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Justin Montoya

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Everything posted by Justin Montoya

  1. Justin Montoya

    STEP Import not available!!!!

    Same issue here. Anyone find the trick to the get the Step.fzp to load?
  2. It would be amazing if FormZ could auto translate other working units. Example- Project is in Feet and Inches - However I need to add metric sized items. If I could type in '55mm' and have it automatically convert to Inches that would be great. Possible? Thank you!
  3. Justin Montoya

    Wet Pavement

    Some great information already shared in here. I wish it were easier to play with displacement. We could really use some baseline presets, just like VRay Fur. Still, I do not think you have to use displacement to achieve this effect. Especially if it's not the focus of the scene. I did a quick test to see if I could follow this Wet Asphalt example using VRay for FormZ - Here are the files they provide - https://www.sketchuparchive.com/product/wet-road-1/ I tweaked it a bit using our VRMAT Editor and got this quick result - It's not bad considering the minimal effort with a simple VRMAT file. If you play with the Fresnal IOR as shown in the example, you can make the reflection channel (puddles) more or less dramatic. Files: Wet Asphalt - JM.vrmat Wet-asphalt-test-1.fmz
  4. Justin Montoya

    Auto translate Units on Input boxes?

    Furthermore, what if we could input simple equations? For Example: 11' - 83" ... to automatically generate a 49" input. I realize there might need to be some sort of container added like (11') - (83"), but it would keep us from constantly going back to the desk calculator. WAIT a sec... What if there was a calculator built into FormZ that you could pop out of the numerical Input boxes!? That would be AMAZING! It could handle all the conversion from metric to standard as well. Possible?!
  5. Justin Montoya

    Sketchup model woes

    I agree that sometimes SKP files can be missing some things in the import translation, but more often than not on difficult files, if I open the SKP file in SketchUP first, the issues are in there as well. Then while I have it open in Sketchup and explode some of the groups before I import into FormZ, things seem work much better. A lot of the duplication is user error on whoever created the SKP file. Missing faces happen on 3DS file imports more than SKP for me lately, but it's been easy to fix using the Close command. Can you send me one of your difficult files for testing so I can see what you are dealing with? Maybe I can help?
  6. Justin Montoya

    In case you all didn't know of HDRIHAVEN

    You gotta share that! These silly things excite others too!
  7. Justin Montoya

    Example Images

    Wow. Some great information sharing here on how to get these awesome example images. Nice! For those looking for a bit more documentation and videos on VRAY, I'd suggest looking at the VRay for SketchUp docs and videos. Our VRay interface is similar, and the VRay Frame Buffer (VFB) rendering window is the same. The VFB has many advanced tools that you may find useful. I don't use post processing much for my work, but occasionally I find it really handy to use the Clipboard (Copy) feature of the VFB, which allows me to then Paste the selected channel in Photoshop. You can also save out the separate channels as separate files, or a single EXR file with all of the channels on seperate layers. This may be handy if you do a lot of post processing. https://docs.chaosgroup.com/display/VRAYSKETCHUP/V-Ray+Frame+Buffer+|+VFB
  8. Justin Montoya

    Views Group

    + YES
  9. Justin Montoya


    Several things... I am able to use older VRAY .VISMAT texture files in VRay for FormZ, however, once you load them in the material editor, you should resave them as the newer .VRMAT format. This is the new format for all applications, not just FormZ. This may not have worked initially, but has been working in the latest VRay for FormZ releases for me. You cannot use Decals with VRay or any other rendering other than RZ. Just like they don't show up in Shaded mode, they will not show up in VRay. They are only used in RenderZone. You'll have to create a surface slightly offset the object to replicate this feature. I actually prefer this method since you can use Shaded view to see it and modify it easier. Rendering old RZ based projects does work well, as lights and materials are all converted. You'll want to optimize them for Vray though to get the best results. Still it's a big time saver on existing projects. There's been quite a few impressive VRay for FormZ renderings shared in the VRay forum. - IMHO, The rendering level is just as nice as any of the other programs, but the designs are typically simpler and more realistic than the over the top designs you see from MAX users who spend weeks and months on a single shot. We don't seem to have that level of artistic user base... yet. The real difference is the way FormZ handles outside models. Where MAX users have HUGE catalogs of parts and decorations to use, we have to build most of ours from scratch. Sure we can import some models, but they can cause major issues as well. Hopefully this will improve soon. Our plugin is being updated to the newest VRAY NEXT soon. That should get us caught up to all of the functionality of the other VRay integrations. You should give VRay a try if you have a nice powerful workstation. If you do not, you will likely still have issues with the speed of rendering. I'd recommend a PC with atleast 16 cores/32t and as many NVIDIA GTX or RTX GPUs with atleast 8gb VRAM, as you can afford. Cheers!
  10. Justin Montoya

    smart model architectural plug-in

    I'm all for more Extensions for FormZ as long as it doesn't take time away from AutoDesSys to develop them. The core programs seem like all they have time to work on at the moment, and we have high hopes for v9's release. Hopefully the new Python based Scripting in v9 will allow other developers to implement Extensions and charge directly for them. This has been SketchUp's business model, and has worked pretty well for them, though I would argue that FormZ is much more powerful out of the box than SketchUp, but SketchUp has a bazillion more Extensions that allow it to adapt to many different customer needs. As a Designer, BIM is the furthest thing from my mind working on conceptual design. However, I can certainly see the draw if you work on more production and engineering based projects. FormZ could really use an Extension Store like Trimble has for SU with their Extension Marketplace. I'll reach out to ADS and see if something like that is in the works, so that developers of these tools for other programs could more easily adapt them to FormZ.
  11. Justin Montoya

