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Posts posted by setz

  1. - No way to key shortcut the normals as of yet.  It's still a request for the developers - that and quicker draw times for normal arrows and points

    - Yes that is the "Points align tool" needs to be included in FZ as a regular tool

    - Drawings are still common in my business, any updates to make it easier are greatly appreciated

    - Make use of the Spacebar-Tools on Screen menu, it can be customized and saved.  I use it for tools which I don't use often enough to key shortcut but often enough that I don't want to search for them.  Between that and key shortcuts, I (almost) never use the tool Palette.

  2. One plus side to more tools with fewer options is the ability to assign more key shortcuts to tools for better, faster and more efficient workflow with less mousing around to palette options.


    My transition from 6 to 8 was very delayed and difficult because of the reductions in functionality in the early days.  Over the years, ADS has added tools and procedures that have dramatically increased modeling speed and flexibility.   It has become a better product but it does require a sometimes painful transition period to learn the newer workflows.  I ran both versions at the same time for a long time, in the early days I spent more time in V6, over time, I began using V8 more and more of the time.  I now run V8 exclusively with a few rare exceptions:.


    1. 3 Point Alignment Plugin only works in V6

    2. 1-2 Sided Geometry Tool not available in V8

    3. Texture Group Mapping editing - I haven't found a way to add or remove faces from texture groups on a single object in V8 yet once they are set.

    4. About 50% of the time I go back to Pylon's Live Section Plug In in V6.  50% of the time I use the clipping planes in V8.  Hidden line delivers much faster and cleaner results in V8, but Ben's Plug-In is still a joy to use. (And I still love the way that Pylon's Underlay tool functions as well!)

    5. Slab Options in the Parallel Tool missing from the Offset Surface Tool
    6. Set Attributes Tool in V8 less powerful than the Get/Set Tool Combination in V8

    7. Derive Patch Tools can still be useful in certain limited situations - converting all faces (including non planar) of an object to smooth faces in a single click.


    There are a few other things which could still use some refining/tweaking and ADS is still strongly committed to making V8 a better product with each new update.  Perhaps a dedicated forum thread with suggestions for updates and for V9 would be helpful to the developers?



  3. Something interesting to note is that the objects which were importing with errors in my other software were not identified by using the criteria presently available in the object doctor.  Perhaps ADS can look at them and see what was triggering an error even though FZ had no apparent issues in dealing with them internally.

  4. The export of your file as dwg failed for me.  I was able to export after I edited the Name of the Layer " B Frame Front".  There is a character at the beginning of the name which appears as a space but is likely an invalid character.  The dwg export is picky about characters.  It would be nice if the FZ dwg exporter would check for bad characters and substitute a valid character and supply a warning.  I believe it is currently on ADS's developers to do list.


    Once I was able to export the file, I imported it into another program where I received a warning for bad objects.  I rebuilt the bad objects in FZ simply by selecting a face on the bad object and extruding it.  After placing the original objects on their own layer and ghosting it, the file exports and imports cleanly.


    I do a huge amount of file sharing, and for this, FZ is really great.  There are very,very rarely any issues with bad geometry created in FZ.  Most of the issues I have in exporting are due to objects originally created in a different modeler and imported into FZ.  While they appear fine in FZ, upon export they reveal their hidden problems.  Because of this I always export the file (as dwg, or more often as stp) and then import it into and save out in the format of the software which my vendors use.  In this way I can be sure that what I am sending out will be clean on their end when they open the file.


    On a side note, when I exported the file as .stp (my go to format for exports) the file imported cleanly without any errors.


  5. To rotate an object around the origin, select the Rotate Tool, click on the object, hit Tab (which selects the "x" input field),0,tab,0,tab,0.  It's a lot more keystrokes but accomplishes what you are after.  I tried for awhile to figure out a more efficient way to achieve the single entry of "0" we used in V6 and this was the fastest method I found.  I use the same method for snapping a point on an object to move the object to the origin.

  6. SubD models are fairly basic; points, segments, faces. FZ has considerably more complex types of objects and symmetry on those is likely much more complicated to code for.  Don't be too hard on ADS, for example they included a Sub D to Nurbs converter which most SubD modelers do not include except as a ±$700 plug-in.


    It's great that FZ has SubD included and having a mirror function would be helpful.  That being said, when I need to do heavy lifting with SubDs I use a dedicated SubD modeler which, as expected, has a myriad of modeling, selection, and falloff tools expressly used for that type of modeling.

  7. You can try clones for some applications of symmetry.  Make a mirrored copy of half of your object with "Clone" selected in tool options.  At the end of the editing process either stitch or boole the two object halves together.  I haven't tried this on SubD objects (probably doesn't apply), but it should work on the cage object prior to converting to SubD.

