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  1. Like
    graham_g reacted to Des in V-Ray 5 for form•Z Beta now available   
    I hate these platform wars and comments like this (quoted below) certainly don't help. As a user of Fz for decades on "the two" platforms, I know which I'd prefer to be working on and you mentioned it already.. I'm writing this on a 13 years old Mac Pro which is still running FormZ and it's OS (2015) beautifully as well as many other programs.
    Correct to say keep to the topic, then you should too and stop stomping on your un-preferred OS which many, many people use and also stop flattering yourself regarding your contributions here.
  2. Like
    graham_g reacted to nano in V-Ray 5 for form•Z Beta now available   
    Nope not confused. I do what I do just fine and know lots of industry people who do the same as me very successfully with the same or similar equipment and software. I'm not using the current FormZ 9 and VRAY 5 so can't comment on that. It seems this forum has become an agessive echo chamber... so I'll go back to ignoring it and doing my own work.
  3. Like
    graham_g reacted to bbuxton in Why form•z is not popular any more:   
    FormZ has one of the most user-friendly and fastest CAD modelling workflows on the market.
    Recently there have been minor issues with the UI (glitchy pallets and poor alignment of text)
    BUT the issues you talk of do not seem to be related to the FormZ UI but rather inexperience and lack of practice.
    If you rarely use something how can you be proficient? 
    What I often see is confusion over the distinction between CGI and CAD. 
    It is hard to do CGI in a CAD program just like it is hard to produce manufacturing drawings in a CGI program.
    I wish someone would remove the clickbait title or this thread entirely, what useful purpose does it serve? 
  4. Like
    graham_g reacted to johnalexander1571 in Version 9.1   
    I actually have been happy with 9.1. I just switched two weeks ago, and I used 8.6 all day every day. Now 9.1 all day. I am on Windows on one 42" inch 4k screen, (so no two monitors, so I can't speak on the whole shabotny that may come with that) and found it so much better to use all the time. I haven't opened 8.6 since. The two new snaps are end and midpoint. I admit to having snap issues myself, but haven't pinned them down. Since I can now toggle stuff like groups and edge picking with icons at the top I often find I've got one of these set how I don't want, so I have not nailed down a snap issue I could report, but I will probably be able to. It handles multiple projects open way better. Also 8.6 was crashing on me at least once a day accessing VRay materials, and these seems to have gone away. Inspector seems odd at first, but works great in practice. Scrolling the pallette dock is so priceless. The appearance is much cleaner, but like I said, on one big screen. I like that I can grab the edge of the formz window and pull it over, and see the desktop, or look at .pdf's.
    Those light intensity sliders re not working for me with VRay plane lights though.
    I thought of adding another handy toggle icon at the top of the screen for the one view you always want to go back to while you are working. I often find I gotta scroll to the views palette just to fish out the one view I always use. Maybe a home view icon that goes to the first view in the view list. I do use a tablet often and being able to peck a icon for everything in formz is working really well.
    Just my 2 cents after two weeks. It has been noticeably smoother to use. A few things here and there and this can be a good solid version, maybe 9.2 is epitome formZ.
  5. Like
    graham_g reacted to 3dworks in Thoughts on BIM and its impact on FormZers   
    wakening up this discussion again, and now we have already FZ version 9.1. is IFC file support something on the list for future versions? i'm regularly getting projects where this kind of exchange could be really useful.
  6. Like
    graham_g reacted to rmulley in Exporting Shaded Work Display as Image   
    I just upgraded to version 9 finally but I'm seeing a big difference in the quality of the image exports.
    Anyone else having this issue or am I doing something wrong ?
    Here's an example of an export and one of just a screen shot....

  7. Like
    graham_g reacted to ¢hris £und in Tutorials??   
    FZnoob, skybound13,
    These are close to a year old now but may help.   I apologies that my presentation skills suck.
    The final video above was using the techniques formed from the previous videos to build a coke bottle.
    Here is a different method to build the same coke bottle.   While this method is far less fluid than the SDS method above, it is also technically far more exacting.  I think I must have just posted this in the discussion that prompted me to make the tutorials and didn't create a separate tutorial thread for it.
    I will try to get less sucky at making tutorials... but that is a skill unto its own.
  8. Like
    graham_g reacted to skybound13 in Left field, far out suggestion   
    I don’t think this is stupid at all.  Makes me think of the Mac OS feature where it asks to send a report to Apple when something crashes, except in what you describe the user is more active in noticing the bug (which doesn’t cause the application to crash and thereby prompt the automatic report) then reporting it.
    Opting in to this feature is the only way I would suggest it be implemented, that would respect a user’s decision to not be involved.  I would participate in something like this with any application I use a lot as long as it wasn’t preventing me from getting my work done.
    What is the preferred method for reporting bugs to ADS now?
  9. Like
    graham_g reacted to ¢hris £und in Left field, far out suggestion   
    After spending a bit of time catching up on the forum and repeating themes over the years... I wonder if something like this could help us all.
    How about a built in bug reporting system.  Key features:
    •One that effectively crowd sources issues.  
    •One that users can view the list of bugs and collectively set the priority of need (not to confuse this with priority of ease, sometimes easy fixes should come first).  •One where when a problem is difficult to describe, a record function can be invoked to map the users actions with the tracebacks and logs.   Think of something like how the macro recording is performed, but used instead for bug reporting.  
    •Up to and including optional screenshots/screencaps.  
    •System configuration is automatically captured
    •This would be *opt in, but a bare minimum of tracking of conditions and parameters that are always on (the aforementioned option*).  As some of the more spontaneous issues, I can't recall the exact steps I was performing to even test if it is a repeatable issue.
    •Issues databased, sorted and categorized, possibly with user input.
