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danshaw

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Everything posted by danshaw

  1. Setz, lovely work. The display systems built in to Form-Z have for me been one of the standouts that keep me using the software (just not at the moment though as my v8 does not work on MacOS Catalina and I do not think v9 is ready to pay the upgrade fee for). The fact that you can model and see the likes of the above from Setz in real time as you work is a highlight of the software.
  2. danshaw

    Measure Tools in v9

    Some limitations and some requests: 1. Bug - the Measure Angle tool leaves the number bubbles on the screen - only way I can see to clear them is to close and reopen the application. 2. Request - an option on the Measure Angle tool to measure between faces. 3. Request or bug? - ability to measure between faces if the objects are Grouped. 4. What does Also Measure Perpendicular do on the Measure Distance Tool? Well there is the obvious answer I suppose :-) but it looks as if it should be editable in some way with a yellow dot appearing at the perpend graphic, but this disappears when you move the mouse..... I'm sounding like a stuck record but again the manual isn't helpful. 5. Request - or bug? - ability to use the Measure Distance tool and have it be able to change the distances between objects in the same Group (it moves all the grouped objects at the moment - if this is as designed then an option to just move the measured to object.) - and along the same lines an option with joined objects to move instead of scale (a checkbox addition and keep the scale). 6. Request - for the Measure Angle tool and Measure between Faces tool to act in a similar fashion to the Measure Distance - ie with an update button to edit the angle and the distance (less so with the distance as the Measure Distance tool can do this). 7. Bug - in my playing around it has been very easy when measuring and then undoing and redoing to get into a dialog box loop "Error occurred reading and writing to undo scrap file" that I cannot get out of. Has happened a few times.
  3. OK my last day left of the v9 demo - so I'll leave everyone alone after this ;-) 1. Bug - In Project Settings the Appearance tab Preview is blank. 2. Suggestion - interface in general - can we not have the contents of dialog boxes spaced out a little more? In the Project Settings the only tab that fills the non resizable dialog is Dimensions, so why is everything else so bunched up? 3. Suggestion - can we have an option for Zoom in by Frame for the box to spring from the corner? 4. Bug - for Curve by Formula the Library is missing all of the content shown in the online manual - there is just a sine wave. 5. Bug - Extruding a Curve by Formula gives a wireframe surface. Converting the Curve by Formula to a Nurbs curve and extruding also gives a wireframe surface. Just placing a Nurbs curve and then extruding gives a proper shaded surface.
  4. danshaw

    More bugs and suggestions

    Thank you AsOne - was expecting to see this on Tool Settings which is wasn’t on the demo. As usual the online manual makes no mention of it.
  5. danshaw

    Place Along Path in V9

    More playing with the v9 demo.... Place Along Path questions: 1. Once more the online manual is lacking - what is the difference between Make Component and Make Component/Per Object Group? The only thing I can see seems to be a bug in that the Per Object Group checkbox puts an extra component copy of the original object at the centre of the design axis on completion of the tool. So one version gives you - n+1 components (n= number of copies along the path) and the other - n+2 components. Is it a bug or does the extra object do something? - if only the manual was helpful. 2. Request - a checkbox in the Tool Options to delete the original object and/or the path. 3. Request - a Clones option for the copies. 4. Request - option for percentage distances for the Start-End Distances. 5. Request - the tool remains editable at any time - ie you can revisit and update the tool parameters - such as editing the path, changing the spacing, start- end, orientation and object. (this for all tools where possible - parametric.)
  6. danshaw

