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Alan Cooper

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Everything posted by Alan Cooper

  1. Alan Cooper

    Reverting to 8.6?

    Why on earth was beta testing so short? Seems like unfinished work in progress still. For the sake of the Autodessys company which I strongly want to see go from strength to strength, I do hope the most important priorities are being focussed upon. I was hoping all would be good for the usual Easter promotion, but not sure that will be very likely with that being less than a month away.
  2. Alan Cooper

    form•Z 9 beta

    Can someone who has purchased v9pro and was familiar with 8.6pro please give a review of the latest user interface? I would like to know what you think of it regarding how much you needed to adjust it to your liking, whether you were able to tune it just right or what compromises you had to put up with? How stable is the UI? Do you think it gives you maximum real estate to work in, or are there parts you have to put up with which you would prefer were absent, smaller or located elsewhere or differently? I would like to know for my own consideration and also to raise any issues especially in the hope that it has been perfected for a new user to get straight on with, avoiding the need to tweak or become frustrated. Needs to be right before a strong marketing thrust. Thanks, Alan.
  3. Alan Cooper

    what's new webinar

    Can the topic title be changed? I clicked hoping to watch a what's new webinar.
  4. Alan Cooper

    Long awaited Draft Layout App.

    jldaureil Some interesting points there. However, regarding Twin motion Quote: "Autodessys you should really look closely at the evolution of real-time rendering software." I would say, all in good time, maybe as a bolt-on for those who need all the clever terrain and vegitation producing software. We don't all need those features. I still would like the focus to be for FormZ to first be excellent at what it does already so it can be marketed effectively for core strengths of being able to produce a 3d model with full information management in a free uncomplicated way (no constraints) faster than any other product, and also to be very affordable, which will attract more users with good marketing. Real-time enhancements may be good for the future but especially as the data can presumably be exported to a specialist program like TM, please continue to bring the user interface and core program features to perfection first.
  5. Any file my computer doesn't understand gets assigned with a formz icon. Why is this? It appears to be that in my Windows file associations FormZ layout autosave files are assigned to a simple full stop (UK) period (US) . without any letters after the period. So I suppose anything without an extension gets lumbered with it. Not a problem except that the icon is so similar to the general FormZ file icon it looks like non extension files are associated with FormZ in some way. I presume it is an error where we should be seeing some letters after the period for FormZ layout autosave files. I don't know how the non extension files will display themselves when this has been fixed. Maybe without an icon, which is probably more appropriate. Is there a fix I can make to my file associations in Windows 10 to stop this confusion? Running FormZ 8.6 pro
  6. Alan Cooper

    FormZ Layout autosave extension

    How strange, since actually making a use of the formz layout autosave, the icon has changed. Maybe the earlier icon was connected to a previous version, and this may be a newer icon. I'm glad anyway as doesn't look like formz icon any more so less confusion (especially when I use the highly recommendable program: free-file-sync, which skips the google docs documents in google drive when I back up my other sync-able cloud files). Example of new icons attached.
  7. Alan Cooper

    FormZ Layout autosave extension

    Chris, I have not tried Layout for years. Just had a quick experiment, checked the auto save settings to make sure they were on and have found what I think is an autosave file with .fmb extension.
  8. Alan Cooper

    Long awaited Draft Layout App.

    Hi Chris, yes I posted details on the Beta forum about 1 week before full release of V9. I'm at work so sorry don't have time to find and point to it atm. It is to do with the small information windows which I would like to be able to be resized and made full screen when required as I find some information gets truncated with a lot of columns for bills of materials. There are some other improvements I would like to see in info management to make export/import a bit better from the csv output, less essential, but would be nice all the same.
  9. Alan Cooper

    FormZ Layout autosave extension

    Thanks Chris. I am presuming that in this particular case it could be that Autodessys did not add the letters after the period for file associations for the windows installation? Screenshot attached.
  10. Alan Cooper

    Long awaited Draft Layout App.

    Personally, I am waiting for improvements to the info management displays as requested during beta testing. When that has been improved I plan to evaluate whether I am happy with the new user interface which was not yet finished when I last looked during beta. I regret that at the time of beta I had limited time available to be involved but I did contribute a little. If I am happy with it and most wrinkles and creases have been ironed out I will look out for a good deal for upgrade of 3 licences, but am hanging back because autodessys don't seem to have enough faith in the new release to market it properly which is quite worrying. It seems like such a wasted opportunity, because with a little more faith and investment, (could be wrong but I suspect this maybe in the guise of another competent and enthusiastic staff member to help you out) I believe the market is ripe for a big burst of FormZ taking it from a dawdle to a gallop. I do hope the potential is fully realised and the best balance for speed of progress is attained.
  11. Alan Cooper

    form•Z 8.6 Update Released

    Thank you Justin, this sounds great advice, which I will follow when I get some time and it next starts to really bug me. It has improved a little already, so I will see how things go. I might even upgrade to v9 if AD bring in some of the things on my wanted list.
  12. Alan Cooper

    form•Z 8.6 Update Released

    Thanks Andrew. I had already customised performance settings, but have done as you suggest which switches off a few more features. As you say, start up programs are the next thing to tackle but it is a bit of a minefield, not being sure what everything does. I will also increase priority for FormZ and see if that helps.
  13. Alan Cooper

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Been using Serif software for many years. It kept getting better and better. They were good at marketing too, which could be a massive bonus.
  14. Alan Cooper

