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Andrew West

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Andrew West last won the day on March 6

Andrew West had the most liked content!

About Andrew West

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 04/15/1962

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

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Bend Oregon

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  1. Andrew West

    form•Z Anniversary | Thank You

    Happy birthday as well! At the risk of sounding like an old man I started using Form.z around 1991 when I was working at the largest architecture firm in the US. I believe my machine was a Mac IIcx which was barely able to render out a simple image in shaded view. I used it mainly for doing perspective layouts for my watercolor illustrations. It wasn't until about 1997 that I presented my first digital illustration for a client. Fast forward to today where my watch has 1000 times the computing power of my IIcx and I haven't done a watercolor in 10 years. While I have tried almost every other modeling software out there I still can't help but come back to Form.z. Simply the best modeler out there to date. Really looking forward to seeing what they come up with in the future releases.
  2. Andrew West

    VRAY - Huge Material Problem!

    The native format for Form.z materials for V-ray is VRMAT. However, I have been able to download VISMAT materials from various sites and then open them in the material editor. Then I save them as VRMAT so that I can use them. I have not been able to use any other formats.
  3. Andrew West

    Portal Light

    Try turning off all other lights and adjust the intensity up to 100. Then go to the camera settings and see if you can get it to show up in the render. If not then try simple portal light to see the effect. It should be much stronger. I also give my portal light a texture map that matches the exterior scene which helps realism.
  4. Andrew West

    Request for V-Ray Tutorial or Example Scene

    I probably have done more interiors than most on this so I will chime in here. There is really no set way to do an interior as the lighting will be different depending on the situation. Unlike exteriors that rely on a simple sun position or a dome light. However, there is a process that I use that I will share. First off set your exterior sun to the desired position for interior shadows. Go to the suns override settings and make the size of it 5 so that the shadows are softer. Make sure your glass is not casting or receiving shadows. Now place a light plane that is the size of your window just outside your glass and make it a portal light. I often give this light a texture map (hdri) so that it adds atmosphere to the image. Set the intensity to about 50. Parameters: invisible and does not affect reflections. Place a rectangular box area light in the middle of the room and make sure it does not touch anything. Set it to about 30 and make sure that under Parameters it is invisible and does not affect reflections. This is true for any other interior lights you might add. Then I go to my camera settings and adjust the exposure to get it close. It does not need to be exact since you can always adjust exposure during the render process. I will then turn on AO, adjust the shading rate up, set my render elements and adjust everything else in the V-ray settings while I am there. Once I get the lighting about right I can then add specific cone, spot or line lights depending upon the architecture. These don't seem to add much to the overall exposure but they help to add realism to the scene. One thing that I would like to comment on in your scenes is the lack of gloss on many of your materials. All materials have a certain amount of gloss to them. For some reason the default for V-ray is set to a black color and a value of 1. For me I start with a white color. For dull materials like rough plaster I will set the gloss to 0.2 and for high gloss I will set it to 0.85. While we are on the subject of materials I also find it very useful to assign a Material ID color to my most important materials. If you then enable Material ID in your render elements you can adjust color and isolate the materials very easily post process. This saves a lot of time later. It also allows me to place my window reflections perfectly on my exterior scenes since I have my glass isolated. Finally, for true realism I also use the Glare effect in the render window and sometimes I will even use the Bloom tab. Some clients hate these and some love them so use them cautiously. Hope this helps. As always there are many ways to set up a scene and this is just my down and dirty approach for a starting point.
  5. Andrew West

    Example Images

    One difference I see in your retail display is the lack of illumination on the etched lines in the glass. First off how did you do the etched lines and do you think there is a way to illuminate them similar to the finished product? Glass is always a bugger to deal with and Vray glass is no exception.
  6. Andrew West

    Example Images

    When doing interiors I usually have to do two different lighting schemes. One which is warm and inviting and has a certain amount of atmosphere to it. This is for my portfolio. The other is the one the client requests which is cool and every material needs to be perfectly accurate to the material board or sample. Interior designers are strange that way and not a whole lot of fun to work for. Material accuracy can be very time consuming. As for the clothing I think you could experiment with V-ray displacement to see if you can get it to loosen up a bit. I use that tool a lot now and find it to be much faster and easier than straight modeling.
  7. Andrew West

    How do you rotate perpendicular to surface?

