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I jumped into FZ8.5 coming from 6.5 this weekend and things have changed quite a bit.  I do all of my modeling in FormZ and export to C4D for render.  The tools in FZ now seemed to be much more geared towards smooth modeling/nurbz/subd modeling as many of the features I used in the past for facetted/polygonal modeling have disappeared - such as being able to specifying number of points to use during rounding operations.  Anyway, I am running into a more immediate problem - see image attached.  The rounding facets are not lining up with the sides which is making a big smoothing mess in Cinema4D.  How do I avoid this problem when rounding and at export?  It is not usable to me in this state.  I would appreciate someone getting me up to speed in this matter.  Thanks, Kevin.

post-10687-0-54975400-1453046342_thumb.jpg

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There's a new export option for OBJ, FBX (and a few other which I don't use) called 'Hi Quality Smoothing' which should remedy these issues. The FBX exporter is still in beta and you'll have to add smoothing tags manually in C4D so I tend to use OBJ at the moment for export. If you're exporting strictly for rendering and animation 3ds is still a good option but it's triangulated throughout so it's difficult to do any further modeling operations in C4D.

 

Other gotcha's with C4D is that Maxon keep on playing with the OBJ importer with each release so there are different tricks you have to use depending on if you're on R15, R16, R17. Always best to maintain old releases with C4D (I personally do all my heavy lifting with R15 - pre the mess of the Reflectance channel), and this imports the geometry well but loses the material parameters on import (they're still there it's just that they all show up as white materials). There's a really great OBJ importer plugin called Riptide Pro which does the best job of all. It's getting a bit long in the tooth but it still works all the up to R17.

 

https://skinprops.com/riptidepro.php

 

 

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Thanks for the reply.  I'm using C4DR16.  I guess I'll keep experimenting.  BTW - This "Hi Quality Smoothing", will that change the geometry upon export?  Is there a way that FormZ will align the side during the rounding operation?  Looks too much like Rhino to me.

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Thanks for the reply.  I'm using C4DR16.  I guess I'll keep experimenting.  BTW - This "Hi Quality Smoothing", will that change the geometry upon export?  Is there a way that FormZ will align the side during the rounding operation?  Looks too much like Rhino to me.

 

It's the way the geometry engine works. Working with solids and nurbs surfaces is very different to working directly with polygons so when surfaces and solids are converted to polygons they give the impression that they're not aligned but once the export is brought into a polygonal package such as Modo or C4D you'll see than polygons do align if their part of a single object. And incidentally that's the best way to manage against smoothing errors. Split up your model into different objects before export (especially around problematic surface interchanges). This helps a great deal too (as well as the Hi Quality smoothing option).

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Jon - Thanks again for the response.  I am still having no luck getting this to export - having tried several methods.  Tech Support - I would appreciate you taking a look at the attached file and advise on the best way to export.  Further, I am unable to convert the outer disk shape to facetted.  Why is this tool unavailable for this object?  

 

How do I attach a file?

Edited by kmwhitt

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Hi Kevin,

 

The High Quality Smoothing option that Jon mentions should do the trick, but if it is not, you can use More Reply button at the bottom right of the text window here to Attach a file.  For the forum, FMZ files should first be ZIPped, and should be smaller than 5 Mb.  Or you can send the file to support@formz.com and we can get it from there...

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Any luck with this file?

 

Also, I sent an email to Tech support over the weekend - so far, no reply.  When I tried to install V8.5 on my new computer, it says I have exceeded my number of licenses.  I removed FormZ from the old computer with no difference.  What do I have to do to unlock the new install?  Thanks,  Kevin.

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Hi Kevin,

 

We are still looking at the geometry, and it imports fine into programs like Electric Image and others, but not sure if there is a setting that needs to be made when Importing into Cinema.  Is there an import option there to read the Smoothing / Normals from the Imported file?

 

We did not receive any emails from you to support@formz.com.  Did you send it to a different address -- and either way, can you please resend it?  To remove a license from one computer, please send your formZ Serial number -- as well as the MAC Address of the computer from which you wish to remove formZ, and we can adjust our records accordingly.

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Hi ZMod - the only options to import within Cinema 4D are attached.  I have tried various combinations.  I've been using OBJ export with C4D for years up to FZV6.5 with no problems.  I understand V7 and up has changed significantly, but I've got to find a way to do this or I can't work with the latest version - unless you have another format you suggest (that supports N-gons).  Thanks for looking into this.  I will resend my license request w/ MAC Address tonight.

