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Andrew West

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Andrew West last won the day on April 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. Andrew West

    Is there a shadow catcher in VRay?

    I would like to add that post processing is helped tremendously by assigning a unique material ID to each material. Then output that channel separately. I do this all the time to tweak materials in PS and add shadows and such.
  2. Andrew West

    freelance animator?

    Are you looking for someone to model the booth as well? If not I can take it into Twin Motion to animate. Send me a PM to discuss if you are interested.
  3. Andrew West

    Mesh lights

    Justin I also use emitter lights for certain applications but I find that mesh lights are where I start in order to add general interior lighting to set the mood for the scene. In Maxwell I used to do the same. Then I start to add the specific lights that would be visible on the geometry, like IES or undercounter strip lights. It is just how I approach photography and lighting design. The one drawback to just using emitters for lighting is the lack of HDRI textures attached to my meshes that add a lot of ambience. Everyone has their technique and there is no correct way to achieve what you are after.
  4. No. There really is no way to universally apply any method to my civil data that can be used from one project to another. Often times I start by trying to use the contour lines they provide but end up retracing the splines anyway. It is a very time consuming process and the terrain tool crashes about half the time. In the case of a house with adjusted contours around the building I often need to push and pull points and segments to adjust for how the terrain hits it in spots. In V6 we had a tool for push/pull on meshes using profiles. That disappeared a while ago. Doing it in my current method easily corrupts the geometry and can lead to some big issues if not done slowly. Very slowly. I think on the next one I will create my terrain using Nurbs to see if that works better. I am still not sure how to create a terrain of substantial size in Form.z that I can bring into TM for an animation. I did create one in Vue but it was so heavy that Form.z crashed on import. It is also worth noting that TM looks at your terrain as one object so you must separate out those pieces that will require different textures. In my first model I differenced out the mass of the house from the terrain without deleting the polygons under the house. Then when I applied grass and plants to the landscape they appeared on the basement floor as well. So it might make more sense to create my terrain using planes instead of a solid for the ease of editing. Not sure how to approach that yet. In essence I would like to create a mesh that is a fairly loose approximation of my terrain and then apply a softening tool to it (similar to the subdivision soften tool, which doesn't work in this case). I will let you know how it goes. In the future Form.z might really benefit from a tool like the TurboSmooth tool in Max which works on absolutely everything. If only. AW
  5. Andrew West

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

    I have been trying not to look at all the new and exciting things available for all the other programs out there. It just gets me frustrated. I do know that Vray 5 is coming to FMZ and I hope that it has all the features that are shown in your videos. But the question persists-When? Things have grown very quiet again at ADS and I hope that it means they have been working diligently on the new release. As for your animation needs I have found that TwinMotion is lighting fast and the integration with FMZ is very good. It will probably never be up to the quality of V-ray but sometimes speed is more important. Especially when they ask for real time VR. Until I get a chance to experiment with Vray5 I will continue to play with TM to see how far I can take it. One important thing to note for now is that if you set up your model with V-ray materials they will not translate over to Twin Motion. In my case I needed a still shot using V-ray and then an animation in TM. It was a bit more work to redo the materials on many different objects. Luckily the material editor in TM is pretty fast even if it lacks a lot of the V-ray depth.
  6. I have created a few videos using Form.z modeling and a direct export out to TM. The model came in flawlessly with the texture maps aligned and sized correctly. I did need to tweak the materials a bit to get them to where I wanted them. Mostly just adjusted the Color factor in a material even if that material was a texture map. In other words, my stone looked too bright so I added some black to the color channel. Using TM was pretty intuitive right off the bat. I will be working on a video that explains my method as soon as I have enough experience with it to be fluid. As for the integration of TM into Form.z it is my understanding that is something in the works that should show up soon. It will be a direct plug in for Form.z so that there will be no need to use importing and exporting. One more thing to note: TM is set up for a completely flat environment by default. Unfortunately, for me the world is not flat, so it is necessary to create a terrain. To create terrain models in form.z I have an old habit of using the Terrain tool, which has been a major pain for as long as I can remember. Converting contour lines from my civil engineer into something the program can interpret has always been a struggle. If anyone knows of a better way to create physically accurate terrains using civil data I am all ears. Of course that would then need to be imported into either FMZ or TM. That's the problem.
  7. Andrew West

    Mesh lights

    I have the same problem and I have asked Tech to address this in the future. I often create a mesh light for my interiors and assign an hdri image to it for ambiance and adjust the settings. I then select that light so that I can copy it to a new room, go to top view to move it and the screen centers on that annoying little box. Then I have to scroll around to the actual model and move/ scale my light to the new location. It is just really inefficient on large projects with multiple mesh lights that get adjusted regularly.
  8. Andrew West

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

    Multilight is a miracle tool. Probably the single greatest time saver for my work. Lighting a scene takes a lot of trial and error. Now if we could fix the copy texture tool that would be another great improvement. Vray 5 is coming soon.
  9. Andrew West


    Yes, I experience the same things from time to time. Not a reproducible bug unfortunately. The other thing I find strange is that Form.z will suddenly freeze in a weird way. The screen locks and I can't change views or switch tools. Saving the file makes everything suddenly start working again. Weird but livable. Actually forces me to save more often. Anyone else experience this behaviour?
  10. Andrew West

    Palette Problem

    I have never come across that one. I would throw out my preference folder and see if that cleans up the issue. This has been my go to fix for a lot of things over the past few years. AW
  11. Andrew West

    Looking for old tutorial - Texturing a Cone

    I remember it but I can't find it either. I went and created a cone of sorts to see what I could do. I did not find it easy using the new texture tools so I went back to the legacy mapping tool, applied cubic mapping first and then switched to parametric. This is what I got:
  12. Andrew West

    V-Ray update

    Please be patient. Chaos releases their updates to the biggest players first and then slowly makes their way down to us (and many others). By the time we get it they are already releasing the next update for the Autodesk crowd. Frustrating, but understandable from a business perspective. The unfortunate part is that this leads to an unfair advantage between programs.
  13. Andrew West

    Edit Cone of Vision Crash

    Easy fix. Hit Command E to enter the cone of vision edit. Hit Command E to exit. As you have found if you try to close the window by hitting the x it will crash. The performance of the cone of vision edit is still wonky but they are working on it.
  14. Andrew West


    I have been really struggling with Layout Draft mode this week. This morning I had my project open and I hadn't saved in a while since it takes almost 6 minutes to save a simple 2D drawing. Then by mistake I accidentally hit the Sheet 1 name in the Sheet Palette. All my work disappeared and I can not figure out how to get it back. Where did it go? There are no other sheets, just that one. The file itself is still 280MB and all the layers are there and organized. I have read the manual but I am totally lost. And, of course the contractor is screaming for this drawing right now. So frustrating.
  15. Andrew West

    Can't draw with line on a surface...

    I was able to do it by deselecting "lock plane through first point". Your object is obviously not exactly planar to the world coordinates.