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UVWXYZ

Why form•z is not popular any more:

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Hi!

Well, I do think that paid software should be paid, sorry to disappoint you. I did look for the local distributor and checked prices on their website only 8.5 was offered.

As for now and for the purpose of testing, I am using this:

screenshot.thumb.png.ec10d0f65304f6d396aa0789c40e3125.png

 

I did not come here to trash this software at all, sorry, if it came across like that. Also, I am willing to switch software and if that produces costs, I'll have to pay them. Just for clarification.

The free version is great in my opinion and I'll continue to watch it, but export is limited, which I understand. Sketchup on the other hand removed perpetual licenses, that was my initial motivation to look elsewhere and so I came here. But I do not need to be here and say anything, so have a nice day!

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Posted (edited)

Hello Tech

Will there actually be another statement from you on this topic at some point?
I mean by that:
What is the future of Form.Z?
What are the strategies?

I would still be very interested in this!

Edited by AHDD Designer

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On 3/3/2021 at 7:04 AM, UVWXYZ said:

In other news, but fitting right into this discussion:

Affinity Designer, on sale 50% off: 27,99 €

Affinity Photo, on sale 50% off: 27,99 €

Affinity Publisher, on sale 50% off: 27,99 €

I'm subscribed to the Affinity newsletter, they sent a notice yesterday that the 50% sale ends June 30, price for those in the US is $24.99 each.  It's my intention to buy all three even though I don't have a use for graphics software now, I've been very impressed by a few review and tutorial videos I've watched.  I'm torn between buying through the App Store (I have credit from gift cards so the purchase would not cost me cash out of my pocket) or direct from Serif (I do prefer to deal directly with companies when possible.)  I've read some stories online of people having problems with upgrading applications purchased through the App Store, I'm thinking it's safer to buy from Serif.

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Although out of topic...

I've been using the 3 Affinity apps for a long time on my Mac and no longer use any Adobe product. They are excellent and so well integrated that it feels like you're using one app, thanks to the same interface and universal format. Highly recommendable!

I bought them from the Apple App Store and have never noted problems with the updates, although I don't use them very intensively. For the basics, I daily use Preview and Photo, which are ultra-efficient for what they do, and they are integrated into the OS and the eco-system so well.

The only thing I miss from Affinity is DWG format support, thinking about the possibility of using Affinity Designer on my iPad for vector drawing.

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Thanks for sharing that you haven’t had problems buying from the App Store, maybe I’ll get it from there after all.  Another concern I might run into later as they upgrade the App Store is compatibility with my older operating system, I’d like to stay with High Sierra as long as I can.  Funny, the thing that has been driving my operating system upgrades has been the tax software I use!  :-)

I’ve used Pages ’09 (version 4.0.1) for what little page layout work I need to do, I think I would enjoy Publisher.  I wouldn’t know what to do with Design, I’ve never done vector drawing before.  I thought this video was very cool:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMlJrYE8Xo0, for someone who knows nothing about vector illustration (me) it was very interesting to see the workflow and watch the artist develop a sketch into the refined final product.  Looks like working on a pen display would be nice, I guess the iPad would give you the same experience but just a smaller working area.

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Long time no post here.

I started with FZ a very long time ago - probably 20 years ago. In fact it was my first serious 3D tool. I still have v8 Pro on my system, but I very rarely use it. there are other tools in the world of 3D and CGI I prefer these days.

I came back here for the first time in many years to see if FZ was 'still alive' - and stumbled across this thread.

What is really telling is that I found my own post from 2015 quoted on the first page - "An open letter to AutoDesSys regarding the interface".
FZ was always a powerful tool at its core, it's so sad that the company couldn't see and respond to the areas that needed improvement.

The world has moved on and FZ missed the bus.

Edited by Mike_A

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FormZ has one of the most user-friendly and fastest CAD modelling workflows on the market.

Recently there have been minor issues with the UI (glitchy pallets and poor alignment of text)

BUT the issues you talk of do not seem to be related to the FormZ UI but rather inexperience and lack of practice.

If you rarely use something how can you be proficient? 

What I often see is confusion over the distinction between CGI and CAD. 

It is hard to do CGI in a CAD program just like it is hard to produce manufacturing drawings in a CGI program.

I wish someone would remove the clickbait title or this thread entirely, what useful purpose does it serve? 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good point about the difficulties of trying to use one type of application to do what another type of application is designed to do.

As for workflow, I’m a formZ newbie but I was very impressed by how easy it was to work through the 30-Minute Model tutorial video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n0FGm3kw2I) - it was no more difficult than using SketchUp which has a reputation for being easy to learn and use.

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"What I often see is confusion over the distinction between CGI and CAD. "

I agree to some extent but it's difficult to determine who FormZ is aimed at from their marketing (or lack of)

I haven't used it for over 18 months now since I discovered Modo - not because FZ isn't any good but because Modo suits me much better. My interest is CGI not CAD but it took me a while to figure out that there was better software out there more suited to it. FormZ feels like a Swiss army knife - it will do many tasks reasonably well but none as good as a dedicated tool. I have little knowledge of engineering and the CAD world but if it is better than the competition in a particular field then why don't ADS let everyone know about it and focus on that?

