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Alan Cooper

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  1. Thanks
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Smarttec in What's New In form•Z v9 Video   
    Yes, if all the older stuff and new posts which relate to pre v9 versions could be gathered up and placed in a new preV9 folder under each of the main headings (see attached) that would simplify things going forward.

  2. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to Tech in What's New In form•Z v9 Video   
    Layout/Draft video is in progress. Please bear with us as these are taking longer to produce under today's remote work conditions.
     
  3. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to Tech in What's New In form•Z v9 Video   
  4. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to bbuxton in form•Z 9 beta   
    Clipped pallets, missing scroll bars etc, throughout and lots of other minor glitches.
    Sometimes pallets or tool dialogues, errors etc disappear, likely behind other windows with no easy way to fix other than to quit formZ and delete the preference folder.
    The tabbed pallet icons are tiny and low contrast, horrible on a 4K display.
    These rough edges might be acceptable in a new application but are not what you would expect in a mature application like FormZ.
    There are lots of other UI problems such as duplicate and missing icons. For example, paste and paste in place are identical, there are lots of tools with the FMZ puzzle piece icon.
    Stick with 8.6 unless you need python or the mirror tools.
     
     

  5. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Jaakko in 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.
  6. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Jaakko in 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.
  7. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Jaakko in 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.
  8. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to ¢hris £und in form•Z 8.6 Update Released   
    Alan,  
    Also, once you have manually reset all of your preferences for Z, make a copy of the pref folder so that you can manually do a swap in the future.
     
    ¢£
  9. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Mike_Concentric in 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.
  10. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from vva in 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.
  11. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to Studio-Swaim in Why isn't formz more popular?   
    My two cents.
    Based on my own observations with my industry (Architectural Illustration… err, I guess we’re calling it architectural visualization now). I think some of the uphill battle is a result of the perfect storm. Google bought Sketchup and offered it up for free just as the economy went down the commode.  The layoff machine was ramped up in every building and design related office across the country and those who survived layoffs found themselves with nothing to design, so they filled their day learning their free downloaded version of sketchup that a colleague told them about. Mean while students across the country were also downloading free sketchup and word of mouth took off. As a result we got a lot of people who knew about sketchup because it was free, and a lot of really bad sketchup renderings. I assume that marketplace tidal wave caught everyone off guard. 
     
    I’m a 25 year user of Form-Z. and It’s my main software I use, with mac mail and safari not far behind.  I too have worried that the low key nature of FZ makes it vulnerable for extinction, yet on the other hand I’m grateful for the small business status it has. We all know we don’t get the quality support or personal attention from the bigger outfits. When I was learning FZ in 95’ my instructor bragged about the personal attention FZ gave it’s users. You could call up and suggest a new tool or feature and it’d pop up in the next release. That is still pretty true today though their customer base has grown and those suggestions are more abundant and more challenging to fit into the next release.
     
    I think part of the solution is as easy as being in front of eyeballs. The old “out of sight out of mind” can catch up to you. I first learned about FZ as a student who finagled his way into the AIA national expo in Atlanta where multiple software companies were doing demos and had booths. I watched the FZ demo and knew that was the route to go. Since then I’ve championed them all along the way. Sent them new customers and assured my own clients that I have no need for Sketchup because FZ does everything Sketchup does, plus 100 times more, it does it better and the models are actually stable, not a house of cards.
     
    My suggestions:
    - Staff: If Auto-des-sys doesn’t already have someone on staff dedicated to marketing the product. It’d probably be a good investment to have someone dedicated to just that task and nothing else.
    - Online presence in all the forums and sites: Search Form-Z on CGarchitect.com and there are no results. That is a huge industry resource page for a lot of potential customers. I’ve noticed their absence on a lot of sites and forums like that. Sites that list all the 3d modeling software packages and there are softwares I’ve never heard of and softwares I’d never touch and FZ doesn’t get a mention. WTH?
    - Trade shows: Architecture, product design, industrial design, graphic design, illustration. You know who uses the product, target those industries and industries who haven’t used your product that you can convince should be… Be visible.
    - Tutorials, tutorials, tutorials: Make it as easy as humanly possible to learn everything the software has to offer and as hard as possible for people to say “there isn’t any resources for learning”. Note: FZ does a great job with this already. The problem is, they don’t have all their followers doing it like the other guys do. Ie skippy in the basement putting up his weekly photoshop tutorial. It’s a bigger burden on FZ to do all the heavy lifting, but with growth comes more skippy’s in the basement.
    - Partnerships: Vray and Maxwell were huge. Expand the partnerships to other areas. Not nescaserily just software partnerships, but industry partnerships. FZ was big with ASAI and it’s members way back when. I’m not sure which side let that relationship slip away.
    - Students: You find a way to make FZ cooler, easier and freer than sketchup in schools, and get students excited again. Students like free stuff. A box of cool FZ tee shirts sent to the architecture dept is a lot of walking ads. 
    - Mail outs: Post cards are still the best way to get your logo in front of eyes.
    - Reiterate the time line: Let people know you’ve been around a while, you’re not new to the game and there is some pedigree behind the name.
    - Showcase: Showcase your successes and your user's successes 
    - Keep providing a product that can sell it’s self!
     
    Note: I am not a professional marketing guy. 🙂
  12. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Mike_Concentric in Information management improvements   
    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.

  13. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Mike_Concentric in Information management improvements   
    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.

