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FormZ 9 wish list...

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I find working in Revit completely fine most of the time for construction documents. It's definitely not as fluid as FormZ for conceptual modeling (or any other more detailed work either) but I generally start the project fresh in Revit once it's been through a certain level of design in fZ. "Fluid" really is the best word I can use to describe the difference between the 2 apps. Revit is not. It is much more mechanical in nature and it forces me to make decisions about how a building will actually get built very early on in the process so I avoid that (semi-completely) when working in fZ. I love working in fZ, and I don't love working in Revit. It's fine though, really. This is probably because I'm a designer to the core, and not a person that is in love with producing construction documents for architecture. I'm sure lots of people actually love Revit because of how it's changed the process. I certainly would never go back to normal CAD willingly.

 

I do have to re-build model elements using Revit's tools to get the best results - and there are some things that Revit just can't make that are fairly simple to do in FormZ (especially the organic stuff), but for the most part if that happens I just import the FormZ geometry and leave it in place as a referenced DWG. The benefit of rebuilding things in Revit is that it then knows how to represent them when cutting section views through them - thickened lines at the edges and hatch patterns within. Any geometry that can't be rebuilt in Revit will be presented generically meaning we don't get any nice graphic representation options for it.

 

Both programs use the ACIS modeling kernel as far as I know, and therefor swapping models between them is pretty seamless. Unfortunately materials don't transfer that way, as Revit relies on FBX for that kind of thing.

 

Probably the best thing Revit has to offer is that almost everything remains parametric forever. There are no hard booleans - they are simply solids and voids that can interact with each other. For instance, you never 'Union' anything together. You can however 'Join' objects, and when you do the intersecting lines just clean up and present you with a unified object. As such, you may also 'Unjoin' objects back apart to make them separate again (although you don't have to do that to make adjustments). I like this approach because it is so easy to modify things later. There is no messing with 'Ghosted' objects. This makes the need for any kind of Construction History unnecessary. The downside is that there are many tools that can't be replicated in Revit that exist in fZ like intersection, slice with line, Slice with surface, split, un-stitch, etc. Obviously there is a lot of stuff going on under the hood for Revit to keep track of all this, and it is happening at the object level. While there is no such thing as a 'Layer' in Revit, there are Worksets which help control visibility on a larger scale. Objects belong to categories as well for some extra fine tuning of how they are displayed graphically.

 

Probably the most difficult thing I had to get my head wrapped around was the completely different way of working, but that goes for any two programs I think. Revit is very much, but not completely, a 'work in 2d and see the results in 3d' kind of environment. This is something I think they are making strides in changing, but it really doesn't compare to fZ, and I think this is where the fluidity lies in any modern 3d modeling application versus what is really, for the time being, strictly a construction documentation tool. But add on top of that I can have around 6 people working in the same model file at the same time every day without crashing, and there's something really powerful about that.

 

I share much the same views with regard to Revit and how it's workflow relates to FormZ

 

That quality of 'fluidity' is the thing that I like most about FormZ. And I've yet to encounter a heavily parametric based (with or without construction history) application to match it's freeform, unrestricted qualities. My views are very probably biased because I've spent the majority of my time in polygonal DCC packages over the years so the manner in which I use FormZ is closer to a DCC polygonal workflow than a CAD workflow. And the work I do is more often concerned with the quality of the final render, than the accuracy of the model. 

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I think people or mixing limitations with fluidity. Check out programs such as TurboCAD, Shark FX, SolidThinking, In those programs, for instance if you slice a Sphere with a spline, editing the controls of that spline will cause the spliced Sphere to update automatically. How exactly is that effects Fluidity? In form Z in order to get the same result I have to delete the Sliced Sphere, Show ghosts, Unghost the original Sphere, Edit the Spline and Slice again.

And all of you believe that this way is more fluid? Really?

