Jump to content
AutoDesSys Forums


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

  1. danshaw

    It can't hurt to ask

    I know I may not get an answer but how imminent is the release of v9? first half of 2018?, second?, maybe 2019?
  2. danshaw

    Formz Wishlist part 3

    Thank you Tech, I am under no illusion that what I am asking over the extensive 3 part list is easy and quick to implement, so I can wait - I have been a Formz user since the early nineties (cannot remember exactly which year) back when it used to be the unofficial sister app to Electric Image, so although I don't post very often I am a longterm user and don't intend to go anywhere . Nearly all my wishes are just that - I think they would improve the programme no end, but interface speed is really a requirement for the next version (I think you know this though). Cheers Danny
  3. danshaw

    Formz Wishlist part 3

    a few more wishes Pick Hold down key when selecting to open Select By Criteria Palette. Select by Criteria: A button to set the pick criteria based on the current selection (the individual options are all highlighted and then just each section needs to be switched on if needed). Guides Guides are drawn on an autonomous layer (and this layer can be hidden from the layer list as an option) and can be temporarily switched on or off - an icon next to show axis and show grid in the display tools palette to control on/off and also a keyin, say Alt+ Spacebar to toggle on/ off. Snapping Some changes to the way snapping works: Explicit Tangent To and Tangent From and Perpendicular To and Perpendicular From options. Say you wanted to draw a line from a point and finishing tangent to the circumference of a circle- from a point anywhere outside the circle there will be 2 tangent points to the circle so method could be: Pick a point to start line Choose the Tangent To snap (let’s say TT in quick succession to choose the snap as a keyin) Snap anywhere on the circle. The line will automatically snap to the nearest of the tangent points. Pressing the alt key would swap the end point of the line to the other tangent point if required. Click to accept the snap. Say you then wanted to draw a line tangent from the circumference of a circle to any point outside: Choose the Tangent From snap (let’s say TF in quick succession as a keyin ). Click on the circumference of the circle at the desired point and then move the cursor away to rubber band the line from the chosen tangent point. Click to accept the chosen endpoint As an alternative holding down the alt key before choosing the first tangent point means that the tangent point will rubber band around the circumference until the line endpoint is chosen that locks the tangent point in place Perpendicular To and From will operate in a similar fashion. (The current perpendicular snap does jump to the correct point at least) i.e. the Perp From will allow a point to be chosen on the line and the line will be drawn perpendicular from that point or holding down the alt key will allow the first point to rubberband along the line until the end point is chosen that locks the perp point in place (this alt option would also allow virtual perp points - that is the point would rubber band past the end points of the line along the vector to infinity. Intersection snap to virtual intersections i.e. snapping to the point where objects would cross if extended choose the intersection virtual snap (iv as keyin say) Pick the first object Pick the second object The point is displayed at the virtual intersection of the 2 objects. Accept to enter point. If there are 2 intersection points then again the alt key would jump the point to the other option. Snap to Centre If you have chosen this snap why can’t you then snap at any point on the surface to choose the centre of the face? This is much faster. This is all typical cad snapping stuff. Tool Options - Move: Repeat Copy If the alt key is held down when clicking the mouse to make copies the transformation is applied but the copy is not made - so a row of copies can be made but say the middle few iterations of the copy can be left out by holding alt down at those clicks. Same for the Rotate Tool version Tool Options - Place Along Path Options for the object orientation: Perpendicular to path start point Perpendicular at each path point Perpendicular to path end point I know you can alter the rotation widget to approximate these rotations- but I would rather have accuracy. Placement method by number of copies but do not place first and last objects. Components For the place on active Layer option for component placement I would like to have a relative hierarchy option. If the original component was on 5 layers say, then if placed in group option a group is created and 5 new layers are created within for the component (layers within follow group name or can be original component layers) Replace component: A replace all instances option In General Lastly I would like all the tools, wherever possible to be parametric - I can then go back at any time and just all the various parameters to adjust the results - from initial input objects , to attributes propagating throughout etc.
  4. danshaw