    AutoDesSys Coronavirus Update

    I concur with all of the above - hope it is not all that needed though. Thank you ADS.
  7. Although I mention more than a few bugs in the following I think the distinction and the need for References, Components and Clones is clear. References - a multi user feature that if working properly opens up new avenues for formZ workflows (but that does not stop the use by single users) - but once you go down the multi user route you need better tools than are currently provided (I get that it might be a first iteration thing - let’s see what 9.5 brings). Generally whole files/ complete models rather than the smaller content of components (but doesn't have to be). Components - reusable content that is generally not edited once created (it can be) and is placed in multiple files. Clones - content that is file specific and and aid to quick modelling and editing. With the addition of referencing (if ADS manage to increase their presence in the market) comes more complexity of working and a more CAD like workflow and I would then like to see multiple workspaces (not formZ workspaces but the CAD versions) - think modelspace and paperspace in ACAD (if I have my terminology right - I’ve never been an Autocad user) or the multiple versions of the same in Microstation. Referencing should be the glue between layout and modelling - modelling here being both in 2d and 3d - there is no difference in concept, but it is all linked, and can be in the same file (see my 1. Request below for self referencing) or between separate files for the multi user setup. If I can expand a little on organisational tools (sorry if it drags the convo off a little) what I do not get is the distinction between Group and Join on the Organize palette - why not have one tool that every object type can join, that has the benefits of both and some important additions - namely things are selectable within the ‘container’, clones and other such things are still editable once inside (are they? am I missing some way of achieving this?) Aren’t the two tools ostensibly doing exactly the same things? Reference Files. A copy here of my post in the suggestions forum with a bit of tidying up. The bugs are there even with the most basic and simple test files, so I wouldn’t have the confidence to use the feature for any proper work. Bugs Take a simple cube - divide a face and then add object symmetry and play around with a few faces with the reshape tool. Then save the file and add it as a reference to another file. Add some rotation (it can be on any axis -it doesn’t matter) the reference file will not rotate ( it shows some odd lines on some of the faces) until the file is saved, closed and then reopened. Then the rotation is shown, but only until the first tool is chosen at which point it rotates back to its original position. This isn’t just a bug with object symmetry - try it with some bulge reshaping added to a cube and the same non rotation happens. If you just try with a simple cube then the rotation works, it works right away after exiting the reference file dialog box and stays rotated - handy if you only ever place cubes in a file I suppose. Also right clicking on a reference on the object palette opens the context menu which allows a reference to be duplicated - but this is not reflected in the reference files dialog box (transformation can be applied by double clicking on the dup ref name) and disappears after a file save, close and reopen - I assume this is a bug and the duplicate shouldn't be allowed or is it a feature? As I said i have only tested with very simple objects and am consistently getting the bugs. As to the features and usability what I would like to see: 1. Self referencing. A file can be referenced back into itself singly or multiple times to make more complex layouts. 2. Nested referencing. (let’s say based on the little street graphic shown on the formZ pro feature page) - the reference file could be called street.fmz and be an empty file. But referenced into street.fmz would be separate files for each house, say number1.fmz, number3.fmz and so on to make up the street scene. Then attaching street.fmz as a reference file with a nested attachment of 1 would also attach the houses as references as well. If the original number1.fmz, number3.fmz house geometry files also had reference files attached - let’s say some interior furnishings, then in the scene file attaching street.fmz with a nest depth of 2 would add the street, the houses and the furnishings. 3. Logical names - not just the name of the file but an additional name used for recognising and sorting reference files - back in 1. with the self referencing, let’s say the file was a structural layout and was a beam and column model. It was then self referenced multiple times to form a layout (and each reference moved into place) - each reference then could be given a logical name , say the layout grid reference. 4. Moving , rotating and scaling of references graphically rather than just through the dialog. Working from a dialog gets tedious pretty quickly. 