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jldaureil

Suface solid (two sides)

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It's no longer in FZ.  Would be nice to have it reintroduced.  Try the Derive Faces Tool (without join faces selected).  Then select all the separate faces and use the Stitch Tool to stitch them back together.  There should now be multiple separate objects, select and ghost the one that is the complete solid, the whole object you started with, and then select and discard the orphan faces left behind.  This is often successful at fixing these objects.

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Often when I receive files exported from Sketchup or Rhino these types of objects are common and need repairing to be able to be edited efficiently.  I think single planes with different textures applied to each side are efficient in some rendering engines these days but when solids have faces like this it's a problem.

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I find FZ9 interesting in many aspects but I still do not understand why computer scientists always feel the need to remake the world when they make software evolve ...
in short...
I really hate this simplifications inherited from the Bonzai period then Z7 and Z8
Particularly when it touches on topology like here ...
The strength of FZ has always been its ability to manipulate geometry in depth and transparently for the user ...

Thank you Setz for the idea but I prefer to do this in Z673 in one click

Hugo
in the precise case here it is a question of creating this type of object in view of an export .fbx with for target Twinmotion
The goal is to obtain objects that remain visible on each side in TM
The other context is that described by Setz: repair imported objects always in view of specific exports
thanks Guys

I definitvly find Z9 really interresting but I don't understand why Autodessys

 

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On 4/24/2020 at 10:14 PM, setz said:

 I think single planes with different textures applied to each side are efficient in some rendering engines these days but when solids have faces like this it's a problem.

I have to disagree here.  I use formZ Solids such as walls and other, often asymmetrical solid shapes with different materials applied to various sides, ALL THE TIME.  It works perfectly in Shaded Full and V-Ray rendering engines.  The idea of using 'Surfaces' is inefficient for much of the work we do, and is the reason why formZ is so fast, powerful, and efficient for many types of modeling such as Architecture, Furniture, and Exhibit design.  There's no shortage of Surface based 3D modelers out there, but it's the SOLIDS that make formZ so special to us.

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16 hours ago, Justin Montoya said:

I have to disagree here.  I use formZ Solids such as walls and other, often asymmetrical solid shapes with different materials applied to various sides, ALL THE TIME.  It works perfectly in Shaded Full and V-Ray rendering engines.  The idea of using 'Surfaces' is inefficient for much of the work we do, and is the reason why formZ is so fast, powerful, and efficient for many types of modeling such as Architecture, Furniture, and Exhibit design.  There's no shortage of Surface based 3D modelers out there, but it's the SOLIDS that make formZ so special to us.

I totally agree with you, all my models are solids.  Solids are so much more useful for many reasons including handing off to others.  The problem only arises with imported models.  Many of my coworkers work in Rhino using surfaces and we share files all the time.

The real bummer is when I get a solid which has either some or all of the faces which are surface solids. I don't know how they make these nightmare objects, but they are annoying to have to deal with.

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Surface solids are an oxymoron! They are topologically a solid but as they have no geometric volume, they give many modeling operations fits. Surface solids served a purpose at a time when computing resources were limited and they could be used as a proxy for a wall or shelled surface. We dropped these with v7 as the effort to make special exceptions for surface solids in tools and export formats going forward out weighed their usefulness in todays computing environment. 

Surface solids should be cleaned and separated if they are encountered during import. setz if you have and example of these slipping through please email the details to us (support@formz.com)

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If the issue is to deal with the lousy geometry that often comes in with Sketchup models then there is an easy solution that I have mentioned before.  In order to deal with geometry that has multiple textures applied to different faces first use the separate tool on it and then use the Script "separate by color" which is still available for v8.6 but is not working in v9.  This works beautifully on those garbage models and cleans them up nicely.  Once you get the faces separated I then delete unnecessary faces and extrude the others back to solids.  It sounds like more work but it actually goes pretty quickly. 

Tech: could you please make the previous scripts functional in the latest build. 