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Chris, Thank you for your generously comprehensive advice. Really appreciate the common sense advice to take on the small before the large and the carrot that it should save time in the long-run. I look forward to learning Python as soon as I can put some time aside for it. Hey, I see Learn Python in one day and learn it well is included for free with my Amazon prime membership! Cool Alan.
  15. Alan Cooper

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Chris, I don't know how to script. The closest I ever got is recorded a macro in open office calc and adjusted the script a little afterwards manually. And to have altered some html files to change colour etc of text for some website files. I wonder if it really is worth me learning to use Python. What is the learning curve? Hours, days or weeks? And how long would it take for me to recognise where I could use it and what it could achieve? I really need to get some idea of the time investment required before I start reading a book about whether or not to get involved. Please bear in mind that I run a company and don't really have a lot of spare time. Thanks in advance for this bit of advice.
  16. Alan Cooper

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Swaim, Wow, you have been using FZ 25 years! I have only been using it for just over 6 years. Why? because despite searching and searching relentlessly for the best affordable CAD software to use I did not ever come accross Form Z. So it is marketing that is the main problem. I tried loads of CAD software. In 1995 I bought Turbocad version 3 which had 2d and 3d version. I was trying to use it on a laptop with just 8mb of ram. Of course it was so laggy it was hardly usable. Shortly after I got a state of the art Pentium Windows 95 computer with a 2gb hard drive which I expected would be capable of anything possible for ever. That is what I used for a few years running Turbocad 2d before eventually making the huge shift to Turbocad 3d. Turbocad is a palaver, needing excessive use of the tab key and even recently I don't think they have provided the virtually essential isolate feature. So I tried Sketchup 8 for a year before eventually stumbling upon a sketchup forum post about Bonzai 3d which led me to FormZ. At the time the reputation for FormZ was that it was in theory brilliant but in practice too buggy to take seriously. The number of crashes I had in my early days with FormZ were eyewatering. But it has improved a huge amount since version 7 so I would suggest that version 9 requires to be rock solid, with a great user interface please. Then when it is truely solid, keep it easily affordable with good promotional discounts and market it like hell, with brilliant youtube presentations of the quality that Matthew Holewinski used to produce. The Youtube channel has not received new content for 2 years, and most of that was to do with V-Ray. I hope FormZ9 emerges into a version that Autodessys can be fully confident of, and that we see a huge regrowth of FormZ. There needs to be more action and activity on the marketing front as soon as that position of product confidence by the company has been reached. If it isn't actually ready yet then they are wise to move slowly before pushing the promotions too hard.
  17. Have there been any improvements to information management between 8.6 and 9? Here is a screenshot from version 8.6 where the information window is not wide enough. Why can't information windows like this be adjusted to size instead of fixed, and be maximised to full-screen? This is an example of the sort of incentives I need to upgrade to version 9.
  18. Alan Cooper

    form•Z 8.6 Update Released

    Could someone give me some advice please? 8.6 is a bit laggy for me since I upgraded my laptop from Windows 7pro to Windows 10pro using Microsoft's Media Tool. The laptop is a 17 inch Dell Precision M6800 i7 32gb ram Nvidia Quadro K4100M Thankyou.
  19. Alan Cooper

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    I think the slow publicity is due to a lack of confidence that V9 is quite ready yet, and needed a bit more time in Beta, it had been promised for so long, they wanted it out for the new year. I suggest a bit more time, and when AD really is confident that V9 is ready, that will be the time to do it. Maybe an Easter promotion would be well advised if it is properly polished by then. It is important that when the reviews in publications are made, they are good ones.
  20. Alan Cooper

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Sorry but I have to disagree with John Alexander for our own purposes, which is good in a way, it shows how broad a spectrum FormZ covers. I am not that interested in photorealism. I am attracted to FormZ by fast modelling capacity and being able to output manufacturing data from it. Only an average quality realism is required for our purposes. If it is too realistic, it accentuates any little discrepency which would need more faffing around to put right. Speed of modelling, adjustment of sizes and csv output data, all at an affordable price is what sells it to me as a bespoke furniture maker. Maybe FormZ could split into two directions or have a base level and a manufacturing pack and a rendering pack, which it does to some extent, as I don't buy the V-Ray, Lightworks is sufficient.
  21. Alan Cooper

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    You Tube is probably the primary place people will look to evaluate. The content has to be good which it is but the age stated is too old 4, 7 and 12 years old. Please leave it there but add new good content. (I clicked the first link searching youtube for FormZ which said FormZ3d)
  22. Alan Cooper

    Sketchup model woes

    C4D is so expensive. Simply out of reach for many of us.
  23. Alan Cooper

    New material naming

    I agree, starting with the user's library name would be great. Probably needs a suffix still to prevent confusion in case the material gets altered, but it would certainly help us to remember how a material started it's journey and save renaming time.
  24. Alan Cooper

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    Tech, I appreciate this post. Things seemed a bit quiet for a while and I have been worried. Great to have the honest update. Glad the small team is solid and dedictated. Please focus on getting the user interface spot on, an excellent default set-up that new users can get to work with without fiddling around. I think 8.6 has become a great product and it's a shame the marketing hasn't done it justice in getting more new users on board. I really miss the great tutorials by Matthew Holewinski, he was so inspirational and Paul always so helpful too. I still believe and hope there is a great future ahead with V9 in time. FormZ is too good not to be marketed more effectively, the world is missing out.
  25. Alan Cooper

    formZ 9

    According to the website, Autodessys is looking for a number of new members of staff so perhaps this could be a reason for some slow or quiet progress at the moment but late Summer will be with us soon enough!
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