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Posts posted by setz

  1. Wow, this is a win/win.  Congratulations ADS.  More fresh/new FZ customers adding stability to the company and a likely much improved 2D implementation.


    (I just joined their forum to boost interest in FZ)

  2. Hi John, thank you for the kind words.  They do physically build quite a lot, I think directors and actors prefer working in "cool" scenery than on a blue stage.  At least on the big Sci-fi films, most of what is built is blended into a CG environment (or sometimes replaced entirely I suspect - because paint and plywood has a hard time competing with pixels).  It's stimulating to work in this industry, primarily because of the great variety of things to be designed, from spaceships to victorian architecture and everything in between, there's always a mind expanding challenge to be solved.

    I submitted a bunch of images a long time ago and I haven't sent in more for awhile now.  I need to look through and submit some of the newer things I've worked on.  There's a lot of Raccoon/Walking Tree stuff.  These projects are large collaborations where many people are involved throughout the design process.  My duties range from first pass conceptual design modeling, mid-point editing and addition to others work, and at the end of the design process, cleaning up other people's files readying them for Input into Solidworks for toolpathing.  Form Z is really useful in doing these kinds of jobs.

    My primary program is Form Z.  Everything starts and ends using FZ.  I do use Modo a lot, and I recommend it highly for UV mapping, and for editing and modeling of complicated, organic, Sub-D shapes.  Having Sub-D's integrated into FZ has made this a lot easier.  For sculpting and painting, I use 3DCoat.  There is some overlap between FZ, Modo, and 3DCoat's functionality, but they each excel at their own specific tasks.

    Form Z works excellently with both Modo and 3DCoat.  This trio allows me to model just about anything conceivable, create renders for approvals, make efficient exports to Unreal for VR, and to quickly generate clean, high quality geometry for manufacturing parts.

  3. Also look into the Paint Objects Tool Plug-in from LAB (Thanks Ben!)



    Basic Workflow
    Pre-pick or post-pick any number of source objects, groups, or Components. Hold down the shift key to select multiple objects. 
    To paint, first release the shift key if depressed, then click and drag over the target surface(s). Once the source objects have been loaded into the tool, you can paint multiple strokes (click-drag movements) without re-selecting them.

    Reload with New Source Objects
    Paint Objects tool active, it is possible to ‘reload’ with new source objects without clearing the collision detection buffer. From the formZ main menu, choose Edit > Deselect, or hit your equivalent key shortcut. Then, select a new object and begin painting again. Note that it is necessary to hold down the shift key to select multiple objects.

    Speeding things up
    When placing objects with many thousands of polygons, Paint Objects may respond more slowly. 
    For a more responsive experience, try the following:

    Enable ‘Bounding Box Preview’ mode.

    Consider joining groups composed of many objects into fewer objects (use formZ’s Join tool).

    Consider converting the source geometry to a Component. Then, in Display Options, change Component Display to Bounding Box.


    Most tool options are self-explanatory, but a few details follow:

    Bounding Box Preview
    When enabled, bounding boxes will be placed when painting. When the mouse button is released at the end of a stroke, the bounding boxes will be replaced with the final geometry. With complex objects, this speeds up painting dramatically. 

    Place Mode

    Single creates a single instance. This is like formZ’s existing copy mode, but enhanced, since you can still use the randomization and collision detection features that the plugin provides.

    Draw issues a linear stream of objects along the cursor position. Click-drag with the mouse to paint, release the mouse button to stop. A low density will create a line of objects with random gaps.

    Paint places objects in a randomly within a circular brush field.


    None will distribute placements evenly throughout the brush field.

    Linear will concentrate placements near the center of the brush.

    Cubic will result in even greater concentration at the center, and few placements near the edge.

    Placement Intersections

    Allow. Placements are allowed to freely intersect.

    Avoid: Good uses world-aligned bounding boxes to reject intersections.

    Avoid: Better uses local object/group axis-aligned bounding boxes. Allows for significantly tighter packing than the Good option, with similar performance. This is the default; it works perfectly for most applications. Source objects’ axes should be aligned to the minimum of the object for best results.

    Avoid: Best computes actual intersections of objects. May be slow.

    Source Axes

    Use Object/Group Axes. Use formZ’s Edit Axes tool to modify the origin and axis of the source object/group/Component. This allows one to, for instance, set the axis so placements will be slightly embedded when painted on a destination surface.

