form•Z 8 introduces subdivision modeling as a new personality to form•Z's diverse modeling capabilities. Subdivision modeling is a method for creating unique organic forms. These organic models start from a simple base cage that can be dynamically manipulated and reformed with a new suite of tools that provide operations like grow, stretch, bridge, squeeze and offset. Subdivision models are parametric allowing for continued manipulation as well as dynamic control of the surface resolution.
The subdivision tools are also useful for quickly smoothing or softening a facetted model. Subdivision objects can be converted to NURBS for additional manipulation and evaluation using form•Z’s extensive NURBS tools. Subdivision objects work great with 3D printing as they produce regular meshes that tend to give excellent results with popular 3D printers. Useful for tensile structures, organic surfaces ranging from exotic roofs to character meshes, these new tools make form•Z more versatile than ever before!
The new Round to Holdline tool generates a round between two (or more) faces of an object. The object can be a surface or a solid object. The round is defined with a holdline curve that lies on the surface. The variable radius of the round along the edge will be determined by the holdline, see example below.
The form•Z interactive display modes have been completely rewritten to take advantage of modern OpenGL capabilities. This is most noticeable in Shaded Full display mode with new real-time ambient occlusion, bump mapping, soft shadows and multi sampling features. These improvements aid in real-time visualization and design evaluation as they yield better depth perception and spatial definition. The image to the right illustrates the effect of these new features.
Sketchfab.com is a website that allows you to share your 3D models so others can view and navigate around the model in real time. You can publish your models through Sketchfab.com, or you can embed them into your own web pages. There is a new Sketchfab upload option in the Extensions menu that allows for uploads to Sketchfab directly from form•Z.
form•Z for OS X is now a native 64-bit application making it possible to work with projects that need over 4GB of memory. 32 and 64 bit versions continue to be supported for Windows.