    What I am envisioning is something built into the core of fZ.  I can certainly reason why ADS would NOT want to implement such a scheme.  As they may not want to  expose the quantitative value or qualitative value of their bugs.  Or be a constant reminder to users of issues.    Me personally, I think this would have more advantages than disadvantages especially in the long run... but it would probably take time to get there.
    Essentially, what I am thinking of is how SpaceX deals with things.   They monitor everything they can think of as a massive data collection effort for the sole purpose of improvement.
    How many of us have pet bugs that we now ignore, or work around or, or or and simply do not report it.  We got stuff to do, so breaking out and dedicated email is just too much work.  This system could collect the frequency of specific bug events to aid ADS in priority.     e.g.   if a minor bug is experienced by 3 users infrequently, it can probably be pushed down the list.   However, if a minor bug has a high frequency amongst users and a high frequency to specific users, this would push the issue up the list.
    This If active, this would be a post hoc system.   What I am trying to say here is, the user is working then notices the bug...  at that moment, the user can flag it as a bug in they system (fZ)  and the processes and actions that it took to get there is then and only then reported.  Optionally allowing the user to include their model (being sensitive to IP and etc...)   This could be set up as a data worm (as new info comes in, the oldest is discarded)  Length would have to be determined, naturally.
    I always prefer an opt in model and something like this, in my opinion should follow accordingly.
    What do you think?  Am I being stupid?  Would this be too hard to implement?  Would people bother?  Beta Testers only?  Is this a pill ADS should be willing to swallow (yea, probably a pretty big pill.)   Pros/Cons?
    Any thoughts to my ¼ baked idea? 
  10. Like
    graham_g reacted to AsOne in A way to make formZ more popular (but you won't like it...)   
    FormZ 9 runs as smooth as butter on my 2019 iMac.  With all the Shaded Full graphics options turned on (shadows, multi sampling, AO, antialiasing, etc) I have no issues navigating the model in real time.  It renders fast as well for my needs.  If I needed more speed to increase render times I could buy a Mac Pro.  There are a lot of options there.  Is it as fast as the top end AMD PC spec?  No.  But Macs get the job done and probably quite well for a majority of FormZ users I would imagine.  I also don't have to waste time dealing with Windows.  We will probably see huge speed increases with the M chips.  The low end models in laptops are already faster than most every Intel chip in single speed computing and they have excellent multicore speed for being low end mobile chips.  I bet the new iMacs and eventual Mac Pro will be incredibly fast.  There might always be a faster PC build out there, but I bet that is only an issue for a small percentage of FormZ users.  I agree that there are frustrating things about being on the Mac platform, hardware customization being one of them.  But the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages, at least for me they do.  Integration between software/hardware, fluid transfer between phone/tablet/desktop, the best OS with the least amount of malware (by far), and from my experience hardly ever OS system crashes or even issues, configuration and setup is a breeze, and not that I care but the machines just look better.  Apple is still a very viable business ecosystem, especially for small business which I'm sure are the majority of FormZ users.  And FormZ runs on both platforms, so you can configure a top of the line PC if needed.  I doubt erasing Mac will at all benefit Autodessys in any way, nor would abandoning it help. In fact it would likely be very harmful as a lot of users are Mac based I would imagine.
    I agree with Chris that the best way to help is with very specific bug and feature request reports.  That and using the product to produce great work that can be shown to others.  
  11. Like
    graham_g reacted to ¢hris £und in A way to make formZ more popular (but you won't like it...)   
    There are a just a few things to consider here.
    1. the iMac Pro was really merely a transition machine while they took way to damn long to come out with a Pro Tower.
    2. The M1 in its debut looks impressive.  And thus far, we only have the low power mobile chip to give comparisons to.  The M1 beats anything currently in it's class.  Qualcom's SnapDragon, is simply outclassed. (for now)
    3. Microsofts ARM implementation up to this point is sub-par compared to intel/AMD offerings on their own side.  Not so for the M1/Intel Comparison.  So much so, that the ARM windows was Quasi-Ported over to the M1 mac to run in translation, and it runs better on an M1 than the Microsofts own SnapDragon derivative.   I do not pretend this will stay this way.  It won't take long for MS to have their WTF moments and get moving again.  They can't afford to have another iPod/Zune or iPhone/windows mobile event, and I bet they know it.   Ultimately, this is a good thing for both sides of the argument.
    4. Yes, there is software that I have had to run that was elusively windows, and I am disappointed that Parallels/VMWare no longer (probably temporarily) have a place.  I bet once MS beefs up their ARM hardware to match, the market for it will grow and software will make that transition.
    5. As I understand, there is a fair amount of windows software that is not Native to WARM.  Stifling the market for the hardware, thus stifling the market for the software, Recursively.  This is likely to change now.  As much as people do not like apple (often for merit,)  they do change the industry, repeatedly.
    6. Microsoft themselves have not committed to the ARM platform, thus giving rise to #5.  It has been more of a hobby if you will.  This too, is likely to change.
    7. Microsoft did not really beat Apple to the ARM punch.  The M1 and ostensibly further derivatives are in themselves derivatives from  their phone chips they have been designing for quite some time.  Apple licenses the instruction set, they design the chips on their own.
    8. Yes, GPU has lagged historically, pathetically.  However, even on the GPU integrated mobile chip, there is a significant boost.   Though certainly not on par with discrete GPUs of Nvidia or AMD currently.  For that we will just have to wait to see what they do.
    9. For apple to push back into the PC market with their own chipset, is a pretty good sign of them showing commitment regardless of their other business models.   I too do think that they let the Pro business slide and slide way too far.  IMHO, they should have jumped ship from Intel a long time ago and embraced AMD or at least been willing to use the best option to fit their end goal (machine to machine) Should I B&M about MS and their foray into Business products?  I mean really?  A word processor, how lame!  Or their AI devision? or Quantum computing, or WebServices/Servers?  Hardware, Mice, keyboards, tablets, hybrids, AR glasses, tables.... yes tables?  That means they have an industrial design team, or at least doles out money to have it done for them.