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2 hours ago, Andrew West said:

Tech: could you please make the previous scripts functional in the latest build. 

+1 please! ; )

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On 4/28/2020 at 7:47 AM, Tech said:

Surface solids are an oxymoron! They are topologically a solid but as they have no geometric volume, they give many modeling operations fits. Surface solids served a purpose at a time when computing resources were limited and they could be used as a proxy for a wall or shelled surface. We dropped these with v7 as the effort to make special exceptions for surface solids in tools and export formats going forward out weighed their usefulness in todays computing environment. 

Surface solids should be cleaned and separated if they are encountered during import. setz if you have and example of these slipping through please email the details to us (support@formz.com)

Agreed and good information here!  Now to put it to a practical use... We still MUST use outside geometry from these Surface modelers and their Sudo Solids/Surface Solids junk.  It's just the way it is.  Tech, You are the experts at how this is different from our typical formZ geometry.  Please help us, help you. 

Can you create an Import tool that gives us users some sort of feedback and/or visual Guide upon Importing so we can visually see the errors we may encounter when importing outside geometry?  I'm seeing a pop up window with a preview of the file as the options are changed on the Import settings, the imported preview changes.  It could also have some nice tools built-in like Andrew's suggestion where the geo is Seperated by Color, Object Doctor, Model Cleaner (Dunno what that is, but it sounds good!), etc.   

Even if it's not a new tool, we just need SOMETHING to give us some feedback of why all these outside models cause issues in formZ.  When our clients are expecting us to be able to efficiently use models from the top modeling programs (3DSMAX, AutoCAD, MAYA, RHINO, SketchUp), we need to make that happen.  formZ's future, for many of us, relies on it's ability to correctly translate outside files both Importing and Exporting.  Help us, help you. 

 

On 4/28/2020 at 11:10 AM, Andrew West said:

If the issue is to deal with the lousy geometry that often comes in with Sketchup models then there is an easy solution that I have mentioned before.  In order to deal with geometry that has multiple textures applied to different faces first use the separate tool on it and then use the Script "separate by color" which is still available for v8.6 but is not working in v9.  This works beautifully on those garbage models and cleans them up nicely.  Once you get the faces separated I then delete unnecessary faces and extrude the others back to solids.  It sounds like more work but it actually goes pretty quickly. 

Tech: could you please make the previous scripts functional in the latest build. 

I get just as much lousy geometry from 3DS and FBX files as you do from SketchUp files.  Mine is mostly furniture and appliance type models which seem to import fine most times from 3D Warehouse/SketchUp.    3DS files constantly give me fits and require a Force Quit after it freezes fromZ for a few minutes while trying to Import.  FBX files seem to always be exploded around and rotated strangely.  I can open it in 3D Studio and it looks fine.  I can even open it in the new 3D Viewer built into Windows 10 and it looks better than it does in formZ.  Something is wrong with that for sure.  Some users seem to have expert knowledge of the workarounds required to Import or Export anything to or from formZ, but what about everyone else?  We need these solutions documented so formZ can grow. 

I have a friend with a 3D printing business and I was telling him about formZ, so he downloaded the free version to try and use for some a basic 3D printing project, where he downloads an outside model (Thingverse STL) and tweaks slightly and then prints it.  Well thing's didn't go well for formZ and it was impossible to try and help him resolve his issues.  New users like that just want things to work correctly the first time, and if they don't, provide some feedback so they can get it working without resorting to a support email everytime.  3D Printing is a huge market now and formZ seems to be missing out because of this outside model file translation issue.  How do we fix it?

 

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On 4/30/2020 at 8:28 AM, Justin Montoya said:

Agreed and good information here!  Now to put it to a practical use... We still MUST use outside geometry from these Surface modelers and their Sudo Solids/Surface Solids junk.  It's just the way it is.  Tech, You are the experts at how this is different from our typical formZ geometry.  Please help us, help you. 

