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Why isn't formz more popular?

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Swaim, 

completely forgot about some of the extend behaviors.  Yea, those threw me for a loop too!  Also, still throws me, is the delete topology behavior is different.  and I Cannot manually insert segments into faceted models like I used to.   As I tend to do a whole lot of low level modeling/editing.  The "offset segment" and "offset outline" are great, but they don't do all the kind of segment inserts that I need.  Not sure if I will be able to script this, or if that is core behavior.

 

¢£

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Chris,

Thank you for your generously comprehensive advice. Really appreciate the common sense advice to take on the small before the large and the carrot that it should save time in the long-run. I look forward to learning Python as soon as I can put some time aside for it.

Hey, I see Learn Python in one day and learn it well is included for free with my Amazon prime membership! Cool

Alan.

Edited by Alan Cooper
additional

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Good morning all
This is probably one of the most interesting discussions I have read on this forum since the dawn of time ...
I have been using Formz for 20 years ...

For me the situation is worrying since the end of version 6 because versions 7 and 8 if they brought a modern development structure and ease of use for new users, they have caused me insurmountable problems .
The metamorphosis of the interface complicated my task without bringing me a revolution in functionality, at least for what I do: architecture.
Even more the abandonment of 2D blocked everything we did before and after modeling. So we were forced to stay on version 6 (the other solution was to change the software, which we did not do because the 3d part was simply unique to me.)

Now on the other hand there are many positive points which let me hope for a much better future and version 9 is the foundation of that.
The return of a clean and very professional interface is an important sign.

(Well done for the new website which illustrates the change)

This discussion raises two questions for me:
1- why Formz lost its popularity
2- What future for formz?

The frankness shown by autodessys in its intervention is also a capital gesture.
We are a small community facing a small development team.
You might as well speak frankly!

The abrupt termination of version 9 beta test is an error.
If you had asked on the beta forum to find out if the software was ready, you would probably have received a negative response.
This would not have left Autodessys to raise funds by organizing the early subscription as was the case but too briefly.
(as far as I am concerned, I updated FZ to version 8.6 while I was not using it simply because I considered that it was normal to pay for my professional software even blocked in version 6 for me)
On the other hand, releasing unfinished software is a very big mistake for new users but also for power users ...

It is all the more unfortunate that what characterizes us all on both sides is the great benevolence and the very great motivation ...

It is a fundamental point to hope for great improvements !!!

What are the reasons for the decline?

I have carefully noted the many reasons advanced by one or the other
- weak penetration of the student sector
- weak marketing towards students and in general ...
- catastrophic interface of V7 and the V9 which must correct the problem is not ready
- neglected communication (web press?
- Chris yessios would have let the program die? (I did not understand very well)
- Paul Helm's death (probably a huge loss)
- abandonment of publication of the joint study program
- lack of communication on integration in different worflows
- import to Unreal engine (which I generalize to real-time rendering engine)
- the fact that new generations of teachers are not motivated to show the work of their students. (I experienced it)
- but especially that the establishments themselves give up a structured teaching leaving the students to manage (this also I lived in France in a school of architecture) but also the fact that the establishments are anxious to let the students work on the market leading solutions in order to offer them professional outlets (In France, we also have teachers who are also professionals and who use students as labor for their agencies on the software they use themselves professionally. .


I could add to the bundle of reasons (because I actually think there are several reasons and not one or two)

- Read “History of formz” (Birkhauser) at the start there is a great interconnection between development and demand from customers or architects (Peter Eisenmann)
This gave a completely original approach to drawing (the importance of topological levels for example until version 6) but also unique tools (unfolding for example)

 

 

 

now how to snap on one side!
For me an error (which does not make it) is to have over time forgotten to orient the software at the request of the users.
But above all what I learned in my job is that you shouldn't copy others, on the contrary you should always do what others don't do.
In this sense Bonzai was undoubtedly also a mistake in addition to giving an image of gadget. I mean on the marketing side and not the coding utility ...