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I think people or mixing limitations with fluidity. Check out programs such as TurboCAD, Shark FX, SolidThinking, In those programs, for instance if you slice a Sphere with a spline, editing the controls of that spline will cause the spliced Sphere to update automatically. How exactly is that effects Fluidity? In form Z in order to get the same result I have to delete the Sliced Sphere, Show ghosts, Unghost the original Sphere, Edit the Spline and Slice again.

And all of you believe that this way is more fluid? Really?

 

Dan, this discussion has nothing to do with limitations. It's simply a matter of different horses for different courses.

 

There's plenty of modeling software on the market that follows a parametric history workflow and there's plenty that doesn't. One isn't necessarily better than the other but each is better suited to the needs of different types of user. Fluidity has nothing to do with retroactive parametric control. And a lack of retroactive parametric control isn't necessarily a limitation, it's quite often a purposeful decision on the part of the software developers.

 

I personally don't enjoy the workflow in SharkFX/TurboCAD or SolidThinking but that's not because they're badly designed (or that I'm an idiot), it's just that they're designed for users with different needs to my own. If think it's great that there's so much diversity in the 3d modelling marketplace that there's packages available to suit a rich variety of needs.

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Jon, quote: "I personally don't enjoy the workflow in SharkFX/TurboCAD or SolidThinking but that's not because they're badly designed (or that I'm an idiot), it's just that they're designed for users with different needs to my own. If think it's great that there's so much diversity in the 3d modelling marketplace that there's packages available to suit a rich variety of needs."

I am an ex user of Turbocad as primary design program, some of its workflow was and is excellent but has serious disadvantages, some of which definitely ARE badly designed but unlike Autodessys, I found the IMSI Design support management hard to contact and very ignoring of requests. I could give a list of examples but here is not the place for it....there are a few features I prefer though, the simple object manipulation box and very simple moving of object reference point being one of them and keyboard direct snaps another. On the subject of fluidity, FormZ is more predictive of the next action, so no wasted tabbing to the appropriate field. I moved from TC to Sketchup but after a year of the severe frustrations of a surfaces environment [on balance I preferred Turbocad, except for the excellent Sketchup plug-ins] was desperate for something in between the two. Shark FX looked interesting as I evaluated it, quite similar to Turbocad, but for a fluid workflow - fast solid-modelling FormZ is the king as far as I am concerned, especially as Autodessys actually listen to their users, but some parametric features you see in programs like Solid Edge, Ironcad, Solidworks do appeal, but I agree that the grasshopper type plugin to achieve this seems a safer option rather than risk detriment to the core working of FormZ. A shame FormZ is not marketed more, took me many years to come accross Bonzai first and then FormZ. Little bugs have got in the way of my workflow, but getting a lot better now. Great to see so many improvements in the short time I have been using it.

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The weekend seems to be my feature request zone. So here's the first of a few.

 

Further enhancements to the Reshape tool to make it more intelligent. Much like this (developed for ESRI's City Engine):

 

 

So very slick, and the developer was kind enough to publish a white paper, detailing the algorithms too.

 

http://peterwonka.net/Publications/pdfs/2014.SG.Lipp.PushPull.pdf

 

 

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I mention again because not yet in this list:

Isolate objects, reveal objects, with the reveal not applying to everything, which seems like a bug (but apparently it is intended - ??!) but please just back to the previous level of items revealed. This wastes time on a regular basis.

It would be very nice if we could have this in 8.5.0.3 if at all possible please.

Edited by Alan Cooper

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The fine folk at AutoDessys have given us a separate forum section for feature request suggestions which can be found here.

 

http://forums.formz.com/index.php?/forum/6-form%E2%80%A2z-suggestions/

 

Over the next few days I'm going to strip out all of the recent feature requests into this forum and to aid trackability each feature request will be an individual thread. By having a separate thread for each feature request it makes it easier to gauge how universal each FR suggestion is to the wider group of users.

