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Justin Montoya

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Everything posted by Justin Montoya

  1. Justin Montoya

    D5 Render

    Actually Cycles is being used outside of Blender without nodes. It's been incorporated as the default renderer in Rhino 7 now and uses PBR materials as default. These physically based materials are very platform agnostic and cross-platform compatible and are much easier to use and very similar to what we're used to with V-Ray, Twinmotion, Unreal. This should make it very approachable to old school RenderZone users as well. More info: https://www.rhino3d.co.uk/rhino-for-windows/rhino-3d-v7-rendering-denoiser-and-physically-based-materials/
  2. Justin Montoya

    Mesh lights

    Andrew, I agree. Mesh lights have their place and your recommendation for adding ambience with HDRI attached makes mesh lights a very nice feature. But for LED lighting details like under cabinet lighting, logo or art backlighting, etc, then emitter materials work better than mesh lights in my experience, and are a lot easier to use and edit in this purpose. For live event environments, they typically want dramatic lighting with dark overall backgrounds and lots of highlights to add interest. I can get away with a simple studio dome light and a handful of sphere lights to provide all the illumination needed because there are so many other glowing light elements in the scene. I love hearing everyones approach to these situations and it's great we have that flexibility.
  3. Justin Montoya

    Mesh lights

    cobrien- I think you should try using emitter material lights for this sort of LED lighting detail. I also use a lot of LED strip lighting on counters and displays, and after many tests and projects, I've found the emitter material lights to be far more efficient to use for this purpose. You can then much more easily adjust the various material lights for the many objects/faces without using the chunky light palette editor. Hopefully our OpenGL based Shaded renderer will support this in the future as well because it is already possible with the OpenGL API, but not implemented because silly RenderZone doesn't support it. Here's some examples of using only Emitter material lights for detail lighting:
  4. Justin Montoya

    Can you make a way for VRay to reduce render time?

    Nice John! Thank you for sharing your workaround... That's FormZ ... you workAROUND it. So when you are exporting your animation from FormZ, may I ask what settings you are using? I find FormZ lack of modern codecs like mp4, and h.264/265 really bothersome. AVI is ancient and the uncompressed version is buggy. I also found exporting VRay animations troublesome since it would not use the Denoiser (Mild), which greatly speeds up rendering each frame. Are you utilizing your RTX 2070 to speed up your rendering? Hopefully when V-Ray 5 finally drops, we will have several new tools that will make this sort of job easier. First, there is the newer RTX based engine for RTX GPUs. This is supposedly significantly faster, though like the GPU engine, not all features are carried over from the traditional VRAY CPU engine. The faster RTX GPUs you have, the faster the rendering. Then there is the new VRay VISION, their real time engine. - And the new VRay Cosmos looks pretty sweet for integrating outside assets too - Now I have no idea if any of these will be implemented in our upcoming VRAY 5 for FormZ but I hope they are and especially if it adds enough interest here under the VRay for FormZ forum. TwinMotion is impressive and I'm happy it's coming to FormZ as a live link one day. Until then, I already know VRay pretty well and these new tools are exciting to expand our arsenal.
  5. Justin Montoya

    Mesh lights

    Under the lights palette, you should be able to turn them 'Not Visible' like any other light by clicking the 'Eye' column next to the Mesh lights. You could also just make them 'Ghosted' if that's your shtick.
  6. Justin Montoya

    D5 Render

    At this point, we already have VRay (v5 Update coming soon), Maxwell, RenderZone, Shaded Full, and now TwinMotion is coming soon. I don't see how another option is going to really work out well for our already swamped developers. I do believe they each have their place. However, RenderZone should likely be replaced with an updated High Quality open source render engine... Cycles. That would really add to selling FormZ's core product, which is fast and efficient solid modeling. Shaded mode could also be updated for higher quality and better lighting support (Emitter light materials are available in OpenGL, but not implemented in our Shaded render). There's dozens of other great rendering platforms out there, but there's simply no point in chasing down the obscure engines with our already small user base that is barely supporting the options we already have. Maxwell almost stopped making their plugin for FormZ because there had been so few users! So first we really need to add users to FormZ, then maybe one day they can chase after those cool new engines and plugins.
  7. Justin Montoya

    Can you make a way for VRay to reduce render time?