So one could almost wonder if the best idea would be to develop original ideas not found elsewhere.
It would be useful to question users on the theme: what would you like to be able to do in your job and that no software can do? ...

another reason is also the money (I'm talking about fundraising and investment)
but it's a double-edged sword
On the autodessys side there remained a small team with means that we can imagine limited (it is an assumption) that forbids to compete with the hordes of developers that we imagine at autodesk
On the other hand our software has remained independent (think of the quantity of programs devoured by autodesk from ligthscape to realviz and so on
sometimes simply to kill the competitor at times to integrate it or both at the same time!

So it's also because we don't interest anyone and no one at Autodessys wanted to sell the baby… (the existence of Formz even today is enough to explain that Chris Yessios never wanted his death! It's a big chance for us that Formz is still available and also accessible with inexpensive licenses and without subscription

Another thing, in my humble opinion Autodessys has not been able to support the community more strongly for the constitution of a resource bank ...
for example why the initiative of Anton Voloshin is not it better supported and relayed in the foreground (sketchup had no reluctance to constitute the 3Dwharhouse ...)
(because either you have to rely on the user base to build the libraries, or buy them ..)
Today look at the ecosystem around engines like unreal who just bought Quixel
money… (thanks to TECENT)
They strengthen their basic software by acquiring libraries (megascans)
Adobe does the same with Alegorithmic (substance)

Something else Formz did not take the BIM train ...
Personally I don't miss it very much but it could have been a very useful tool for building up elements that can be integrated into large Revit or Archicad type platforms.

It is certain that the prestige of formz has gradually deteriorated ... There was a time when large architecture studios used it (I think of Herzog and DeMeuron for example), it was very very good for attract students
I also really liked the examples that had been chosen to illustrate the software (Le corbusier ..)
Prestigious clients helped build reputation
That disappeared a little ...
Or maybe it's just a lack of communication?

formz 7 is not only an interface disaster
In my case, it simply cut me off from all of my 2D files that interact with our 3D projects, forcing me to stay in version 6
I think version 9 will correct it (at least I hope so)
Versions 7 and 8 will have been a parenthesis for me ...

Vray's case
It's excellent to have converted Formz to Vray (due to the weakness of lightworks development?)
of course
but why relay maxwell in the background?
Recently, Next limit announced the update of the plugin (I don't know if it's still the excellent Ben Dean who takes care of it)
This information is not even relayed on the Autodessys site!
Both are good but on the same ground, hyperrealism

Not taking the train of real-time rendering engines would also be a mistake because they will take on great importance ...
(the hardware is advancing, and our customers are delighted to see their projects in real time and in VR)
Warning... !
(Andrew, I dream of a plugin for Twinmotion ...)

What to do to progress?

I subscribe to everything Swaim said about marketing (which is without doubt a decisive axis)

formz extention store seems to me a very good idea (Justin Montoya) (adaptation of other extensions of other software for formz
(isn't that the meaning of the Formz Lab?)

Tutorial tutorials…
It seems to me that a very good strategy, both technical and marketing, will consist in joining software in view
I explain choose an interactive rendering engine like Twinmotion (I come back to it) which makes the buzz, everyone is watching this currently because of the amazing results and real time then take the time to develop the plugin or even make a deal with the powerful editor in search of outlets, Then start the workflow on youtube. You are going to take advantage of the enormous attractiveness of the rendering engine and perhaps attract young modelers ...

Twinmotion which is at a turning point of its existence (currently free, it will not last)
All of you who read me will see and analyze in detail you will understand ...

And finally, I decided to take a Python training ...

Thank you all for this fabulous discussion!

 

 

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On 2/22/2020 at 12:44 AM, Swaim said:

- 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.

Form Z already has a free Student Edition. It's ALSO the full edition. Trimble does not offer a full free student edition of SketchUP, theirs is $55/yr.

