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Studio-Swaim

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Posts posted by Studio-Swaim


  1. 2 hours ago, Des said:

    I usually use a 50mm lens with no zoom which gives a cone of vision of about 63º. I also mark my position of the camera on a map and set the camera from there.

    I also use google earth to grab an overview (or an imported location plan with features) and model in "anchors" (extruded objects) where known features are in the photo, that way I can just point the camera in the right direction, and fine adjust the angles and direction as needed.

    I find match view works best when more advance existing structures are modelled but that is not always the case, although it's great for matching aerial views as a starting point.

    Thanks Des. Sounds like I'm still safe to plan on 50-55mm

     


  2. Years ago I was trying to use the match view tool and it was not behaving for me. If I remember right, when I asked about it, I was asked what my photo source was. I said it was a client provided Iphone photo in which I was told "there within lies the problem" Apparently the view match was set up to work with real camera lenses and not the distorted photos we get with cell phones. 

    1. Is this still a thing?

    2. If so, does anyone know what the best mm/view angle lens works best for view match?


  3. I'm with you. The multi view was such a key workflow feature for me when setting up compositions and views. Now it's near unusable because of the auto window activation. The only work around I have found is to detour your curser. Meaning travel the curser all the way around the interface window over the tool bars to get to your view pallet to change the view. Ie, don't let your curser touch a working window so it activates it. 


  4. Reading through this thread, Does any one have any good suggestions for SSD brand? Justin, it looks like you thumbs up the PCIe route over the SATA. Do any of you have brand and model preferences for optimal performance (MacPro 2010). Aside from saving files faster, what other areas will I see boosted with a SSD? I assume it will help speed up opening FZ. When we went to v9 it now takes forever to open vs the earlier versions. Our world of instant gratification.... Time is sanity, and money.


  5. Does any one have good recommendations on sources for "cut and paste" type 2d landscape packages? Looking for landscape that can easily and quickly be converted into components. Key factor "easily and quickly".... in other words I don't have time to be doctoring up images in photoshop. Ideally I'd like to find a package deal rather than spending time searching all over the web collecting single objects.  

    I'm also open for any recommendations on 3d automobiles that play nice in FZ. I've been a Dosch design customer for years but I'd like to know if anyone else has other resources they can speak highly of.  Ideally autos that hidden line clean and also render nice.  I hate the clean up chore on cars that don't hidden line well.


  6. 9 hours ago, Swaim said:

    My two cents.

    Based on my own observations with my industry (Architectural Illustration… err, I guess we’re calling it architectural visualization now). I think some of the uphill battle is a result of the perfect storm. Google bought Sketchup and offered it up for free just as the economy went down the commode.  The layoff machine was ramped up in every building and design related office across the country and those who survived layoffs found themselves with nothing to design, so they filled their day learning their free downloaded version of sketchup that a colleague told them about. Mean while students across the country were also downloading free sketchup and word of mouth took off. As a result we got a lot of people who knew about sketchup because it was free, and a lot of really bad sketchup renderings. I assume that marketplace tidal wave caught everyone off guard. 

     

    I’m a 25 year user of Form-Z. and It’s my main software I use, with mac mail and safari not far behind.  I too have worried that the low key nature of FZ makes it vulnerable for extinction, yet on the other hand I’m grateful for the small business status it has. We all know we don’t get the quality support or personal attention from the bigger outfits. When I was learning FZ in 95’ my instructor bragged about the personal attention FZ gave it’s users. You could call up and suggest a new tool or feature and it’d pop up in the next release. That is still pretty true today though their customer base has grown and those suggestions are more abundant and more challenging to fit into the next release.

     

    I think part of the solution is as easy as being in front of eyeballs. The old “out of sight out of mind” can catch up to you. I first learned about FZ as a student who finagled his way into the AIA national expo in Atlanta where multiple software companies were doing demos and had booths. I watched the FZ demo and knew that was the route to go. Since then I’ve championed them all along the way. Sent them new customers and assured my own clients that I have no need for Sketchup because FZ does everything Sketchup does, plus 100 times more, it does it better and the models are actually stable, not a house of cards.

     

    My suggestions:

    - Staff: If Auto-des-sys doesn’t already have someone on staff dedicated to marketing the product. It’d probably be a good investment to have someone dedicated to just that task and nothing else.

