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2 hours ago, Alan Cooper said:

Forgive my inexperience in making video presentations but here is one I have just made for you

showing an example of why I like the simplicity of FormZ for bespoke furniture designing.

https://youtu.be/TFdgbqeEFw4

I would also like to point out that there are other ways to achieve a similar result.

For example I could have used the Modify/Difference (boolean subtract) tool.

Hi Alan,
Good effort, I think this proves quick videos even by novices aren't that daunting to make, well done & thanks for sharing. Heck.......Fz-HQ may be calling you for some help.. 😁

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On 9/5/2020 at 3:21 PM, setz said:

I've been considering making videos for FZ for a long time now.  I love FZ and I have a lot of tips and tricks I could share.  The things holding me back are that I have zero experience in video production, and poor voice and camera presence lol. (That's not me in the avatar.)

For now, as an alternative to videos there is a great resource on FZ's website for Tips and Tricks:   http://www.formz.com/fzsite1219/manuals/TnT/index.htm#t=Add_and_fill_out_Title_Block_templates_to_Layout_documents.htm

That about sums it up for me.  I can do the editing when I put my mind to it... but my presence downright sucks, if it wasn't obvious by the Coke bottle vids I attempted.

When things slow down for me, I do still intend on putting out some fZ/Python tutes... though.

 

¢£

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One thing to consider, most if not all of Mathew's videos are relevant.  There have been some changes and additions since then.  Most of which I feel are obvious as to how they work.

I will admit, however, that I would like to see an in-depth set of videos on the Draft/Layout App.  One thing I wonder about it is if ADS' intent for it is a bit different than the user's expectations.  Admittedly, I don't use it at all.  For, when I want to dimension, the main app does what I need.  That aside, I fully understand other users' needs are different than mine.  

Out of curiosity, however, I would like a full treatment of videos just to see if it would be useful for me.

 

Later this fall, when my time opens up for me again, I am willing to put in the time to help other users and ADS out with what I know. Admittedly, though I have used the software now for about 25 years, I don't know it all.  There are tools I have never touched, and more I touch very sparingly.  My modeling skills are strong, however, in certain areas.    Maybe I will even improve my presentation skills.

 

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CJT - thanks for the kind comments. I must use a different mic in future, it seems that the inbuilt one is so close to the mic it is overwhelming, I wasn't even aware of the fan while recording.

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35 minutes ago, Alan Cooper said:

CJT - thanks for the kind comments. I must use a different mic in future, it seems that the inbuilt one is so close to the mic it is overwhelming, I wasn't even aware of the fan while recording.

No prob's, credit where credits due, at least you're trying where Fz-HQ isn't.....🙄
Now you mention it, your PC fan does seem to kick-in on certain functions, I guess running Fz & a recording software makes the CPU fire up more & needs to be cooled down.

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3 hours ago, ¢hris £und said:

One thing to consider, most if not all of Mathew's videos are relevant.  There have been some changes and additions since then.  Most of which I feel are obvious as to how they work.

I will admit, however, that I would like to see an in-depth set of videos on the Draft/Layout App.  One thing I wonder about it is if ADS' intent for it is a bit different than the user's expectations.  Admittedly, I don't use it at all.  For, when I want to dimension, the main app does what I need.  That aside, I fully understand other users' needs are different than mine.  

Out of curiosity, however, I would like a full treatment of videos just to see if it would be useful for me.

 

Later this fall, when my time opens up for me again, I am willing to put in the time to help other users and ADS out with what I know. Admittedly, though I have used the software now for about 25 years, I don't know it all.  There are tools I have never touched, and more I touch very sparingly.  My modeling skills are strong, however, in certain areas.    Maybe I will even improve my presentation skills.

 

¢£

Hi Chris,
One thing I noted in your comments above, that seem to be exactly the same I've read on the SketchUp forum, is there appears to be a certain section of users who just don't use SU-LAYOUT & seems the same with Fz's, DRAFT-LAYOUT. (not that Fz-HQ have yet come to the table with some video tutorials to show its benefits as promised 5/6 month ago)

I've noted before on both forum's, it might be a good idea to separate the 'LAYOUT' tool to buy on its own, not only to reduce core programme purchase costs for users, but to also allow the other versions to be used with it. Never got much of a response, although I did note Fz-HQ at that time, did comment it could be a consideration.