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On 2/25/2020 at 5:13 AM, f700es said:

Form Z already has a free Student Edition. It's ALSO the full edition. Trimble does not offer a full free student edition of SketchUP, theirs is $55/yr.

The problem is that, compared to previous years, only a fraction of students/universities are taking on form.z now. Perhaps they are looking for software that is widely accepted, thereby ensuring future employment prospects.

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I believe it would be a good idea if ADS (as a small company) work together with another small company, Serif. Instead of trying to make Layout work or copy (bad) tools/concepts from other CAD developers, ask Serif to join. ADS can focus on what they do best: making the 3D modeller. V-Ray is already on board. The only thing Serif has to do is make it possible to import DWG/DXF files and that's it.

https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/publisher/

Working together in different fields make the strength of both 'small company's'. It's unique.

Why I talk about Layout in this discussion? Because I think it's the metaphor of what went wrong with ADS and FormZ. On the other hand I still believe in this company ADS.

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3 hours ago, Hugo said:

I believe it would be a good idea if ADS (as a small company) work together with another small company, Serif. Instead of trying to make Layout work or copy (bad) tools/concepts from other CAD developers, ask Serif to join. ADS can focus on what they do best: making the 3D modeller. V-Ray is already on board. The only thing Serif has to do is make it possible to import DWG/DXF files and that's it.

https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/publisher/

Working together in different fields make the strength of both 'small company's'. It's unique.

Why I talk about Layout in this discussion? Because I think it's the metaphor of what went wrong with ADS and FormZ. On the other hand I still believe in this company ADS.

Been using Serif software for many years. It kept getting better and better. They were good at marketing too, which could be a massive bonus.

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Hugo,

I haven't used the Affinity products yet but they do look nice.  Our clients are only using Adobe products so it forces us to keep them, even though there are clearly better options out there now.  

Affinity Publisher looks to be very similar to InDesign, which InDesign can Import the DWG/DXF/EPS/AI files by way of Illustrator.  It doesn't look like the Affinity Designer can Import DWG like Illustrator though.  

Unfortunately, it looks like using the Serif?  Affinity products is not going to work at this time as they have refused to add the DWG/DXF Import/Export as requested for years now.

I think the formZ Layout product should be able to work fine for most, but if not, you should be able to use the Adobe Illustrator and InDesign to do what you desire here, just like Affinity Publisher.  I think that's the first time I've ever recommended an Adobe product.  If the shoe fits...

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Justin,

I stopped using Adobe products, and I do not miss them at all. Since then I am using Affinity Suit with enthusiasm. Actually I do not use Layout the way ADS intended, because it is still not on par with the 3D modeller.

I use for my CAD drawings 3D modeller FormZ, make a full shaded screen dump on 300dpi, and get them in Affinity Publisher to create PDF's for my clients. Perfect output with full control of WYSISWG. Try this with Layout... Pfffffff.

Today I wrote an email to Serif and AutoDesSys to tell them what could be a nice idea: They should working together as they are small company's and create unique and very good tools (AF suit / FormZ 3D). I really do believe it's a way small company's could do. Small is more flexible... I am not that enthusiastic to see the Autodesks, Nemetschek's, Adobe's on this globe. Those company's became just too big. 

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Mike,

I do not believe in another 2D CAD company, because FormZ is already a program acting in the same field. (All 2D options are already in the 3D modeller) The idea of the concept working together with a company active in another field brings the benefit. As Alan Cooper said;

14 hours ago, Alan Cooper said:

They were good at marketing too, which could be a massive bonus.

Do things different... and go beyond 2D thinking.

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20 hours ago, Hugo said:

Today I wrote an email to Serif and AutoDesSys to tell them what could be a nice idea: They should working together as they are small company's and create unique and very good tools (AF suit / FormZ 3D).

Great Idea! I would support this.

 

15 hours ago, Mike_Concentric said:

How about an actual 2d Cad company such as PowerCADD?

