✱ Day 5 of 7 — Preview of FormZ Fundamentals — Clipping Planes

Day 5 — Clipping Planes

This is the fifth preview video for FormZ Fundamentals. Each day this week I'm showing a small piece of my new course in a video. This will give you a better idea of what the course is about and how I teach it.

Today's video is an introduction and overview of FormZ's clipping planes. They are a great way to get inside your model so you can do more work in there, or cut away parts for section diagrams. I'm sure there are many more uses but these are the ones I use clipping planes for most often. The clipping plane tools have lots of other options that I cover in the course like animation, automatic hatching of objects, custom color fills where they clip geometry, and more. For now, enjoy this introduction and overview of this powerful tool in the FormZ toolset.

This video builds on other sections of the course and assumes the viewer already knows some of the shortcuts taught earlier.

Come back tomorrow for another preview video from the course.

Ready to find out more? Read the class curriculum and enroll!

Great news: For a limited time, while this pre-release video series is running, you can use the coupon code METHOD100 at checkout and get $100 off the price of the course. This promotion ends at 11:55pm PDT on April 10, 2017 at which time the price goes back up. The discounted price is reflected when clicking the link above.

✱ Day 4 of 7 — Preview of FormZ Fundamentals — Sweep Tool Handrail Example

Day 4 — Sweep Tool — Handrail Example

This is the fourth preview video for FormZ Fundamentals. Each day this week I'm showing a small piece of my new course in a video (usually under 5 minutes long, but not this one). This will give you a better idea of what the course is about and how I teach it.

Today's video is an introduction to FormZ's sweep tool. There's so much that could be said about the power and options of the sweep tool, but this video starts that conversation showing it's most basic functionality and how I use it about 90% of the time. The best part? It's completely parametric—both the source profile and the path being swept. This gives the user the option to easily make changes during and after tool use.

This video builds on other sections of the course and assumes the viewer already knows some of the shortcuts taught earlier.

Come back tomorrow for another preview video from the course.

Ready to find out more? Read the class curriculum and enroll!

Great news: For a limited time, while this pre-release video series is running, you can use the coupon code METHOD100 at checkout and get $100 off the price of the course. This promotion ends at 11:55pm PDT on April 10, 2017 at which time the price goes back up. The discounted price is reflected when clicking the link above.

✱ Day 3 of 7 — Preview of FormZ Fundamentals — Controlled (Parametric) Rounding

Day 3 - Controlled (Parametric) Rounding 

Welcome to the third preview of FormZ Fundamentals. Each day this week I'll be showing a small piece of my actual course in a video that is under 5 minutes long. This will give you a better idea of what the course is about and how I teach it.

Today's video is an introduction to FormZ's controlled rounding tool. While FormZ has regular (destructive) rounding of points, edges, and faces, we also have a tool for parametrically controlling the rounding on objects. What does this mean? It means we can go back later (as I repeatedly say in the video, sorry) and make changes to our decisions. This is a fantastic tool that shows how flexible designing in FormZ is compared to the other 3d modeling tools out there. It really does allow for easy design changes later which keeps us from having to redo work when things change. Again, this is just a small sample of the videos in this course and of what FormZ has to offer.

Come back tomorrow for another preview video from the course.

Ready to find out more? Read the class curriculum and enroll!

Great news: For a limited time, while this pre-release video series is running, you can use the coupon code METHOD100 at checkout and get $100 off the price of the course. This promotion ends at 11:55pm PDT on April 10, 2017 at which time the price goes back up. The discounted price is reflected when clicking the link above.

✱ Day 2 of 7 — Preview of FormZ Fundamentals — Extend Tool Introduction

Day 2 - Extend Tool Introduction 

Let's continue the 7 day preview of FormZ Fundamentals. Each day this week I'll be showing a small piece of my actual course in a video that is under 5 minutes long. This will give you a better idea of what the course is about and how I teach it.

