Jump to content
AutoDesSys Forums

Andrew West

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Andrew West

  1. Andrew West

    Reverting to 8.6?

    Allan I assume you mean Trash the Autodessys Preference folder. Yes, that helps when things start to go south. For anyone who does not know its location on Windows it is : Drive C-Users-Computer Name-App Data-Roaming- Autodessys. Just throw it away and the program will rebuild it upon restart. This has been a go to fix for some time now but it really cleans things up.
  2. Andrew West

    Example Images

    Very nice work. If I may comment on one thing the last image with the red dome lights could use an SSS material for the shade. There is an orange plastic SSS material that comes with V-ray that would work once you change the color and scatter distance. Just a suggestion.
  3. Andrew West

    Does Vray form FormZ support vertex color?

    All the models I import need to be re textured in Form.z regardless of how they were mapped previously. Vertex color mapping is not a thing in Form.z from what I can tell. Seems like something that is unique to Maya and a few others where you can paint directly on a model. A quick search tells me that it is designed for the video gaming industry to save resources.
  4. Andrew West

    Long awaited Draft Layout App.

    Anton I understand your frustration with this release. We were all a little surprised at the lack of depth in this one. However, they are making some definite improvements to the way the whole program works. Just not enough to satisfy our long pent up demand for something truly ground breaking, which many of us were hoping for. I get the impression that this release is still a work in progress at this time so maybe things will get ironed out soon. One big change for me will be the introduction of reference objects which will substantially improve overall system performance and replace the awful component system that has been a thorn in my side for years. Once they make reference objects selectable so we can move them I will use v9. Until then I am sticking with v8. Hang in there. AW
  5. Andrew West

    Example Images

    I now need to update this post since I just found out something in V-ray that I did not know exist. As I said before this feature requires a unique number assigned to each material. In the past I assigned one manually to each using the Material Options button in the Material Parameters window. I just found a little button in the V-ray Settings window that automates this process. If you go to the Render Elements drop down window you can pick your different render options ( I choose Material ID and Denoiser for instance)- then right under that window is a line called ID MANAGEMENT- if you click on that there is an option to Assign Unique Material ID's to all materials. I wait until I have created all my materials for a project and then click on it. Not a huge time saver but it all adds up. Hope this helps (or maybe everyone knew about this already).
  6. Andrew West

    form•Z 8.6 Update Released

    Alan When I updated my system to 10 the computer became very slow and laggy. If I remember correctly there were a few issues but the main one that improved things was under the system performance settings. Go to the lower left corner search window on your home screen type in the word "advanced". Some options pop up including the one "View Advanced System Settings". Click on that and go to the advanced tab, under Performance-Settings you will see the option to change your system settings to "Adjust for best Performance". The default was "let windows choose" which caused issues for me. Hope this helps. If not then you also need to check what your system is loading at startup.
  7. Andrew West

    Cutting and pasting

    Jaakko is probably right on this one. However, after re reading your post it sounds like no matter what you copy and paste an old object appears that you did not intend. If that is the case then that is truly strange. To fix that I would throw out my preference folder and then re launch the program. As for not being able to select the object that you posted it is on a locked layer.
  8. Andrew West

    formZ models exchange site!

    Anton Is there any chance that we could get this model site up and running again? What would it take? I have dozens of models that I would like to share. I always felt that Form.z needed a site similar to the Sketchup Warehouse in order to expand their user base. I would also like to share materials and texture maps that would help others. I have hundreds that I could post.
  9. Andrew West

    Golf Shoe

    I don't have one but I found these over at TurboSquid for around $45 https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-model/golf-sports?keyword=shoes And then there is a fee one here: https://free3d.com/3d-model/shoe-v1--169898.html
  10. After struggling for a long time to create a glowing lamp shade Justin and I have finally figured it out using SSS materials. It was a little quirky at first and hard to get it to show properly. When we first created the material it was small and then scaling it up caused the SSS to disappear again. Eventually i got it right. It all lies in the scatter distance setting. DON"T MAKE IT TOO LARGE or TOO SMALL! In my model I placed a v-ray sphere light inside my lamp shade and made it so that it does not touch any physical geometry. I also tried this with a mesh light but that left strange shadows on the shade. So I thought I would save everyone some time and load the vrmat material and map here: Maybe some day we can set up a material sharing site similar to what Anton has set up for models lamp shade 2.vrmat
  11. Glad you were able to find the displacement settings. As for caustics I had a really hard time with them as well. Never could get anything to work for my indoor pool project. I do remember reading once that caustics may only work with a direct sun light. If true that would be unfortunate.
  12. Andrew West

    How do I get a bigger grid?