    10. The car is still a rumor.  And doubtful they will be designing building the chassis and other critical "Car" stuff.
    11. Hate on apple all you want.  Thats cool that you think that's cool.  Damn, your so cool!  However consider this.  If it weren't for Apple or someone like them, Microsoft would not have needed to advance their products.  And quite frankly, likewise.  If Apple didn't have someone to rise up to, they never would have.   If you haven't figured it out by now, let me in on a little secret.  MS is like a grandpa hoarder.  They have an extremely difficult time letting go of anything legacy.  I sure do wish we could go back to MS Dos.  Ah, the good-ol-days.  You know, before CAD even existed on anything other than a Mainframe. 5.25" floppy drives oooh yea!  Hell, my first computer had a cassette drive.  I have even used a computer professionally that used paper punch tape (I "programmed" embroidery machines) (not quite far back enough to have used punch cards)   I was pretty good at getting around a VAX/VMS.  All legacy stuff, I am really honestly happy to be done with now that I know better.
    While I am sure Apple and it's overwhelming willingness to drop legacy concepts is a thorn in ADSs side, as well as other developers.  Apple or MS isn't ADSs problem.
    *Marketing, yes, is a strong part of it.  Much of their marketing used to be through Universities and students.  That market of marketing doesn't appear to be viable any longer.  
    *Technologies, also a strong part of it.  Web based platforms are getting stronger.  There is a write once deliver anywhere model for you.  Would it be worth their effort too do so?  I do not know.  Personally, I prefer native... but as hardware gets more capable, this may not be an issue in the future (maybe not now, my brain might just be legacy.)
    * Open source and free(ish)ware.  Many modelers get their feet wet these days on such "products" and have no need to move past them.  This has taken much of the student market.  In my opinion, ADS should embrace some of the OpenSource Base code to enhance the functionality.  How about an open source Physics engine?  I think Bullet is one.   There is a lot out there that they could, I think, Capitalize on.  Now that Python is in the works, this is all I will say about python in this discussion, there are tons of libraries that can be taken advantage of.
    * Consolidation.  Well, just think of Autodesk.  They have so many products (and shelved products they have purchased.)   Modo has changed hands at least twice now and into a conglomerate.
    * Base philosophy.   Things are changing.  ADS is small enough to lift its head and see this. Though difficult. This is to their advantage.  But it is up to them to do so.  And Up to us to prod them to do so.  Constructively, of course.
    *** User Base.  Yes, I mean us!  We are a problem for ADS.  Why, because we are also aging.  We have less time to play and experiment and give word of mouth and build things just for the cool factor of it.  The youth, that is what they do, and as they push forward, they also push forward their toolset.  I am sure there are some younger folk here than I.  Probably some real young ones too, say in their 30's or 40's.  But these are going to be career people too. Not spending their free time pushing the envelope and showing off....   Showing off!!!! AKA word of mouth marketing.
    * Predicting demise... Oh that helps.  Here, let's create the impressions a company is unhealthy so nobody wants to buy in.  Real responsible.  It is like a politician telling America what to think by telling America what he thinks America thinks..  (Apologies to any anAmericans out there, but this is something our politicians do and it is effective over our citizenry of both parties.  You may recognize the strategy in your homeland as well)
    Picking one thing and pointing to it as "the" problem is quite frankly Myopic.  And I say this not to defend Apple.  It is just a simplistic and myopic mindset.  Nobody will solve real problems with this form of thinking.  This is meant as a constructive criticism, but take it however you like.  You have the right to be offended.
    If we want ADS and fZ to survive... Help them help you!  Their last beta was open.Wide open.  Test, give feedback, not bitchfests  (though looking back, I am quite guilty of that too.)  Often the bug reports aren't specific but overwhelmingly non-specific.  Especially about the UI.  And regardless, they have to make decisions.  One group of people will want something one way and another will hate it...  Deal with it!  Or, better yet.  Devise a solution at least in concept... don't just tell them something sucks.  detail it.  And only hope that it fits in with their intentions... don't expect it.  I have suggested many things over the 27ish years of being a user... Many have been included, most have not.  I deal.   Which is why I love Py*** oops, so close!
    Quit posting bug reports on the forum!!  They have no way to track them long term.  The forum just isn't built for it.
    Let's quit being the fudy duddies we have become and show our passions like we used to.  Quit bitching like old men on a street bench.  Remember the days when we had self driven contests? (thanks Dan M! those were good times)    Let's quit thinking we are of responsibility mean while pointing the finger anywhere and everywhere else.
    Don't get me wrong, ADS has work to do.  In some areas, a lot!  I formally make myself available to ADS to offer my input, not demands.  Should they have use for it.
    Hah!  I doubt anybody will read all of that.  Can't blame anybody for that but me.  Though about editing it down, but WTH.
  12. Like
    graham_g reacted to setz in Can't draw with line on a surface...   
    Option 3:  Draw a line snapping to points and extrude up (perpendicular to plane) to create a surface.  Use the Section Tool to first click on the object and then click on the surface (cutting plane).  Reshape.  Boole Union two pieces back together.

    Option 4:  Use Vector line tool to draw a concurrent shape over the face you want to reshape.  Extrude up or down and Boole Difference this object from first.  Reshape depression/extension to desired position.

  13. Like
    graham_g reacted to setz in Can't draw with line on a surface...   
    There are a lot of different ways of accomplishing the the same end results in FZ.  As you become more familiar with the program, you will find that if one tool is not giving you the desired result, there will almost always be multiple other options for achieving your goal.  
