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pfschuyler last won the day on June 8 2018

pfschuyler had the most liked content!

About pfschuyler

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  1. pfschuyler

    formZ needs a SketchUp Exporter

    I've been asking for this for years. FormZ should have been the Sketchup of our world, years and years ago. But certain facts are routinely missed by whoever is driving that boat. Even today, as you suggest... Having a useful Sketchup exporter would drive tons of advanced Sketchup users to model everything in FormZ. Then they'd probably document everything in Sketchup's layout because that would work great. Or they'd use the models for some other purpose in Sketchup's endlessly expanding and useful plugin ecosystem. Creating a seamless workflow for this would be a smart bet. Forget other modeling features for now. Focus on stability and workflow. That would increase the FormZ user base which would finance future modeling or layout developments. Yet, decade after decade, new modeling systems appear that quietly and confidently steal FormZ's user base. And FormZ remains a super innovative, but not so useful modeling system.
  2. pfschuyler

    9.0 and beta testing

    Of course just curious about any pending 9.0 version. Rhino 6 has been in open beta for 5 years and is still not ready for release. By comparison, what is Autodessys' policy on betas, improvements, and approach to achieving software stability? With limited feedback, and little connection to the user base, will there even be a 9.0? The platform and its progress can be more compelling than the software release and its features, because you can plan your workload around it. So much promise from FormZ....
  3. pfschuyler

    Parametric doors and windows repost

    In my view, going with 'parametric' doors and windows sounds great, in theory. But it doesn't work out that way. Ultimately it takes the whole software in the wrong direction. To maintain full editing of a window or door, someone has to write software that completely encompasses all options of a window or door. I mean, what is a window, exactly? And a door, exactly? And what do they sit in, exactly? That line of thinking is endless...it is hard, takes years to develop, and there are always limitations with whatever is left. Even if you can create great parametric elements, managing those new objects adds workflow complexity. And that's the route of all BIM programs. A direct modeling workflow works better when combined with good editing, instancing, etc. A step up from modeling everything from scratch is the 'scripting' approach, my personal favorite. As in, the modeling workflow stays 'direct modeling', objects are not 'intelligent.' But the scripts save time in modeling complex specific types of objects like doors and windows. The best example I can think of this are the Vali Architects plugins for Sketchup (https://www.valiarchitects.com/sketchup_scripts). These provide most of the benefits of BIM without the need to master a program or always invent workarounds. Amazing stuff, you can create almost any type of door/window/roof/site/fence/railing in seconds. In addition to the preset styles, there are dialogs where you can make your own and it has customization parameters for everything. Although it looks it, this is not parametric modeling, it is scripting...if you want to edit a window for example you simply delete it and recreate it with different parameters. The objects are output like any other objects and are not actually intelligent, but direct modeled objects. This is the best because if you want some slight modification to a certain object, you just go right in and change it like any other model.
  4. pfschuyler

    VR - Catia

    https://www.foundry.com/trends/research/modo-vr Plenty of apps are now developing interfaces. Honestly, I'm not really eager for FormZ to do it per se. I just don't want them to be too far behind prepping for these developments.... PS
  5. pfschuyler

    VR - Catia

    Great stuff... And these are the most established, oldest names in CAD. Beyond the visualization implications, here are some other FormZ relevant developments. https://mindshow.com/ Animation via acting (like a marionette, but it uses Vive tracking of your body to drive the character rigs). Medium https://www.oculus.com/medium/ Nothing new, but one of a dozen VR modeling apps now, I spent a fair amount of time in it today. The feature set is relatively primitive, but modeling in VR is obviously the future. It actually works and opens whole new horizons in 3d modeling. Mass entertainment or not... These productivity apps are revolutionary even if our existing entertainment and output stays the same. VR is here to stay and practical for design and visualization.
  6. pfschuyler

    VR - Catia

    One of many apps to add support, in case no one was taking this VR thing seriously. CATIA -Vive https://youtu.be/6ZqWUuaWM-g It's not about technology but about the evolution of design workflow....
  7. pfschuyler

    formZ 9

    http://forums.formz.com/index.php?/topic/4117-eta-90/ Don't hold your breath. PS
  8. pfschuyler

