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Alan Cooper

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  1. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to setz in Happy Holidays…   
    I was saddened because I thought we weren’t going to see one this year and was happily surprised Christmas morning. Cheers and Merry Christmas Bernd!
  2. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to bmeissner in Happy Holidays…   
    … and all the best to you all!

    Bernd
    (Note: 23 years of FormZ modeled Christmas cards :-))
  3. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to Tech in New update 9.0.6   
    The cause of the hanging in Hugo's file was determined to be an excess of empty animation tracks. The development team is devising a better way to handle these in the future.
  4. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from archigraphica in New update 9.0.6   
    The sad thing in my opinion is that FZ has never been good at marketing. I discovered FormZ far too late having come accross a mention of Bonzai 3d (the old name for Junior FormZ) on a Sketchup 8 Forum when Google ran Sketchup. Having used Turbocad pro for many many years, constantly looking for alternatives, eventually moving to Sketchup 8, struggled with that for a year, and when I eventually became aware of the existence of FormZ quickly realised how much more powerful and fast FZ was than Sketchup to model with (apart from some bugs which would crash my system from time to time) and came on board. But I should have become aware of FZ  several years earlier. Lack of marketing was the reason I didn't because I had be reading and searching and trying out other software. The way ahead is to minimise any risk of the program crashing, so bugs don't involve loss of any operations, then market effectively. I believe there is still time to make this work, although admittedly a lot of water has already passed under the bridge.
  5. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Mike_Concentric in New update 9.0.6   
    Thanks so much to all you guys who are effectively beta testers. I am watching from a distance because as far as I am concerned it is very clear that V9 continues to remain at the 'beta' stage. So pleased Autodessys is holding back on the publicity at the moment because it would have resulted in bad press. I do look forward to V9 maturing into a solid version eventually.
    Analogy: Super-car with faulty brakes.
  6. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Mike_Concentric in New update 9.0.6   
    Thanks so much to all you guys who are effectively beta testers. I am watching from a distance because as far as I am concerned it is very clear that V9 continues to remain at the 'beta' stage. So pleased Autodessys is holding back on the publicity at the moment because it would have resulted in bad press. I do look forward to V9 maturing into a solid version eventually.
    Analogy: Super-car with faulty brakes.
  7. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to FZnoob in New update 9.0.6   
    When they get to V9.5 let me know. That seems to be when things are sorted.
    Until then I will stay with 8.5.6
  8. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from ZTEK in what's new webinar   
    Another video showing organising a piece of furniture in FormZ for orderly construction. Plus some other tips.
     
  9. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to setz in what's new webinar   
    Modo and FZ are great companions.  I use modo for complicated organic subdivision cage modeling (because it has really good soft selection tools) and then bring the object into FZ where I convert to subdivision and then convert into nurbs.  Works really well at creating super complicated organic nurbs shapes that can then be further worked on in FZ with booles etc.  Many parts of the mech were done this way (some are pure FZ hard surface modeling.)  The parts in this model ended up as separate nurbs solids exports for CNC machining.

  10. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from ZTEK in what's new webinar   
    Another video showing organising a piece of furniture in FormZ for orderly construction. Plus some other tips.
     
  11. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from ZTEK in what's new webinar   
    Another video showing organising a piece of furniture in FormZ for orderly construction. Plus some other tips.
     
  12. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to ¢hris £und in what's new webinar   
    Doh!  Sorry for the misinterpretation!  Yes, I agree with the last sentiment!  Too, it has to do a lot with familiarity.  Some people are extremely capable and efficient with hard-side modeling in Modo because they never knew better.  And they will always beat somebody like me simply because I already knew formZ by 10 years roughly by the time I attempted Modo.
    Regardless, they are both great tools.  I just think each leans heavily in the direction they want to.  And justifyingly so.
     
    ¢£
  13. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from ¢hris £und in what's new webinar   
    Thanks Chris, sounds like you have reassured me I still have, in FormZ, the best program for designing fairly simple furniture. It is way ahead of Sketchup, I know that because that is what I used previously, and Turbocad before that.
  14. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to ¢hris £und in what's new webinar   
    Alan,
    I still don't think that there would be anything to be disappointed about.  To do hard-side modeling in Modo really takes a lot of extra effort.  And even then, is only for visualization.  Can't really create tool paths with its output.  from formZ, you can.
    On the other hand, as mentioned above, its visualization capabilities are gorgeous!
     