    Option 1:  Draw a line between the two points with Insert option turned off and snapping to points turned on.  Select Imprint Tool and click on line segment then on object.  Reshape.
    Option 2:  Select Insert Segment Tool.  Draw line segment snapping to points.  Reshape.
    Snapping / Stick to Edges is not required, but it does make working faster and more efficient.  It is located in the Snaps Palette under the Palettes Menu.  If you select this option and then save your preferences it will be remembered for future projects.
    Snapping to Endpoint was added in V9 and has similar functionality to Snap to Point used in conjunction w/ Stick to Edges.

  14. Like
    graham_g reacted to johnalexander1571 in Why form•z is not popular any more:   
    While you all are mentioning it, my company gives me that AEC suite from AD. And Maya and the engineers use SW. Nice, but in practice, formZ is basically the "brain" program for an octopus of functionality. I do just about everything in formZ, then if I need Revit, for Families, I go there. Need Maya, no prob. Even bring in Solidworks with STEP to make Revit Families. I think the reality of today's work is that you need various apps, but I still find formZ a clear winner for the returns.
    At least in the manufacturing world, I don't know how someone would do this without formZ. If someone is sitting there trying to do what I do without it, they would be spending a criminal amount of time working with slower tools and doing many more workarounds. The money being saved in this context is substantial. All models accurate and solid! formZ is truly a jewel in the crown of apps when real work is concerned. It's proper place may be in that AEC suite. It works very well with it.
    BUT, the idea behind the AEC package is you wind up paying a big yearly fee to these other guys. Past what a freelancer could do. Using those programs, though, and living in the real world, it becomes clear that you need to be able to use whatever end result program you need for whatever project you have. Notice the focus on making a certain amount of income.
    It is actually very nice to have a niche place right now where you can still get permanent software and individual attention. The price for the support is very very reasonable.
    As far as interface, I have used them all and done real projects and they all have their downs. They also all have forums where somewhere, folk complain about the interfaces.
    formZ came from an altruistic pedigree that is different than the commercial giants out there. If there was a humanitarian project in which formZ was needed, formZ was provided for those at no cost. The creators of formZ started as educators and have never been focused on income. They have always been primarily concerned with what we design and build with formZ. That's what they have been watching.
    There used to be a very formal architectural forum/blog that would have articles on new buildings, and if formZ was mentioned in the article as one of the apps used, it was included in that particular thread. I can't find this now for the life of me. Does anyone remember that too and know where it is? That blog was always awesome because there were all these new and wonderful buildings that used formZ in the design process somewhere. It was very inspiring.
  15. Like
    graham_g reacted to Des in Why form•z is not popular any more:   
    I chose FormZ many years ago because it was on the mac and thought it was the best out of a pile of other software I had worked on.
    Guess what? I would still choose FormZ over the rest even with it's quirks and shortcomings. I continue to make a living from it as my main package and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get into the 3d modelling business.
    I don't have most of the issues others have such as crashing and it's not because I'm an IT expert, 'cos I'm not. In my long time experience, I have found crashing to be caused from imported bad geometry and the such. Bad imported geometry is not necessarily caused by the software it was created on but mostly the creator. 
    I agree that the interface needs some work in FormZ, mainly pallets arrangement etc., but I actually like the look and feel/icons etc., call me what you want. I'm actually excited about the dark mode in the next iteration.
    valthewu, I think you think you're just trying to help but tbh I think you are just making this forum a depressing place (sorry, most of your 10 posts have been negative). We'd all love to see FormZ doing well and competing with the big boys especially since we've invested in Fz (Just to point out FormZPro is a LOT less expensive than other software it's being compared to on this forum, I mean C4D is $3500, Max $1545 per year and without add ons!, Revit $2310 per year, SU $695 but isn't a patch on Fz). But I think ADS has done remarkably well considering who they compete with.
    I think the future is brighter for FormZ with the Twinmotion integration (along with the existing Vray & Maxwell).
    Everyones opinion is important here, but lets be more positive about FormZ, it has a hell of a lot more positives than negatives. Lets do more of sharing 3d modelling knowledge, WIPS etc. (if I was considering Fz as a new user, I wouldn't buy it based on all the moaning about it here which obviously doesn't help marketing). ADS have given us this forum for our own benefit to learn etc., not as a rooftop to shout from.
  16. Like
    graham_g reacted to Tech in Why form•z is not popular any more:   
    Thank you for taking the time to post, however we can only wonder what you motivations are. We can find no communication with our sales or support teams from you so you have no basis for your comment that we are not responsive. Obviously you do not like some aesthetics of the software and you are entitled to your opinion. You are also basing your comments on form•Z free which only has a small percentage of the features found in form•Z pro. Many professionals use form•Z daily for productive modeling so it is clearly not "appalling software" to them. You do point out a few minor aesthetic issues that we are already working on (along with support for dark mode), but frankly we find delivering new technologies like the recent TwinMotion/Unreal interface much more interesting and important to our users.
  17. Like
    graham_g reacted to ZTEK in Looking for a new formZ companion   
    Yes, the PDFs are from BricsCAD, although I imported the last one to Affinity Publisher to make other tests. You are right when you mention that it looks a bit dense but can be adjusted quite easily. I need to optimize it a bit, hiding some details and some layers. For now, my focus is on playing with the options and the whole system.
    The reflected ceiling plan is wrong and should not be a mirror. I'm not paying too much attention because these are only trials, but thanks for point that out. I don't remember when was the last time I did one of those, and I don't have my Francis D. K. Ching books with me anymore! haha
    I made some quick editions and changed the hatching. I added a second page displaying only the viewports content, with only the information generated automatically sectioning the formZ model, without any intervention. The third page only shows what I added in BCAD, like annotations, dimensions, and hatching for the interior glazing.