    Modeling Speed vs. Rendering Speed

    Howdy! Mac vs PC shouldn't make any difference in modeling here. Hardware and software are going to make the biggest difference. Can you share the PC specs? If compared to a similarly spec'd Mac CPU, FormZ will behave similarly. You described single core operations which will benefit from the fastest CPU (boost) speed you can get. HOWEVER, FormZ can really struggle with large and complex objects and scenes. Especially if they are not built from scratch within FormZ, ie IMPORTED GEOMETRY. This is supposed to have been improved in the v9 Beta as FormZ has a new core capable of dealing with larger scenes and geometry. Waiting to test and find out... There is a faster Hidden Line method you could try to help with #3 - Cheers!
  12. Justin Montoya

    Showing Outline Only of Facetted Object

    Hi Duncan, Check out this alternative Hidden Line - Or this VRay Toon option -
  13. Justin Montoya

    Nvidia GPU on Mac

    Just like the last Mac Pro 'Trashcan' had dual AMD GPUs that were still worthless for 3D artists and the software they are using because 99% of it is already CUDA based? All they had to do was keep supporting Nvidia CUDA by allowing it to be installed and used for eGPUs. Nvidia was doing all of the driver upkeep themselves FOR FREE despite not actually selling any Mac based Nvidia hardware. Apple just doesn't like Nvidia anymore, and hasn't in nearly 10 years... If Apple cared about supporting 3D Design professionals, it would build and support the MOST common Software/Hardware that we are already using Industry wide. NVIDIA CUDA. AMD's GPU rendering offerings are a long way off due to really poor OpenCL Support. This is why V-Ray and other GPU engines stopped trying to support non CUDA hardware. They are trying to change this with Vulkan, but until the other major rendering engines see an advantage over CUDA, it's a LONG way away from being useful here with FormZ. I love AMD CPUs (Threadripper!), but NVIDIA's CUDA based GPUs work with all the major GPU accelerated software and even with Adobe's GPU acceleration tools (Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere). Ask yourself why you want to support a company like Apple when they are purposely making your life more difficult as a 3D professional trying to use GPU rendering? It sounds like you are happy with CPU rendering, and there's nothing wrong with that. Using expensive farms to render your work was really common for many studios. It's also really common to see massive cost savings after your GPUs pay for themselves after 2 rendering jobs when switching over to a GPU engine. Bottom Line - Maxwell's GPU rendering is CUDA based. That's unlikely to change anytime soon. If you want to take advantage of the improved speed in Maxwell GPU, you will need to use CUDA based hardware that supports it. Windows PCs with Nvidia GPUs are the most common workstation solution.
  14. Justin Montoya

    Nvidia GPU on Mac

    No. Apple has shown it has no interest in supporting 3D design professionals with it's lack of proper hardware and software support. NVIDIA GPUs are needed for most common and popular GPU Rendering engines (Maxwell, V-Ray, Octane, etc.), which requires the Nvidia based CUDA driver, which Apple stopped supporting completely. It would appear that Apple and Nvidia are not going to move forward together, despite Nvidia's attempts to keep the drivers alive. I believe this is the reason 99% of all 3D professionals have moved away from new Apple machines. It just doesn't work with the newer, faster, GPU based rendering software anymore. I loved the Mac OS system for many years, but these decisions forced us to move to Windows 10 to stay competitive with rendering. Windows 10 has been fantastic and I don't miss Apple at all. We even switched to Pixel phones and Android TVs. It all works together beautifully and has none of the new Apple BS to deal with.
  15. Justin Montoya

    Auto Save / 2d DXF Export / Color Pick

    Hello there! I can offer some advice on the Auto Save. This feature is slow because of the (in my opinion) bad default settings under Project Settings > Project Files > File Optimization. Move the Slider all the way left to 'Open Fast' which will also mean Save Fast. Also Unselect 'Keep Textures' as this feature will do nothing but cause problems. This will setup your project without compression, which should save MUCH faster. The files will be a bit bigger, but that should not matter much these days with cheap big hard drives. I just did a speed test and if you are saving to a SSD, saving your project shouldn't take more than 7-8 seconds on a file as large as 420mb. Cheers.
  16. Justin Montoya

    New material naming

    THIS. A quick workaround for a material update bug. Let's see if we can't get this one squashed in v9.
  17. Justin Montoya

    Continued FormZ & Maxwell development for V9

    Their forum registrations are closed. Contacting the webmaster to see if they will let me in to show my support. I'd gladly add support! As a past Maxwell user, it is a great option, but was just too slow in it's previous versions for our rapid paced industry. Competition with VRay is good for everyone, and anything that could nurture and support a larger FormZ user base is a good idea!
  18. Justin Montoya

    Maxwell Render 5 for FormZ Needs Your Help

    I would gladly add support as a past user of Maxwell, who would love to see a much faster version for FormZ (I have 3 GTX GPUs in my workstation for rendering!). Unfortunately I do not have a NextLimit login and their forum registration is closed to new users. It would appear that I would have to buy Maxwell to plead for support. I have contacted the webmaster to see if they will let me in. Here's hoping!
  19. Justin Montoya

    What to turn off in VRay for animation?