    - Online presence in all the forums and sites: Search Form-Z on CGarchitect.com and there are no results. That is a huge industry resource page for a lot of potential customers. I’ve noticed their absence on a lot of sites and forums like that. Sites that list all the 3d modeling software packages and there are softwares I’ve never heard of and softwares I’d never touch and FZ doesn’t get a mention. WTH?

    - Trade shows: Architecture, product design, industrial design, graphic design, illustration. You know who uses the product, target those industries and industries who haven’t used your product that you can convince should be… Be visible.

    - Tutorials, tutorials, tutorials: Make it as easy as humanly possible to learn everything the software has to offer and as hard as possible for people to say “there isn’t any resources for learning”. Note: FZ does a great job with this already. The problem is, they don’t have all their followers doing it like the other guys do. Ie skippy in the basement putting up his weekly photoshop tutorial. It’s a bigger burden on FZ to do all the heavy lifting, but with growth comes more skippy’s in the basement.

    - Partnerships: Vray and Maxwell were huge. Expand the partnerships to other areas. Not nescaserily just software partnerships, but industry partnerships. FZ was big with ASAI and it’s members way back when. I’m not sure which side let that relationship slip away.

    - Students: You find a way to make FZ cooler, easier and freer than sketchup in schools, and get students excited again. Students like free stuff. A box of cool FZ tee shirts sent to the architecture dept is a lot of walking ads. 

    - Mail outs: Post cards are still the best way to get your logo in front of eyes.

    - Reiterate the time line: Let people know you’ve been around a while, you’re not new to the game and there is some pedigree behind the name.

    - Showcase: Showcase your successes and your user's successes 

    - Keep providing a product that can sell it’s self!

     

    Note: I am not a professional marketing guy. 🙂

    All being said, I guess at the end of the day, we can hope they…

    1. Sell enough product to make payroll, keep the lights on, market the goods and never fold up shop.

    2. Continue to develop an awesome product that produces solid results with new stuff added in along the way to stay current.

    3. Always provide the customer support and attention they are so good at.

    4. Bring back the “relative” option to the extend line tool. 🙂 


  7. My two cents.

    Based on my own observations with my industry (Architectural Illustration… err, I guess we’re calling it architectural visualization now). I think some of the uphill battle is a result of the perfect storm. Google bought Sketchup and offered it up for free just as the economy went down the commode.  The layoff machine was ramped up in every building and design related office across the country and those who survived layoffs found themselves with nothing to design, so they filled their day learning their free downloaded version of sketchup that a colleague told them about. Mean while students across the country were also downloading free sketchup and word of mouth took off. As a result we got a lot of people who knew about sketchup because it was free, and a lot of really bad sketchup renderings. I assume that marketplace tidal wave caught everyone off guard. 

     

    I’m a 25 year user of Form-Z. and It’s my main software I use, with mac mail and safari not far behind.  I too have worried that the low key nature of FZ makes it vulnerable for extinction, yet on the other hand I’m grateful for the small business status it has. We all know we don’t get the quality support or personal attention from the bigger outfits. When I was learning FZ in 95’ my instructor bragged about the personal attention FZ gave it’s users. You could call up and suggest a new tool or feature and it’d pop up in the next release. That is still pretty true today though their customer base has grown and those suggestions are more abundant and more challenging to fit into the next release.

     

    I think part of the solution is as easy as being in front of eyeballs. The old “out of sight out of mind” can catch up to you. I first learned about FZ as a student who finagled his way into the AIA national expo in Atlanta where multiple software companies were doing demos and had booths. I watched the FZ demo and knew that was the route to go. Since then I’ve championed them all along the way. Sent them new customers and assured my own clients that I have no need for Sketchup because FZ does everything Sketchup does, plus 100 times more, it does it better and the models are actually stable, not a house of cards.

     

    My suggestions:

    - Staff: If Auto-des-sys doesn’t already have someone on staff dedicated to marketing the product. It’d probably be a good investment to have someone dedicated to just that task and nothing else.

    - Online presence in all the forums and sites: Search Form-Z on CGarchitect.com and there are no results. That is a huge industry resource page for a lot of potential customers. I’ve noticed their absence on a lot of sites and forums like that. Sites that list all the 3d modeling software packages and there are softwares I’ve never heard of and softwares I’d never touch and FZ doesn’t get a mention. WTH?