5. Identification of layers, views etc with the ref file name (and also the logical name as an option - see request 3.) and the sorting of such in the various dialogs and palettes. Appending file names to layer names might not be the best idea here though in small palette boxes, so maybe grouped separation of layers of the type shown in the object palette - each ref file gets its own group with the group name being the ref file name - nested ref files would then be nested groups. Maybe these group titles could be shown in an optional separate colour. And control over where they were listed - at the beginning of the list, end of the list, hidden until needed (a button on the layers palette would disclose the groups - see 6). 6. Being able to switch off reference info in palettes - not switch off the reference(s) in graphics, but a simple one click button on the relevant palette to not show any ref file information. Sometimes you want the graphic window to show the references but not be interested in showing layers, views etc in palettes. 7. An overarching ‘show refs’ button to switch off all reference files in graphics (put it next to show axis and show grid buttons in the display palette). It might also be handy to be able to drag references into object groups - this to be able to control ref visibility and snapping across user configurable groups of references. 8. A snap palette tool to ignore references wholesale (and more fine grained control over individual references - say like on the inspector palette attributes for layers and objects). 9. Views to optionally control reference visibility (in whole and by layer). And then with a toggle to apply to references or not - ie when a view is saved the actual state of the graphics is saved, if then references or reference layers are switched on and off the view can optionally change the visibility or just change the camera. 10. A correct reference file section in the online help.(It shows Object Symmetry instead). 11. In place editing of reference files - turn off the padlock icon on the object palette for full control and editing of the reference file. A dialog warns the user if this cannot be achieved - if say another user has the file open. Clones. This is a mixture of bug reports and suggestions for improvement. 1. A Clones section added to the online manual - what are clones?, what are their limitations?, when would I use clones rather than components or references? even just an update to the transformation page to show up to date graphics. 2. Symmetry to work with clones - at the moment the clone that receives the symmetry is no longer a clone and will not update other clones (other untouched clones still react as clones should). 3. Scale to size does not change the clones - just the clone you click on, but they all remain as clones (nice) - if this is working as intended then I would like to see an ‘apply to all clones’ checkbox in the Tool Options palette. 4. A quick way to identify clones graphically - how about a show clones in different colour temporarily button on the Display palette? Click to toggle on and off with each separate clone group in a different colour. 5. Transforming clones - the individually option moves all the clones (but not in the exact same way as the family option) - is this a bug or an obscure feature that I am missing? Certainly the individual and family options on the scale and rotate transformations do as they say - it is obvious in those cases - but I cannot fathem the move ones? 6. If I copy a cloned object and the ‘Make Clones” checkbox is unticked then I would expect to get an uncloned object - but no, it is still cloned. If this is as intended then a drop cloning on copy checkbox would be nice to have. 7. This seems like another bug - make a simple cube, then make a rectangular array with ‘Make Clone’ checked. Then copy one of the clones individually and drop the cloning on it (unclone from the end of the Organize tool palette - you want the individually tool option) - check that cloning really is dropped on the copied cube - the ‘Is Clone’ box in the Inspector dialog should say no. Also try to Reshape one of the original array clones and the copied cube will not update - all as it should be. Next make another cloned rectangular array from the copied uncloned cube. Then move the original array with transform clones on and with individually checked. The copied cloned array also updates - but surely it should be completely separate from the original? Generally the cloning/ uncloning then cloning again works and there is then no link - just seems to be a problem with the Rectangular Array tool. 8. If a new material is dropped onto a clone then this looks like it is allowed as the graphic updates - until a change is made such as a transformation or reshape when it reverts back to the original - is this as designed or a bug? 9. There are no clone options for the ‘Mirror About’ tool. Cannot see why there shouldn’t be. 10. Why are there no clones in Layout? 11. An option on the delete tool to delete all clones (just the ones that are part of an individual cloning group obviously). 12. Not sure if this is a clone thing or a Group thing (or if it is a bug) but it would be nice to be able to then edit the clones once in a group. Components. I am generally ok with components and have not noticed any bugs but I would like to see: 1. Being able to replace all instances of a particular component without first prepicking - so a checkbox option on Tool Options Replace Component to replace all instances. 2. A bigger library selection. 3. Roll in the LAB tools. Sorry for the length.
  8. danshaw

