News: Maxwell Render Now Free For Faculty & Students

Next Limit:

As of August 2014, Maxwell Render is offering FREE licenses to academic institutions and the students enrolled in their courses. 

This is great news for those of you either in school or working at one to start using Maxwell Render. It can be used for anything non-commercial.

Read more about it on the Maxwell Render site.

Pixelmator, my favorite image editing program is on sale. Get it!

This is a quick heads-up that my favorite image editing app on the Mac, Pixelmator (Mac App store link), is on sale right now for $16! It's normally $30, which is a crazy low price to begin with when you compare it to Photoshop which costs almost that much per month to use (and never own). It has an crazy average rating of 4.5 stars out of 3,052 reviews. It's the real deal.

I've talked about it many times here and in my videos, and have used it to create the image you see above among many others. (If you use this link to buy it, Method will get a few pennies from the sale, and it won't cost you anything extra. Please help support this site!)

Why do I like it? Watch this tutorial video I made at about the 34 minute mark to find out. You'll see exactly why I love using it and just how fun, easy and powerful it is. Not to mention, the less I'm tied to Adobe apps and a subscription, the better. You seriously can't beat this deal. 

So if you need an app to adjust images, make graphics for print or your web site, paint textures for your 3d scenes, or fix old photos, get this app now! What are you waiting for?

✱ Should you be considering a realtime rendering program for architectural presentations?

✱ Should you be considering a realtime rendering program for architectural presentations?

I’m sure you’ve heard of "realtime rendering," but just in case you haven’t here is a quick explanation: your 3d object or scene is being rendered by the computer on the fly, allowing the person viewing it to interact with the model and look wherever they want. The most common application of it is in video games, and as far as architectural visualization is concerned, it’s what’s next. Here's my current thinking on the subject.

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✱ Thanks

This is just a quick note to let everyone who has donated to the site know just how thankful I am. It is through your donations that I can afford to make more tutorials, plain and simple. If you've ever tried to make a tutorial yourself, you probably know just how much work they really are. If you haven't made one before, I can honestly say it's a lot more work than you probably think. 

So for those of you that have made a donation, my biggest thanks. You are very gracious and it makes me so happy to know the things I've made have helped you be worth more. I am filled with gratitude.

Link: formZ/bonzai3d + Maxwell Render Bundle

There's a 30% off promotion going on right now for some of my favorite 3d tools - formZ, bonzai3d & Maxwell Render. You get 30% off a Maxwell node-locked license when you buy either fZ or b3d. Don't miss the part that says the next version of fZ that's coming out (v8) is going to be a free upgrade to everyone who buys v7 now.

I don't get anything from this offer - I'm just letting you know about it because these are my go-to design tools and it's a great deal. I'm also letting you know about it because they used my image for the promo email :)

✱ Our industry needs great, licensed architects. We need you.

My goal here at Method is to make you worth more. One mantra I bring up from time to time is to invest in yourself. No one else is going to do it for you. You have to take the first step on this long journey. And then the next one, and the next one...

The more skills you have, the more you are worth. This not only allows you to get paid, but it makes the whole architectural industry worth more as well. You raise the value of everyone around you. This is something that is going to really help both you and our profession in the long run.

The American Institute of Architects National Convention as going on last week in Chicago, and Method was there in spirit. Our profession really needs smart people to become architects to help shape our industry's future. A lot of visitors here are students or unlicensed professionals working in the field. We need to dig in, get out hands dirty, and create the change we want. The first step is make sure we are on the same playing field as everyone else.

This is what I'm doing, and I hope you'll join me. Once I get my license, I have plans. It is not easy, nor should it be. One step at a time.

My friends and I have been talking a lot lately on the Archispeak Podcast about the NCARB exams, what's involved in them and what's changing. We've also talked a little bit about what tools are available to help us pass them. And you know that this site is all about sharing tools with you that work for me. 

A friend of mine, David Doucette, has a great little company that makes study tools for the exams. People I know who've used them absolutely rave about them. On top of the affordable study guides for the exams administered by NCARB, David's company, Architect Exam Prep, also has a study guide (which is more of a bible really) for the California Supplemental Exam. This is an amazing resource, and I hope you'll check it out. If you use my link, I get a small kickback from David. My goal here is to help spread the word about this resource because I think it's great, and because I want you to pass the exams. Then you can help shape the industry even better. Simple as that.

You can find out more here.

News: Maxwell Render Plugin Now Available for FormZ v8 Beta

A FormZ v8 SubD sculpture rendered in Maxwell Render - click for a larger view

For those of you following along with the Form•Z 8 Beta and all of the cool new stuff it has to offer: the developer of the Maxwell Render plugin has released a beta for us. This is great news. Now we can start rendering our subdivision surfaces in Maxwell directly from FormZ!

And as a quick aside, Maxwell FIRE is now 64 bit, so you should be able to preview grass, scatter, and all that cool stuff right in the FIRE window inside the FormZ interface without running out of memory (assuming you have lots of memory to work with, of course). You do have lots of RAM, don't you?

See the announcement and get instructions on how to get it here.

Happy rendering!

PS my grass presets are working beautifully in the latest version!

✱ Methodcast 21: Put Yourself & Your Clients Into Your Projects with Spherical Panoramas and iPano

✱ Methodcast 21: Put Yourself & Your Clients Into Your Projects with Spherical Panoramas and iPano

Have you ever wanted to let your boss, friends, clients or anyone for that matter get inside one of your designs before it's built? Of course you have! This tutorial will take you through the steps to produce a rendering that will let you do just that. 

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Link: The New and Dynamic FormZ 8

Architosh has an interview worth reading with some of the people behind the upcoming formZ 8 that is currently in beta. 

formZ has long been a top-shelf Class-A NURBS modeling software package, based on its own modeling engine reinforced by Spatial’s ACIS geometry modeling kernel. And while this latest version continues the deep underpinning coding work undertaken to generate formZ 7, it keeps its eye on its user base. “formZ 8 is a progression of formZ,” says David Kropp, Vice President of Development at AutoDesSys, who continues, “that includes some relative new areas for us as well as incremental improvements in a lot of features that our user base has been wanting for awhile.”

Also be sure to check out my FormZ v8 Unboxing Video to see some of the new stuff in action!

(Thanks Neal!)