View Full Version : Form•Z 5 coming for OS X (Native)
This should be a pretty big deal for all you 3D modelling Yahoos. AFAICT this app is strictly high-end modelling and rendering, right? Not an animation or motion tool?
I couldn't find any immediate price information on their site, but is this a pretty difficult app to learn, relative to other 3D apps? I picked up Carrara fairly quick (though I am by no means "good" at it, I just understand how to create basic primitive scenes and the modalities of the app) but this is probably a lot more complex.
More like a CAD program?
Mainly a modeler, can be an excellent renderer, though it takes more work than some other solutions. Only basic animation tools for keyframed walk-throughs, though it does QTVR very nicely too. Form Z is often used in a workflow with CAD and other renderers. Its big strength aside from its huge array of modeling tools is its ability to import and export lots of formats.
It has a daunting set of tools with TONS of additional features and settings available to each one. I've found all modeling tools I've used to have a steep learning curve with the exception of SketchUp (the tradeoff there is that it takes a long time to model stuff). The Windows version is worse than the Mac version from the UI point of view simply because it's really a Mac port and therefore is inconsistent with a lot of Windows conventions. However, it's possible to sit down with someone for 10 minutes and get going with the most common polygonal tools and do some basic renderings. Imagine a learning curve that flat to start out, gets steep, then flattens out again, like a big hump. That's how it feels to learn this app. And I only know/use about 25% of its features!
Like I said, renderings from Form Z can be excellent, especially if you use RadioZity (nee, radiosity), but it takes a lot of practice. The defaults for materials and lighting aren't usually that great, and some software like MAX/Viz are more flexible in this area.
It's definitely geared towards industrial design and architecture, and not towards character/organic modeling. Your biggest friend in Form Z is the prompt palette, where you can be very precise about your coordinates and dimensions. So it is more CAD-like in many respects.
Version 5.0's big to-do is the scripting framework they've added to it. It will probably much more attractive to big houses for this reason.
now if they could just bring over AutoCAD, i'd be happy.
at least, my wife would. as her stuff would run on a Mac.
Nice post Alcimedes... I suspected it was more geared towards architecture and the like. Those are actually the kinds of scenes I'd like to create for some of my personal projects, although I'm guessing using Form Z would be cost-prohibitive (not just hard to learn). What's a single stand-alone license cost for first time buyers? Didn't see anything on their site about that either.
Their pricing is a bit fluid. They offer much better deals when it's bought in bulk and for academic licenses. They have something called a family plan (or it was called that at one point) where you get any upgrades even to the next full version included in the price. I believe that full price for one license of the total package: Form Z with Renderzone and RadioZity is about $3000 or so. I think basic Form Z might be as low as $800, but I haven't looked at prices in a long time.
So the basic package just consists of the modeller and rendering engine?
I does include the rudimentary animation tools and the drafting environment, it's the two high-end rendering mechanisms that are missing, Renderzone and RadioZity. I don't know anyone who has ever bought anything less than Form Z with Renderzone, so I might be wrong about the animation tools, but I don't think I am.
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