 

Edited by SJD

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When I see what Jones, Partners:  Architecture does with formZ I’m impressed - if that’s only “reasonably well” and not a “dedicated tool” then that’s good enough for me.  Here are samples from their page in the formZ gallery:  https://forums.formz.com/gallery/album/103-jones-partners-architecture/, their website (http://jonespartners.com/text.html) has more.

That’s the second time I’ve used the term “impressed” in as many posts - maybe I’m just easily impressed (or in need of a thesaurus!)  But I am partial to the style of rendering used in a lot of the formZ models I’ve seen from Jones, Partners.

As for marketing, when I go to the formZ homepage I don’t get too excited by the image in the banner along the top or even the three images used for the “form-Z pro,” “V-Ray for form-Z,” or “form-Z jr” links, but the image used for the “form-Z free” link catches my eye.  I guess because I do smaller projects and don’t even try to make anything that looks as real as the four images I just mentioned.  In my opinion the Jones, Partners images would make a better first impression on the homepage.  Plus I’m not hot on curves in architecture at all, so the subject matter of the four images just isn’t my style.  But I will say this, when I see those more complex models I think to myself, “If formZ can do that then it can handle the simpler things I’d want to use it for.”  But I’m not a marketing genius by any stretch of the imagination so I really can’t offer any good suggestions in that area.  I think the gallery shows how people are using formZ in a lot of different disciplines, that does demonstrate the “Swiss army knife” flexibility - maybe that’s actually a strength of the software - just what the modeling tool can be used to make is up to the person using it.

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I've been a long time FZ user. Since I'm using FZ, version 9.x is the first I'm skipping, simply because it has nothing to offer that is relevant to me. I'm. a product designer and FZ is still One of the fastest programs to produce 3D design concepts, and the rendering tools integration is really grate.

But the program lacks any sort of construction history, so the modeling process is always linear. When I design a product I need the ability to play with the design at any point in the modeling process. When form Z 9 came out, it became clear to me that ADS is moving to a different direction, so I'm fazing out FZ in favor of another CAD/CAID tool that suits better my work flow.

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Regarding “construction history,” I’ve always saved new versions of drawing and models files as I have developed them so if I ever have to go back to an earlier version I have a copy, I also add a note in my project log when I create the file for reference.  The new file number (for example, “model01” becomes “model02” as I develop it) is generally done at more significant milestones, most files have design alternatives off to the side within the file on different layers so I can see options side-by-side.

I saw on an Affinity Designer (or maybe Photo) video where they were talking about their history panel, I guess it keeps track of everything ever done in the file?  Maybe you’re looking for something more like that.  The Affinity history allows for branching paths, I’ve never seen that in an application before but I don’t have experience with lots of different applications to know.

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formZ can work parametrically to a very small extent- 'show controls' and 'edit parameters' but it is not the same as editing a sketch and having the model update.

Although it can be seen as a shortcoming this 'direct' approach is what makes formZ so fast to rough out early concepts. History-based CAD is better for iterative and ideation phases but formZ editing is still fine for most simple edits. As much as I would love to see formZ develop more for industrial design, it has always been focused on architecture. Perhaps BIM and ICF support will get some attention in the future??

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I’ve never been a fan of parametric features.  I prefer drafting and modeling with “dumb” geometry, I manipulate the abstract geometry and determine the arrangement of lines and forms to represent what it is I desire.  So for CAD, it’s basically a digital pencil, for modeling, it’s like virtual chipboard.

I know an architect who has used ArchiCAD for years, he loves the concept of “intelligent objects.”  I told him, “No thanks, it’s my job to add the intelligence to the drawings!”  Ironically, he did the architectural drawings for a developer I’ve worked for, I got a call one day from the site superintendent asking what the height for the guardrails was - it wasn’t dimensioned anywhere on the drawings.  So with my architect friend I think he skimped a bit on human intelligence (and the architect’s standard of care) by adequately reviewing the drawings to avoid such omissions.

I’m definitely not saying that there’s anything wrong with parametric features, if it works for you more power to you.  But I wonder if such “Computer-Aided Design” is not making weaker designers.  I actually take issue with making the D stand for “Design,” I think it should be “Drafting,” it is the user’s job to do the design.

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Skybound13,

I somewhat agree with you. However, there are some objects that are huge time-savers because they are parametric. I'm an architect, but part of my job entails rendering interiors, complete with furniture. Some of the furniture would be a nightmare to model without the use of parametric objects, such as subdivision objects.

Nurbs are parametric and are great for modelling topography and tensile fabrics.

Nevertheless, I do agree with you, that letting the computer do complete parametric models, such as stairs, is risky. I typically start with a parametric stair, but exploded afterwards. Then I refine it.

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17 hours ago, skybound13 said:

I’ve never been a fan of parametric features.  I prefer drafting and modeling with “dumb” geometry, I manipulate the abstract geometry and determine the arrangement of lines and forms to represent what it is I desire.  So for CAD, it’s basically a digital pencil, for modeling, it’s like virtual chipboard.