  8. Sub-D objects have their own set of tools.  The "Grow Face Tool" is the "Reshape Tool" for Sub-D objects. formZ Pro Manual


    FZ certainly should certainly not be crashing if the wrong tool is used. 


    Would it be possible to eliminate the specialized Sub-D tool(s) entirely and just use the standard counterpart tools, such as Reshape, already available for working with standard objects?   FZ could determine which type of object is selected and then utilize the appropriate subroutines internally and transparently to the user.  It would be an efficient solution to this issue.


    Some of the similar tools:


    SubD Grow F is similar to Reshape

    SubD Grow E is similar to Extrusion

    SubD Offset F is similar to Offset Outline

    SubD Bridge is similar to Loft

  9. Currently, objects which reside on Ghosted or Invisible layers are unable to have their Attributes, Info or Parameters edited either by double clicking or using the contextual menu.  Can this behavior be changed so that regardless of the visibility of the layer which contains them, that they can still be edited?


    For example if I want to move an object from one of the many invisible layers to a visible layer, this is not currently possible without turning on visibility for all layers (if I don't know which layer the object is in) to enable the object to be editable so as to change its layer attribute.

  10. The display resolution of the object’s attributes plays a big role in performance. I loaded the same step file into rhino and into FormZ. My settings for the display resolution of .stp imports into FormZ increases resolution on large curves and decreases the resolution on small curves. The end result was that while the apparent smoothness of the display of smooth objects was similar in both programs, the poly count in rhino of the imported objects were high enough to make navigating very laggy. The low poly count of the same objects in FZ enabled very fluid navigation, even with occlusion and shadows enabled. Setting custom display resolution(s) is the key to dramatically improving display performance. Form Z makes the process quite easy by simply selecting all objects and setting their resolution in a single edit using the attributes tab/display resolution in the tool options palette.

  11. In FZ V6 you could set separate shortcuts for each project window which was quite convenient when you had multiple files open.  I would set CTRL+[1] thru [9].


    Currently there are Previous and Next Window options which work fine, especially if you are only switching between two windows, but which require more keystrokes for many open windows.  Hope this works for you on Windows and is of some use.  



  12. I second R2D2's comments.  All are similar but deliver subtle but very different results.  I use all four extensively depending on the situation.  The benefit of having separate tools is that they can be individually key short-cutted.  Making fewer tools with more options would require more mouse action choosing options which slows down the modeling workflow.


    My one comment is that I would like to see a Dynamic option added to the Extend Tool so that it would operate similarly to the Reshape Tool with the difference being that rather than extending the face related to Reference Plane direction or to Face Normal direction, the extend would adjust all the perpendicular segments actually changing the shape of the extruded face.



  13. I know you are a long time user and have probably tried lots of methods to solve this problem.  I am racking my brain for possible solutions.


    You can try:


    1.   Opening the dwg, save the file, open a new file and then open the dwg.fmz file using "open add to project"

    2.   Opening the dwg, export as dxf (or other format), then import that or use "add to Project"

    3.   Opening the dwg, if the file is very large, parse into smaller parts and re-save using only portions of the file at a time.

    4.   Opening the dwg in Illustrator, save as eps (or as Illustrator V8) then import that file.

    5.   Opening the file, print to pdf, and then use that as an underlay.


    My gut instinct though suggests that attributes for the lines in the incoming files is most likely causing the problem.  I have experienced this issue myself.  If this is true in your case, you can open the dwg, select all objects, and then set the attributes for line widths and for line styles to the FZ default ones.  Dwg can also import Layer Override Attributes as well which can be problematic.  Purging the weights/styles can solve these issues.  If you need to retain the look for some of the lines, say for custom-dashed or for colors, you can create your own, new attributes and reassign the line's to these new clean ones.  "Select By" is useful for this.  Save the file and then reimport into your project to purge the old imported styles.


    I know that some of the issues with FZ are frustrating, but FZ is so much faster/cleaner than other packages, that the time saved in finding workarounds for the little problems will be much better spent than the even greater amount time spent modeling (and often cleaning up) projects in other programs.


  14. I also did not like the selection preview option - at first.   I had set up a key shortcut to disable it, especially for when I was taking screen grabs, but I found that after awhile I was beginning to miss having it while it was turned off.   I now really like having it functioning all the time.  One thing which helped me initially was to change the color of the preselection highlight so that it was a little more distinct from an actual selection.  You can actually choose any color you like.  Go to File/Project Settings/Appearance/Display Colors to set a custom color.

  15. ...but saying that, if there was a way to improve efficiency, it would be welcomed.


    A side question, does it matter if the images are 8 bit, 16 bit, 32 bit jpeg, tiff, targa, png.  For example does an 8 bit highly compressed jpeg require less memory than a 32 bit tiff image inside FZ?