Or maybe Ashlar/Graphite ? I would support this.

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FORM-Z

WHY ISN’T FORM-Z MORE POPULAR ?

Or should it be:-

HOW TO MAKE FORM-Z MORE POPULAR !

 

I’ve followed FZ from the early days, 2009/10 with Bonzai3D but already purchased SketchUP in 2005 on the back of their marketing video tutorials, at that time, there wasn’t anything like these videos & it soon got noticed. There’s nothing like being in the right place at the right time, as GOOGLE purchased SU in 2006 & a year later in 2007 GOOGLE made a free version to dominate the attention of their audience. Competing for a share of that cake by anyone would be hard work, even with FZ’s superior tools.

 

The Bonzai3D tools, including some in-house Architectural tools, were really impressive from what I saw on YOUTUBE with the brilliant videos by Matthew Holewinski.

 

I can’t recall when Bonzai3D transitioned into Form-Z-Jr but was equally impressed again with Matthew Holewinski videos showing FZ’s ver 8.5 LAYOUT tool & was very enthused & almost purchased FZ at that time. However, I wasn’t too sure if the LAYOUT tool was equal to SU’s & saw a few negative posts about it. I’m still unsure to this day if it was just users not understanding how to use it or if there were noted issues. Some SU user’s said the same about SU-LAYOUT, but worked ok for my architectural uses with no issues.

 

AutoDesSys didn’t seem to nudge my radar from 2016 onwards with any video tutorials, albeit I noted some V-ray ones, but not interested in that. I did see on the forum that version 9.0 was coming, but this was taking sometime indeed. Then by luck, I did see ver-9.0 had been released, but very understated. I’d like to see the recorded webinar or some new videos about version 9.0 to get re-enthused as SU isn’t being developed very well in my opinion since TRIMBLE bought it in 2012.

 

Since that time, they’ve concentrated on making SU work more efficiently & improving how tools work with some minor tool features, but no real new power tools & this was more or less confirmed none would be introduced anytime soon. They’re still lots of UI improvement that should have been done by now & the layer manager is still as dumb as ever. This year they decided to rename layers to TAG’s to some ridicule.

 

I’m uncertain what path SU is on lately, they’ve also frustrated many folk with their free version being only now web based & some poor decisions with pricing by introducing Subscription Licensing (RANSOMWARE) in an effort to reduce the Perpetual Licensed audience in the future.

 

Perhaps now is the time for FZ to be more noticeable & thus become more popular ?

 

Pricing (UK):-

 

£355.00 = Form.Z-Jr (ver.9.00)

£720.00 = Form.Z-Pro (ver.9.00)

£499.00 = SketchUp Pro 2020 Classic includes Layout (Perpetual License) excl. vat

 

Even though FZ-Pro has more tools to offer than SU-Pro, the pricing I feel needs to be a little closer to SU-Pro or further pricing options. I don’t see why a form of instalment perpetual licence can’t be engineered, say £240.00 per month over a three-month period would be good to see & you then own it, it would certainly help potential users with their monthly bills.  

 

FZ-Free could be targeted to the SU-Make (free) users as they’re not taking to the web based free version apparently. I’m sure FZ-Free has a better tool set then SU-Make or SU-web-free, a video to demonstrate this would work wonders I’m sure.

 

My other thought was that as FZ-LAYOUT is a separate piece of software, why not have an option to purchase this separately (as I noted in 2015/6). The price point of FZ-Pro would look more attractive to those who don’t use LAYOUT.

 

Not forgetting FZ-Jr, ensure that FZ-LAYOUT works with FZ-Jr.

 

Just my thoughts of course.

 

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Some interesting observations there CJTFORM-Z.