    I was without a demo version for a few days and stopped testing, but already I have a new educational license installed. Now I'm starting to play with other options, more interesting. For example, how you can convert repeated objects to blocks with the Blockify tool. I plan to convert all possible, edit their parameters in BCAD and bring them back to formZ as components to see what happens.
    Another test I did was to open the file in AutoCAD without any problem. It keeps all the information in the model space and the layout. It seems to be 100% compatible.
    FZC-BC-model 6 test sheet Arch D 210208.pdf
  18. Like
    graham_g reacted to AsOne in Looking for a new formZ companion   
    Shibui:  I also use Vectorworks.  I use Layout for DWG export.  I setup Scenes in FormZ (plans, elevations, sections).  Open in Layout.  Then export DWG linework to Vworks as a referenced file.  Works quite well.  If we can get referenced DWG into FormZ then the process would go both ways quite seamlessly.
  19. Like
    graham_g reacted to ZTEK in Looking for a new formZ companion   
    Thanks for your comments. Yes, a lot of thought, but not too much effort. I have fun and enjoy the learning process also. Your observations are in alignment with my own experience and way of thinking. More than anything, in this area, I believe in the right tools with the best method of integration. I learned this when I try a vertical app like Archicad long ago. I learned a lot, but in the end, it didn't work.
    At the beginning of my career, I worked for 15 years at an architectural studio specializing in residential design. The owner is a famous Chilean architect, from the old school, and with a particular mix of traditional Chilean and Mediterranean style. In the office, the work was done only by hand drawing with drafting instruments. A little later, I bought two Archicad licenses, one for the office and another for my personal use, setting up a studio offering custom 3D modeling and visualization services. In the end, in the office, we could not solve the kind of architectural details, and the expression of our new digital plans was of lower quality and disappointing. Later, I left Archicad after I discovered formZ, and then the office moved to AutoCAD.
    The teaching was clear: you cannot force yourself if the tool doesn't allow you to do otherwise.
    My search is still a work in progress. As I mentioned before, AutoCAD works very well with formZ. To me, that means seamless integration and the ability to produce accurate and expressive 2D drawings. I measure efficiency in terms of flexibility rather than speed. That's how I work in formZ, and I expect the same for my 2D production tool.
    BricsCAD accomplishes perfectly well, and with the plus of complementing with formZ in the 3D side better than ACAD. Much better, according to my particular way of working. On top of that, you have the possibility of further expansion to BIM, which is not part of my goals now, but it could be like an expansion pack for later. The only drawback could be that Bricsys, the developers, have a Wintel oriented history. As a result, the Mac version is a little behind and not so polished, but supposedly they are working to resolve that, and the Apple Mx processors are pushing to make it real. We will see what happens soon.
    With Vectorworks, the issue is more about the 3D integration and the modeler in itself. It's a beautiful app that produces excellent drawings and graphic work, and there is no problem with the support to macOS. I need more learning time and investigate more to visualize a better way to integrate them. Now, I can do it acceptable, but degrading and losing some of the info on my formZ models. It works, but the methodology is not very good. Probably, it would force me later to make some changes in the way I work in formZ.
    For example, as we know, the DWG format only carries the material info at the object level and not at the face level. I use the latter a lot in my architectural models. I build complex solid objects with different associated materials. Before exporting, you can separate those objects by color. formZ has all the tools to do this easily. Then, in BricsCAD, I can rebuild the topology, stitching into a solid all the surface objects preserving the edges, and maintaining the face colors with very little work, the same way you do it in formZ. In Vectorworks, I couldn't find yet a way to repeat the same procedure. I can change my method in formZ, but I don't want to do that in the early stage of the design process because it's not very efficient. I could also obviate this step and equally produce the 2D drawings with the section tools, keeping the surface objects unstitched. It works, but it degrades the models.
    About the possibility of expansion to BIM, this is not part of my search now. I do not need it, but it would certainly be interesting to explore, to see which could be the advantages for later. The BIM part, or modules, of this kind of apps, includes specific tools to facilitate or enhance different aspects of a project. I want to try some of them, not the BIM itself in terms of the concept. What attracts me the most is the possibility to move from my generic solid-based formZ models to a BIM-ify model. That is what BricsCAD offers in its implementation, to design/model with freedom using generic 3D tools first and convert your designs to BIM in the process. Without knowing the app deeply, I have the idea that Vectorworks could allow something similar.
    Again, my interest is in the process of integration and the workflow.
    People who use Rhino-Grasshopper have Rhino.Inside and other connections to link their geometry to different BIM apps. I use formZ for my designs, so I need to find my customized method.
  20. Like
    graham_g reacted to ZTEK in Looking for a new formZ companion   
    Thanks, guys, for your comments and info.
    Thanks, Kim, for your support... you made me laugh also. I would like to know more about your CNC workflow... share something later 😉
    The link between formZ and Dynamo sounds very promising R2D2, could you share something? I'm a Mac user though, but I would like to try it sometime soon... I could take a walk to the dark side to try using it with my Parallels shield! (sounds like a conspiracy theory!)... oh, and my mask, of course!
    For years, I have been using the method you mention skybound13. Generating drawings in AutoCAD (ACAD) from orthogonal projections of my models, sectioning them first if necessary. Both ACAD and BricsCAD (BCAD) have a tool called Flatshot, which works perfectly well as a smart version of a hidden line view. The method is simple. You start importing your formZ models in DWG-ACIS format, slice them as necessary to produce the horizontal or vertical sections, and using Flatshot, generate the flat projections as blocks. It requires some methodology, but it's simple to do and systematic. Then you explode the blocks and continue editing and drawing in 2D, like in any CAD software. The results are excellent if the models are well constructed, with clean geometry.