    - Trade shows: Architecture, product design, industrial design, graphic design, illustration. You know who uses the product, target those industries and industries who haven’t used your product that you can convince should be… Be visible.

    - Tutorials, tutorials, tutorials: Make it as easy as humanly possible to learn everything the software has to offer and as hard as possible for people to say “there isn’t any resources for learning”. Note: FZ does a great job with this already. The problem is, they don’t have all their followers doing it like the other guys do. Ie skippy in the basement putting up his weekly photoshop tutorial. It’s a bigger burden on FZ to do all the heavy lifting, but with growth comes more skippy’s in the basement.

    - Partnerships: Vray and Maxwell were huge. Expand the partnerships to other areas. Not nescaserily just software partnerships, but industry partnerships. FZ was big with ASAI and it’s members way back when. I’m not sure which side let that relationship slip away.

    - Students: You find a way to make FZ cooler, easier and freer than sketchup in schools, and get students excited again. Students like free stuff. A box of cool FZ tee shirts sent to the architecture dept is a lot of walking ads. 

    - Mail outs: Post cards are still the best way to get your logo in front of eyes.

    - Reiterate the time line: Let people know you’ve been around a while, you’re not new to the game and there is some pedigree behind the name.

    - Showcase: Showcase your successes and your user's successes 

    - Keep providing a product that can sell it’s self!

     

    Note: I am not a professional marketing guy. 🙂


  8. I'm copying and pasting from a similar discussion from 2016. That's how long I've been asking 🙂

    Current 2019 comments are in bold.

    I'm sure I could add in new "wants" to make it a full top 10 list, but there's no need cluttering up what is important with extra wishes that are not immediate priorities.

     

    **1. Reinstate the "relative" option for the extend line tool. I'm fervently trying to migrate completely to V8+ but this feature (among a few others) has me going back to 6.7. 

    (PLEASE!!! This, and "hidden line" are the only two things left that are hamstringing me and forcing me to hold on to V6.7)

     

    2. It would be nice if there were a way to change a material parameter on multiple materials at once. example: You have 39 objects with different materials assigned them. you want all those materials to be chrome, or constant, or wood, right now you have to spend 20 minutes opening each material and adjusting the parameters. 

     

    5. Give us a more user friendly sweep tool! (This one is a frustrater! 3 out of 10 times I do a sweep does it actually sweep properly. There has been times I have wasted 45 minutes clicking through all the options in the tool pallet trying to get an object to sweep right and I realize the fix was a 30 second open V6 run the sweep, open the new model in V8+ and paste it. Bring back the user friendly sweep of yesteryear and maybe enhance any of its weaknesses but please make it work 100 percent of the time again)

     

    6. keep v6.7 alive and well for those of us who toggle back and forth. Both the old and the new versions seem to have strengths. If v6.7 ever goes away then you reduce the capabilities that are available.... or make sure all the features from early versions are included in the new. Maybe a new packaging and marketing re-release "Form-Z retro! the tools you loved and relied on as a kid" 🙂  (Thank you for doing this FZ. It really helped. There was a time when FZ 6.7 wouldn't run on later operating systems and it had me backed into a corner. Keep FZ 6.7 and the tools I relied on for production or upgrade my OS so I could run Quick Books and bill clients. It was getting close to me going out and buying budget log note pads to do my books)


  9. It sounds like there's some sort of miscommunication between the layers of your file and the layer(s) baked into your component.  I don't know exactly how to fix this, but perhaps you can try to Explode your components and then re-save them as plain geometry in another layer in the file?

     

    On a related note, I also steer away from components.  In my experience they are only truly useful if you are 100% done modifying the geometry.  

    I guess I failed to mention that exploding the components is where things started to go wrong. Once I blew them up is when all chaos began.


  10. Components are a life saver a lot of the time and I like some of their capabilities and features they've added... but since v7 those jokers will turn on you like a Siegfried and Roy tiger when you least expect it.  The whole component system is a tricky little rascal that needs to be simplified and solidified. Hopefully FZ will address the sweep tool nightmare first though... priorities. 

     


  11. Thanks snow. Of course the problems are components. the bane of my V7+ existence. I'll look into the compression setting. it should be what ever the default is. The problem looks to be that my cars are jumping from layer to layer. ie. they are on the cars layer then after the crash they show up on the tree layer and the trees are gone. then they show up on the people layer... but the people are still there. It's sorts of jacked.