 

post-10687-0-28512300-1453231910_thumb.jpg

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Wait - I take that back.  I couldn't find an FBX export if I remember correctly.  That may be my preferred method as I use it with 3DS Max often.  Where do I get it?  Is it a plug-in?

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Just had a chance to take a look at your file and have managed to import a matching file into C4D R15 (and R17 - I don't have R16 installed) but there are a couple of caveats based on how you created your geometry in FormZ.

 

As you can see once you disable the wireframe in FormZ, pre meshing your geometry created slight shading errors even within the FormZ viewport. The import in C4D is a match for the Geometry in FormZ but to make it match you need to ensure that you don't import the normal map (or delete the normal tags in C4D). When I recommended using the Hi Quality normals option for your OBJ export, this was based upon maintaining your geometry as smooth solids (or NURBS surface) in FormZ and allowing the export to create the mesh and associated normal map. Pre meshing in FormZ always creates less than ideal surface shading on curved surfaces when taken into external polygonal packages.

 

Recreating your geometry as smooth solids (or NURBS) then using the Hi Quality smoothing option and ensure that solids/surfaces are converted based on display resolution and that resolution is either 50 or 100% - I've found other display resolutions create bad exports. This should yield better surface smoothing results in C4D.

 

Hope this helps.

 

1gMot.png

 

ETM.png

 

 

Edited by jonmoore

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Jon - Thanks again.  I really appreciate your time.  So, what your saying is that FormZ now behaves opposite to versions prior to V7?  It was always necessary to convert to faceted or geometry would not export in older versions.   This only confirms for me why I delayed so long getting into the newer versions.  I do not like the fact that they completely removed polygonal modeling with very little control over the resolution of geometry.  Worse yet, converting to polys is not reliable within the app that created them.  I was told more than a year ago they would return some of the older features.  Guess I'll continue to stick with V6.6 for now - a shame as I've been paying for the family plan this whole time.

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Tech support might be able to suggest workflows that better suit your needs and my advice is based purely on personal experience but I've always found the mesh conversion tools within FormZ 7 & 8 to lack fine tuning. In all fairness most CAD applications have the same problems converting from Solids/Nurbs to polygons. MOI3d and Rhino do a reasonable job but I have a preference for the Integrityware plugin 'Power Translators that's available for for Modo, Max and Maya (but this is a very expensive option).

 

The Hi Quality smoothing export option from FormZ has worked well for me going into C4D and 3ds Max so don't give up on it yet. However I do agree that it would be good if FormZ regained it's polygonal modelling capabilities in a future revision. They would after all be a good complement to the subdivsion modelling tools introduced in v8.

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Quote from Jon Moore:

 

'Pre meshing in FormZ always creates less than ideal surface shading on curved surfaces when taken into external polygonal packages.' 

 

That is a shame, because even in FormZ we have to change smooth objects to mesh quite often to do successful modifications to a model, like moving of points and edges which refuse to budge when in smooth geometry.

 

I am very much looking forward to when FormZ changes to give the option to create certain geometry as faceted from the start instead of smooth being the only option. I know this is an issue which is to be addressed and Jon's point expresses another reason for our need of it. I wish we could have the benefits of smooth and faceted combined but it seems to be a tall order.

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Attached is another simple example.  This time I did not pre-mesh in FormZ prior to export - kept it smooth.  Trying FBX and OBJ with High Quality Smoothing at export, I still have problems in C4D.  TechSupport - I would really appreciate someone showing me how to go about this successfully.  Thank you.

Untitled32.zip

post-10687-0-47132100-1453284163_thumb.jpg

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Attached is another simple example.  This time I did not pre-mesh in FormZ prior to export - kept it smooth.  Trying FBX and OBJ with High Quality Smoothing at export, I still have problems in C4D.  TechSupport - I would really appreciate someone showing me how to go about this successfully.  Thank you.

 

In all fairness your last model exports perfectly to C4D. And by following the process correctly - using Hi Quality smoothing, you keep the normals tag as that provides the vertex normal information that C4D requires to render the surfaces smoothly.

 

What you have to remember when looking at a model with a wireframe superimposed is that both FormZ and C4D hide the underlying triangle structure of the geometry surfaces (so you can view your model with clarity). In reality all OpenGL rendering looks like an STL file, everything is made up of triangles. The last image below shows the true geometric structure of your model (in both C4D and FormZ). As you can see. It's a single solid model with every polygon aligned.

 

 

15kZY.png

 

183Lj.png

 

1gEQI.png

Edited by jonmoore

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