    This method is essentially manual, and the only part automatic is the use of the Flatshot tool. But it works very well if it suits you. Updating the drawings could be tedious if the model changes too much, but it will depend on how organized it's everything. To do it right, I usually generate a new block without exploding it and overlay and lock it. This way, I can edit my drawings with some ease. Both ACAD and BCAD have all the necessary capabilities and tools for that. A newer option is to compare two DWG files to update changes with ease and systematically, which sounds great, but I did not test it yet. formZ can help if you are organized. For example, if you make changes, you don't need to export the whole model each time, and you can export only the modified objects selecting them beforehand. Again, it's more about the method than anything else.
    Next phase
    What I'm exploring in my testing is how to move to the next phase, more automatic than manual, similar to what formZ Layout is trying to do. BCAD is superior to ACAD to achieve this, which is saying a lot. BCAD has more tools that expand it to other areas, and some tools in common more developed. After using it for a while, ACAD feels like a younger brother.
    Two major A/E/C developers are pushing the DWG format to a higher level than Autodesk. One is Bricsys with BricsCAD, and the other is Gräbert with ARES Commander.
    The way BCAD works to produce drawings is similar to Vectorworks and others. In simple terms, they offer an automatic system to generate drawings sectioning a 3D model or directly from 2D information, which could be previously drawn with 2D tools or imported. Based on viewports linked to drawing sheets. The info is organized, managed, and displayed according to a system of layers/classes. In theory, not destructive, and the flow is alive from 3D to 2D only.
    Everything will be easier if you model or draw in the same software, of course. But the situation changes a bit if you model in another 3D app and you import the geometry. That's why the quality of the exporter module is so important. More recently, all the new connections between different apps like Rhino.Inside, Dynamo-Revit, etc. ACAD and BCAD are DWG-based, and the DWG exporter in formZ is great. VW is based on the Parasolid kernel and not on ACIS, like formZ, and I'm still not clear if this may produce some limitations for what I want to do, based on VW's implementation. Archicad uses the proprietary GDL and is a different history, but they have their custom connection with Rhino-Grasshopper.
    One possibility is to import the 2D information generated in formZ Layout as an intermediate step, the way that Shibui and AsOne work. The other is to import the 3D geometry directly, like R2D2. The latter is the one I'm trying with BCAD in my test. In my case, I want to redefine the connection with formZ, looking to establish a new workflow that integrated both apps in 3D.
    My idea is simple
    Find the right app, learn it well and develop a new workflow with formZ that complements and integrates them on the 3D side, blurring the boundary between the two. For me, the key is to establish the link as a relationship of "intersection" where the two apps share an area and stop seeing it as if it were a "bridge" to cross from one to the other. In practice, I imagine the method modeling interchangeably in both applications using their best tools efficiently in a combined way, exporting and importing in both directions, and editing the resulting drawings as little as possible. The method has to be systematic, without causing more problems than it intends to solve, and efficient and not a waste of time. As I said before, I prefer it to be flexible rather than fast, and with good quality results, of course.
    I have been using formZ in different areas in the past, not only in architecture. I used it for a couple of jobs in hardware design with prototyping, working with geodesic domes and fabric patterning, and fabrication. Base on these experiences, using fZ Layout does not appeal to me in its current implementation. Just as I never liked the 2D drawing module in version 6 and earlier. I tried it many times and even used it on a couple of multi-story buildings in the office where I was working at that time, but in the end, I decided not to insist any more.
    It works if you are trying to make architectural drawings at the usual scales to generate plans, and small errors don't cause trouble. But it doesn't work for other purposes that need the precision of a CAD program. In the end, it's not about how much it's needed or how many decimal places. The problem is with the transfer of information and how fZ Layout degrades it, producing little errors. formZ is a double-precision floating-point CAD application, and fZ Layout is NOT in its current implementation. That is the problem for me. The same doesn't happen with software like ACAD or BCAD, Rhino, and I'm guessing in VW or Revit either. I leave Archicad aside because it's not a very open application. It's the same reason I use formZ and don't use Sketchup, and if you need to share a 2D file with a co-worker or provider that requires precision, fZ Layout doesn't work as an intermediate stage.
    About the test
    I made some modifications to the formZ test file and generated all the plans again. In total, the "redrawing" process in BricsCAD took me no more than 1 hour, including deleting the entire previous model, importing the new version, and generating all the sections replacing the blocks automatically. The only new thing was to reapply the gray glass hatches.
    In total, the whole test took me between 35 to 40 hours of work during one week, measuring the entire apartment with my new laser meter while learning how to use it, haha. Modeling everything simultaneously in formZ and then generating the plans in BricsCAD. The latter took no more than 10 hours to produce the complete test drawing sheet.
    FZC-BC-model 6 test sheet Arch D 210206.pdf
  21. Like
    graham_g reacted to kim in Looking for a new formZ companion   
    Hi ZTEK,
    I really enjoyed your post. It made me smile as I thought I was the only person who does this kind of detailed analysis to find the best product to create a specific workflow. In my case, I reviewed Rhino and  BricsCAD. I am interested in creating a workflow to go from modeling to CNC. At the end of a very long process, I concluded that Form Z is still the best product out there for my kind of work. All it needs is for Layout and Draft to be improved so that they are reliable for professional use. 
  22. Like
    graham_g reacted to kim in Does FZ have a method for seeing how long a modeling file was open   
    Thanks Des.  I wish I had kept my old FZ manuals.  They went into such detail - why did I throw them out??? I still have Kenth Agurell's desktop companions which are works of art. I found a workaround for trying to capture the time a project took.  Every time I work on a project I make a new version.  So, was able to see the time by reading the create and modified times on the meta data of the files.
  23. Like
    graham_g reacted to skybound13 in Why isn't formz more popular?   
    Even though this is an older post I’d like to share a few thoughts from the perspective of a SketchUp user.
