Jump to content
AutoDesSys Forums

Andrew West

Members
  • Content count

    642
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    77

Andrew West last won the day on June 3

Andrew West had the most liked content!

About Andrew West

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 04/15/1962

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.westillustration.com

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Bend Oregon

Recent Profile Visitors

2,675 profile views
  1. Andrew West

    Ready to use plants FormZ/VRay

    For inexpensive models I often go to 3DSky, download a few plants and then make Vray scene files from them. You just have to remember to turn off the option to import the light with the scene file since each file automatically creates a sun light when saved. They render pretty quickly.
  2. Andrew West

    optimising PC performance

    Most of my issues with speed and fluidity tend to get compounded by the importation of outside models. That is a constant concern for me because it is absolutely necessary to my work. Just importing the model can be a painful experience, especially when compared to other programs. We are working with Tech to try to improve this in the future and hopefully it will get better. I imagine that as all the other programs evolve it becomes harder to keep up with the cross platform translations. It is worth reminding everyone that you should keep a journal handy to jot down when things start to lag and get buggy so that you can retrace your steps to find the culprit. Kind of old school but that is just me. There are certainly a few tools in Form.z that can be problematic as well but I have learned to work around them for the most part. Sometimes it is necessary to get pretty creative in my technique. Just don't waste much time on something that is not working out for you and find a different path.
  3. Andrew West

    optimising PC performance

    One thing to think about is keeping your textures small if possible and then go to Preferences-Project Files-and turn off Keep Textures. I would also consider upgrading your graphics card. Form.z tends to really lag in shaded mode without a good card and navigating around can be painful. I must admit that when I demo other programs they do seem a lot smoother and snappier in most aspects. Hopefully that will be improved in future releases.
  4. Andrew West

    Example Images

    For those of you who are not aware the ability to use Material IDs is only available through CPU and it is not supported in GPU rendering. I wish I could use GPU since it is so much faster but it doesn't even support alpha channels without which the above image would have been impossible.
  5. Andrew West

    vray image autosave

    Allen I can verify an important issue when using bump maps in V-ray. In form.z version 8.6 you must use a grey scale image in the bump channel or it will alter the color of the original texture map. Now in V9 use MUST use an RGB image in the bump channel or it will not load at all. So my choice was to either change all of my bump maps back to RGB or go back to 8.6. Neither option thrills me. I have been told by Tech that they made this a priority fix. AW
  6. Andrew West

    Rounding Question

    I will second the comment that you should always save before you round. This is true of several tools that are particularly finicky. This goes all the way back to when I first started with FMZ in 1990. As long as your model isn't too large and you have a SSD drive it is very easy to just get in the habit of hitting control S on a regular basis. What is funny to me is that when I do things like draw with an actual pen I still find my left hand hitting the desk where those keys should be.
  7. Andrew West

    Ambient Occlusion

    Something is not right there. I think you might have shadow casting turned off for that object or it might be a material issue. When I test it on my system the only time I lose AO is when the object is very transparent. Yours is not. Then if I go into my vray AO settings and really bump up the values I get a tremendous amount of AO from my glass.
  8. Andrew West

    Polygon cages for smoothing

    One tool that I really wish FMZ had is what 3DS Max calls TurboSmooth. It does a great job of taking a basic rough object and smoothing out all the edges. All you ;have to do is make a rough approximation of anything you want which saves a lot of time.
  9. Andrew West

    Polygon cages for smoothing

    If it were me making that bottle I would start with either the Revolve tool or one of the Loft tools and then refine. You could also start with a basic shape and then Boolean difference out the recessed areas. With so many different tools to choose from everyone will have a different approach. That is the beauty of Form.z and solid modeling. I get in the habit of always going to my favorite tools and once in a while I have to remember to look through some of the others when I get stuck on something.
  10. Andrew West

    vray image autosave

    Further clarification needed: I went to load my bump map back in to my material and the program would not let me do it. I tried in both the Shaded bump slot and in the RZ bump slot but all I got was a FMZ logo. I could however load any other bump map in except the one I removed. Then I tried to load it into the V-ray bump slot and it worked! It still appears as the Logo in the other slots but I guess that doesn't matter. One more weird one for the records.
  11. Andrew West

    vray image autosave

    I can verify that V-ray autosave does not work in V9. Furthermore, for some reason I was experiencing very long render times with it turned on. Once I turned it off everything was 100 times faster which I find totally strange. It is also worth noting that displacement no longer works and can lead to some very strange results and crashes. One other important note for those of you using V9 is that you can not leave your material parameters palette open all the time. If you do you can no longer right click on a material in the material palette. I also find that closing the inspector palette helps as well. Next issue is with bump maps in the V-ray palette: from time to time my texture maps disappear in Shaded view once the material has a bump map in the V-ray slot. Eliminating the bump map and re opening the program makes the maps appear again. Once you get your maps properly aligned you can add the bump map back in again for your final render. I hope this helps people who are struggling a bit with the latest release. All in all I am very happy with it but it still needs some work.
  12. Andrew West

    Maxwell 5.1 Released!

    To all, I was a regular Maxwell user for several years until V-ray came out with their plugin. I own both but I found that to make an actual living I needed the speed of V-ray even if it meant I had to give up the quality and flexibility of Maxwell. In a perfect world those two companies would combine forces and make a program that had the best features of each. But that is not reality. Recently I have becoming increasingly frustrated with the material editor in V-ray and how the materials integrate with Form.z. I have experienced enough issues that I am considering switching back to Maxwell again. However, there is still the issue of speed. To my point now, what has been your experience with the new GPU rendering with the new release and what upgrades to your systems did you have to make in order to take advantage of this?. Are you stacking several $1K cards? Have the speeds been cut in half or more? What kind of projects are you working on for reference? I read a lot of posts on the forum and it seemed like there were a lot of issues and I am also curious if these have been largely resolved? Thanks Andrew
  13. Andrew West

    RenderZone in 8.5.7 Pro is missing

    Jeff When you got your FMZ registration codes they came with two sets of numbers. One for form.z and one for Renderzone. If you have a license for Renderzone and can't find the email link for it then contact Tech and they will resend it.
  14. Andrew West

    Example Images

    Indeed it does. But with a little bit of work this is the end result. There were dozens of color tweaks and some dodge and burn which were made pretty easy by isolating those materials.
  15. Andrew West

    In Search of.... Landscape

    For cutouts I often go to MrCutout.com and I have an annual subscription. When it comes to cars I routinely go to 3dSky. They don't have the greatest selection of vehicles but at $6 a piece they are a bargain. Look for ones that have an OBJ file format instead of the FBX which can explode the model in weird ways. Of course there is always TurboSquid but those models can get pretty pricey. Packages of models or can be purchased from Evermotion as well as individual models and textures. Evermotion has a lot of nice tutorials on process as well. It all depends on what your budget is. On another note you can also get models translated into other formats using a free online service file converter. There seem to be a lot of them out there and most are limiting the file size they will do for free. Of course there is not one that will convert to FMZ. One that I forgot to mention for 2d bundles is ImageCel from Vectorworks.net.
×