I know an architect who has used ArchiCAD for years, he loves the concept of “intelligent objects.”  I told him, “No thanks, it’s my job to add the intelligence to the drawings!”  Ironically, he did the architectural drawings for a developer I’ve worked for, I got a call one day from the site superintendent asking what the height for the guardrails was - it wasn’t dimensioned anywhere on the drawings.  So with my architect friend I think he skimped a bit on human intelligence (and the architect’s standard of care) by adequately reviewing the drawings to avoid such omissions.

I’m definitely not saying that there’s anything wrong with parametric features, if it works for you more power to you.  But I wonder if such “Computer-Aided Design” is not making weaker designers.  I actually take issue with making the D stand for “Design,” I think it should be “Drafting,” it is the user’s job to do the design.

I guess you're more into architecture where usually the geometry is simpler so I can see how FZ is capable enough to edit the design along as you go. But for industrial design it is very limiting and time consuming to go back, finding the ghosted objects and edit the shape. Sometimes  I feel that the design is compromised because I need to meet my deadline. I don't think that History based modeling is the only way to go. Since FZ is more a designer tool, direct parametric editing would be much better. But ADS doesn't offer any kind of solution, and it seems that they are not going to in the future.

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allenjl,

I definitely appreciate the time-saving benefits of parametric objects, you’re working smarter rather than harder by leveraging those features as part of your workflow.  The formZ stair tool actually looks fairly robust based on the video I saw on YouTube, using that as a starting point would save a lot of time.

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DanM,

That is frustrating, when a schedule constraint limits the design.  I was looking at a book about Phillipe Stark back in college, he was talking a bit about his workflow.  He made it sound like if he needed more time for design he’d just tell the client and they could take it or leave it - but most of us don’t have the luxury of setting the schedule.  Also of interest was how he said his process includes an “incubation time” where they take the design so far then stop working on it for a while, then they go back with fresh eyes and continue working.

As for Stark letting his clients know that he sets the schedule, makes me think of something I read about Frank Gehry, I guess a couple came to him to design a house and they had lots of pictures of how they wanted it to look, he told them, “No, you come to me for what I can give you!”  :-)

I don’t know the sorts of features that industrial designers want in their software, you guys are sweating details so fine that we take care of those tolerances with caulk in the field.  :-)  I did see two videos on YouTube regarding parametric features, looks like formZ has at least recognized that some people may find a use for such features:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdVm0dSn6mY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMy7iUhxPAg

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The elephant in the room is 2D drawings and 'parameters' not driving the model in FormZ.

Editing the model will update the drawing in Layout but not the other way round.

Most parametric CAD, e.g. Solidworks, Fusion 360 Catia etc. work from the drawing first, not the model

Most architectural applications like Autocad Vectorworks etc. also work from 2D first (parametric doors and windows are just exposed values for a 2D drawing driving a model)

FormZ works from the model first, edit the model and the drawings update. Working in this very direct way with the model first is much faster than the other approaches, but once an idea settles and needs constraint-driven changes, it is time to move the process out of formZ to another application. 

 I almost always start projects in FormZ but invariably finish them elsewhere.

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3 hours ago, skybound13 said:

DanM,

That is frustrating, when a schedule constraint limits the design.  I was looking at a book about Phillipe Stark back in college, he was talking a bit about his workflow.  He made it sound like if he needed more time for design he’d just tell the client and they could take it or leave it - but most of us don’t have the luxury of setting the schedule.  Also of interest was how he said his process includes an “incubation time” where they take the design so far then stop working on it for a while, then they go back with fresh eyes and continue working.

As for Stark letting his clients know that he sets the schedule, makes me think of something I read about Frank Gehry, I guess a couple came to him to design a house and they had lots of pictures of how they wanted it to look, he told them, “No, you come to me for what I can give you!”  🙂

I don’t know the sorts of features that industrial designers want in their software, you guys are sweating details so fine that we take care of those tolerances with caulk in the field.  🙂 I did see two videos on YouTube regarding parametric features, looks like formZ has at least recognized that some people may find a use for such features:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdVm0dSn6mY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMy7iUhxPAg

There is One big difference between architecture and ID, Buildings are built according to Blueprints. products made according to 3D data. That is way modeling a product must be precise and detailed since the 3D data is driving the mould eventually.

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3 hours ago, bbuxton said:

The elephant in the room is 2D drawings and 'parameters' not driving the model in FormZ.

Editing the model will update the drawing in Layout but not the other way round.

Most parametric CAD, e.g. Solidworks, Fusion 360 Catia etc. work from the drawing first, not the model

Most architectural applications like Autocad Vectorworks etc. also work from 2D first (parametric doors and windows are just exposed values for a 2D drawing driving a model)

FormZ works from the model first, edit the model and the drawings update. Working in this very direct way with the model first is much faster than the other approaches, but once an idea settles and needs constraint-driven changes, it is time to move the process out of formZ to another application. 

 I almost always start projects in FormZ but invariably finish them elsewhere.

I'm not sure what you mean by 2D drawings. Are you referring to 2D sketches or 2D documentation drawings?

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