    First off, it may be helpful to frame the original question in the positive:  “What are the reasons formZ should be more popular?”  On January 26 ZTEK said, “I would like to say that working on my designs in formZ is still the best experience by far, like fresh air, and I love it!”  I’ve contacted support via email several times and they have been very helpful.  I have found their quick start tutorials very helpful.  There are many long-time formZ users on this forum that I’m sure can add very specific reasons they have stayed with formZ for so long.  I guess I think of the positives as things to attract new users which is better than trying to convince someone to switch to formZ, if that makes sense.  When they are attracted to something they want to do it and that mindset makes the entire process better.
    I wonder if something preventing formZ from being more popular is the perceived/imagined difficulty in learning the application.  My experience so far in that formZ free is no more difficult than SketchUp for basic modeling.  But I think a lot of SketchUp users have been convinced that SketchUp is the only solution because they believe/assume that everything else is hard compared to SketchUp because they’ve heard over and over that SketchUp is so easy - kind of a form of marketing brainwashing!
    I would not be surprised if SketchUp’s popularity begins to decline for two reasons.  First, due to their switch to a subscription pricing model last fall - some people (myself included) don’t like that.  Secondly, I saw a video by Chipp Walters giving the reasons he thinks someone might want to switch from Blender to SketchUp, his Number 1 reason includes his belief that SketchUp wants their flagship product to be cloud-based:  https://youtu.be/8MZkjXanO14?t=702. He goes so far as to say, “SketchUp’s resources have only focused on creating cloud-based software and the product and the company is falling farther and farther behind.”  Very interesting!  But back to the original question…
    The models and renderings on the formZ site speak for themselves, there is no question the application is highly capable.  One thing that draws a lot of people to SketchUp is the rendering style with the hand-drawn appearance, if formZ could develop a strong hand-drawn effect that could be something that would catch the attention of some users.  This hand-drawn effect has to be more than just squiggly lines.  Long before SketchUp came along people were doing perspectives by hand with techniques such as extended lines and bearing down at the end of the line to make that darker - these would be qualities to incorporate in a future version of the “Doodle” rendering style.  But the effect definitely needs a new name, no architect has ever done a “presentation doodle”!  :-)
    Some people (myself included) may be a little nervous when they read about bugs on the forum - emphasis has to be made on how well support is resolving those.  Whatever AutoDesSys offers must be rock solid, it would be better to pause developing new features to refine existing features, get rid of the bugs.  Of course I know no software is perfect, but to at least resolve known issues before starting anything new.
    Maybe to summarize I’d say this:  formZ stands its ground against the competition, people who might truly benefit by switching to formZ just need to take a little time and check it out - how to get them to do that I do not know.
    As a final comment, the original post was made in January of last year - in the last year what progress has been made in improving formZ’s popularity?  I then ask myself what could be done in the next 12 months, similar to CJTFORM-Z’s March 4, 2020 AD comment, “How to make formZ more popular.”  My suggestion (as trivial as it may seem) is to refine the Gallery so there’s a section where there are albums organized by topic (such as “architecture,” “character animation,” “product design,” or whatever) - no one wants to click through the alphabetical list of users, and the keyword search is buried too deep in the search field.  While focusing my attention on the Gallery, what about some kind of featured artist?  I found some very cool images from Jones, Partners:  Architecture (https://forums.formz.com/gallery/album/103-jones-partners-architecture/), I just emailed them to ask if they have any more cool images they can share on the forum, it’s been six years since they’ve posted anything.  If you haven’t had your daily dose of eye candy you need to check out their site (jonespartners.com), they’ve got some great stuff and the presentation drawings are amazing.  As it turns out the founding principal, Wes Jones, is something of an important architectural figure:  “Jones is a leading architectural voice of his generation” per the Wes Jones Wikipedia article.  I need to get out more, this is the first I’ve ever heard of him.
    Hmm, when I started writing this I thought it would be a short post!  :-)
  24. Like
    graham_g reacted to Des in First Project with Twinmotion   
    This is my first project using FormZ to Twinmotion. It was done on an iMac 2020 with 4GB of video ram, so if I get a machine with a bigger & better video card I should get better quality.
    Sorry the buildings (boxes) are not architecturally award winning..😁
  25. Like
    graham_g reacted to ZTEK in Looking for a new formZ companion   
    Recently I moved from Santiago, Chile, to live in the city of Seattle. As a result of this big transition, I started to research different software to expand my toolbox and capabilities. One of my goals is to find a new 2D/3D/BIM companion application that complements with formZ as best as possible.
    After re-reading many criticisms about formZ development and Draft Layout implementation, I decided to share part of my search, knowing this is a fundamental topic for us, the users, and AutoDesSys. I don't usually comment on other software in the forum, and this time I do it in a pro-positive way, hoping that my post could be useful.
    formZ is my principal design tool and central in my work, and I'm not looking to replace it. Like many of you, I would like to see some improvements and missing pieces taking shape at a better pace. Of course, but in general, version 9 is working well, and I consider it's evolving in the right direction, and I love to work on it as always!
    For many years, I have been using formZ on Mac along with AutoCAD for 2D drawing production. Both complement well for that purpose, and the combo is versatile, efficient, and productive. Nevertheless, it's a good time for a new change, and I'm proactively seizing the opportunity and looking for a significant upgrade. 
    I decided many years ago not to use the 2D drawing module in formZ, although I always keep an eye on it and see how it progress. However, I have been using formZ to draw dimensioned plans of simple projects and other schematics directly in 3D using different techniques. For example, it works perfectly well for cabinet design projects.
    Before formZ and AutoCAD, I used Archicad for some years and experienced the BIM world. I bought a license long ago when I was starting my career. At that time, I thought that Graphisoft's "Virtual Building" concept was great. Some years later, I discovered formZ, and I immediately decided to buy it without even trying it.