For me, I've always used 'SU-LAYOUT' to produce architectural plan drawings with titles as an end product for clients from the model & have no issues with it....it's a must for me. I think this is same with other architectural users but other disciplines in the design world don't seem bothered.

I'm thinking, architectural users from the SU camp could consider experimenting with Fz-Free, if they could see how well they got on with 'DRAFT-LAYOUT'. Smaller financial steps in today's climate is relevant for tomorrows future.

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I'm a furniture designer/maker, not an architect. FWIW I will explain how we work, because who knows, it might be the direction things are going generally, and in my small workshop I am not constrained by any formalities, as do not need to present any diagrams outside of our own organisation.

I employ 2   21-year old cabinetmakers one being my son who has worked for me for 18 months, and the other has worked for me for over 3 years, having started as an apprentice. They are both learning very quickly and although I keep an eye on them and point out the pit-falls in their work to warn them before accidents happen, and demonstrate any new tecniques they are unfamiliar with, they mainly get on with their work with very little intervention, producing high quality work, often working on high specification projects for millionaires locally, and they also help me to install it. The biggest challenge I have found working with young men is to maintain the discipline of continuous tidiness, but that is really a life-skill and efficiency improves with it.

We don't use or need 2d diagrams. We have 3 laptops, all with a license for FZ pro. Only mine additionally has renderzone which helps me present a better illustration to our customers, not brilliant by today's standards, but I like that because absolute perfection sets a precident which goes beyond what we require, and is likely to waste time ironing out a little crinkle which doesn't matter if the overall effect is just an approximate impression of the result, especially for material rendering accuracy, time is money after all and we normally do work in the £thousands, not £tens of thousands.

I produce an accurate FZ model of every bespoke piece of furniture we make, complete with properly sorted groups, a few layers, (groups are our main narrowing-down, and layers secondary, for alternative type across-groups narrowing-down) part names and numbering (very efficient with the excellent part name plugin). I do not put any measurements in the models. 

Either I or the lads use the Information Management part of the program to produce complete cutlist outputs from FormZ and import that (slightly adjusted) output into Cutlist Plus Platinum edition. The lads are familiar with which type of part requires a trimming allowance as they cut out the material from the dimensioned layout illustrations in Cutlist Plus and they label the part number (which starts with group number) on the end of each part with marker pen and put into the racks.

When all the parts have been cut and racked, they can use the FormZ model to construct each group. Being used to the 3d gaming world, navigating my 3d models comes naturally to them, they quickly learned my keyboard shortcuts, can isolate anything they need to view, dimension whatever they need to as they copy what they are viewing on screen into real pieces being constructed on the work-bench. Of course, they have already taken a look at each group beforehand, so any repeat operations on the spindle moulder have been performed in advance of construction.

At the end of each working day, they have never wanted to save where they have got to in the CAD file. They already have a picture on their mobile phone of the screen they were last using. There is never a time when the file gets over-complicated, disordered or full of dimensions. We like the way we work and they rarely distract me while I am working on the designs for the next projects as they are constructing. When I employed older traditional cabinetmakers I had to produce fully dimensioned 2d orthographic, isometric and perspective diagrams. I no longer need to waste my time on that, except for a very basic view with some key dimensions before we go on site to install.

We also use Google Drive a lot with 2 accounts so they access via 'shared with me' permission, so that there are no file-loss accidents and we name our files by year, month, day, description, save-as no. , so we keep an automatically ordered, good track of file versions in case of amendments. Survey photos automatically load onto Google photos from my phone, and any relevant collections of photos are accessible from a link in each customer project's Google document. We tried other management systems but didn't like them. Google Drive and FormZ have something in common, they are uncomplicated, do not push you into a corner to do things in a particular way with unnecessary distractions. Simple and efficient. Brilliant.