     


  12. Have big issues today and calling on all ears since Tech support is closed. I have a HUGE file that keeps freezing which has forced me to force quite numerous times. I'm suspicious that its either too many cars or too many trees that is causing the slow down. But then came the mega issue. After one of the force quits I reopened the file, all the cars which were on a car layer and turned off, were on and on a different layer. then I realized all but 2 layers were all cleared out. No objects remained In the file. Everything but doors and cars were GONE! Not yet panicking because I had multiple back up files from earlier today, yesterday and earlier in the week. The Panic set in when each one of those back up files opened and only the cars and doors were there. no matter when the file was saved or at what stage, only the cars and doors are opening.  It was bad enough that the client gave me 4 weeks worth of work to accomplish in 9 days. Now this!  ANY ONE EVER HAVE THIS PROBLEM? ANYONE HAVE A SOLUTION?!? ASAP


  13. 1. Extend Line tool in draft mode: (my biggy) Ya'll nixed the "relative" option. leaving only numeric and percentage, as options. Takes a lot more clicks and stifles the ability to be random. 

    (Draft mode is kinda wonky too.. Can't really figure out why it operates like 3d space when it's supposed to be in draft mode (2d space) But... I confess, I have not spent much time trying to figure out draft mode in V8 since I'm long gone and back to V6 by that point. I figure if my dreams come true and the "Relative" extend line feature is brought back, I can just export my hidden lines as dwg's and bring them back in 2d.

    2. Stream line tool: (the most perplexing change) Ya'll eliminated the stream line tool which I can't figure out why. A simple trace of a person underlay with a Wacom tablet and the streamline tool, turns in to a laborsom process trying to finagle the curve tools. Sometimes you just need to draw and not waste time! Draw a person with the stream line tool in 2 minutes. Curve tool = give up in 2 minutes and go to V6 

    3. Materials: I and others (via the forum) would like the capability of being able to change numerous materials to one property at once. For example, you import 50 models from 3d warehouse and you look over and now you have 300 different materials in your materials pallets. Each of those materials have different properties; reflective, matte, plastic, brushed, etc. I’d like to be able to select all or numerous materials as a group and change them all to one property, like constant or catcher. Right now you have to open each individual material dialog to change it’s parameters. Changing 300 materials one at a time is a half a days work.

    4. Sweep tool: (the most frustrating) I know ya'll have heard it on this one from many users. If I have a sweep that needs to be done, I'm off to V6 to use the "user friendly" sweep tool. It never fails... every time I say "today is the day I'm going to conquer the V8+ sweep tool" I re-watch the tutorial, then spend 30 minutes trying to get it to sweep like I need it to, and 50% of the time it does and the other 50% I head to the dock and open up V6. Maybe there just needs to be a trouble shooting video done for it, that covers all the scenarios. It has good features, it's just temperamental and frustrating compared to the precision of V6. (Note: I do wish there was a "zoom in" option. in the preview window on V6 sweep tool....) 

    5. Components: (this is my bonus wish) The switch to components from symbols has been equally as frustrating as the sweep tool... It's hard to grasp. seems like every time I open a project I get a new confusing dialog box asking me something about my component library. Not understanding the tech talk I just click something to make it go away and then find my components aren't working, or they are altered, or the materials are no longer assigned.  What does embedded mean? what does this new pop up dialog mean, what is this? what is that? if I click ok what will change? Why are my pink cars stamping down green?....

    Where-as I'd like the old stuff added back in to the new software on 1-3.. I think this one just requires a more education... extensive or additional video tutorials on the working gears and what all the dialog boxes mean.

     

     

    Bonus suggestion: The video tutorials are a God send! But…. sometimes they don’t cover everything or the tool’s video link takes you to a 30-45 minute general tutorial intro to Form-Z and doesn’t specifically address the tool. 