Today's video is an introduction to FormZ's extend tool — one of my favorites. Just click a face and it moves parallel to itself at whatever distance you want. You might be thinking this is a simple thing... yet many other programs don't have this powerful tool. Watch to see it in action and learn how it works. Oh, and it works on edges too — this short video just doesn't go that far.

Come back tomorrow for another preview video from the course.

Ready to find out more? Read the class curriculum and enroll!

Great news: For a limited time, while this pre-release video series is running, you can use the coupon code METHOD100 at checkout and get $100 off the price of the course. This promotion ends at 11:55pm PDT on April 10, 2017 at which time the price goes back up. The discounted price is reflected when clicking the link above.

✱ Day 1 of 7 — Preview of FormZ Fundamentals Course Launch — Live Booleans

Day 1 - Live Booleans 

The preview of my new course FormZ Fundamentals begins today! Each day this week I'll be showing a small piece of my actual course in a video that is under 5 minutes long. This will give you a better idea of what the course is about and how I teach it.

Today the video is an introduction to FormZ's live booleans — just one of the reasons of what makes FormZ so great to use.

Come back tomorrow for another preview video from the course.

Ready to find out more? Read the class curriculum and enroll!

And I have some great news! For a limited time, while this pre-release video series is running, you can use the coupon code METHOD100 at checkout and get $100 off the price of the course. This promotion ends at 11:55pm PDT on April 10, 2017. The price is reflected when clicking the link above.

✱ Sneak Peak: FormZ Fundamentals Course

Since my last post I've been working hard on my most ambitious project yet here at Method—it's a new digital course called FormZ Fundamentals. It will be available very soon, and I wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what I've been up to.

This is a fully structured course based on how I've taught FormZ in the architecture department at California State Polytechnic University. It's not simply a tutorial, and it's not just for architects. It's over 6 hours of training for anyone who wants to learn how to use the program from the beginning—or for those who already use it—to become better at it. You'll have fun either way, and I think that's an important component of any tool you'll be using all the time.

Here are some screen grabs from the different sessions in the course:

I expect the course to launch later this month if all goes as planned. FormZ Fundamentals is going to cover a lot of ground. I'd be remiss not to mention that I'm an expert FormZ user and have been using and teaching it for more than 20 years. 

Why FormZ?

If you're a regular at this site, you already know it's my tool of choice. It's my experience that it's the most well-rounded, feature-filled modeling program (especially for, but not strictly limited to architecture) that's available today. It does so much more than some popular programs (like SketchUp) and doesn't lock you into a specific set of architecture-only tools (like Revit). Nor does it intimidate (like the interface and commands in Rhino). It hits the sweet spot most programs miss. 

I have no doubt it will make you much more valuable if you take an honest look at it and devote a little time to learning it. After all these years, I keep coming back to FormZ. 

This course is for you if: 

  • you’re a SketchUp user looking to move on to a more powerful 3d modeling and rendering toolset, or a Rhino user looking for a faster, less complicated workflow.
  • you’re new to 3d and want an all-in-one program.
  • you want a 3d program that can play well with all the other 3d programs.
  • you want parametric tools to create your designs, which makes it easier to change your designs later.
  • you’re tired of endlessly searching for extensions to try (and buy!) for every little thing that isn't built into SketchUp.
  •  you’re looking for a one-stop solution for all of your modeling needs.
  •  you want tools that allow for more creative freedom to realize your design ideas.
  •  you want to make more precise, higher quality 3d models.
  •  you’re intimidated by the Rhino interface and don’t want to remember all those commands.
  •  you want your models to be ready for 3d printing without extra work.
  •  you want to be more valuable to you clients, colleagues, and firm.