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10 hours ago, CJTFORM-Z said:

Hi Chris,
One thing I noted in your comments above, that seem to be exactly the same I've read on the SketchUp forum, is there appears to be a certain section of users who just don't use SU-LAYOUT & seems the same with Fz's, DRAFT-LAYOUT. (not that Fz-HQ have yet come to the table with some video tutorials to show its benefits as promised 5/6 month ago)

I've noted before on both forum's, it might be a good idea to separate the 'LAYOUT' tool to buy on its own, not only to reduce core programme purchase costs for users, but to also allow the other versions to be used with it. Never got much of a response, although I did note Fz-HQ at that time, did comment it could be a consideration.

For me, I've always used 'SU-LAYOUT' to produce architectural plan drawings with titles as an end product for clients from the model & have no issues with it....it's a must for me. I think this is same with other architectural users but other disciplines in the design world don't seem bothered.

I'm thinking, architectural users from the SU camp could consider experimenting with Fz-Free, if they could see how well they got on with 'DRAFT-LAYOUT'. Smaller financial steps in today's climate is relevant for tomorrows future.

I am not necessarily opposed to using it.  I do agree that a good video or videos that cover it would go a long way.  I may even find that I have full use of it.  Though, as Alan above noted, I don't produce 2D drawings so much any longer.  Should videos come out for it, I will watch them with interest to see if it would be of value.   For the little that I have poked around in it, at this time I don't see the need.  Fully expecting that I am missing something.   

I still wonder though about what their intent for it is and to see if that matches those users who want to use it.  As there does seem to be some disconnect.  It may be too, with a good set of videos that the intent gels with those users too.  But, I honestly don't know.   Even though I don't use it, I fully understand the need for those who do or want to.

I also haven't explored fZ-Free or Jr.   I know from the top that there are features of Pro that I would very much struggle without.  In my past, I was a flat pattern designer (there I would build construction documents)  and even to this day, I don't think I could manage without the unfold tool.  Though I still desire improvements on it.

I do occasionally get models from SU users, and like 3DS Max, I have a hard time understanding how much the models suck.  I don't necessarily think that the apps are not capable of precision work, I just suspect that the workflow doesn't encourage it.  Which drives me nuts!   in fZ, it is easy and fluid to do precision work.  (albeit, I do think some of the snaping can use some more work, I suspect there needs to be an order of operations hierarchy or something)

For me, scripting is still the #1 desire.  The full API is coming, and I am looking forward to going beyond the little teasers I have posted.   I am not sure if Free or Jr. allows scripting.   If it does, I presume that they would be limited to their toolsets too.

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it's interesting to see that, even though we only have a small cross section of users on here, that we all use FZ for quite different purposes. Perhaps that's why FZ seems to have fallen through the cracks over the years and isn't more popular - it's tried to be too many things to too many people and hasn't really been able to shine in any one particular area. It lacks identity and direction.

For me personally, I have used it for trade show design for over 20 years which has been great, but I have always had the feeling I have only ever been using a fraction of it's true potential. I decided a few months back to try and get deeper into 3D modelling but became frustrated at the lack of focussed tutorials - by that I mean being able to see it used step by step on real world projects as opposed to the rather brief, ad hoc fanciful examples in the ADS videos.

By way of contrast, I decided to look at Modo - I have been using it for a couple of months now and already I am able to produce models that I could only have dreamed of with FormZ. Just to be clear - I don't think this is because FZ isn't as capable - it's because I have been able to study a professionals step by step approach to a specific modelling task or project. I have learnt so much in the past few months about 3D modelling because I have access to these tutorials.

I think if ADS were to put a few targeted up to date tutorials together that were industry specific it would greatly help consumers evaluate it's potential, help define it's identity and give it a fighting chance in the marketplace

Edited by SJD

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3 hours ago, SJD said:

it's interesting to see that, even though we only have a small cross section of users on here, that we all use FZ for quite different purposes. Perhaps that's why FZ seems to have fallen through the cracks over the years and isn't more popular - it's tried to be too many things to too many people and hasn't really been able to shine in any one particular area. It lacks identity and direction.

For me personally, I have used it for trade show design for over 20 years which has been great, but I have always had the feeling I have only ever been using a fraction of it's true potential. I decided a few months back to try and get deeper into 3D modelling but became frustrated at the lack of focussed tutorials - by that I mean being able to see it used step by step on real world projects as opposed to the rather brief, ad hoc fanciful examples in the ADS videos.

