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Andrew West

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Andrew West last won the day on February 26

Andrew West had the most liked content!

About Andrew West

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  • Birthday 04/15/1962

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    Bend Oregon

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  1. I agree completely, but man are you going to get some flak for saying this. Apple products continue their cult like following in spite of everything.
  2. Andrew West

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    I have been equally as nervous for years now. But somehow this software seems to keep slowly developing a little at a time. For those of us that used it from the beginning we experienced a lot of activity and interaction that came fairly rapidly. Then things changed for a while. Now it seems like things come in fits and starts with long periods of inactivity perceived on our part. It should be noted that their latest addition of Twin Motion and Unreal are a major step toward keeping Form.z relevant in today's world. They are obviously listening to our requests and I am sure they are working on this interface issue. It just might not be their top priority for now. Personally, for me it is more important to have a rock solid program (which includes these issues) and the latest rendering engine so that I can keep my work relevant and competitive. Not more bells and whistles or a pretty interface. Those are the things that I convey to ADS, for now. As long as I can get my work done in an efficient manner I am willing to be patient. However, I am also not naive, so I do work on other programs just so that I can switch over if need be, which happens now from time to time as I use more outside assets in my work.
  3. Andrew West

    Why form•z is not popular any more:

    It has been hard for me not to comment here so let me try to be constructive. I will stay away from technical suggestions. Everyone has something that they feel needs immediate attention and everyone has their opinion. These opinions are obviously based on how one uses the program. My priorities are certainly not those of others here, nor should they be. So how do we form some sort of consensus on what needs to be addressed first and then get that to ADS in a constructive manner? It could even be something that the users vote on individually every quarter. Just random posts griping about one thing or another seems very inefficient and I can tell that it grates the dev team the wrong way. We do need them on our side. I have used almost every other program out there since I started CAD work in 1985 at Cal Poly. Back in those days you had to type in coordinates in order to build a simple line. It also took a main frame at UCLA to calculate it (MegaCad). Fast forward to today and I can still see remnants of some of the old programs lingering around decades after they should have been abandoned. Max is a perfect example of a program that seems like a collection of plug-ins, scripts and add ons tacked onto a shell that has rarely changed. Given the work it takes to completely rethink the interface of an entire program it is obvious that it would take a lot of time and money. Otherwise others with deeper pockets would have tackled it years ago. Form.z has evolved several times over the last 30 years. Not all of us were happy with the changes but we learned to adapt (slowly sometimes). My main concern with how this is evolving is that with each additional change to the main program certain other parts and tools get corrupted. It then takes a lot of time to chase each issue and resolve them. By the time we get something really stable it seems like it's time to shake it all up again with a new release. As others have said it feels like we are on a constant Beta release. This is why I why, at the time, I refused to give up on 6.7 which was a fast production powerhouse for my office. Now, for the record I have tried many other programs thinking that maybe I might migrate over. I have not. Each has its own issues and quirks and I have crashed every one of them. It is just the nature of the beast that we will always be chasing the elusive "perfect program", whatever that may mean to you.
  4. Andrew West

    Palette Window Workaround

    Kim Because of the interface and structure of Form.z with all the floating pallets you will absolutely need two monitors to get anything done in an efficient manner. Occasionally I need to travel with my laptop but I am forced to carry an extra monitor anywhere I go. All you need is a cheap and light one to unclutter your main screen. Thank god we no longer use those 75lb monitors of days gone by! Justin actually uses three monitors so that he can keep his design inspiration images on the third.
  5. Andrew West

    Point lights

    You are experiencing one of my great frustrations with Form.z. Namely, things that should work but don't. Knowing when to abandon something and find another "work around" is key to keeping your sanity. For me sometimes that "work around" means literally going to another program rather than finding another tool. V-ray proxy, caustic affects, scene files and such are perfect examples of things that I abandoned. Thankfully, they are aware of these issues and they are working on them. I learned this week that in 9.1 Reference files are now working properly! As for your imager issue I find that V-ray is so fast at rendering I don't ever use it. It does not surprise me that you are having issue with it. The integration might not be complete yet. I have a similar issue with rendering via GPU where certain render elements don't work at all. The most important one being Alpha Channels. I don't know anyone who can work without that function. Good luck and really stick to mesh lights for your scenes. They are great to work with and much more predictable. Just don't let them touch any objects in your model.
  6. Andrew West

    Stitch Round

    There are a few tools to do what you are trying to accomplish, but upon first glance I would head to the lofting tools. That should allow you to have greater control of the blending.
  7. Andrew West