    More roof types

    I'd love to see parametric functionality for the roofs. That is, you can edit and adjust the roof the fact, change slopes of one or another face, etc. The ability to project faces to a roof would be desirable. Now you can do this to the face of an object, but not to the multiple faces that are the underside of a roof (at once). A major time saver and basic design feature that every architectural modeling system has. That latter feature could be used to quickly send walls or massing vertically to a roof object (which is a complex roof). Or likewise, to send one roof horizontally to intersect to another, even if there are hips and valleys etc. Right now these operations require a complex series of improvised cuts/trims and other operations. But again, these are basic design issues really necessary to model architectural forms with any speed. PS
  9. pfschuyler

    ETA 9.0?

    I hate to post this because I already know the answer..."we'll post an announcement soon!" But its not unheard of for a software company to post the occasional 'sneak peak' of pending features. It really helps to know major changes the software might take, if any, from a user and planning perspective. So, its been almost 2 years since the release of 8.0...what direction is FormZ headed in? That is, will Layout be improved or abandoned? BIM features added or ignored? New UI? Material editor? What sort of basic direction can we expect from the future FormZ?
  10. pfschuyler

    VR Modeling Environment

    "sounds just awful" ...that about sums it up. ADS, do what you wish, but whatever decisions you make...please actually try the Vive before assuming you understand it (Tilt Brush, specifically). Its not going to be something to even ponder for FormZ 9 or probably even 10. But it will open your eyes to the fact that 2d GUIs for flat screens are the true compromise and waste of resources. Best to at least glimpse the future, no? Just ask Glen Keane: http://www.tested.com/tech/541133-animator-glen-keane-tests-htc-vive/
  11. pfschuyler


    I don't disagree with you about what would be ideal. Unfortunately we've been waiting for a robust FormZ Layout since the mid 90's. Still it has not arrived. My suggestion about Sketchup was just a cheap, quick solution. One problem with BIM, by attempting to put too much intelligence into the models, you place the burden on the user to know the complete limitations of the "intelligent" tools, thus complicating their workflow and taking them further away from design. It becomes mental overhead. As a case in point, you get used to nice sophisticated wall features in Archicad or Revit. But what happens if the wall becomes angled in a certain way, or you only need some odd piece? Suddenly you must know precisely how those programs define walls and how that relates to the documentation, and you wind up fighting the program. Viola, the Nick Sonder approach, which is basically just direct modeling. He keeps certain core 3d files active as they develop and references those models into other 3d models for specific purposes (i.e. floor plans, reflective ceiling plans, sections), using specific layers and locks, etc. It involves a bit of organization but is quite scalable. The models are not trying to be in one file with all the details. There are certain core models which evolve and are referenced into certain other models. The details are all 3d vignettes, which is quite interesting. FormZ could do the same thing on steroids, if Layout provided similar functionality to Sketchup's layout. Namely (i.e. live colored rich views & styles, scrapbooks, robust, stable, WYSIWYG functionality). Unfortunately its not there. My thought was to provide SKP export as a quick fix for FormZ users, many of whom (I'll bet) have Sketchup lying around. And it'll attract a lot of Sketchup users to FormZ because they wouldn't have to embrace a totally different workflow. They could use FormZ as a vast modeling extension. And if FormZ layout ever competes 1:1, then those Sketchup users would become FormZ users eventually. With SKP export you could duplicate the Nick Sonder approach in Sketchup but use FormZ for all the modeling, that would be ideal.
  12. pfschuyler