    Formz wishlist part 2

    Formz wishlist part 2 Drag and Drop More drag and drop functionality in the List Palettes as below: The selection fields in Tool Options - Pick to be drag and dropped onto the Selection Sets window to create a new set or on to an existing set to append (see earlier wish in part 1 for all topologies to be added to selection sets). Drag and drop 1 layer on to another to merge layers (or a selection of layers on to a layer). Drag and drop a selection set on to an existing layer to change layer status of objects (or drop onto empty space to create a new layer for the enclosed objects). Drag and drop objects on to other objects to create groups. Drag and drop selection sets to merge. Selection Set Naming The number of enclosed objects to be automatically appended to the name. (selection 1 - 12 Objects, 2 Lights). List Palette functionality Being able to switch off ghosting in the pick order - by this I mean I do not want to get rid of ghosting but when clicking an icon to change its visibility I do not want ghosting to appear as an option. More often than not I just want to swap between on or off and would rather, if I needed, ghosting achieved this with a key - mouse combo. I know that there is the hide ghosted check in the shading display options - but not quite the same thing. Zoom In By Frame Option to drag the rectangle from the corner rather than it springing from the centre. Hidden Line Display Live hidden line mode (I prefer to work in hidden line- I find it cleaner)- I cheat here by adding a 1000% ambient material to everything - hence one of the reasons why I asked earlier about scenes including material attachment - make it handy to change back and forth - but a live hidden line would be better (my memory might be a bit shaky but didn’t it used to work this way? Silhouette Edges Control for thickness of silhouette and interior edges on shaded work and shaded full displays (like the hidden line option) Backface snapping Snapping to hidden topologies on backfaces without having to switch to a wireframe mode - perhaps a pre-snap to first guess and then accept if correct - (the pre-snap, say a key-click combo, would override the reference plane face selection). Snapping close to where say a corner was would pre snap to that corner and then accepting would put you back to normal input. The snapped to segments would be temporarily highlighted to give feedback that the correct snap had been chosen - so for the corner example the 3 joining segments would be highlighted. This prepick function would also be handy for the Extend tool which does not seem to work in wireframe (I just get constant m Measure Distance A couple of options - cumulative option for the measure distance tool - points are measured from the first point and are reported back as distances from the first point. Escape to quit out. Or similar but the points are displayed as distances from the last point. Escape to quit out. When measure in these option modes then the measurements for all the points queried remain on screen until the escape. Same for measure angle. Move Tool A rectangular array option when in the copy mode. Similar to the multi-copy (same even increment and divide distance options) but the row remains selected on placement to then place the columns. It would also be nice if these multi copy options could also be live - change after placement to update. Cheers Danny
  5. danshaw