    Something is terribly wrong with the grid system when I try to do this. You are not doing anything wrong from what I can tell. I bumped up the numerical accuracy thinking that might have an effect but it did not. Out of curiosity what are you trying to build that is so tiny? I work in architecture so I never need to get that small.
  13. Andrew West

    Sketchup model woes

    Try as I may I still can not get my clients to understand that their sketchup models are not going to save me any time and therefore money. But the fact is that many people use Sketchup to design and often they don't even have CAD drawings for me to work from. So I am stuck with trying to use their models. In a perfect world Form.z would be able to import their garbage geometry and automatically fix certain issues that come up time and time again on every single model. Here are my favorite headaches (not necessarily in order) 1. on import the program should check for non planar geometry and automatically triangulate it. 2. Check for missing faces and fill in 3. Separate objects by color as an import option. And while its doing that it should separate all objects that are grouped. 4. Check for multiple objects that are identical copies of each other occupying the same space. 5. revert all texture mapping to Cubic and eliminate UV mapping unless desired. I can't force my clients to use different software and I can't teach them to model correctly. In the end I am forced to try to get Form.z to adapt to what I am given. Any help on the software side of things would be greatly appreciated.
  14. Andrew West

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    To all I apologize if I made a wrong assumption about Paul and Chris. I was told not long ago that "the main developer was willing to let this program die but another developer decided to step in to keep it alive". That was obviously David stepping in. Over the years Paul was an invaluable help to me in both technical know how and guidance on how to improve the program. I falsely assumed that he was also a main developer. His knowledge of the program was unmatched by anyone I encountered. After he was gone things got real quiet for quite a while which was unfortunate and led to a lot of assumptions. Moving forward with suggestions on how to improve Form.z I have a general question for everyone. One thing that makes programs like 3DS stand out to me are the plethora of third party plugins available that can be integrated directly into the interface. Plants (x-frog) Environments (like Vue) Smoke, fire, particle systems, Rendering engines, etc. I don't know how one would even go about convincing third parties to expand their offering to include Form.z but it is worth discussing here. I also can't help but wonder if Autodesk has any legal restrictions on these third party plugins that make it exclusive to their platform. Given how aggressive they can be it wouldn't surprise me a bit. It is also worth noting that many of the features in Max were actually introduced as plugins before they were totally integrated into the main program. This is actually one of their great short comings as the program certainly feels like a collection of plugins. Here are a few that I would love to see in the future in my perfect program: Any plant generator along with an environment generation tool similar to Vue x-stream A cloth generator similar to the one in Max A gravity tool that allows one to drop an object onto any surface below. A tool for creating UVW maps directly Integration into Unreal or Keyshot that maintains all texture maps properly A tool similar to Turbo Smooth in Max that can smooth out any geometry and optimize it. It would also need a Pro Optimizer tool for reducing geometry interactively by the number of points A tool to "paint" texture maps directly onto geometry in selective areas. A tool for sculpting meshes with a touch sensitive brush (similar to Vue and Z-brush). We had something somewhat similar in 6.7 where we could push and pull meshes a bit more interactively. And the list goes on and on but those are the ones that I use outside of Z most regularly. Open to suggestions Andrew
  15. Andrew West

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    If you want more people to use this program the company needs to get it taught in schools. Right now it is not in any meaningful way. Part of the problem is what happened when Chris Yessios decided to let the program die several years ago and also when the main programmer Paul Helm actually died. If it weren't for a single programmer that wanted to keep it alive it would have ended a while back. Now it is a challenge to both keep it going and create new and exciting buzz about its capabilities and its future. The introduction of V-ray was an important first step but it does feel that it might be too little too late. I personally am doing everything I can to promote Form.z through the images I submit to the website along with tagging it everywhere I can. All of us can help in that regard.
  16. Andrew West

    slope a spline

    I use the ramp tool (stair) when I have a uniform width slope. When the width or shape of the ramp is non uniform then I create a spline on the XY plane, move the control points up to their desired positions, offset the spline for the inside of the curve, adjust the control points to where I need them, Then form a nurbz plane between the two splines. Now that I have my nurbs plane I can extend and add onto it pretty easily to complete my roadways. The terrain tool works as well but it feels so antiquated. Probably because it has been around for at least 25 years in its current state.
  17. Andrew West

    Offset Nurbs Edge Like in Rhino

    Concerning the original question here on the sink I would not use nurbs to construct that. You are making this harder than it needs to be. One of the great strengths of Form.z is that you have many different tools to achieve the same result. I am sure everyone would do this a bit differently but my approach would be to construct two different solids from a front and side view and then use the Boolian split tool on them. Delete the parts you don't need to get a solid that is the volume of the sink. (in other words I have created a form that would be the shape of the sink if it was filled with water). For the 1" radius I would hold down the control key and use the round tool to round those two edges. Select the top face and delete it. Now you have the shell of the sink. Thicken it if you want to. Attached is my file. It took me about 4 minutes to create which is a lot less time than it took to type this. sink.fmz
  18. Andrew West