    Room Scale VR - the HTC Vive

    Well Hololens is another ball of wax entirely. Augmented Reality (Hololens), and Mixed Reality devices like Magic Leap are fascinating. But...they've got quite a challenge on their hands. In the case of the Hololens, its a $3000 developer prototype with a very fixed field of view...a quite narrow FOV which is limited technologically to being increased. So how that will fare as a consumer product is another challenge, but certainly its potential is fascinating in its own right, and I've heard great things about it. Magic Leap is a big mysterious promise that's even more compelling than Hololens, but its role or emphasis on design is uncertain. In the case of either Hololens or Magic Leap the computer has quite a bit of extra work to do beyond VR...the computer must observe and interpret the real physical environment and also generate computer content to interact with it, all in real time. Eventually I'm sure these devices will all be related, but in terms of technological challenge VR (Virtual Reality) is easiest to achieve, followed by AR (Augmented Reality), and then finally MR (Mixed Reality). But its all new territory and the tools for that are being built now. The Vive you can order today and receive within a week as a shipping consumer product. But I'm not trying to push any particular device, the Vive is the current state-of-the-art of VR, and my interest here is that it's arrival and features show in a practical way where things are going, and fast. Regardless of how it all evolves, it would just be nice for FormZ to be the innovator and leader in these emerging areas, on that I'm sure we all agree. 3d Design will sure be interesting in 5-10 years.
  13. pfschuyler


    If FormZ had SKP export, you could use Sketchup's layout exactly as Nick Sonder does. Then, FormZ would double its user base (Sketchup power users), and have more time (and the money) needed to bring FormZ Layout up to par. I made an attempt to do leverage FormZ's layout for exactly this purpose, but its not there yet.
  14. pfschuyler

    Future of Formz

    One suggestion I had for the next version of FormZ was to provide a robust *.skp export capability, complete with layers, materials, etc..zero conversion. Why? I think that would be a smart strategic move because FormZ would quickly and cheaply tap into the vast Sketchup user base. Sketchup users would have a huge modeling upgrade path with no workflow downsides, and this would instantly make obsolete about 1/2 of the extension warehouse. For FormZ it would give the users instant access to much better presentation abilities, styles, a better layout system, and vast array of ready-to-go 3rd party plugins tools (renderers, energy modeling, write to warehouse easier, blah blah...etc.). I agree with many of the comments about the other programs. It would be nice to see more parametric capabilities and FormZ take the lead in the industry....
  15. pfschuyler

    Room Scale VR - the HTC Vive

    Awesome, yes I have experience with the Rift and GearVR, too (& Lumion). I just want to point out for those unfamiliar with VR products, some of the differences: HTC Vive- Full room-scale, walk around in a real 3d space, high end VR experience (i.e. Holodeck) with tracked controllers. Can be full Room Scale or seated experience and the controllers allow you to manipulate objects interactively. Oculus Rift- High-end VR headset. Touch controls coming later this year. Comparable to the Vive in most respects, but its a seated experience only. Gear VR- Mobile VR using high-end Samsung phones. Great Visual experience but no tracking of one's position or hand controllers. Google Daydream- New VR platform for Google Phones coming later this year. Sony Morpheus- VR headset for Sony Playstation 4. I mention this so that FormZ users understand the critical differences. The ultimate is the Vive that tracks everything in a room with extreme accuracy (like tie-your shoe laces kind of accuracy). Second is the rift, which is equivalent visually but is a seated experience, so you have to use controls to reposition yourself. Room Scale is an important distinction for what I'm proposing and what I think will eventually become standard. FormZ is developing a nice Ipad viewer for FormZ files. Try to imagine instead your models floating in front of you in your room, and the ability to walk around them, reach in and sculpt them. Or to experience them in full 1:1 3d, like walk around in the room you're designing. That's what's entirely possible today and in 2-3 years will be quite common. Today you could publish your models from FormZ to Sketchfab and experience them in Room Scale in the Vive. That alone is amazing. IrisVR and InsiteVR are companies developing a fast and direct means of doing the same thing. But the ideal for FormZ even beyond that would be an actual interface that you could design with...which is where things will be in a year or two. The mobile experiences are great too, but because of processing issues are mostly limited to high-res VR panoramic stereo still images. The real time rendering program Lumion can currently batch-produce stereo still images, which is a great start. Some of you may think, why develop for a elite new platform? When you folks try it out you'll understand...its compelling enough that you'll drop your old methods in a heartbeat, and run out and buy what is necessary to work like this. I'd love to see FormZ on the cutting edge of that evolution.