    John, That's a complicated request since there are so many variables that make up the render time. From the complexities of your scene, to lighting, to output image size, to computer hardware, to VRay Settings, there's a lot here that can change how long your rendering is going to take. Let's start by sharing an image you rendered so we can better understand the complexity of the scene. Then do a screen grab show what VRay settings you are using and tell us the output resolution you are rendering to. Finally, tell us what computer hardware you are using. Between all of these, we can likely find you a solution.
  8. Justin Montoya


    All good ideas But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I think we are missing modern animated documentation showing the basics of formZ tools and workflow. These should be imbedded in the documentation pages for new users to help quickly get up to speed with formZ. So let's say we start with simple animations showing how to use each basic tool, something new users could quickly watch while following along to learn the basics of formZ. I like animated GIFs for quick tool demos. Here, I made an example showing how the basic INSERT HOLE tool works. I feel like this is a good example showing the basic, but very fast and efficient solid modeling power of formZ: I think it would be great if future tutorials could show similar animated GIFs broken down into logical steps. That way it's' not a long video you need to rewind, instead it is a short looping video showing the current step. I realize my customized workspace may not be the best basis for these, but I really love having my Tools on the Right which is the logical next step of setting the Tool Options. Future animations could even just use a small portion of the screen with the modeling and pop out tool bar that shows how the basic functions work without all the other Interface visible. BTW, I'm using a nice app called ScreenToGif to quickly record, edit, and export these. https://www.screentogif.com/
  9. Justin Montoya

    Left field, far out suggestion

    I have requested a public Open Support tracking system in the past. I am spoiled by how Rhino handles this, and I think FormZ would ultimately improve dramatically if this were available. However I think in the short term until ADS has more developers available to work on such as system, we will need to use the forum as our crowd source.
  10. Justin Montoya


    I too would love to see more proper tutorials. Maybe we could develop a 'framework' for these tutorials so they can be a bit more consistent?
  11. Justin Montoya

    FormZ Scenes and V-Ray

    I haven't used scenes extensively, purely because old habits taught me to create separate files for this many years ago. Scenes should do this, but maybe there is an alternative... Now with reference files, you should be able to use this as a workaround using your main FMZ file as the reference file in the Sun Light studies you are producing. Hope this helps...
  12. Justin Montoya

    Python Console

    I am hoping for a calculator built into the input fields. That way we could type in any formula or even a measurement of different unit, and it would solve it. I constantly have to convert back and forth from Imperial to Metric and other programs like Rhino, let you type in other unit abbreviations and will automatically convert it to the project units.
  13. Justin Montoya

    Learning Python with fZ slant

    I'm interested. Keep us posted.
  14. Justin Montoya

    formZ Still SLOW...

    Recombatant- Are you importing detailed DWG files, or what kind of CAD files?? This is one area I think FormZ could use some focus. I love modeling, texturing, and rendering in FormZ but Importing can be a bit of a booger. I have found that importing the files into another application like Rhino and stripping out the excess and resaving can really help for importing into FormZ. Hopefully this can be addressed in an update in the near future. CL is right, eGPUs are only useful for Rendering or Gaming, and won't help you here. Perhaps Tech can chime in, but I believe you want the fastest Single core computer speed possible for some of these importing and modeling functions. Multi core helps with everything else like Rendering and running multiple programs at the same time for faster multi-tasking.
  15. Justin Montoya


    Hello. Try increasing the IOR to 3 or even 15 or more. You may also need to adjust your lights to have less reflection or move them so they cannot be seen in the reflection in the view. Nice looking booth your working on. Somewhere International I assume? Still waiting for the tradeshow industry to reopen here in the US so I can get back to work designing.
  16. Justin Montoya

    Best Mac-Windows10 Transfer

    Hi Bo, This is easy to do, like most things you want to change in Windows, there are applications for that, just Google ... Mac drive on Windows You'll get a few options from free to cheap. I use the paid Mac Drive but have used the free versions in the past. https://www.howtogeek.com/252111/how-to-read-a-mac-formatted-drive-on-a-windows-pc/ This way you can easily grab any files on your backup drives from your Mac, while moving forward on Windows. I've used this extensively without any issues. I'd recommend using only read-only mode and copying hole folders over to your Windows drive to work from there. I do not like writing to Mac drives from Windows mostly because they are for archive purposes only.
  17. Justin Montoya