FormZ is light years ahead of SU in most cases, having very robust modeling tools and with current pricing, is extremely good value. FormZ acutely falls short with Layout when compared to SU Layout. SU is unmatched for its output of line work and more value brought forward with SU Warehouse. FormZ's Layout for me it's simply not usable in a productive environment. I've managed to work around it's limitations, however the KILLER application would be FormZ modeling toolset, VRay or other render engine compatibility and very robust 3D/2D production drawing capability within a single application or software suite. The need to split 3D-2D model/drawing, rendering, documenting work streams is so 1990's. Why is this still the case? This frustrates me to no end with FormZ. If only the Layout application would be made priority for once! For me that would propel FormZs value immensely. 

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Hi Shibui Design,

Not being an FZ user, can you clarify why FZ-LAYOUT isn't usable in your opinion & what it lacks compared to SU-LAYOUT please ?

When you say SU is unmatched for its line work, are saying line work compared to FZ-LAYOUT or FZ-Pro per-se, in any event, please can you clarify ?

Also not quite understanding the FZ 2D/3D split comment, therefore can you clarify that as well please ?  

Sorry for the questions, it all helps potential users such as me. 

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cjt, 

in versions 6.x and prior, there was a draft module that was built into the main fZ app. It wasn’t really a layout module, but was probably used as such.  
since v7 the drafting tools were incorporated into the 3D environment. And thus layout was born from left over capabilities. 
 

If I recall correctly, ADS was under constant pleading, and complaining that draft tools be incorporated into 3D (there were none back then).  And ADS complied to only get more complaining. (Admittedly, I am not a layout user, 3D dimensioning tools work great for my needs and I would document in illustrator, as I needed color in my documentation)

From the little bit that I played with it, the only advantage I see that the old way was superior to the split of today is that you could copy/paste directly from one module to the other and that both the 3D model and the 2D model were save in the same file.  since fZ doesn’t use the system clipboard for copy paste (data structure is too complicated?)  you can’t do that with split apps.  

Problem is, they were not linked, if you updated your 3D, the 2D did not follow.   I too see a lot of complaints, but not a lot off direction.  But again, I am not a user, so I am probably just not following.   Will say, “not usable in its current form”  leaves ADS to guessing to what needs to be changed.  Though it probably was spelled out elsewhere. 

I think what he is saying about the line work, is the output to other file formats(PDF) or printing.  Though, not positive.
Overall, ADS does listen to complaints and suggestions, though often it isn’t obvious.  The changes just come. 

Dont mean to bash anybody about complaining, as I have done a fair share myself, I just think that when you do, be specific.  There is a lot of history in the forums that it isn’t immediately obvious (A collective stream of consciousness) to anyone what the issues are if they aren’t stated at least generally for repeats.  that is a lot for ADS to parse. 

Shibuil, not sure I follow... How would that work?   and how would you want the combination of layout introduced into the main app again?   would you have them divided as it was in 6.x? Or can you think of some kind of true integration?   I personally think that since the functionality of layout and 3D are so different, it makes sense to have them separate.  But am very interested in what other imaginations can come up with to change my mind.

With the return of scripting, could there be tools that are added to alleviate any concerns?  (There is an extensions menu in draft, though at the moment looks to be plugins only)

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53 minutes ago, Chris lund said:

cjt, 

in versions 6.x and prior, there was a draft module that was built into the main fZ app. It wasn’t really a layout module, but was probably used as such.  
since v7 the drafting tools were incorporated into the 3D environment. And thus layout was born from left over capabilities. 
 

----------------------------------

Hi Chris,

Reading your post, I did a bit of research on the DRAFT-MODULE, (not being a FZ user) & was intrigued why ADS removed this from FZ. If I understand correctly, this was done when the separate LAYOUT programme came out ? If so, then I can see why a lot of users were more than dismayed, as the 2D DRAFT-MODULE must have been used as part of users work, a unique feature to keep for a 3D programme. LAYOUT in SU came about purely because after designing something, the natural next step would be to place your designs on a drawing sheet to present & print it. Naturally some 2D-TOOLS would be needed in addition, but not at the detriment or need to remove them from the core programme. 😕😕

 DRAFT-MODULE  =  http://ftp.formz.com/products/formz/drafting.html

 

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I read some older threads about Layout or Draft or... The more I analyse why it's a hot item, I believe the concepts result is not the right one. As I understood from Tech, they wanted to keep the 3D modeller as clean as possible, therefore they split 3D and 2D in two different programs. Now I understand why they decided to do so. 