  14. Thanks guys. I tried the Sky dome, that seemed promising until I realized the light source changed from my original Physical sky lighting. So that was a no go. Then I scratched my head over the channels option and never could figure that out. I rarely use channels in PS. so I didn't know where to start to learn how that worked. but it sounded real promising. BUT THEN..... THEN.... out of a complete click fluke... In the lighting parameters I right clicked on my physical sky light and a drop down menu popped up... and there it was, the option to turn shadows on or off. So I think I may be in business.

    post-9626-0-49696300-1503602360_thumb.png


  15. This is a subject we have touched on briefly last spring but now it's a little more important. I need Maxwell to render with full global illumination with out the shadows. RenderZone does this absolutely beautifully, however, with the size of the project and number of objects in my scene, I can not wait for 4 days for RZ to render the scene. I need to use Maxwell so I can send it on to a Farm to render in an hour or so. Last spring Pylon gave me this option....."In Maxwell, disabling shadows is per-object, not per-light or per-scene. With the Pick tool, select an object which you do not want to cast shadows. In Pick Tool Options, Attributes Tab, select Maxwell Attributes... from the pulldown menu. In the resulting dialog, select Hide From > Global Illumination.

    If you want to apply the same Maxwell Attributes to multiple objects, you can set them up on one object, and then use formZ's Copy Attributes tool to propagate to other objects."  

    This did the trick on turning off the shadows, but unfortunately eliminated all the great bounced lighting and the scene renders in flat shades similar to how RZ would render with out Final gathering and Ambiant Occlusion. 

     

    In short: How do I get Maxwell to render with global illumination with out shadow casting?


  16. Thanks. That was my main problem. I was maxwell rendering the renderzone materials. I switched to the maxwell matte finish and it reduced the reflection but it still maintains a reflective glow. Which is my best option to get a true matte finish with out any appearance of a gloss surface?

     

     


  17. I'm assuming this is a parameter I have set up wrong either in my lights or maxwell render. My problem is, my objects material is set to Matte, which should not have any reflection, and it doesn't if I rendered it in renderzone. However when I do a maxwell render, the surface renders as a reflective, like a gloss or glass. What do I have set up wrong that is causing this?

    post-9626-0-04841200-1502314328_thumb.png


  18. So Maxwell frowns upon 2 point perspective? If I reset up to 3 point, Maxwell will be happy and match perfectly? I'm going to give that a test run and also your suggestion of picking the view Via the fire window. Neither are ideal solutions but work arounds are good alternatives! 

    hmmm. so the "select view in fire" solved the crop off the top issue but still distorts the image and does not match the fz 2 point perspective view Hidden line. Also limits the user's view options pretty significantly. This is disappointing! I had high hopes. Yes the 3 point perspective matches, but again, unfortunately it limits the user's view capabilities to real worldish views when artistic flexibility and artistic license is needed for a better compositions. So I'm to gather that there is absolutely no way to match a fz renderzone 2 point perspective with a maxwell guesstimated 2 point perspective?


  19. Hi Swain,

     

    Please see: http://support.nextlimit.com/display/maxwell4/formZ+%7C+Render+Options+%7C+Camera

     

     

    I usually set up a 2D perspective views in the Fire window, and then save them in the views palette with a naming scheme to distinguish them, such as "Maxwell 2d - 1," "Maxwell 2d - 2" etc.

    So Maxwell frowns upon 2 point perspective? If I reset up to 3 point, Maxwell will be happy and match perfectly? I'm going to give that a test run and also your suggestion of picking the view Via the fire window. Neither are ideal solutions but work arounds are good alternatives! 


  20. Any body have any suggestions on how to fix this mis-match problem. I need Maxwell to retain the preferred view set in FZ and I can't find where to go to set it up to fix it. Any leads? Attached are visuals explaining the problem. I'm sure this is a basic fix but I'm only 3 days into maxwell and balancing new software learning curve while maintaining normal business schedule hasn't allowed for me to find all the answers I need quickly. 

    post-9626-0-35011300-1492175186_thumb.png

    post-9626-0-10984200-1492175187_thumb.png

    post-9626-0-37545500-1492175188_thumb.png


  21. Double check the image size in the image options palette (Pull down menu> display> image options. This sets the image size that Maxwell uses to render. Once Maxwell launches, that image size is carried over and is displayed in the "Camera" area of the interface.

    The FZ window automatically reflects the numerics that are specified in the image options palette. So, what I'm seeing in the FZ window is what is specified in the image options palette. So theoretically, Maxwell should pick up what is set in FZ image options and do it's thing. But it also looks like it's switching my view from 2 point to 3 point perspective. I need to know how to tell maxwell to render what is set up and not change it to it's own preferences... I think the way I worded that kinda makes sense. :-) 

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