    New v9 user questions

    Like the others said, on texture mapping, it is actually even easier now without the classic window from v6 once you get a hang of it. Using Shaded mode the new Interactive mapping is really easy with the 3 tools, Paint, Map Texture, and Edit Texture map. I use these constantly, so I made them permanent places on my tool side bar, as I think digging for them is a bit silly of a default UI choice. I wish these were combined into 1 or 2 tools, as having to pick them individually to perform a single operation is not as intuitive as it could be.
  18. Justin Montoya

    New v9 user questions

    If the file opens without textures showing in Shaded view but are showing in the Material Manager, and you were using RenderZone, then I would try running a RenderZone render and see if the textures show up in a rendering. If they do, you are in luck. After rendering, simply Save the file As a new file and close FormZ. Next time you open, the textures should be there in Shaded mode now as well. This has been a trick we've used for missing files since I started using FormZ in v5. I'm not sure why it happens, or why it's still necessary, but that's what I do if it 'looks' like textures are missing in Shaded view but show up in RenderZone.
  19. Justin Montoya

    V-Ray Clipper - does this actually work ?

    The V-Ray clipper is currently broken for me too.
  20. Upgrade to Windows 10. Support for Windows 7 has long past. Once that's done, then we'll talk.
  21. Twinmotion is an app built on the Unreal Engine. It was designed to simplify using the Unreal Engine for Architecture visualization. It has a couple of programs you should use with it. Quixel Bridge, which is used to manage all your added assets like imported FBX / OBJ files, as well as finding and downloading Megascans models and textures included with any TM (Epic Games) account. The second is Quixel Mixer, which lets you easily modify the textures and map them to any importable geometry. IMHO this tool alone makes mapping textures to complex shapes so much easier that it deserves a serious look.
  22. Sounds like the Live Link plugin is forthcoming, and this Datasmith tool is more just for testing at the moment. With the Live Link, any changes you make to your FMZ model will update live in Twinmotion. However, it should be noted that if you make major changes like changing layer structure, you may need to import the changes separately, because TM does not currently handle that very well in the other Live Links on Rhino and SKP. I'm seeing Twinmotion as more of the secondary scene compositing, rendering, and animation tool after all of the modeling is done in FormZ. It can import FBX and OBJ files directly so its possible to now use these assets with your FormZ modeling without slowing down FormZ, since it would be only inside the TM project. There are some decent tutorials on all of this as well, so you can go ahead and start learning without waiting for documentation from FormZ.
  23. According to their site, You can try Twinmotion for as long as you want for free as long as you aren't using it for paid commercial work. An education license is also free for research purposes as long as you aren't using it on a for profit project. I take this to mean that if you want to download it and complete some tutorials and a sample personal project, that should be fine. https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/get-now/twinmotion I'm very excited to see Twinmotion coming to FormZ! I've been taking some of this downtime to learn Twinmotion for Rhino, and while it certainly has some bugs to work out, it's pretty awesome. The Quixel Megascans library is insane! And it's included as UNLIMITED access to all the assets for use with Twinmotion/UE4! https://quixel.com/megascans/home/
  24. Justin Montoya

    Inspector Palette Alternative

    So, I have been so annoyed with this newly added Inspector palette that I made a UI concept that would streamline it back into a single palette sidebar, making the 'Inspector' concept also integrate the Tool Options. All while using the more efficient TAB UI structure than the drop down menu method we had in previous versions. I'm also indicating that these Tabs should have an adjustable height panel (6 dots in lower right corner) and scroll bars so that we can set a fixed height to this panel and just use the scroll wheel while hovering to navigate longer panels, such as some Tool Options like the Stair tool just for example. I think this is a good compromise to our new Inspector panel addition that really just clutters the UI without adding enough benefit as it's own stand alone palette. I'd love to hear some feedback or thoughts from other users in hopes that Tech will also see there is a better approach to the Inspector than adding yet another troublesome palette.
  25. Justin Montoya

    V build A26A

    ariel, First, you should upgrade to the latest release... and see if that helps. I'm having some lag again on these basic tools too, so I'm going to try and delete/rename my FormZ preferences folder to reset it and see if that helps. Try Andrews suggestions see if that helps. Also make sure you do not keep Open the Inspector palette or the Material Parameters palettes while modeling. They add a noticeable lag while working in a project. Hope this is fixed in a future update.