    That great John. A bummer about the Denoiser, and I wonder why that might be. But if your frames are noise free enough for you without it, then it's not a huge deal. You can always lower the noise limit if you need a cleaner image without the Denoiser. The Denoiser is just a faster approximation of it.
  20. Justin Montoya

    Modeling Speed vs. Rendering Speed

    I've used both platforms for modeling and rendering with VRay, extensively and in my experience there is not a difference in modeling speed on the two platforms with similar hardware. However, Mac hardware seems to be always behind new PC hardware, so a newer and faster PC does make for faster workflow, in both modeling and rendering. That said, modeling operations are generally not that taxing to the system unless you are working with really large scenes and/or many complex objects. This is an area where FormZ has struggled in the past and I believe the new FormZ v9 will help to address this as a whole.
  21. Justin Montoya

    Some work in progress

    Nice Anton! Still using Thea it looks like? The only thing I would change would be to reduce the DOF effect, as it messes with my eyes a bit. But that's a personal thing, the images and design are really cool!
  22. Justin Montoya

    What to turn off in VRay for animation?

    Pretty good hardware indeed, John. Though animations are going to still be very taxing on your machine. Can you share an image of the rendered scene so we can tell what we are talking about here? If I were you, I'd experiment with the GPU vs CPU engine. Your nice Nvidia RTX GPU can be used simultaneously with your CPU in Hybrid mode (only available in the GPU engine) that would nearly double your rendering speed, which really adds up when talking about all the frames of an animation. However, the GPU engine is not a 1:1 comparison, and you would likely have to adjust the scene lighting and/or materials to get it to be more similar to the CPU.
  23. Justin Montoya

    What to turn off in VRay for animation?

    Very cool John! It'll be great to see when you are finished. Are you using the CPU engine? Are you using the Noise limit setting and the Denoiser? Those will make a big impact on your render times. If you are working with the baseline settings using the Quality slider, try Medium and a 0.1 - 0.15 Noise Limit (Medium default is .05) and set the Denoiser to Mild. Depending on your project, that's probably the easiest setup I can quickly suggest to speed up VRay renderings. The Quality slider set to Very High with the Noise limit raised to the 0.1 - 0.15 range will also produce nice results with a tad more time. You can render stills and run some tests with these settings to see what works for your scene. Hardware makes a big difference, what are your workstation specs currently? I've used several different machines with the VRay CPU and VRay GPU engines. Depending on the scene, CPU may be faster than GPU, or vice versa when using similar hardware. For Example, my AMD 1950x 16core is similarly as fast as my GTX 1080ti GPU, when rendered in the CUDA based GPU engine. But combined (Hybrid Rendering mode), they make the GPU engine almost twice as fast! Add in a couple of GTX 1070s, and the GPU engine is just so much faster, especially for really large images (4k+). One MAJOR problem with the current GPU engine is the lack of features, working or otherwise. Ambient Occlusion AO, and Bump mapping are not currently working on the VRay GPU engine in FormZ. It also seems to me that on smaller images, the GPU engine is at a deficit because it takes longer to start and load all the scene vs the CPU engine. This is where I've really started to appreciate the CPU engine lately. For smaller images, or those needing AO and bump mapping, the CPU engine is working great, and pretty fast when you utilize the time or noise limit functions with the denoiser on mild. I'm holding out hope that v9 and VRAY NEXT will get the GPU engine where it needs to be, so I can really start to crank out some animations much faster than the CPU ever could.
  24. Justin Montoya

    Toon Material

    Thanks Jaakko!
  25. Justin Montoya

    What to turn off in VRay for animation?

    Hi John, I've experimented quite a bit with VRay animations in FormZ, and have found them to be too unstable to put to production use. For Example, the Esc button does not correctly stop the animation, resulting in a necessary Force Stop or End Task of FormZ to get it to Quit. How else are we supposed to test our animations? We are also stuck with really old and terrible Codecs that make huge low quality files. I've put in several requests for this to be fixed, and haven't gotten a real response on a timeline for that. I suspect some of this needed the new core that FormZ 9 is being built on, and possibly the new version of VRay called NEXT. I'm withholding further testing until v9 and VRay NEXT are released with a major animation overhaul. I have several clients that would pay for short animations of my designs, but I cannot currently offer it to them until this gets resolved. It's things like this that get really bothersome when using FormZ as our primary software.