Transforming a 3D model to a vector based layout/draft, (grouped segments) is not very sophisticated. A CAD program based on pixels is far more intelligent. Maybe I am wrong, but I think object oriented is better than a vector based program. Look what we get after transferring the 3D model to 2D layout /draft: grouped segments.

To understand the object concept; simply lay 1 piece of paper over the other one. The lower one is covered by the upper one, you can easily move, you do not have to trim or extend or anything to get a new composition. And pick on the object anywhere... (is very handy)

In another thread in 2017 I suggested using the 3D modeller for 2D as well. All the bells and whistles are already in the modeller. So to speak, people who still want to draw in 2D, still can. And, even in a more sophisticated way by using the modeller with shaded objects and use override layers to controle the objects with colour, fill, hatches, etc. Actually, the option 'make a permanent cut from a clipping plane', could be used to copy into another 3D model. As I explained in the thread below. In my opinion the focus should be on making some of the tools usable to get the 2D output we want.

For example; after using the option 'make a permanent cut from clipping plane' the following action could be: open a 3D reference file to place that cut on a Z level, work in this file the way you want.

What's left is making the layout of a drawing. Well, others invented that wheel already, and it rolls brilliant! Brandon, I told you ask them to help...

Another idea I had is to organise a small conference in the town ADS is seated. Small scale and very interactive with ADS. The reason why it should be on a small scale is the impact it could have on the ADS team and on us users. Not bigger, not more, but based on uniqueness and quality. Creating small work shops, discussing some main topics like in the old day at my art academy... ADS can easily take the ideas.

Chris, I understand what you said about only complaining but not giving the dev team any direction'. I do have good feedback from the support and I see they are taking issues seriously. But, as they told me, making screen movies about bugs are very helpful. If other users can do the same, send it to the support team. It absolutely make a difference. No more words, but WYSISWYG.

I am not sure If my commend makes sense why it should be quality and uniqueness as the main selling point to get new users on board. It's absolutely worth to keep FormZ alive!!

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Before, all drafting was in 2D.  in V7, they created drafting tools that worked in 3D, of which many were begging for (pretty sure I was one of them, but far from the only one.)

Really, a lot of the capabilites from the old draft mode were incorporated into the 3D environment.  Which really didn't leave a lot in place for a whole operating mode in a single app. Kind of complicates that app to do so for a limited set of functionality.  So, presumably, that is reason enough to take that functionality and spin it off.

Peoples habits being what they are, want to draft in 2D too... hence the new mode for Draft/Layout.  There may have been something too about the app moving towards 64Bit, but not sure...

 

Hugo, Your ideas on drafting in 3D do hint at possibilities.  However, that compels me to question how fZ would handle scaling for layout in 3D, since the 3D environment is at scale and paper is not.  The Layout as a separate App handles that.   In the 3D environment, if you are drafting off of a full scale 3D model on another layer or view or some mechanism, it would have to constantly be adjusting the scale of the 3D model.  Could be taxing on the system.   Layout only has to do this once, when it loads the file from disk (or when the model changes and is saved).  

I guess, it could be left full scale until export or print, at which point the scaling would occur.  A frame could be built that is the ratio of the output you expect, but it is over-scaled while working.

I agree, I will often do vid caps when reporting bugs.  During the beta, there were often vary vague complaints too.  Another issue, that I hinted at above, is I want this, and you want that and they want something else... ultimately ADS needs to make a choice.  Sometimes those choices are against what I want.  And I plod along.