    ¢£
     
  15. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to ¢hris £und in what's new webinar   
    SJD.
    I suppose it depends on the intent of modeling.  For me, my intent is for the purpose of manufacturing and or construction.  While I have done numerous hard-side models in Modo, I think formZ is far faster and efficient to do so.  You always have to deliberately put in extra geometry to keep things flat.  My preferred methods of modeling are SDS and NURBS.  Modo definitely is better for SDS but doesn't even attempt NURBS.   If I want to do a Character these days, I will undoubtedly use Modo.  Though, I have done plenty of character modeling in formZ as well.   If I want something more precise, fZ All the way!    Sometimes I use a mix.  I will Rough a shape out in Modo, then bring it into fZ and convert to NURBS for that manufacturability.
    While it is true that Modo is capable enough for 3D printing, it isn't capable enough for other CNC type construction. Visually, the SDS smoothing algorithm is phenomenal.  but for any kind of output, including 3D printing, it is reduced to a polymesh.   Not unlike a poly-DXF.
    Another aspect is, with formZ, it has a ways to go to catch up to Modo in terms of SDS and native rendering/surfacing and overall visualization.  It remains that it has the capability to do so.  I think it would be much harder for Modo to attain the manufacturability of formZ.
    If on the other hand, your intent is merely and solely for visualization, yea, Modo is hard to beat.  Oh, and its interface is pretty great too.
     