    Bottom, Center of Selection. The source origin will be computed at the average point for x and y, and at the minimum for z. Axes will be world-aligned. Useful for many entourage cases, where this is often the desired origin.

  4. Thank you all. I am modeling in a modern version of FZ and then  exporting hidden line out as dxf back to V6 for drawings.  While it is difficult and tedious to work this way it would be more difficult or impossible to create the drawings in the style I am accustomed to in V9’s Layout, particularly in editing and customizing dimensions.  I will check out parallels for the time capsule technique.

  5. Yes, the max number of teeth is limited to 100.

    These sites allow you to create and export aligned pairs of gears:

    Costs $2.00 for a day's worth of downloads:   https://geargenerator.com/#300,300,100,6,0,0,0,2,1,20,3.3333333333333335,6,20,-90,0,0,0,0,0,0,66,11,6,20,-90,0,0,0,0,0,0,3,798

    Images only but also offers a $28 Windows based software:    https://woodgears.ca/gear_cutting/template.html


    The one I use is:    http://www.hessmer.org/gears/InvoluteSpurGearBuilder.html

    It offers Free downloads as .SVG which can be imported into Adobe Illustrator and then exported to FZ.  Imports are polygonal so I usually rebuild one tooth as nurbs and copy rotate for creating smooth solids which are then exported as .stp for CNC.


  6. Sometimes it’s just easier to move an object to the origin and Cartesian to work on. It is possible to work at weird angles using custom reference planes but great care is required when doing this. The “three point align” script was invaluable at aiding in building skewed objects by moving them to origin and then back into position. Would love to have it back working again or have it incorporated as a proper tool.  A righteous Development Team project?

  7. Option 3:  Draw a line snapping to points and extrude up (perpendicular to plane) to create a surface.  Use the Section Tool to first click on the object and then click on the surface (cutting plane).  Reshape.  Boole Union two pieces back together.


    Option 4:  Use Vector line tool to draw a concurrent shape over the face you want to reshape.  Extrude up or down and Boole Difference this object from first.  Reshape depression/extension to desired position.


  8. There are a lot of different ways of accomplishing the the same end results in FZ.  As you become more familiar with the program, you will find that if one tool is not giving you the desired result, there will almost always be multiple other options for achieving your goal.  


    Option 1:  Draw a line between the two points with Insert option turned off and snapping to points turned on.  Select Imprint Tool and click on line segment then on object.  Reshape.

    Option 2:  Select Insert Segment Tool.  Draw line segment snapping to points.  Reshape.


    Snapping / Stick to Edges is not required, but it does make working faster and more efficient.  It is located in the Snaps Palette under the Palettes Menu.  If you select this option and then save your preferences it will be remembered for future projects.

    Snapping to Endpoint was added in V9 and has similar functionality to Snap to Point used in conjunction w/ Stick to Edges.


  9. 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.1313794686_ScreenShot2021-02-22at4_32_36PM.jpg.2ec612bf7e75aa481689da235e201b2e.jpg

    Hope this helps.

    Resolution Presets.fmz

  10. Try exporting out of rhino using the .stp format. Especially for solids stp is usually the best way to go and the surfaces will be identical to the ones in rhino.

    If not, you can try cleaning up the curves and re-lofting. Derive the two curved segments using the Derive Segments tool and then, on the one that is more complex, use the Curve Reconstruct tool.  Adjust the number of control points and the tolerance until you get a close enough result.  you can get a visible indication of how much the curve is different that the original by selecting the Show Deviation option and zooming in. Once you have the first curve cleaned up, use the identical settings on the other curve and then loft between them.  Note that the new surface will be very slightly different than the original but if it is not critical this will clean it up nicely.  Also, be aware that if this part is connected to other curved parts you may need to be aware of the continuity of the rebuilt surface to the adjacent parts.

  11. I am running a 2010 12 core Mac tower with OS X 10.11 and a flashed 980Ti 6GB video card.  You can get one of these machines online w/32GB and 500GB SSD for about $1750.  I use lots of textures, most work is presented with Shaded Full and I render with Maxwell when required (2-8 Hrs per 4K image).  Very happy with the old hardware, I spend almost no time messing around and wasting time on updates shenanigans.  I use FZ more than 50 hrs a week and this old stuff still works great for me, fingers crossed that it will last awhile longer.  I do have FZ installed on a 2019 5K iMac as well, but the video FPS is slower and jerky on my poly and texture heavy models (±500MB files), something that is not apparent on my tower.