    Offset Nurbs Edge Like in Rhino

    Like this?
  19. Andrew West

    Offset Nurbs Edge Like in Rhino

    Lower left hand corner there is a paper clip icon to attach images and files. Drag and drop your file there
  20. Andrew West

    Wet Pavement

    I have been beating my head against my keyboard all weekend trying to get a decent result for this. If you study great architectural photographs they often wet the streets down in front of the buildings. It pools up into puddles in spots. This would add so much drama to my images if I could make it work. What I am after is a single material in Vray that can mimic this accurately. The asphalt needs to have a bump map which is easy. Then it needs a layer on top of that which is the water and that needs to be highly reflective and have a bump map to raise it up off the surface a bit. I have watched several tutorials on this for Max and Sketchup but our editor is drastically different from theirs. In the Sketchup tutorial they use Blend Material for the water surface but in our editor we can only add from the drop down list into the Blend. I want to add a generic material and make that white and highly reflective and transparent. That is not possible. Does anyone have a clue on how to achieve this using our editor? Tech has suggested making physical puddles on top of the asphalt which seems to me to be really time consuming and awkward. Here is a good example of what I am after:
  21. Andrew West

    Wet Pavement

    That is a good way to blend two basic materials. But now how do you control the Reflection, Bump and Transparency of those materials individually? For instance, in Maxwell's material editor you can create a material that simulates rust on metal by adding a rust map over the top of a steel map, then give the rust a transparency Noise map so that it only appears in places. Adjust the amount of noise to adjust the amount of rust. It works almost like a procedural material and this would be an easy way to do puddles on the street or dirt on the floor. V-ray does work this way in other programs, just not in here yet from what I can tell. Correct me if I am wrong.
  22. Andrew West

    Wet Pavement

    I have spent hours trying to figure out how to blend materials in V-ray like you can in most other editors. It does not exist in the current build according to Tech but they hope to unlock more of the V-ray features in the next build. One thing that has been lacking in our editor has been the ability to stack materials on top of each other and control the amount of blending that happens on each layer. That would be a real game changer for me. Adding rust, dirt or in this case water over a surface would increase the realism tremendously. Thanks for your help.
  23. Andrew West

    Wet Pavement

    I think I got lost on what you did to achieve this. Could you please explain a bit more. Tech sent me an example of how to do it with a plane suspended an inch above the pavement. That highly reflective plane has a B&W Opacity map of blotchy spots in various densities from white to pure black. The white areas are opaque and the black are transparent. I also put that map into the reflection channel and set the reflectivity to 1. The asphalt plane below is also fairly reflective since it would not be dry at all. It has a specular map and a subtle bump map. The result was not nearly as good as what you have achieved and it was very difficult to control. Even the pure black areas of the opacity map affected the pavement below to a large degree. Looked kind of muddy and unrealistic. For what its worth the Vray tutorial for Sketchup had the best result in the fastest manner. You also create a material that can be applied to any model in the future without displacement. Here is my pathetic attempt
  24. Andrew West

    Sketchup model woes

    Well I just watched a couple of videos in Cinema 4d's Cineversity website where you can watch countless tutorials on how to use their program. I am seriously impressed by their texture mapping tools which has been an issue in FMZ for me personally. Their material editor is amazing. Before I make the leap to this program I am going to wait to see what becomes of the next release of V-ray Next for Form.z. If it is a major improvement to the integration of V-ray and an expansion to their material editor I may just stick with that a bit longer. I realize this post has gone off topic now. But it does relate to the use of multiple programs and how they work together (or not).
  25. Andrew West

    Sketchup model woes

    Thanks for the feedback. I owned C4D about 18 years ago and I tried to get an efficient work flow between the two but had very little success. Perhaps it is time to revisit that again. I also own 3DS Max and my workflow back and forth with that is also awkward at best. In a perfect world Form.z would have a stable high end rendering engine with a robust material editor similar to the Slate editor in Max. It would also need to play nicely with outside models of questionable quality. Or Max and C4D would have quick and easy modeling tools for architecture like Form.z. But that world does not exist at the moment. The issues I have had working between two programs is always the same. Revisions to the design and texture mapping. Modeling in one and rendering in the other means a lot of importing and exporting along with re texture mapping. How well does C4D handle texture maps coming out of Z? The reason I ask is because I find it much faster to map as I build the model.