By way of contrast, I decided to look at Modo - I have been using it for a couple of months now and already I am able to produce models that I could only have dreamed of with FormZ. Just to be clear - I don't think this is because FZ isn't as capable - it's because I have been able to study a professionals step by step approach to a specific modelling task or project. I have learnt so much in the past few months about 3D modelling because I have access to these tutorials.

I think if ADS were to put a few targeted up to date tutorials together that were industry specific it would greatly help consumers evaluate it's potential, help define it's identity and give it a fighting chance in the marketplace

 

I too use Modo, and have been doing so for about 15 years, maybe a little less.  For certain things, it does a better job than fZ.  However, I think fZ outshines it in most modeling tasks.  I do love it's surfacing and rendering capabilities, however... Wow!

 

¢£

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4 hours ago, ¢hris £und said:

However, I think fZ outshines it in most modeling tasks

hey Chris

that may well be the case but you have spent several years using it focussed on modelling and probably understand its 3D capabilities more than most. I don't think many people would be willing to spend time digging deep with only limited teaching resources and a manual in order to find that out (me included).

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As has been said before, most of the basic modelling skills have been demonstrated with excellence by Matthew Holewinski several years ago and are still relevant. Maybe they need to be resubmitted into YouTube in a new exciting promotional wrapper to update them for FormZ marketing purposes. Let's celebrate Matthew's great efforts and breath new life into them! One thing I would add though, a lot of Matthew's work was just clicking by eye, whereas I like to model to precise dimensions, which is both possible and very easy in FormZ

Edited by Alan Cooper
YouTube not UTube

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24 minutes ago, Alan Cooper said:

As has been said before, most of the basic modelling skills have been demonstrated with excellence by Matthew Holewinski several years ago and are still relevant. Maybe they need to be resubmitted into YouTube in a new exciting promotional wrapper to update them for FormZ marketing purposes. Let's celebrate Matthew's great efforts and breath new life into them! One thing I would add though, a lot of Matthew's work was just clicking by eye, whereas I like to model to precise dimensions, which is both possible and very easy in FormZ

that's true, however the problem with them I feel is that they lack context. Knowing what specific tools do is only part of the picture - knowing when and how to apply them is the real trick and that's I why I would like to see FormZ in action on real projects instead of the arbitrary ones in the videos. As you say, something 'real world' where precise measuring and appearance is crucial (and something a bit more complex than a generic chair or jug).

I can't be the only one who has this problem - you only have to look at the gallery to see nearly all of the work on there uses only very basic modelling tools 

 

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13 hours ago, ¢hris £und said:

 

I too use Modo, and have been doing so for about 15 years, maybe a little less.  For certain things, it does a better job than fZ.  However, I think fZ outshines it in most modeling tasks.  I do love it's surfacing and rendering capabilities, however... Wow!

 

¢£

Hi Chris, I'm curious as to where you think FZ really shines?

feel free to delete this post but here are a few examples of the kind of work I'm aspiring to in Modo and as a 3D artist - I have never seen anything of this standard produced in FormZ. As mentioned before, I don't think it's because it's not capable but mainly because many users wouldn't know where to start based on existing tutorials. I have only been using Modo for a short while but already I can see some approaches as to how I would tackle these projects because of the videos available. I wouldn't have a clue using FormZ.

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter to me - I will carry on using FZ for my bread and butter work and delve further into Modo for the advanced stuff. I just think it's a pity that FormZ is unlikely to ever make the impact it probably deserves to  

1.jpg

2.jpg

5.jpg

 

modelled and rendered in Modo (credits: Richard Yot, Bart Van Doornik, Tharso77)

Edited by SJD

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SJD, I know you were addressing this to Chris, but hey, very good work indeed! As for me, I will stick with what I know and have already invested in, but I get your point. Please would you post the wire-frames, just because they would be interesting to look at.

Edited by Alan Cooper
added

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4 minutes ago, SJD said:

Hi Alan

this is not my work (but maybe one day 😁)

I'm disappointed now. Maybe AD will lower its aim a little and concentrate on an affordable (and faster) contender against Sketchup, and with the continued perpetual licence option. I doubt they will take on Modo head-on for a while but I would love to be proved wrong.