I'm trying to accomplish a few things with this course:

  1. FormZ is a fantastic program that's fun to use. More people should learn it. Are you tired of SketchUp holding you back? Are you tired of searching in the Extensions Warehouse for plugins that may or may not work? Do you want to realize more of your fantastic designs that you are having a hard time modeling in SketchUp? Chances are that FormZ has everything you need already built in.
  2. Let's start with the basics. This course lays the foundation and will make sure you understand how most of the program works. It's not all-encompassing, but the program is deep. Many tools are more advanced, and I will make more courses (if there's demand, and I hope there is...) in the future. For now, this course covers most of them and ensures you're using them the correct way.
  3. Many people don't know what FormZ is capable of. It's my favorite modeling program for a few reasons—it's powerful, fast, easy to use, and smart. It runs circles around other architectural modeling applications. If another app has a better tool for something specific (like a visual scripting tool such as Grasshopper for Rhino), I like to think of those as plugins for FormZ. I can't model all day long in Rhino without beating my head against the table. Some things are just too hard to do in it. FormZ plays so well with others that you can take your Rhino objects directly into FormZ, modify them further, and have more fun.

Hopefully this will whet your appetite. I'm excited to to share all the details of the 6+ hour course with you very soon. I will be offering special introductory pricing to all of my newsletter subscribers so if you're not signed up, make sure to get in on the early bird discount

The Grass Preset Pro Pack is on sale!

Until the end of 2016, my grass presets are on sale for $79. Make your renderings look better and save yourself time doing it. Upgrade your tool kit and make yourself more valuable!

The presets are for either SketchUp + Maxwell Render or FormZ + Maxwell Render. You can learn much more about them and see some sample images here.

✱ ARE Hacks - My new book

Hi everyone, It's been a while since I've posted. I have a pretty good reason why this site hasn't been updated in a while, and here it is: I've written a book. This site is all about adding value to yourself, and my new project fits right into that idea... it just isn't about digital tools this time (although there are many digital tool recommendations in the resource chapter). It's about getting motivated to pass the Architecture Registration Exam to become a licensed architect. If there's one thing that adds value to your endeavors in a career in architecture, this is it. 

If you'd like to learn more, go over to the ARE Hacks website. There you can see what people are saying about the book and can decide if it's for you. If you like the tutorials and training I've done here at Method, please check it out. There is a paperback and Kindle version available. Also, if you sign up for the newsletter when you're there, I'll send you a free chapter.

It's my mission to make people more valuable to the profession of architecture, and that doesn't stop at this website. I hope to see you there! 

SketchUp News: 3d Basecamp Keynote Video

Here’s this year’s SketchUp 3d Basecamp Keynote video. If you have time, it might be worth it to watch the whole thing and see the 2016 SketchUp state of the union. In my opinion, the best part is at the 29 minute mark where you’ll see some great work by Alex Hogrefe of https://visualizingarchitecture.com/. It's mostly Photoshop workflows, and the end result is eye-catching. This kind of work doesn’t have to use SketchUp of course. It’s more a discussion of image quality and feeling. At the 56 minute mark there is an interesting section on feedback based on the types of images Alex posts online. It’s good insight you might consider for the images you make depending on who your audience is.

Video: Get a workout painting in VR with Google's new Tilt Brush

Building on my last post about VR, here's the latest tech from Google called Tilt Brush. I told you that VR was going to be huge this year, and this is the latest mouth-watering entry into the burgeoning field of virtual reality.

This example is using the HTC Vive system. Users get a 9' cube of blank canvas space to work within. In one hand you have the motion-tracked 'brush' and in the other you have your 3 dimensional painter's 'palette'. The brushes are dynamic, much like using the Apple Pencil or a Wacom tablet with jitter and flow variations, except now in 3d. There are internal and external sensors tracking your every move, essentially constructing all of your brush elements in real time and keeping them in the exact spot you place them as you wave your magic wand-brush. 

This looks incredible. Everyone needs to see this video. Make no mistake – there will be tools like this developed for architecture, and I can't wait.

After you watch the video, head over to the Tilt Brush site and check out their additional videos that highlight the other aspects of the system. 

And... it's a real thing, available now within Steam if you have a HTC Vive and a badass computer that meets their hefty requirements.

 

Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Unleash your creativity with three-dimensional brush strokes, stars, light, and even fire. Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination. The possibilities are endless. Learn more at http://tiltbrush.com