One thing I think would be real nice is to have some sort of public facing catalog for suggestions.  It would be reasonable to assume that ADS has something like that, but from our point of view, ideas can get buried pretty quickly in the public facing forum.   Though, I have to admit, this is a vague idea... and probably not very helpful.

 

¢£

 

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Just want to say Thanks for the sharing to everyone here.  I really love seeing all the passion for formZ and knowing I'm not alone in the world.  

I don't often have to create detail drawings for my work.  We hand off the final concepts to a CAD dept expert,  where they work their magic to create real, usable shop drawings. 

However, with that in mind, whenever I do want to create a detail type drawing for Estimating, I just do so in 3D using the Dimension and Callout tools.  Extra layers and extra files help to hide the unneeded model info (Now using Scenes since being told about them!), but if the main project and all the models get updated I would have to start it all again from scratch.  Does Layout fix that?  Does it create a reference to the main FMZ project and get automatically updated if the project gets updated?  I would use that if it did and was as easy to put together a document as just saving JPGs and compiling a PDF.

That's something were missing.  The Best Practices Workflow.  Documentation and/or videos showing how to use these powerful tools.  I don't think it's obvious to many long time users, or even new users.  

I believe Paul Helm made many of the videos we all used in the past and he was great at taking a sample project and explaining a few tools. I still reference the formZ animation videos!  Each video was short and direct about particular topics, without being too long or intimidating.  Layout needs this and probably all of formZ v9 for it's Tools and more since the interface has changed.  VRay for formZ needs it as well.

I understand this is a big undertaking, and without volunteers, perhaps ADS is willing to hire someone with the expertise and passion for formZ who can do just what we need here?  I think that could be a huge first step and the videos on YouTube would also serve as valuable marketing material.  I'd particularly like to see some direct comparisons to competing products like SketchUp that could show how much more powerful and efficient formZ is out of the box, maybe a sample project like a simple building gets built in each program from start to finish?  formZ free should certainly be the hobby 3D printers/Makers dream software, powerful, free, upgradable.  Let's show some videos of it being used for that!  
 

Keep up the suggestions folks!  Problems presented with possible solutions are always better heard.  Always.

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22 hours ago, CJTFORM-Z said:

Hi Shibui Design,

Not being an FZ user, can you clarify why FZ-LAYOUT isn't usable in your opinion & what it lacks compared to SU-LAYOUT please ?

When you say SU is unmatched for its line work, are saying line work compared to FZ-LAYOUT or FZ-Pro per-se, in any event, please can you clarify ?

Also not quite understanding the FZ 2D/3D split comment, therefore can you clarify that as well please ?  

Sorry for the questions, it all helps potential users such as me. 

CJTFORM-Z

 

The purpose of Layout is to be able to document the 3D project. For example, in the case of architecture, one would model the building, site, etc. in FormZ 3D modeler. Then create a LAYOUT project to add dimensions, notes, etc. (often referred to as blueprints in the old day). The LAYOUT file is a separate file that simply references the 3D model. If the 3D model changes (and they often do), the LAYOUT file will automatically update to show those changes in LAYOUT. This is a huge productivity bonus and has been around in the CAD world for quite a long while. The biggest reason it is unusable to me is that for some reason with version 9 3D modeler and LAYOUT

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CJTFORM-Z

 

The purpose of Layout is to be able to document the 3D project. For example, in the case of architecture, one would model the building, site, etc. in FormZ 3D modeler. Then create a LAYOUT project to add dimensions, notes, etc. (often referred to as blueprints in the old day). The LAYOUT file is a separate file that simply references the 3D model. If the 3D model changes (and they often do), the LAYOUT file will automatically update reflecting those changes in LAYOUT. This is a huge productivity bonus and has been around in the CAD world for quite a long while. The biggest reason V9 LAYOUT is unusable to me is that for some reason when I create a layout file I get nothing but a blank window. I can pan/zoom, zoom extents, etc. and never will the file reveal anything. Interesting fact; with FORMZ 3D Modeler, I have the same issue. For example upon FormZ start up, I don't immediately get a modeling window. Where the model window should be is just a large blank light grey area. Zoom, pan, etc. does nothing. The only way I've found to get the modeling window is to enter EDIT CONE OF VISION (Command E) and then exit. This behavior happens if I create a new file or upon opening an existing file. I've spoken with Ztech just this week and they have no solution for this. Being a beta participant, I reported the same problem to no response. I asked the Beta Forum if anyone had the same problem and no responses came.