    Reference Files naming and control

    OK - I just realised the fine grain control can be achieved by switching off the snap icon on the object palette. I'll add an: 11. In place editing of reference files - turn off the padlock icon on the object palette for full control and editing of the reference file. A dialog warns the user if this cannot be achieved - if say another user has the file open. and for 7. As well as the overarching 'show refs' icon it might also be handy to be able to drag references into object groups - this to be able to control ref visibility and snapping across user configurable groups of references. Also right clicking on a reference on the object palette opens the context menu which allows a reference to be duplicated - but this is not reflected in the reference files dialog box (transformation can be applied by double clicking on the dup ref name) and disappears after a file save, close and reopen - I assume this is a bug and the duplicate shouldn't be allowed or is it a feature?
  9. danshaw

    Reference Files naming and control

    I have been playing with the demo version of v9 since it was released (got 6 days left) and the reference file feature was the one I was most interested in - I have to be honest I have found it to be more than a little buggy and totally lacking in usability and features. The bugs are there even with the most basic and simple test files, so I wouldn’t have the confidence to use the feature for any proper work. Take a simple cube - divide a face and then add object symmetry and play around with a few faces with the reshape tool. Then save the file and add it as a reference to another file. Add some rotation (it can be on any axis -it doesn’t matter) - Bug - the reference file will not rotate ( it shows some odd lines on some of the faces) until the file is saved, closed and then reopened. Then the rotation is shown, but only until the first tool is chosen at which point it rotates back to its original position. This isn’t just a bug with object symmetry - try it with some bulge reshaping added to a cube and the same non rotation happens. If you just try with a simple cube then the rotation works, it works right away after exiting the reference file dialog box and stays rotated - handy if you only ever place cubes in a file I suppose. As I said i have only tested with very simple objects and am consistently getting the bugs. As to the features and usability what I would like to see: 1. Self referencing. A file can be referenced back into itself singly or multiple times to make more complex layouts. 2. Nested referencing. (let’s say based on the little street graphic shown on the formZ pro feature page) - the reference file would be called street.fmz and be an empty file. But referenced into street.fmz would be separate files for each house, say number1.fmz, number3.fmz and so on to make up the street scene. Then attaching street.fmz as a reference file with a nested attachment of 1 would also attach the houses as references as well. If the original number1.fmz, number3.fmz house geometry files also had reference files attached - let’s say some interior furnishings, then in the scene file attaching street.fmz with a nest depth of 2 would add the street, the houses and the furnishings. 3. Logical names - not just the name of the file but an additional name used for recognising and sorting reference files - back in 1. with the self referencing, let’s say the file was the structural layout and was a beam and column model. It was then self referenced multiple times to form a layout (and each reference moved into place) - each reference then could be given a logical name , say the layout grid reference. 4. Moving , rotating and scaling of references graphically rather than just through the dialog. Working from a dialog gets tedious pretty quickly. 5. Identification of layers, views etc with the ref file name (and also the logical name as an option - see 3.) and the sorting of such in the various dialogs and palettes. 6. Being able to switch off reference info in palettes - not switch off the reference(s) in graphics, but a simple one click button on the relevant palette to not show any ref file information. Sometimes you want the graphic window to show the references but not be interested in showing layers, views etc in palettes. 7. An overarching ‘show refs’ button to switch of all reference files in graphics (put it next to show axis and show grid buttons in the display palette). 8. A snap palette tool to ignore references wholesale (and more fine grained control over individual references - say like on the inspector palette attributes for layers and objects). 9. Views to optionally control reference visibility (in whole and by layer). And then with a toggle to apply to references or not - ie when a view is saved the actual state of the graphics is saved, if then references or reference layers are switched on and off the view can optionally change the visibility or just change the camera. 10. A correct reference file section in the online help. I have to say at the moment (even without the bugs) it is very simplistic and if it remained like it is now with no further development then nearly unusable.
  10. danshaw

    V9 Hidden Line.

    Just playing around with the v9 trial version and the Hidden Line display method and am surprised to see that it is now interactive after the initial processing and is able to be rotated - very nice! Is this new for v9 or was this an 8.6 feature? (can’t see any mention of it). Is the processing time something that would benefit from switching on multi processing under the OpenGL preferences (off by default on my installation) or just dependant on memory?
  11. danshaw

    V9 Hidden Line.