    Point lights

    Forget about point lights. They don't work. Change it to a sphere light and be VERY careful about your intensity and camera settings. They are very difficult to control. I would seriously suggest you use mesh lights with v-ray and if I need the light to be visible I do that through emitter materials at the source. Add the glare effect in Vray and it is pretty convincing.
  8. Andrew West

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Over the years I have made many comments about where I think Form.z should focus their attention. The one thing I never mentioned was social media marketing since that is beyond my level of expertise (which shows in my shrinking client list). All I hear lately is how social media is the only thing people use to discover new products. I am not sure if that applies to technical software but it certainly wouldn't hurt to try. How to create "buzz" about your product in the media world seems to be done by specialists now. While I am not one, I would be more than happy to get paid to be a social media influencer or a Youtube star. That kind of shallow meaningless existence is something I just haven't tried yet. On the other hand, I still believe that having a stellar reputation for support and rock solid software are indispensable to old timers like me. Those are the areas that I feel have been the most challenging over the last decade. However, every once and a while, they introduce something that I think will really help expand their base. The two that come to mind immediately are V-ray and TwinMotion/ Unreal. I just hope that they can aggressively promote these new features to people outside this forum. Furthermore, adding more direct integration with other third party software will be the key to survival for any 3d software. Unfortunately, that is probably going to be expensive.
  9. Andrew West

    Hidden lines / Draft layouts

    Cobrien For one of my multi story buildings: In modeling I go to top view- then I create a clipping plane, Move it to the middle of the floor that I want to import to drafting (so that I have my windows and doors), Launch Draft Layout-go to Import from modeling- Use Current View- and then I have my top floor. Then I move the clipping plane to each subsequent floor in order to see the one below and do the same. Pretty simple in theory. However, if you have things like complicated furniture in your model you can expect long import times and little glitches. Nothing that you can't clean up in drafting. Elevation views don't use the clipping plane but obviously section views do. It is worth adding here that sometimes programers make things so simple and obvious that they are easily overlooked. This is why I have such a tough time with Apple products. As Form.z develops it seems like they are trying to automate as much as possible and create standard base points from experience and feedback from us. It would definitely help if there was more documentation on the changes when they occur. And as has been said before, more webinars and youtube videos. Thankfully we have a good forum to rely on. Most of the time.
  10. Imported one of my big models into Twin Motion this afternoon. It took all of about 30 minutes to get up to speed and produce some stunning real time images with their landscaping painted in. Pretty cool technique which is similar to what I was doing before in Vue. I can see how this could be a real benefit to some of my clients. While I usually aim for true photorealistic images in my work this definitely has its place in my quiver of tools. Now if only we could get Vray 5 we would really have something to rejoice about. Here to hoping it happens sometime soon.
  11. Andrew West

    Hidden lines / Draft layouts

    After 6.5 everything changed. The process actually changed a few times since then. You no longer use that method for importing into a draft 2D document. The tutorials on the new method are pretty straightforward. Here is a thread where some of us old timers were chiming in on the new method.
  12. Just an FYI the Check Update tab in 9.1 does not recognize the new release from a previous version of 9.1. I had build 394 on my system and the new release is 399. Installing now.
  13. Andrew West

    V-Ray update

    I am told that we will be testing it soon.
  14. Andrew West


    To apply a texture map to one specific face and not the whole object you need to hold down the control key while dropping the texture onto that face. Then to properly map that face you need to use the Map Texture tool while holding down the control key again and just click on that face. Now the program sees that face as independent of the object. You can now use the Edit texture tool to adjust the size and position of that map on that face. I have been trying for years to get them to combine all the mapping tools into one tool rather than three. Perhaps one day they will. As for making a non repeating texture in V-ray you need to go to the Vray editor- Basic- Diffuse- Click on your texture map to edit it- Placement- Uncheck the Tile box. Or you could apply your texture as a Decal. I personally haven't tried this but Justin has experience there. Perhaps you could ask him.
  15. Andrew West

    v9 performance issues

    Yes, it is a work in progress. Please be patient. I am not sure why material properties is not popping up, that is weird. Please be sure to go to your project settings and make sure that you set the program to Opens Fast and keep Textures. That does help, especially when saving. Unfortunately, the one issue you did bring up is the edit cone of vision. That is a real mess at the moment and has been for a while. However, from my standpoint the new version solves a lot of issues that I was having in the previous version. Mainly the glitchy key shortcuts cutting in and out. As for the lag in general sometimes it helps to delete your preference folder to get the program to refresh from a base point without any alterations. If you need to find that there are a few posts that explain the process. AW