  14. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Mike_Concentric in Information management improvements   
    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.

  15. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to santa in Why isn't formz more popular?   
    Agreed. If anything, I would personally prefer to see a simpler rock solid form.Z. I feel that adding more and more complexity is the wrong way to go. Remember "less is more"!
  16. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to CADulator in Why isn't formz more popular?   
    Yeah, I disagree too.  It sounds like huge and complex new features are being requested for a new market, from a small development team.  FormZ is already an extremely capable 3D CAD system which is a great fit for many markets.  ADS is just not marketing it properly.
  17. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from vva in 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.
  18. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Jaakko in FormZ Information Management output to CutlistPlus for Woodworkers   
    We are now finding the conversion of our FormZ bill of materials csv output to a format which Cutlistplus can import a very simple process by use of a macro recorded in open office calc.
    Please note that the parts are organised in numbered 2 digit assembly groups and 2 digit part numbers (serial numbers) which are produced with the FormZ rename objects labs extension tool. It puts a space in between the group number (suffix) and the serial number which is placed after that, so our parts have 5 digits including the space, which works well for us. (Set the appropriate padding in renamer serial numbers to include any required leading zeros). Others might prefer 6 or 7 digits in total depending on how many objects you have in your assembly groups, and the macro would need to be adjusted for this to take 6 or 7 digits across to the part number column using the RIGHT function instead of 5.
    Here is the macro we use in open office 4.1.6 calc, attached here as a rich text file. Even those of us who are not familiar with programming can recognise a logical process and command pattern structure within it. Please note that just before we apply the macro we have to select all cells in the csv file.
    I hope this encourages more woodworkers to use the combination of FormZ pro 8 and above and Cutlistplus FX (gold or platinum) as they make for a superb workflow and help to keep material waste to a minimum.
    OpenOfficeMacroCutlistplus190210.zip
  19. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Shibui Design in Weird component behaviour   
    In my experience, components work well as a library and can even be organised at file system level. In FormZ I first make a group of what I am making a component of. When bringing a component into a file, I explode it to leave as a group which is a safer situation. Agree with AHTOH too risky to use components active in a model in case unexpected changes occur. By the way, I only very occasionally get crashes in FormZ but that is because I work in a routine to get my work done which doesn't use all its features, and you do learn to predict what is risky to the stability of the program, and 'save as' before taking a risk. Persevere because FormZ has a lot to offer and you can get work done more quickly with it than many other programs, if used carefully.
  20. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Shibui Design in Weird component behaviour   
    In my experience, components work well as a library and can even be organised at file system level. In FormZ I first make a group of what I am making a component of. When bringing a component into a file, I explode it to leave as a group which is a safer situation. Agree with AHTOH too risky to use components active in a model in case unexpected changes occur. By the way, I only very occasionally get crashes in FormZ but that is because I work in a routine to get my work done which doesn't use all its features, and you do learn to predict what is risky to the stability of the program, and 'save as' before taking a risk. Persevere because FormZ has a lot to offer and you can get work done more quickly with it than many other programs, if used carefully.
  21. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to danshaw in formZ 9   
    of course late summer does not leave very long for a public beta.
  22. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from ¢hris £und in Change recording of scenes   
    After several years of use it still catches me out regularly where I set a scene, go to it again, and loose it because it was recording while I changed it. To not save a scene until actually clicking a 'save scene' button would be far preferable.
  23. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Jaakko in FormZ Information Management output to CutlistPlus for Woodworkers   
    We are now finding the conversion of our FormZ bill of materials csv output to a format which Cutlistplus can import a very simple process by use of a macro recorded in open office calc.
    Please note that the parts are organised in numbered 2 digit assembly groups and 2 digit part numbers (serial numbers) which are produced with the FormZ rename objects labs extension tool. It puts a space in between the group number (suffix) and the serial number which is placed after that, so our parts have 5 digits including the space, which works well for us. (Set the appropriate padding in renamer serial numbers to include any required leading zeros). Others might prefer 6 or 7 digits in total depending on how many objects you have in your assembly groups, and the macro would need to be adjusted for this to take 6 or 7 digits across to the part number column using the RIGHT function instead of 5.
    Here is the macro we use in open office 4.1.6 calc, attached here as a rich text file. Even those of us who are not familiar with programming can recognise a logical process and command pattern structure within it. Please note that just before we apply the macro we have to select all cells in the csv file.
    I hope this encourages more woodworkers to use the combination of FormZ pro 8 and above and Cutlistplus FX (gold or platinum) as they make for a superb workflow and help to keep material waste to a minimum.
    OpenOfficeMacroCutlistplus190210.zip
  24. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Des in formZ v8.6.4 released   
    FormZ works great for me but I have trained myself to avoid those little issues that FormZ notoriously hasn't been able to handle, editing within a group being one of them. Instead, I copy group contents to a new file, make the change and paste back when done. Use the program to its strengths, don't risk its weak areas, they will cause you frustration every so often.
  25. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to snow in Unknown file types try to open in formZ. Why formZ?   
    because formZ is the best and it can do anything and everything, of course! 
    but no seriously... this is a pretty silly and annoying bug.  we installed formZ on a number of machines in our office and on every machine it made most file types want to open in formZ--DWG, 3DS, SKP, etc--were all affected by this.  There's no workaround for this, you'll just slowly change the default application for every file type and eventually the problem will be solved. 
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