Can you create an Import tool that gives us users some sort of feedback and/or visual Guide upon Importing so we can visually see the errors we may encounter when importing outside geometry?  I'm seeing a pop up window with a preview of the file as the options are changed on the Import settings, the imported preview changes.  It could also have some nice tools built-in like Andrew's suggestion where the geo is Seperated by Color, Object Doctor, Model Cleaner (Dunno what that is, but it sounds good!), etc.   

Even if it's not a new tool, we just need SOMETHING to give us some feedback of why all these outside models cause issues in formZ.  When our clients are expecting us to be able to efficiently use models from the top modeling programs (3DSMAX, AutoCAD, MAYA, RHINO, SketchUp), we need to make that happen.  formZ's future, for many of us, relies on it's ability to correctly translate outside files both Importing and Exporting.  Help us, help you. 

 

I get just as much lousy geometry from 3DS and FBX files as you do from SketchUp files.  Mine is mostly furniture and appliance type models which seem to import fine most times from 3D Warehouse/SketchUp.    3DS files constantly give me fits and require a Force Quit after it freezes fromZ for a few minutes while trying to Import.  FBX files seem to always be exploded around and rotated strangely.  I can open it in 3D Studio and it looks fine.  I can even open it in the new 3D Viewer built into Windows 10 and it looks better than it does in formZ.  Something is wrong with that for sure.  Some users seem to have expert knowledge of the workarounds required to Import or Export anything to or from formZ, but what about everyone else?  We need these solutions documented so formZ can grow. 

I have a friend with a 3D printing business and I was telling him about formZ, so he downloaded the free version to try and use for some a basic 3D printing project, where he downloads an outside model (Thingverse STL) and tweaks slightly and then prints it.  Well thing's didn't go well for formZ and it was impossible to try and help him resolve his issues.  New users like that just want things to work correctly the first time, and if they don't, provide some feedback so they can get it working without resorting to a support email everytime.  3D Printing is a huge market now and formZ seems to be missing out because of this outside model file translation issue.  How do we fix it?

 

The issue of using 3D models in 3D Printing that come in .stl format from the Thingverse (or similar) or from 3D scanners (or similar) is not a simple problem and if it was someone would have solved it easily they would make a fortune. The trouble is that 3D Printers need complete solid water tight meshes and formZ doctor can usually do a good job of fixing wayward patches, surfaces and holes in those .stl models. It's no good for modifying the model. The meshes that .stl models ( i.e. from catalogs and scanners) are massive sized meshes and the formZ graphics viewport is not designed to move around millions of polygons or modify these models. There is a program called "meshmixer" that can handle large mesh models but doesn't do a  lot more.  The Einscan Pro 2X scanner can come with Geomagic software at a $4K premium ( it is more on it's own ) that takes a mesh model and fits splines to the mesh surfaces, they can be modified to change the model and then back to solid 3D print meshes.  It a complex/expensive solution so far.

 

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I will add one more piece to this puzzle by recounting a recent experience.  There is a ski resort that was half finished when the recession hit in 08.  The buildings sat for over ten years wrapped in Tyvec.  The owners hired me to take all the Revit models and update them with the new designs and add all the materials.  After spending dozens of hours trying to import the models in any single program I gave up.  Revit couldn't even get them to work from their corporate office.  No one could figure out why and the original architects went bankrupt so they were gone. 

So next they hired a company that did a complete 3D scan of the village using Leica software and they created a point cloud for me.  That is when the real fun began as I tried for weeks to do something with it that would allow me to complete the unfinished buildings.  I used every tool I could find.  I even sent it off to a company in India that said they could convert it into a  planar model.  It was a complete failure and waste of time and money for many reasons that I won't go into.  Eventually I gave up and rebuilt all the buildings from scratch in Form.z.  In the end I lost a tremendous amount of money pursuing this.  The point of this story is to highlight what is going on outside of our little universe when it comes to developing technologies and the evolution of the CGI community.  In short it involves using the huge library of outside models and 3D scans that is growing exponentially these days.  Ignoring them as a resource would be a big mistake.  The fact that I can buy a highly detailed Jaguar E Type for $6 or download furniture, appliances and lighting from the manufacturers for free should demonstrate my point.  Anything that Form.z could do to facilitate  the import and manipulation of these resources would be a huge benefit and it would help make the program more attractive to others.  Just my two cents. 

