

    Rasterizing procedural textures and projecting details from a high polygon mesh to a low polygon mesh are different things. The import into Vray for Unreal automatically does the former but not the latter, unfortunately.
  6. bbuxton

    Displacement map baking and UV editor

    There are cheaper ways to do this, Blender for example.... but Modo with PowerTranslators is the most robust in my experience. Moi3D and 3DCoat is another good combination. Moi3D generates a very good mesh from nurbs geometry and has a robust STEP importer. I don't think FormZ can bake from a high poly model to a low poly version. There is no raycasting shader or material that I know of. It would be nice to have Autodessys chip in here as they must have some thoughts about this in relation to Twinmotion and the Unreal Datasmith plugin.
  7. bbuxton

    Displacement map baking and UV editor

    Use CAD if you need to create drawings and a polygon modeller if you want to create rendered or real-time outputs. It is possible to move between the two but it involves a lot of tools and lots of time. My workflow is export a STEP file from FormZ, import it into Modo using Integrityware's PowerTranslators. From here I can retopologize ugly meshes, do my UV layouts, bake my meshmaps for Substance Painter and render. Retopology, UV layour, baking, texturing and rendering (or exporting for game engines/webGL) is as hard or harder than creating the initial CAD model in FormZ. It is frustrating that I usually need to complement my CAD drawings with real-time and rendered outputs. Given the choice, I would much rather stick with one or the other. The example above is the tip of an expensive iceberg for me
  8. bbuxton

    V-Ray update

    I'm sure they are working on it. have you tried contacting Autodessys support? 😉
  9. bbuxton

    Version 9.1

    Icon fix for LAB Primitives \formZ 9\Plugins\formZ LAB\icons Profiles_Diagrams.tif
  10. bbuxton

    Version 9.1

    9.1 is a bit of a wreck visually. UI glitches galore - garbled text, random tool pallets appearing in the pallet dock for no apparent reason. Snapping priorities are not set right and objects snaps can work on some items but not others in the same project. the LAB icons are messed up again - the UI image needs updating. V9 is almost OK but for sure 8.6, is the least broken version since v7.
  11. bbuxton

    V-Ray update

    So 7 months on.... Is there a working public beta yet?
  12. bbuxton

    D5 Render

    Any insights into how this might be a better solution than TwinMotion/Unreal or Marmoset Toolbag? All of the above struggle with transparent materials and I imagine it is the same with D5. Given that Autodessys have already worked hard on Twinmotion/Unreal integration, I think D5 is perhaps distracting at best. If I wanted to divert attention, Keyshot or Maverick integration would be more useful for those of us that design products rather than architecture.
  13. bbuxton

    Maxwell object 360

    It would be nice if choosing Maxwell output from the object 360 display pallet rendered more than a single frame.
  14. bbuxton

    Maxwell object 360

    Thank you for the response Next Limit. There are other problems with the plugin, FormZ does not handle polygon formats very well, in the past I would send to Studio instead of Maxwell render to fix normal issues or import geometry that FormZ is unable to, but this is no longer possible without buying an additional license. I think most long term users of Maxwell are angry with this.
  15. bbuxton

    VRay Collection

    FormZ is not included in the VRay collection. This worries me as I have VRay for C4d which was developed outside of Chaos Group, and the feature set and updates suffered badly. I have other applications that can use VRay and still use it with Cinema4d (better now that development has been taken over by Chaos Group). Obviously, it is better to get the collection than to run two VRay licenses. It would be good to know what the arrangement is for FormZ and Renderzone is not improving and my recent Maxwell 5.1 upgrade seems to have been a regrettable lapse of judgement.
  16. bbuxton

    Importing 3rd party models

    I think a lot of FormZ users are in exactly this position. I have tried Rhino (90-day trial) a few times 😵. At the moment I am starting projects in FormZ then finishing in Fusion 360 which does a better job of exporting to Modo/Cinema 4D. FormZ is still much faster for roughing out basic forms and generally I stay in FormZ until things start to break or I need to share with a client. Spaceclaim comes quite close to the immediacy of FormZ and will almost certainly be where I will be heading if Autodessys make FormZ's UI any worse than it is already. For export, I only use STEP now, and for Import STEP works well too but I generally have to put up with what I have to hand (normally polygon formats). If Spaceclaim is too expensive DesignSpark has come a long way recently, the base application is free, Sheet drawings and STEP/IGES support are reasonably priced. I don't know how things are at Autodessys, but if FormZ is going to continue, YouTube and social media and this forum are a priority, it is rare to find someone under 50 that knows anything about FormZ.
  17. bbuxton

    Polymesh Problem...