    Ah must be 8.5 or 8.6 then as it does not do it in my 8.0 version. Thanks Chris.
  12. danshaw

    FormZ Free

    OSX Safari and iOS Safari - latest versions of the software. On the Home page the LEARN MORE link under form Z pro just reloads the same page. On the Products page the form Z pro and Vray graphics overlap. On the form Z pro learn more page all the graphics images overlap their white base boxes. Same for form Z Jr learn more page. Doubled up materials text under the Layout section of the form Z pro learn more page. Requierement on a few pages. (I will not list all the spelling and grammar). BTW the Reference and Faceting Schemes pages of the online manual still show duplicates of the Symmetry page.
  13. danshaw

    FormZ Free

    Same for the OSX version - it is the exact same dmg as the v9 pro demo and overwrites on download. I have to say that the quality control on the new website is atrocious - spelling mistakes and grammar errors on nearly every paragraph, links that do not go anywhere but back to the same page, doubled up text that doesn’t pertain to the section title and misaligned graphics everywhere. I hope the software is better....
  14. So switching off that chair class would hide those chairs on all layers irrespective of the layers visibility? And would that switch off the chairs if they were on a reference layer too?
  15. Of course for levels read layers (so wedded to Microstation).
  16. This is where a settings preference would be useful - I tend to agree with Kim (and being also a Microstation user that also has reference files). Reference files open up the program to multi user and multi discipline models where the levels may be quite different and name differentiation would be nice to have. some other options as well as the prefixing: * Just show reference levels. * Just show live levels. * Show live levels first, ref levels after or reversed. Microstation also has what is called a logical name when the reference is attached - imagine the same reference file attached multiple times - (does the Formz ref system allow this?) a beam and column say ( a simplistic example) and moved into multiple positions to form a structural layout. The reference file name is the same every time but the optional additional logical name could then be used to indicate its grid position say. * So sort by logical name. Of course the user preference could be set to just show a combined level system for those that want it.
  17. danshaw

    form•Z v9.0.0.3 now available

    The Reference Files and Faceting Schemes pages of the on-line manual are just duplicates of the Object Symmetry page.
  18. danshaw

    Why isn't formz more popular?

    In my opinion it’s a mix of marketing and the visibility of the company on these forums. How would a potential user fare visiting the web site? - 10 days or so after the release of v9 (seemingly a major new version given the number) and there is barely a mention of it - where is the marketing, even on their own website? Suppose someone reads a short review in one of the 3d mags and decides to visit the website - it is out of date (and subjective I know, but it looks old fashioned). Want new users? then why not scream about v9 from the release date on and with a great big ‘download a trial’ button that delivers not only the programme but a few models of varying sophistication and some tutorials about how they were achieved (I know there is the training section of the website, I am saying offer this as a one stop download to get started with evaluation). Can I, even as a long term user/customer even download a version of v9 to evaluate at this time? Sure, you can find the little trial download button, but the page you end up at looks old and I am unsure if it would deliver v9 (I’m not interested in 8.6, it’s barely different from the version I have). Again as that long term user, I remember when these forums used to get a response from ADS on what seemed like every thread - this was great and set them apart from a lot of other vendors. Now they seem invisible mostly. I logged into the v9 beta forum and asked a direct question about whether there was a way I could participate with my v8 license and never even got a reply - a reply to someone that wanted to help. Sorry, but I get the impression they are struggling which I am afraid is not good when being asked to spend what amounts to 1000 dollars on a programme.
  19. danshaw

    form•Z 9 beta

    Pity about the 8.5/8.6 requirement - I have purposely not upgraded from 8.02 in anticipation that 9 was coming.....guess i’m excluded despite being a long term user....nice.
  20. danshaw

    formZ 9

    Ha! I think there was a nine in there somewhere - could be 2029 ;-). Seriously though I cannot see why they don’t pop up on here and give a little clue. To my mind just keeping shtum after so long makes it seem to me that things aren’t going well.
  21. danshaw

    formZ 9

    of course late summer does not leave very long for a public beta.
  22. danshaw

    formZ 9

    For what it's worth, I received some upgrade offers from ADS here in the UK that mentions v9 is coming late summer... Maybe the fact that they have been virtually invisible in the forum for so long now points to this being the case - hard at work on the next release.
  23. 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?
  24. 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.
  25. 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
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