AW

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Good morning all

I have read your discussions very carefully.
In the spirit, I share your different positions concerning the importance of the functions of import and export (justin andrew ..)
I will come back to this point

But before I do not fully understand the explanation of tech support
They say they've abandoned solid surfaces

But currently FZ6.7.3 the solid surfaces created with the tool mentioned in my initial intervention are perfectly open in FZ 9
(just display the normals and check the type of topology encountered with the info tab of the inspector palette
Type = solid
(which is false since it is indeed a solid surface.)

To be convinced, try to make a booleen with this type of object and you get this message

m1.png.4d3b2b9eef5947fdacca262ac00aee6c.png



As you can see the program suspects a solid surface ...

This leads me to think that formz 9 manages solid surfaces without saying it ...

The .fbx format exports them correctly to Twinmotion (in my case)

By cons I observe curious things with this format.
For example I have an object (solid in FZ 6 then 9) a little complicated (product of different boolean operations ...
Subsequently a face was the subject of a specific texture mapping (texture mapping group obtained by detaching the face then texturing then stich again ...

This object when it is exported in .fbx then reimported loses its condition of solidity (because a slightly special face is opened during export then import operations)
This is typically the case where a geometry can be corrupted by an export even if in the source software (FZ in this case) the topology of the object is correct.

If it interests me I can give the object.

For information Twinmotion retrieves the object in several detached faces (in several objects in the case where an object contains mapping groups in FZ ..
It is not very serious but clearly it shows that the geometries are really mistreated by the export and import processes ...
I imagine that this kind of situation is complex to solve because it supposes to master at the same time the export and the import (because one never uses this kind of technique to pass from FZ6 to F9 for example ...)

Someone mentioned Geomagic
Formerly (at the time or Dave Rindner) had pointed this software for these impressive decimation functions, it seems to me that this company proposed an export and import solotion which targeted the industrial markets ...
Since the takeover by 3D system I believe that these solutions if they exist are now unaffordable for small studios ...

Currently I do not know if there is an affordable solution that is really effective in managing exchanges between software.

What is certain is that if a software like formZ (which has always had many input and output formats) was very stable on this point it is likely that it would attract users only for that.
But I do not believe that it is necessary to dream, that supposes a very heavy work and which must be kept up to date permanently, it is almost a trade in its own right ...

Jean-Luc

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Just in addition to my previous intervention I would like to add that I would prefer to do a query in version 6 and get all the information at once ...
Now you can ask for the info but you have to get the quantity measurement tool to have the surface and the volume but also the topology ...
Then you have to take the mass property tool to possibly have mass ...

 

Frankly do you find it practical or simpler?

in my opinion the Geometry section is missing in the info palette of version 9

I don't find it logical to get topology information with a tool that lists quantities (surface or volume)

Query6.png.a9f7c929a96f487039a7c5c35476928d.png

1299307211_Infos9.png.179d2f3957f2e227bc0a494c87cdc2b9.png1292105851_Qantityz9.png.1d6e510ae7a6fd08f14b0dfb7754ca1a.png

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Jl,

I think there were a lot of people wishing for some of that information to be omnipresent while other information need not be.  The old palette took up a lot of room. Pretty tough on people using laptops.

I use both a desktop and a laptop.  Desktop with two monitors, that all my palettes are open on the second.  Here, I have no problem with large info-encumbered palettes.  However, on the laptop, these get in the way far more than they save on the desktop.