    I would suggest exporting as obj the smooth mesh without attempting to reduce the polygon count in FormZ. Then import the obj into Instantmeshes https://github.com/wjakob/instant-meshes and reduce the poly count there. You will be able to retain a fairly good all quad topology, which is easy to UV in Maya or a UV editing application such as Rizom UV.
  18. bbuxton

    USD as file exchange module

    I don't think the ability to transfer CAD projects to 3D animation and rendering applications exists anywhere. Keyshot and Simlab have live-linking to mainstream CAD, but rarely does this happen without requiring reorganizing of your scene, recreating materials cameras and lighting etc. Vectorworks can send to Cinema 4D, but you will still have to reauthor your materials for Octane, edit lights and cameras etc. Any Animation will need to be done from scratch. But this is how things are in any transfer between CAD and 3D. VRML works well between FormZ and Cinema 4D. The Skp and FBX options are not so good. Generally, I use STEP for geometry and everything else that is not modelling I do in Cinema 4D. I would be happy if FormZ did not make a dogs dinner of object names, groups, components and layers when importing and exporting to Step. It would be time to celebrate if FormZ could import and export instances without issue but Autodessys cannot even manage to get components right inside FormZ. A working BIM solution via IFC is just wishful thinking on my part and perhaps a few others but not enough to make it a priority.
  19. bbuxton

    USD as file exchange module

    I'm not sure what would make USD a good exchange format. The features that make it good for VFX are not something FormZ could make much use of. I would prefer if Autodessys tightened up existing formats or added IFC support. Unfortunately, IFC is a big undertaking, so I doubt we will see it come to FormZ any time soon. FormZ needs to embrace BIM and be a fast content solution for Archicad/Revit etc. Creating BIM objects is tedious work, but FormZ could change that if given half a chance.
  20. bbuxton

    what's new webinar

    A link to the what's new webinar recording would be nice.
  21. bbuxton

    Palette dock FZ v9

    The UI for v9 is hideous. You can resize the pallet dock grabbing the left edge and dragging. The UI does not give any visual indication that you have grabbed the left edge so you have to hope for the best but it does work.
  22. bbuxton

    Container model

    https://grabcad.com/library?page=1&time=all_time&query=shipping container
  23. This is something that has been a big concern for so many years I have lost track.... I want to explain from a user point of view how these features are expected to work. Most projects contain repeating elements, from simple fixings, roof tiles or furniture there is a lot of use cases. It is important internally to keep a formZ project manageable. It is important externally when exporting a project for animation or rendering. It is important when managing assets across multiple projects. It is important. Currently and historically it does not work in formZ. The symbol libraries in earlier pre-version 7 editions of formZ were better but still riddled with problems. First some important concepts. Translation, rotation and scaling from within a project referencing a component copy or instance is not the same as editing the referenced item. Please hold the referenced geometry in a bounding box and have translation, rotation and scale applied to that instead. Obviously editing the topology of a referenced object would either break the link to the reference or update the reference, this is how it works in other applications too. The current way this works makes the feature redundant. Materials should default as an override or as with editing the topology break or update the reference. It would be nice if snapping could be toggled between the bounding box and referenced geometry. Finally exporting components, clones, referenced files. Currently, DWG supports components exporting as blocks (if only they worked properly in formZ). With simple projects where I only stamp components and do not try to reposition, scale or replace after initial placement I can export as DWG open in Vectorworks then send to Cinema 4D and most of the components will come over as render instances. Of course, I can do this with projects created in Vectorworks without any need to use formZ. Support for components as part instances in STEP export is not just useful for interoperability with other CAD software (MCAD) but is also useful to generate render instances in Cinema 4D, or replicas in Modo via Power Translators, Power Translators is also available for 3DS Max. Okino Polytrans will generate instances from Step files too. Please don't be offended but these features need to be brought out of the 1990s if FormZ is going to have any relevance in the near/immediate future. Other user opinions on what needs to be addressed for Components, clones and referenced files to be a useful feature set for FormZ would be much appreciated here.
  24. bbuxton

    Rounding Question

    The easiest approach is to start with a box. You offset edges, then move the points to pull the shape to match your design. I'm not a great teacher but William Vaugan's ebooks are brilliant and will help you understand what you are doing. Another great SubD modeller is Glen Southern he has lots of videos on YouTube using Silo 3D. More recently videos doing the same thing in VR using Occulus medium. Generally, the software does not matter. The concepts apply just as well to FormZ, Fusion 360 or a plethora of CAD applications that have implemented SubD.
  25. bbuxton

    Rounding Question

    One way is an inside to outside approach. So start with triangle 1 draw a box over it and make it subD. offset the faces to give you some borders around the edges and your 4 sided triangles. Move the points around to get the form you want. The width of the subD borders should approximate the desired fillet radius. So the closer loops are the smaller the apparent fillet in subD.