    ¢£
     
  16. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from ¢hris £und in what's new webinar   
    I'm a furniture designer/maker, not an architect. FWIW I will explain how we work, because who knows, it might be the direction things are going generally, and in my small workshop I am not constrained by any formalities, as do not need to present any diagrams outside of our own organisation.
    I employ 2   21-year old cabinetmakers one being my son who has worked for me for 18 months, and the other has worked for me for over 3 years, having started as an apprentice. They are both learning very quickly and although I keep an eye on them and point out the pit-falls in their work to warn them before accidents happen, and demonstrate any new tecniques they are unfamiliar with, they mainly get on with their work with very little intervention, producing high quality work, often working on high specification projects for millionaires locally, and they also help me to install it. The biggest challenge I have found working with young men is to maintain the discipline of continuous tidiness, but that is really a life-skill and efficiency improves with it.
    We don't use or need 2d diagrams. We have 3 laptops, all with a license for FZ pro. Only mine additionally has renderzone which helps me present a better illustration to our customers, not brilliant by today's standards, but I like that because absolute perfection sets a precident which goes beyond what we require, and is likely to waste time ironing out a little crinkle which doesn't matter if the overall effect is just an approximate impression of the result, especially for material rendering accuracy, time is money after all and we normally do work in the £thousands, not £tens of thousands.
    I produce an accurate FZ model of every bespoke piece of furniture we make, complete with properly sorted groups, a few layers, (groups are our main narrowing-down, and layers secondary, for alternative type across-groups narrowing-down) part names and numbering (very efficient with the excellent part name plugin). I do not put any measurements in the models. 
    Either I or the lads use the Information Management part of the program to produce complete cutlist outputs from FormZ and import that (slightly adjusted) output into Cutlist Plus Platinum edition. The lads are familiar with which type of part requires a trimming allowance as they cut out the material from the dimensioned layout illustrations in Cutlist Plus and they label the part number (which starts with group number) on the end of each part with marker pen and put into the racks.
    When all the parts have been cut and racked, they can use the FormZ model to construct each group. Being used to the 3d gaming world, navigating my 3d models comes naturally to them, they quickly learned my keyboard shortcuts, can isolate anything they need to view, dimension whatever they need to as they copy what they are viewing on screen into real pieces being constructed on the work-bench. Of course, they have already taken a look at each group beforehand, so any repeat operations on the spindle moulder have been performed in advance of construction.
    At the end of each working day, they have never wanted to save where they have got to in the CAD file. They already have a picture on their mobile phone of the screen they were last using. There is never a time when the file gets over-complicated, disordered or full of dimensions. We like the way we work and they rarely distract me while I am working on the designs for the next projects as they are constructing. When I employed older traditional cabinetmakers I had to produce fully dimensioned 2d orthographic, isometric and perspective diagrams. I no longer need to waste my time on that, except for a very basic view with some key dimensions before we go on site to install.
    We also use Google Drive a lot with 2 accounts so they access via 'shared with me' permission, so that there are no file-loss accidents and we name our files by year, month, day, description, save-as no. , so we keep an automatically ordered, good track of file versions in case of amendments. Survey photos automatically load onto Google photos from my phone, and any relevant collections of photos are accessible from a link in each customer project's Google document. We tried other management systems but didn't like them. Google Drive and FormZ have something in common, they are uncomplicated, do not push you into a corner to do things in a particular way with unnecessary distractions. Simple and efficient. Brilliant.
  17. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from ¢hris £und in what's new webinar   
    I'm a furniture designer/maker, not an architect. FWIW I will explain how we work, because who knows, it might be the direction things are going generally, and in my small workshop I am not constrained by any formalities, as do not need to present any diagrams outside of our own organisation.
    I employ 2   21-year old cabinetmakers one being my son who has worked for me for 18 months, and the other has worked for me for over 3 years, having started as an apprentice. They are both learning very quickly and although I keep an eye on them and point out the pit-falls in their work to warn them before accidents happen, and demonstrate any new tecniques they are unfamiliar with, they mainly get on with their work with very little intervention, producing high quality work, often working on high specification projects for millionaires locally, and they also help me to install it. The biggest challenge I have found working with young men is to maintain the discipline of continuous tidiness, but that is really a life-skill and efficiency improves with it.
    We don't use or need 2d diagrams. We have 3 laptops, all with a license for FZ pro. Only mine additionally has renderzone which helps me present a better illustration to our customers, not brilliant by today's standards, but I like that because absolute perfection sets a precident which goes beyond what we require, and is likely to waste time ironing out a little crinkle which doesn't matter if the overall effect is just an approximate impression of the result, especially for material rendering accuracy, time is money after all and we normally do work in the £thousands, not £tens of thousands.
    I produce an accurate FZ model of every bespoke piece of furniture we make, complete with properly sorted groups, a few layers, (groups are our main narrowing-down, and layers secondary, for alternative type across-groups narrowing-down) part names and numbering (very efficient with the excellent part name plugin). I do not put any measurements in the models. 
    Either I or the lads use the Information Management part of the program to produce complete cutlist outputs from FormZ and import that (slightly adjusted) output into Cutlist Plus Platinum edition. The lads are familiar with which type of part requires a trimming allowance as they cut out the material from the dimensioned layout illustrations in Cutlist Plus and they label the part number (which starts with group number) on the end of each part with marker pen and put into the racks.
    When all the parts have been cut and racked, they can use the FormZ model to construct each group. Being used to the 3d gaming world, navigating my 3d models comes naturally to them, they quickly learned my keyboard shortcuts, can isolate anything they need to view, dimension whatever they need to as they copy what they are viewing on screen into real pieces being constructed on the work-bench. Of course, they have already taken a look at each group beforehand, so any repeat operations on the spindle moulder have been performed in advance of construction.
    At the end of each working day, they have never wanted to save where they have got to in the CAD file. They already have a picture on their mobile phone of the screen they were last using. There is never a time when the file gets over-complicated, disordered or full of dimensions. We like the way we work and they rarely distract me while I am working on the designs for the next projects as they are constructing. When I employed older traditional cabinetmakers I had to produce fully dimensioned 2d orthographic, isometric and perspective diagrams. I no longer need to waste my time on that, except for a very basic view with some key dimensions before we go on site to install.
    We also use Google Drive a lot with 2 accounts so they access via 'shared with me' permission, so that there are no file-loss accidents and we name our files by year, month, day, description, save-as no. , so we keep an automatically ordered, good track of file versions in case of amendments. Survey photos automatically load onto Google photos from my phone, and any relevant collections of photos are accessible from a link in each customer project's Google document. We tried other management systems but didn't like them. Google Drive and FormZ have something in common, they are uncomplicated, do not push you into a corner to do things in a particular way with unnecessary distractions. Simple and efficient. Brilliant.
  18. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to ¢hris £und in what's new webinar   
    One thing to consider, most if not all of Mathew's videos are relevant.  There have been some changes and additions since then.  Most of which I feel are obvious as to how they work.
    I will admit, however, that I would like to see an in-depth set of videos on the Draft/Layout App.  One thing I wonder about it is if ADS' intent for it is a bit different than the user's expectations.  Admittedly, I don't use it at all.  For, when I want to dimension, the main app does what I need.  That aside, I fully understand other users' needs are different than mine.  
    Out of curiosity, however, I would like a full treatment of videos just to see if it would be useful for me.
     
    Later this fall, when my time opens up for me again, I am willing to put in the time to help other users and ADS out with what I know. Admittedly, though I have used the software now for about 25 years, I don't know it all.  There are tools I have never touched, and more I touch very sparingly.  My modeling skills are strong, however, in certain areas.    Maybe I will even improve my presentation skills.
     
    ¢£
  19. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from ¢hris £und in what's new webinar   
    Or maybe they would be interested, but it is taking a long time to find just the right talent to execute it, as well as waiting for V9 to be fully tuned...which is sensible. I believe they are taking a slow and steady approach and patience will eventually deliver our expectations. A small business can be easier to keep control of and develop smoothly, I can identify with that.
  20. 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.

  21. 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.
     
  22. Like
    Alan Cooper reacted to Tech in What's New In form•Z v9 Video   
  23. 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.
     
     

  24. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Hugo 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.
  25. Like
    Alan Cooper got a reaction from Hugo 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.
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