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20 hours ago, Chris lund said:

I think there were a lot of people wishing for some of that information to be omnipresent while other information need not be

Hi chris

Isn't the role of preferences or interface customization to manage these types of questions?

Besides, it seems to me that topological information would be better placed in an information palette than in a measurement palette ...

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10 minutes ago, jldaureil said:

Isn't the role of preferences or interface customization to manage these types of questions?

Curious, in your line of work, do you not have to figure out compromises to come up with a solution?

options to show what information in a palette was probably not within the compromise to fit others needs. I don’t see that kind of option any where else in the interface, so the structure of the platform is probably not built that way.  What they came up with is a good compromise. Compromises are never perfect. 

Doesn’t mean of course other options can’t be figured out.  Imagination required. For example,  this information is available to scripts. As of now, we don’t have access to palettes, but hopefully that will come. If so, you can build your own, the way YOU want.

What are you doing where you need 100% live feedback of area or volume?  Is it really necessary?  If you need absolute control of such values, check out my Match script.  It will allow you to design without constraints, then force the form to the area or volume on demand.

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3 hours ago, Chris lund said:

Curious, in your line of work, do you not have to figure out compromises to come up with a solution? 

never 😁

3 hours ago, Chris lund said:

options to show what information in a palette was probably not within the compromise to fit others needs. I don’t see that kind of option any where else in the interface, so the structure of the platform is probably not built that way.  What they came up with is a good compromise. Compromises are never perfect.

it is just not the ecompromis that I would have chosen

 

3 hours ago, Chris lund said:

Doesn’t mean of course other options can’t be figured out.  Imagination required. For example,  this information is available to scripts. As of now, we don’t have access to palettes, but hopefully that will come. If so, you can build your own, the way YOU want.

That could be perfect ! (if it si not too ahrd to script)

3 hours ago, Chris lund said:

What are you doing where you need 100% live feedback of area or volume?  Is it really necessary?  If you need absolute control of such values, check out my Match script.  It will allow you to design without constraints, then force the form to the area or volume on demand. 

That's the question!

We need to extract from the model a whole series of values (volumes or surfaces) to economically quantify construction ...

We have not automated this task because it is too complicated and more is not necessarily systematic
In addition, this nius faison to two (designer and metreur) it allows to iron the whole model and to detect our design errors.

For this I have always missed a small palette which will give me the surface and / or volume for a set of faces or volume in direct return from the selection.
We therefore rather practice derivative (which has the advantage of leaving a trace of what has been recorded and return later for verification.

I'm going to relapse your "match" script
(version 6?)
Thanks Chris

 

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15 minutes ago, jldaureil said:

it is just not the ecompromis that I would have chosen

Understood!

 

16 minutes ago, jldaureil said:

We need to extract from the model a whole series of values (volumes or surfaces) to economically quantify construction ...

But, do you need those values present all the time?

 

18 minutes ago, jldaureil said:

That could be perfect ! (if it si not too ahrd to script)

Getting those values is present in the current API, so that isn't going to be a problem.  Question is: What will ADS add to the API that will allow constant monitoring of value or at least upon picking.  It may exist now, but I have not seen it.   There is an API for a palette UI now, not sure if the palettes built this way can be docked.  Will have to test that.

 

21 minutes ago, jldaureil said:

I'm going to relapse your "match" script
(version 6?)

I never built it for 6.  it is only in 9.xx

For now, it is a Utility script.  When the API allows, I will turn it into a tool.  There are some other features I intend to add as well.

Match.py.zip

 

BTW, I think that building surface solids can be done with a script now.  If it can, I will add it to the YouTube scripting tutorials.

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On 4/28/2020 at 2:10 PM, Andrew West said:

Tech: could you please make the previous scripts functional in the latest build. 

This script is now available in v9.0.4 (separate_objects_by_color.py).

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21 hours ago, Tech said:

This script is now available in v9.0.4 (separate_objects_by_color.py).

Tech, you just made my day.  Thank you!  

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