    Possible prospects
    After more than 30 years of evolution, we can see in the A/E/C field developing players offering new options and possibilities. Along with the established and more traditional ones, all provide diverse and enriching alliances. As a result, some BIM applications no longer seem as self-enclosing as before and appear more flexible, with novel options versus the standard "Lego" type modeling approach that I tend to resist.
    By the way, Archicad and Revit, the big two competitors, are not part of my search. Already, I started relearning Archicad, considering there is a significant user base in the Seattle area.
    After my initial research, I decided to try BricsCAD and Vectorworks. Among other general and fundamental aspects, both are well-established platforms under active development. They evolved to the BIM realm more recently, with different kinds of implementations than the main actors. They look more flexible and seem more adaptable to different types of uses. They have direct connections with other relevant modeling and visualization apps and the necessary I/O capabilities. Both are 2D/3D hybrid software, with a good set of direct modeling and parametric tools, which I consider fundamental. And, of course, both are fully capable of 2D drawing and documentation production work.
    The test
    To test them, I'm doing a practical exercise using a small project I'm developing. It's an interior design study to see the options for remodeling a one-bedroom apartment with an area of 820 SqFt (76 m2). I started in formZ modeling the unit with its existing conditions, working as I always do and without any special consideration. Then, I exported the 3D data to both programs to obtain the plans automatically using their section tools, without drawing and almost any editing. Using demo-versions of 30 days, I have been focusing on the essentials but keep the mind open and experimenting.
    In simple terms, the testing process is the following:
    Test and define the necessary options to correctly import the original model developed in formZ, preserving the topology and the organization by layers. Check the imported model and edit the 3D geometry if necessary. Define non-destructive horizontal and vertical sections to extract the 2D information. Generate the blocks of all sections, placing them numerically in the workspace without further editing. Edit and organize the layers system to visualize appropriately the new 2D information generated. Minimal and systematized editing, by layer only, for better visualization of segmented lines. Create a drawing sheet with all section viewports and add a title block. Add some annotations and graphic elements just for testing, like dimensions, symbols, titles, notes, etc., and hatches. Export to PDF the test drawing sheet. On the other hand, this process is never linear and always iterative, requiring updates to the 3D geometry to correct errors, add more information or make simple changes. Therefore, it's essential to establish an efficient working method and preview a reliable and fluid system.
    Initial results to share
    After some intensive learning and a positive preliminary round of testing with both programs, I decided for logistical reasons to focus first only on BricsCAD, and I plan to return to Vectorworks as soon as possible. The following are my observations and initial test results that I would like to share.
    I'm very optimistic about what I accomplished on BricsCAD in such a short period, exceeding all my expectations. Because it started as a clone of AutoCAD, its interface and logic are very familiar to me, but I think other factors could be the main underlying reason. First, BricsCAD is a native DWG application, and formZ has a well-implemented DWG exporter, which I have been able to confirm after years of working with ACAD. Additionally, its modeling engine is ACIS-based, which formZ also uses to export its smooth geometry, with the option to include the facetted objects written as embedded ACIS entities. Last and very important, the 3D modeling module in BricsCAD shares with formZ some fundamental modeling tools and concepts with similar implementations. In the end, it seems feasible that both applications could integrate and complement strongly in the 3D work field, and not only with the more narrow-ish and specific purpose to produce technical 2D information, which was a great and very positive surprise.
    After my limited but intense test experience and base on those assumptions, I can say that moving to technical drawings production was pretty easy, considering that the 3D geometry in the formZ model has to be well built and organized. The process was quick, systematic, and very straightforward, with predictable and accurate results. I can visualize with clarity that it's also possible to define a fruitful 3D-based workflow between both applications, with multiple and enhanced connections that further facilitate and deepen the whole process. As an example, parametric 3D blocks, which you could model in formZ and parameterize in BricsCAD.
    All clear so far to me. However, I would like to add that a very intriguing aspect and a big difference could be in the next step. Although I tested it only superficially (and perhaps I'm projecting, my apologies!), if this application delivers what it promotes within its BIM module, it would be possible to define a method that allows moving from formZ to the BIM world.
    Files to share
    Due to the size of the files, I'm sharing in the forum some of them only. The others, including the 3D models, can be downloaded in the following link to a  Dropbox folder for that purpose:
    The following files are attached:
    A PDF file with a simple topology comparison between formZ and BricsCAD models: FZC-BC-model 5 topology comparison 210124.pdf A PDF file with the Arch D test sheet with the drawings produced: FZC-BC-model 5 test sheet Arch D 210124.pdf Additional files in Dropbox:
    A PDF file with multiple shaded views of the original formZ model. FMZ file with the original formZ model for the test. DWG file with the BricsCAD model and drawings. Finally, I would like to say that, in the last two months, apart from using BricsCAD and Vectorworks for this test, I was also experimenting for other purposes with Archicad, Rhino3D, and exploring some 3D tools in AutoCAD. In this regard and before closing, I would like to say that working on my designs in formZ is still the best experience by far, like fresh air, and I love it!
    Take care,
    P.S. I leave you two links related to formZ that I discovered during my search, one very up-to-date and the other techno-vintage and cool!
    Integrating Parametric Modeling With BIM Through Generative Programming For The Production Of NURBS Surfaces And Structures
    Lilian Silva (1), Neander Silva (2) and Igor Lacroix (3)
    (1,2) Universidade De Brasilia, Faculdade De Arquitetura E Urbanismo, Brasilia, Brazil
    (3) Centro Universitário de Brasilia, Faculdade de Tecnologia e Ciências Sociais Aplicados, Brasilia, Brazil
    It Cost About $65 To Have A Cold Pizza Delivered In The Middle Of The Night To Skywalker Ranch
    The Intensive Previs Process On "The Phantom Menace"
    By Ian Failesmay 22, 2019