    I personally use the Define Reference Plane. This is because I build things progressively and I often need to align things to the rotated object. Define the plane, name it and save it.
  8. Andrew West

    From Foem Z to Unreal engine

    I use Max but I also own a program called UV Layout by Headus. I found it pretty easy to use. I think it was $200.
  9. Andrew West

    V-Ray vrscene/vrproxy export Settings

    I agree 100%. As I mentioned above the interface is awkward and very slow when importing a scene file but in the end it saves me a ton of time not having the sheer mass of geometry in the model which would kill my system pretty fast. For decades I had only used 2D trees and plants in my final images and now with V-ray I am able to use 3D assets in the program that I never could use before. In a perfect world programs like X-frog, Plant Factory and Onyx tree might take notice and work on an interface that could allow us to integrate their plant assets directly into Form.z and Vray. For now I just create those plants I need and go through the tedious process of exporting them from a tree builder program, import into Form.z, re texture map and then save it out as a scene file. Once I get a large enough library things should get a lot faster.
  10. Andrew West

    V-Ray vrscene/vrproxy export Settings

    That is a question that has been asked many times now. I don't imagine we will get an answer until right before it is released. Getting back to V-ray proxy objects I have gone back again to examine this and I still stand by my assumption that this feature is broken. If I take a bush and group it together then select the group and hit export v-ray proxy nothing happens. Nothing. I should get a dialogue giving me an option to save my proxy object somewhere just like it does for Scene files. I don't really care as long as I have some way of saving my complex geometry in a manner that frees up the program. So scene files is where its at.
  11. Andrew West

    Simple modeling... stuck on basics!

    One of the great strengths of Form.z is that there are usually many different ways to create the same geometry. The forums are full of variations on techniques to do things and everyone has their preferred method. In this case I would just create the wall and then go to the front view in elevation. Turn on grid snap and set it to one inch increments. Then go to the rectangle tool, select the 2D surface option and make sure that Insert is selected. Draw a 16x9 rectangle on the surface of the wall where you want it. You can now use the transform tool to offset the rectangle in by 1".
  12. Andrew West

    Can't load textures

    Corrupted image files are a constant problem in both Form.z and Vray. Always check the extension and when in doubt do a save as on the image file. This is a problem that has been growing slowly for a while now. Glad to hear you got it worked out.
  13. Andrew West

    Can't load textures

    Andrew Take a look at your underlay file and make sure it is either a standard JPEG or a Tiff. And then just for fun do a search to make sure your Video Card drivers are up to date.
  14. Andrew West

    V-Ray vrscene/vrproxy export Settings

    Flosimo Since Tech is absent in the forums I will try to explain where we are at with this. First off what you are trying to do is correct in order to bring complex geometry in to Form.z without it bogging down. That said vray proxy is broken and should not be used. According to Tech Chaos group included it in the package because it was hard to take it out but they advise not to use it. I tried at first and immediately gave up. They advise to use V-ray scene files instead because they include more information and are more stable. Stable being a relative term. In order to make a scene file you open your geometry in a separate model and then open the palette called "v-ray". The last two icons in that palette are place Vray scene and export vray scene. When exporting you need to identify the path where you want it stored and check "pack" to include all texture maps. Be aware that if there is a vray sun in your scene it will be included as well. When importing your scene file you will need to make sure you uncheck "import lights" or you will have a second sun in your scene that can not be edited. If you forget to uncheck that box then right click on the object and go to its parameters tab. Click on Edit and then turn off the sun light. When placing your scene files back into a project be very patient. The placement seems to take a lot of computing power and it is often slow and arbitrary in terms of where the geometry shows up. I will often throw a few scene files in and them place them accurately later. Changing the preview from normal to bounding box doesn't help the speed. Once you are done placing your scene files take a close look at the whole model. I often find that I have some extra arbitrary scene files placed in random locations far from where they are supposed to be. These I just delete. All in all it is nice to have this tool since the Components feature of Form.z has been broken for a very long time. I have used this to bring in trees and plants that would have killed Form.z instantly. It is still a work in progress but hopefully getting improved upon.
  15. Andrew West

    Example Images

    I agree with you that the lights need to be set by temp. I absolutely loved the way Maxwell handled lights but the time cost of using that program was just too high. I miss multilight a lot too but I need to make a living.
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