 

So please use the new section for feature requests - many of us have requested this over the years and as they say, if you don't use it, you lost it!  :)

 

Cheers all,

 

jm

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Hi Jon,

 

Just to make sure, all the postings that you are adding -- you do understand and also want / need / desire the suggestion you are making, right?

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Hi Jon,

 

Just to make sure, all the postings that you are adding -- you do understand and also want / need / desire the suggestion you are making, right?

 

No. I'm just stripping out suggestions that have already been made so each suggestion has it's own thread (whilst stripping out repetition and bug reports).

 

That way people can comment on, like/vote etc, for those suggestions that are important/pertinent to them. 

 

If the new forum functions they way I hope, we won't lose track of suggestions, and suggestions won't be repeated so much in nebulous threads as it will be far easier to 'bump' the original request to bring it back to people's attention.

 

As I said in my original message, It will be a matter of changing people's habits. Very few people subscribe to forum updates other than the threads they're already a part of so any time a feature request pops up in the main forum I intend to repost it in the 'Suggestions' forum section.

 

One thing that would help me with this process is that there's a time limit set between forum posts (spam management of some sort I think). Can this be disabled on an individual user basis? Reposing each feature request is like swimming in treacle with the delay between each allowable posting.

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Hi Jon,

 

I would generally recommend reposting only those suggestions that you really want to see.  Others can repost their own if they don't see it listed, but only serious suggestions should be listed, because if there are 100 "once in a blue moon this might be nice" posts, those will "dilute" the more serious suggestions.

 

Unfortunately we can't remove the posting time limit "per person" and we encounter the same issue replying to users.  However, if you get the error, just wait the "few seconds," Refresh the page, and choose Send.  Then your post should appear and you at least won't have to retype or re-paste anything...

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Hi Jon,

 

I would generally recommend reposting only those suggestions that you really want to see.  Others can repost their own if they don't see it listed, but only serious suggestions should be listed, because if there are 100 "once in a blue moon this might be nice" posts, those will "dilute" the more serious suggestions.

 

Unfortunately we can't remove the posting time limit "per person" and we encounter the same issue replying to users.  However, if you get the error, just wait the "few seconds," Refresh the page, and choose Send.  Then your post should appear and you at least won't have to retype or re-paste anything...

 

No worries on the re-posting time limit.

 

On the point of not re-posting existing requests I worry that the new forum will end up gathering tumbleweed if we don't nudge users in the right direction. For example you posted about the new 'Suggestions' forum yesterday yet users still choose to add their suggestions to this thread. I purposely re-posted everything (other than bugs and duplicate requests), even things that I didn't agree with as it's not for me to edit others suggestions.

 

To keep things manageable I suggest that I'll only repost new feature requests that are posted in the wrong section of the forums. This will hopefully ensure that users get used to using the correct forum section going forward.

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Feel free to (re) Post suggestions in that section of the forum that you really agree with and / or would find very useful.

 

We can move posts if they post to the wrong section with a new thread that is clearly suggestion only -- and not anything else.  ;)

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Cool, and thank you Jon for taking it upon yourself to manage the suggestion list. Got a feeling FormZ is on a roll and Autodessys will get a well deserved new wave of license take-ups as development continues in the right directions.

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Cool, and thank you Jon for taking it upon yourself to manage the suggestion list. Got a feeling FormZ is on a roll and Autodessys will get a well deserved new wave of license take-ups as development continues in the right directions.

 

No worries Alan.

 

I'm aware that you too where another that has repeatedly asked for a separate forum for feature request/suggestions (so that things are more trackable and don't get lost in the ether).

 

If we all make a concerted effort together I'm sure we can make the new forum section a useful resource for both AutoDesSys and users of FormZ alike.

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Please add different shapes Content frames in Layout.

Also the ability to draw in real (one set in Content frame) scale. Please bring it back from FormZ 6 Drafting environment.

Please make Layout render hidden line with a speed of Hidden Line in FormZ. Now it looks like it is three times slower.

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