Edited by Alan Cooper
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SJD.

I suppose it depends on the intent of modeling.  For me, my intent is for the purpose of manufacturing and or construction.  While I have done numerous hard-side models in Modo, I think formZ is far faster and efficient to do so.  You always have to deliberately put in extra geometry to keep things flat.  My preferred methods of modeling are SDS and NURBS.  Modo definitely is better for SDS but doesn't even attempt NURBS.   If I want to do a Character these days, I will undoubtedly use Modo.  Though, I have done plenty of character modeling in formZ as well.   If I want something more precise, fZ All the way!    Sometimes I use a mix.  I will Rough a shape out in Modo, then bring it into fZ and convert to NURBS for that manufacturability.

While it is true that Modo is capable enough for 3D printing, it isn't capable enough for other CNC type construction. Visually, the SDS smoothing algorithm is phenomenal.  but for any kind of output, including 3D printing, it is reduced to a polymesh.   Not unlike a poly-DXF.

Another aspect is, with formZ, it has a ways to go to catch up to Modo in terms of SDS and native rendering/surfacing and overall visualization.  It remains that it has the capability to do so.  I think it would be much harder for Modo to attain the manufacturability of formZ.

If on the other hand, your intent is merely and solely for visualization, yea, Modo is hard to beat.  Oh, and its interface is pretty great too.

 

¢£

 

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11 minutes ago, Alan Cooper said:

I'm disappointed now. Maybe AD will lower its aim a little and concentrate on an affordable (and faster) contender against Sketchup, and with the continued perpetual licence option. I doubt they will take on Modo head-on for a while but I would love to be proved wrong.

Alan,

I still don't think that there would be anything to be disappointed about.  To do hard-side modeling in Modo really takes a lot of extra effort.  And even then, is only for visualization.  Can't really create tool paths with its output.  from formZ, you can.

On the other hand, as mentioned above, its visualization capabilities are gorgeous!

 

¢£

 

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Thanks Chris, sounds like you have reassured me I still have, in FormZ, the best program for designing fairly simple furniture. It is way ahead of Sketchup, I know that because that is what I used previously, and Turbocad before that.

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7 minutes ago, ¢hris £und said:

Alan,

I still don't think that there would be anything to be disappointed about.  To do hard-side modeling in Modo really takes a lot of extra effort.  And even then, is only for visualization.  Can't really create tool paths with its output.  from formZ, you can.

On the other hand, as mentioned above, its visualization capabilities are gorgeous!

 

¢£

 

Thanks Chris, I was only disappointed that SJD hadn't produced the Audi models, but reading more carefully there was no suggestion of it. I was sort of joking. I think you sense when you have the right program for the job because you feel a high degree of productivity, and I do feel that with FZ. By the way, I know I should but don't even use nurbs, I did try a few times but I learn slowly and never got past the probably not-very-high pain-barrier. One day I will persevere and get through it.

Edited by Alan Cooper
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Just now, Alan Cooper said:

Thanks Chris, I was only disappointed that SJD hadn't produced the Audi models, but reading more carefully there was no suggestion of it. I was sort of joking. I think you sense when you have the right program for the job because you feel a high degree of productivity, and I do feel that with FZ.

Doh!  Sorry for the misinterpretation!  Yes, I agree with the last sentiment!  Too, it has to do a lot with familiarity.  Some people are extremely capable and efficient with hard-side modeling in Modo because they never knew better.  And they will always beat somebody like me simply because I already knew formZ by 10 years roughly by the time I attempted Modo.

Regardless, they are both great tools.  I just think each leans heavily in the direction they want to.  And justifyingly so.

 

¢£

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cheers Chris

understood - as mentioned, I guess there are many uses for FormZ and perhaps this is why it has not really found success or popularity in any one field. Maybe if it refined it's toolsets and honed in on certain industries it might have a brighter future going forward.

Personally I'm looking to advance in pure visualisation at the highest level I can (mainly for advertising) so I won't have too much need for manufacturing or engineering. I guess Modo is perfect for that.

That said, FZ is still my weapon of choice for my day job 😎

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