    Formz wishlist part 1

    This Is a long one I am afraid and I realise may be too late for the next version but longterm hopefully some of this may be considered … Startup: A new startup option for preferences: 1, if I start the application by double clicking on a saved file I go straight into that file and work (same also for drag and drop method). 2, If I start by double clicking the application icon I go to a dialogue that lets me browse to an existing file for opening or else create a new project. There is a create new project button with option for layout project and for choosing working units and preference file. Navigate to save location, choose new project type, optionally choose working units and preferences and the click the create new button. File is created and opened ready for work. So sort of like the preference for New Project but without dumping me in a new unsaved file first. UI polish: FormZ does not look good on a 4K - res monitor. Some dialogs are poorly laid out (and at normal HD res as well- but just exacerbated at the higher resolution). For example at the default dialog and palette font size the numerical accuracy section of the Project Settings dialog has overlapping radio buttons - now I can change these font sizes in prefs but I have never succeeded in coming up with something that works. There is a ton of space in these dialogs to space things out properly without recourse to the horrible font size method. Other problems: Project Settings Dimensions tab with cut off padlock icon in the terminator section. In the text section of the same tab the size and font field do not align and are at different vertical spacings than the rest of the fields. On Tool Options - Pick dialog the frame option menu and text does not align and these in turn do not align with the allow drag and allow copy options I could go on and on here but really the interface spit and polish for what is quite an expensive piece of software is poor. It doesn’t feel loved. UI speed: Although I have no complaints about the modelling performance, I cannot say the same about the surrounding interface in general. It all works but feels as if I am wading through treacle. Examples: Hitting the Plus icon on the layers palette to create a new layer. Why the slight delay? It should be created instantly and this only gets worse if you want to create a few layers at once and you find the application has failed to keep up and you have to go back and hit the pus a few more times and force yourself to slow down. For some options the application seems to be adding unnecessary steps - In preferences I have “Clicking In The Empty Space Of A List Creates A New Entry” switched on and while this works eventually I first have to wait for a tool tip to appear and then click again and sometimes this is not recognised (I’d say about 75% of the time) so another click, another wait for the tooltip and then third time lucky Activating Layers and other items is just off the pace and what should be instantaneous has a slight lag to it. UI Layout: Rather than “Keep Lists Tightly Spaced” in preferences I would rather have a slider to let me decide. If I turn on Vertical Separators then I would like to grab these and adjust the horizontal spacing. I find that is is not icon size or font size that is the problem but spacing and if this could be adjusted would let me have the exact list palette layout to suit. List Palettes Synchronisation: As well as the highlight option for showing what is picked I would also like the palettes to be kept in synch and always showing the picked item - so in graphics an object is selected and is highlighted in the Object List Palette. If the object is part of a hierarchical group then the group is auto opened to the correct level and the object is highlighted. At the same time the same happens in the Layer List Palette. If the selected object is part of a selection set then this is also shown as highlighted in the Selection Sets List Palette - just as highlight though if it is a subset or superset of the included, the tick toggle is only shown when just the included elements are selected. List Palette search: The name section at the top of the Palettes is a searchable field that can filter out according to input - enter 1 and all levels that include a 1 are shown only - 01 11, 15, 21 etc Enter car* in the objects palette and only those objects named car01 car02 etc are shown. The palette synchronisation would also kick in so that if these car* levels are filtered for the object palette then only the corresponding layers are shown in the Layers List etc List Palette Ordering: Sort order options - a-z, z-a, groups first, groups last, temporarily without enclosing groups, last created -the search and ordering for when the models get a little bit more complicated and hierarchical. List Palette groups: Alt-Click on the Palette plus icon creates a group instead of an item. List palette autosizing and filtering: List palettes are autosized to just show up to the last item created and no more - when new items are added the list scrolls to just show the preference amount (say 10 items for argument) - this is similar to the current behaviour if you manually resize a palette but jus adds that touch of automation. If items selected and highlighted do not easily fall within the 10 items length then the list is filtered to just show the selected items (similar to the list palette search mention previously) Item naming: Option for naming to be as last - for instance object 1 is renamed to engine01 then the subsequent objects are engine02 etc. Same for all items- views, object layers etc. Other option is for name to be as enclosing group. Item logical placement: Option for objects/items to be automatically created in groups - much the same as an object being created on a selected level, if a group is selected then the object is created in that group (and named after-see above) Other option is create by last - if a group was just created but not selected then the object is also created in the group. Selection Sets: Different topological levels to be able to be added to selection sets. Main reason for asking is when playing around with painting surfaces it would be handy to save a set of faces to revisit. Clipping Plane Groups Handy for larger architectural models - just showing a room within the volume say. Of course you can do this by just making the separate clipping planes and then activating them one by one, but grouping them to control activation is quicker and keeps the palette smaller on projects with a fair few clipping planes. Clipping Plane cross section colour. Option added to the Tool Options - Pick Attributes tab for the object(s) cross section to be displayed be either Clipping Plane individually or by Clipping Plane Group (see above). So then obviously needs these colouring options to be added to clipping planes - so instead of one clipping colour being on the whole object the colour is on the clipping plane so separate colours could be set for vertical and horizontal clips across the same object. Object visibility controllable by Views rather than Scenes A much quicker workflow than having to go the whole hog with scenes. Any object or layer or group’s visibility is automatically saved with the creation of a view. A control visibility toggle in the view parameters dialog would then control whether it was applied or not. So when the view is created all the current state of the other lists is saved. If later on and after the visibility of the lists items has been changed the view could then be applied without overwriting the current visibility by switching off the vis toggle else if it is left on the old saved vis overwrites the newer. Scenes A change to the way scenes are created and updated. I have never really got used to scenes - I do not like that once created they are so easily changeable (even if the padlock icon is on and toggles are switched off in the Scene Options dialog) maybe I am missing something but I cannot get scenes to work consistently. My Proposal: When it is created a scene grabs everything and every setting and they are added to the scene. Once created you must go into an explicit edit mode to update the scene. Just having the scene selected or activated and then changing other items will not update the scene - the scene is just deactivated and the change to the item updates the view graphics. Should you wish to then update the scene to show the current graphics then double click to go into Scene Options and there would be a couple of ways - a) an update all settings button or all the item parameters have check boxes that can be updated individually - so you could just update the view parameters for instance. Clicking the individual edit buttons opens up the items option dialog - so for instance for the view the Views Parameters dialog would open up and give access to settings such as the object visibility as mentioned above. Because you are updating the parameters you could have scenes that not only control activation and/or visibility but also other parameters listed in these dialogs - again once the scene has been activated and the scene options dialog closed then any subsequent changes to any items would update the graphics window but deactivate the scene - the user then decides whether to update the scene or not at their leisure. Of course this is nice and clean if you are just changing single items- swapping views or activating a clipping group - but for objects there may be multiple items to change - so there would need to be an interface to grab all the changes or just individuals. So I am thinking of things like multiple material attachments , different mapping, different attributes and even multiple size parameters - all in saved scenes. Is this the way it is meant to work? Again maybe I am missing something but I have never got scenes to work for me. Hope what I said is clear enough Multiple Active Views That is not having to click to activate a view. So start drawing in one window and finish in another without having to activate the view. I am talking here of multi-view windows as the process of opening up separate windows does in fact have the functionality I am after - you can just pass the cursor from one window to another and input will work - so snapping is active across windows. But with multi view the snapping is not active until you activate the view - I am asking for the separate windows functionality to be the same for a multi view (or else add tiling commands and options to open multiple windows and do away with the multi view.) Also Multi view is another area of the program that seems to generate lots of crashes. Synch Zoom With multiple windows open and synch zoom on then zooming in on one part of the model in one view zooms all other views to show a similar portion -but just from a different view. Fit all would have the option to fit all to all open views - so a synch zoom and fit all open views toggles added to Zoom Options. Help The help files are really not very good - I struggle to find information that is pertinent and in depth in the help, it is not very searchable and information seems to be missing - for instance I can find about 10 pages or so of information about scenes listed but not one of these actually mentions the scenes and how they work and what they are for? Perhaps I am just getting old and not noticing. Part 2 to follow with some Tool options and changes to the graphics input. Cheers Danny