SketchUp has very nice line rendering with many embedded line styles to select nice looking sketch style drawings. Think of quick free hand sketches on a bar napkin! Some of the line styles are wonderful. Many years ago FormZ included similar line styles and the ability to customize line styles. I've used some of these line styles in the past but these days hardly bother with it. I'm not lobbying for new or better line styles, just pointing this out... 

The comment about splitting the 2D/3D workflow is about my frustration in the year 2020 why there is not a killer application where one has very rapid 3D modeling / design capabilities, coupled with the ability to quickly produce high quality renderings AND be able to produce design documentation drawings within the same application or suite of apps. For my money, I'd very much like that KILLER APPLICATION to be FormZ. We are almost there now since FormZ has Vray as a plugin. If we could only have LAYOUT further developed to be a more robust drawing documentation tool, workflows could be much more efficient. It is extremely tedious to dimension add notes, etc in recent versions of LAYOUT. I've really tried on many occasions. There have been many reports of problems noted on the forums with similar frustration. 

CJTFORM-Z: I do hope you can see past the grumbling here and seriously consider adopting FormZ. FormZ is an incredibly robust and fluid design modeling tool. Once you learn the basics, you will quickly see how much more advanced it is compared to SU. It has been instrumental in my design practice for over 20 years. I've tried many other 3D software and recognize strengths and limitations therein and always prefer the thoughtful tools in FormZ over the rest. In current practice, I use FormZ for modeling, Cinema 4D for rendering and Vectorworks for drawing documentation. I would like to be able to accomplish the same using only FormZ. Hope this helps clarify my earlier post.

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16 hours ago, Chris lund said:

Hugo, Your ideas on drafting in 3D do hint at possibilities.  However, that compels me to question how fZ would handle scaling for layout in 3D, since the 3D environment is at scale and paper is not.  The Layout as a separate App handles that.

3D scenes are powerful to change the screen. just make a screen dump on 300dpi, or print to PDF with vector possibilities and use the result in ANY publishing app. one big advantage here: you have complete control over what you want to export. The nice thing about making your screen, for instance 19,2 by 19,2 cm, you select the 3D model in that screen, you can easily toggle between TOP-FRT-LFT-RGT view and just print them without scaling/changing between your toggle action.

In the publishing app you can make place holders to fit the PNG, PDF, SVG or whatever format. The power of creating a template publish/layout document is also very handy.

After an update, you select the scene again, make a screen dump or print to PDF, override the file and the publishing app do the update. And again, with full control of what you want.

The fact of the decision to cut 3D and 2D, probably for good reason, is introducing problems in 2D if it is not rock solid connected to the 3D model. You have simply no control over the printout.

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Chris, I would like to discus certain workflow with you because you are able to script. Let me know if you like that.

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Hi Shibui Design,

Thanks for your further replies, its much appreciated.

I should have said, (to save typing), I've been using SU for many years now & various other CAD software for my Architectural business here in the UK, so am generally familiar with CAD terms & uses & of course what LAYOUT per-se is meant to achieve.

This topic, (DRAFT MODULE) or now FZ-9 DRAFT-LAYOUT, I've since learned is under another discussion header post, so this continued over there prior to your reply.

I'm still considering FZ-9, but will need to see some up to date video tutorials by ADS on their YOUTUBE channel covering certain tools & DRAFT-LAYOUT is just one I'd like to see.

 

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