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FormZ Free and QuickStart Tutorial 2…

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Hi all,

I wanted to get my daughter started with FormZ and suggested she'd try the tutorials first. This is how I learned FormZ decades ago. Well, for total beginners there are those self guided tutorials in the "About" screen, consisting of 3 parts (QuickStart, Sculpting, Materials). Part 1 was easy, but now we get stuck on part 2, scene 9, which instructs to select the "Ellipse 1 drawing tool". Well… there is no Ellipse drawing tool. Or do I overlook something?

722146636_Bildschirmfoto2020-12-09um23_23_25.png.5c42b3c643e7db554c120bf5f6dba41a.png

Bernd

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I have never used the free version but in my full version there are several tools you are missing.  As for the ellipse tool she can always draw a circle and then scale it in one direction to fake it.  

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9 hours ago, Andrew West said:

I have never used the free version but in my full version there are several tools you are missing.  As for the ellipse tool she can always draw a circle and then scale it in one direction to fake it.  

Hi Andrew,

yes, independent scale works for making an ellipse out of a circle. However, the snapping instructions as per the tutorial don't work this way, and the independent scale tool hasn't been explained in the (absolute beginner) tutorial yet. Anyway… so that's a "find out how to fake inexistent tools" tutorial… 😉

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Bernd,

Update 4: There really isn't a bug.  My snap tolerance was set too small.  Too, my project numerical accuracy was set to a crude value relative to the size of the object I was working with.

¢£

 

Regard the below notes as null and void.

There appears to be a bug with the interval snap.  When selecting to define the center of the scale is a part of the object to be scaled and selecting the starting point is also on the object.   (snap options interval should be set to 4)

The interval snap will work when one of those two is snapping to something else.   Oddly, drawing a "tool" to those intervals works just fine too.  So, you can draw your snapping tool first, then operate as you think you should.   Though, admittedly, this a bit mickey mouse, especially since you are having to jump through hoops in the first place.

Update:  it appears to be an issue on circles and ovals.   the snapping/i-scale tool works as expected when working with a square, rectangle, arc etc...

Update2: You can use the starting point to initiate the i-Scale.  the intervals will work then.

Update3: it does work to use the center of the circle and its starting point.

 

 

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Hi Chris,

thanks for your in-depth research 🙂

I was talking about the snaps to the objects already created throughout the tutorial steps. The ellipses are needed to create arches in a kind of building:

Ellipse.thumb.jpg.c4500d35599e73fdadc4cc2ced181a6e.jpg

The ellipse drawn here is set to "insert" on the building. When I try to do this via a circle, the inserted circle shape can can be scaled after being finished (needs to be selected via the Tab key), but the snaps on the existing object don't work for aligning the ellipse endpoints to the object edges. However, for the sake of continuing the tutorial it can be done without exact snaps:

Ellipse2.thumb.jpg.e672e63125a13202cbadf4f04ae52943.jpg

In the following steps of the tutorial there is no way to align the second arch (by means of snaps) to the dimensions of the first one by using the "circle scaling" method, the results are somewhat random:

Ellipse_3.thumb.jpg.4dc45c544005436e59745818a922ac10.jpg

Of course, as an experienced user I might overcome some of these limitations by using numeric entry for drawing the circle and applying the independent scale afterwards (the scale won't be precisely ending on the edges nonetheless), but this is an absolute beginner's tutorial. I'm wondering if nobody ever tried it with the free version, but this might be discouraging for new users. As I said, I'm trying to get the next generation interested in FormZ, and of course I can always help my daughter, but the tutorial file might need a review for other first time users without that help.

Bernd

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Bernd,

Ah!  Apologies for not actually looking at the tutorials to understand.

By looking at the images you posted, are you selecting the face and then scaling it?  When I try that, it messes up totally.

I was able to do it by i-scaling circles and using snaps.   Couple of things to note, however.   I didn't follow the steps of the tutorial.  The tutorial should be re-written for the free versions.

Also, I have to set the snap options so that "Give guide snaps priority" is turned off.   When it is on, I get more of a random placement when I try to snap to the nodes of the structure.

 

With this in mind,  draw your circles (without the insert option)    Distort them as you wish.  Then make sure the new oval is sitting on the surface of the structure.  If the free version has the "imprint tool"  go ahead and imprint it.    The free version may not have the imprint tool.  You have to get a bit more old fashioned with it and use some of the boolean tools.

 

Support also gave me a pointer of setting my snap tolerance to a larger value (20 instead of 10)   which helps with what I thought was a bug.   The numerical accuracy also needs to be fine in comparison to the scale of the objects you are dealing with as well.  As that can perversely affect what you are attempting to do.

 

¢£

  

Edited by ¢hris £und
Updating some incorrect information regarding the free version

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Hi Chris,

thanks for checking again. The free version actually lacks some very useful things, like (controlled) rounding, which might also be helpful in this context. Of course I understand the reduction of tools for a free version (although rounding would have been nice), we'll try to finish the tutorial one way or the other. I'm not very proficient in this version yet, as I still mostly work in 6.7.3 (although I own all versions up to 8.6). Thanks for those tips regarding snaps, I'll check them out.

Bernd

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Bernd,

I understand!  I stuck with 6.7 until 8.5 came out.  At that point, I pretty much made the transition.  I still miss a few things from the old days (notably the C-Mesh.)

Though some bugs still need to be ironed out, the current versions are better once you get used to them.  And, yes, it takes a bit to make that transition.

 

I am not sure why they consider an oval to be only in the Pro version (maybe in Jr?).  but that would make that tutorial completely sensible.  Agreed, controlled rounding would also be nice.

 

Definitely check out the tips and tricks page if you haven't already.

http://www.formz.com/fzsite1219/manuals/TnT/index.htm#t=Front_Page.htm

And Pay attention to how it handles guides... This tripped me up for a while.

http://www.formz.com/fzsite1219/manuals/TnT/index.htm#t=Add_temporary_guides_while_drawing.htm&rhsearch=guides&ux=search

Cheers!

 

¢£

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OK, for now I've decided that using a bezier spline instead of the ellipse might be the easiest solution to the problem. While you cannot use snaps to the first spline while drawing the second one, it's totally fine (in this context) to simply snap to the object edges and midpoints. This will at least give usable results for the further progress of the tutorial.

BezSpline_2.thumb.jpg.4687db8fb49d8e3fca4b04a877f7a183.jpg

Comes close to the desired look as shown in my first screenshots at the beginning of this thread.

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Bernd,

Can you share your thoughts on how effective the quick start tutorials were in helping your daughter begin to learn formZ?  Maybe you can offer suggestions for a future update to the tutorials?  Last fall I worked through the first two using formZ free 8, yesterday I finished the first tutorial using formZ free 9.  I think the split-screen format with instructions on the left and area on the right to follow along is a great way to structure the tutorial, I thought they were very helpful.

You might suggest to your daughter that she work through the 30-Minute Model video on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n0FGm3kw2I), Matthew Holewinski did this presentation, he does a really good job.  I worked through this model in formZ 8 last fall, it went a little slower because I was pausing to confirm the dimensions being used but in the end I was able to build the same model.

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