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Download form·Z Tutorials

These tutorials are taken from in·form·Z back issues. They are available in PDF format.

form·Z User's Manual v6.5: Tutorial
The entire Tutorial Manual is avaliable for download, in either the English or Metric versions:
form·Z v6.0 Animation Sample Files
The v6.0 Animation Manual includes tutorials that reference sample files.
form·Z 6.0 Addendum
Includes the Animation Manual.

form·Z Newsletter Tutorials

Model a Circus Tent
In this tutorial we shall use a variety of techniques to model organic surfaces, which will be used to create the circus tent.
Animating Rube Goldberg machines
In this tutorial, a marble and a series of wooden ramps will be constructed. These ramps catch the metal marble and redirect its motion in a zig zag pattern. Last, the wooden ramps and the metal marble will be textured to add realism to their appearance.
Animating Rube Goldberg machines Sample Files
Sample files for the tutorial above.
Scripting Surfaces
This is a tutorial that shows how to work with a utility script that generates nurbz surfaces, whose shape follows a user defined formula. Some basic familiarity with programming and the form·Z Script Language (FSL) is desirable but should not be absolutely necessary.
Scripting Surfaces Sample Files
Sample files for the tutorial above.
Interplanetary Lander
In this tutorial we shall model a lander that is capable of tracking across unfriendly surfaces. This is only a part of a broader model that includes a spacecraft that would carry the lander and other equipment to space.
Modeling a Fishing Hook and Snake thing
This Tutorial will show you how to model a hook as well as the shape to the left with the use of a 2-path sweep and other techniques.
Modeling a Chair
For this tutorial, we shall use an arbitrary surface. The only requirement is that the surface has compound curvature, which makes its unfolding a challenge, especially when the surface needs to be manufactured. While form·Z has no difficulty unfolding any facetted surface, the pattern by which it unfolds a surface is not necessarily appropriate from the manufacturing point of view. Thus this tutorial is about establishing a method to unfold such a surface.
Unfolding a Compound Surface
This tutorial is about modeling the shown chair. The technique I use is based on surface modeling. That is, the main curvy surfaces of the chair remain surfaces until the end, when edge surfaces are generated and they are all stitched together resulting in a solid model.
Unfolding a Compound Surface
For this tutorial, we shall use an arbitrary surface. The only requirement is that the surface has compound curvature, which makes its unfolding a challenge, especially when the surface needs to be manufactured. While form·Z has no difficulty unfolding any facetted surface, the pattern by which it unfolds a surface is not necessarily appropriate from the manufacturing point of view. Thus this tutorial is about establishing a method to unfold such a surface.
Unfolding a Boat Hul
This tutorial will not attempt to explain boat design, which would be beyond its scope. It will cover the creation of patterns from a computer model, for the purpose of manufacturing the boat.
Modeling Aubrey
Following a sketch, a 3D model of the character is built. The basic shapes used are extruded octagons, as these most closely resemble circles when they are smoothed.
Modeling a King's Chair
In this tutorial we model a complex royal chair.
Modeling a column
The Composite order is a combination of the Ionic and Corinthian orders. It combines the volutes of the Ionic with the foliage of the Corinthian. Both orders have a base and a fluted shaft. We chose the Composite order because it is the most challenging and contains elements that can nicely be modeled as nurbz. It actually offers an opportunity to apply a variety of nurbz operations.
Modeling a nurbz lawn chair
This tutorial is about modeling the shown lawn chair exclusively as a nurbz object. As we shall see, different nurbz operations are better suited for different parts of the chair.
Modeling a Dune Buggy
This tutorial is about modeling the dune buggy shown to the left. An effort has been made to use as many distinct form·Z tools as possible.
Modeling Curtains
This tutorial is about modeling curtains and cloth in general. It is based on a technique suggested by Stephen James on our Forum, in response to a question by Kevin McCall. The technique is based on first building a low resolution model (cage), which is then subdivided to derive the final model.
How to model a pillow
“How would one even begin to model something like this in form·Z?” asked a user on the form·Z forum and displayed a photo of a throw pillow. Craig Williams took the time to show how, which was very much appreciated by the forum participants, who also suggested that we publish it in our newsletter. Here it is!
Modeling a Rim
For this tutorial the wheel rim shown above will be constructed using v. 3.8 features. The process consists of two parts: making the wheel and rounding some of its edges
Modeling Joe with nurbz...
For this tutorial the wheel rim shown above will be constructed using v. 3.8 features. The process consists of two parts: making the wheel and rounding some of its edges
3D Digitizer
Digitizer support within form·Z allows a 2D or 3D hardware input device to be used as a method for controlling the graphic input to form·Z. This graphic input can be in the form of moving the cursor relative to the computer screen or in the 3D world space of the form·Z project.
Modeling Shells
This tutorial covers the pecten shell as well as a tutorial on how to model a snail shell. Needless to point out that each is done using a different technique.
Modeling a hand with cages
A cage is a low resolution object that can be used in the place of the real full resolution object. Cages are particularly useful when setting up animation sequences, but also when setting up still renderings. This tutorial illustrates the use of cages to create a hand.
How to model Zac
Allow us to introduce Zac, a 3D cartoon character, who was mostly built with form·Z skins and metaformz.
Modeling a basketball
The basketball is a simple sphere, but has some complex grooves on it, the axes of which are shown to the left. We shall construct one quadrant of the basketball, complete with its grooves, and will then copy-mirror it to construct the complete ball. The grooves will be constructed by differencing properly shaped “tubes” from the ball.
Constructing a Mobius strip
A Mobius strip is a closed strip, both sides of which are a continuous surface. That is, if you start tracing one side of the strip, you will eventually come to the other side of the strip, and if you continue tracing its surface, you will return to the point at which you started your tracing.
Modeling a bicycle wheel
To model the bicycle wheel shown on the right, one should first observe its pentagonal (5-point) symmetry. A key technique with such a shape is to not try to construct it all in one piece, but rather to identify its modular structure and to construct one piece which will then be copied and repeated five times.
Apple to Orange
The modeling procedure shown below is a slight variation of one developed by Dave Teich, Mind of the Machine, when he had to do an illustration on “Apples and Oranges” for an article on Cross Platform File Sharing in Digital Video Magazine. “I translated the concept graphically as an apple and an orange unpeeling and the peels morphing into one another.
Corrugated pipes
There are at least two ways by which objects such as freely flowing corrugated pipes can be generated. The first is based on placing profile shapes on a line corresponding to the shape of the pipe, and then c-meshing them. The second creates long and straight objects of revolution which are then deformed to the desired shape.
Modeling a hat
Soft surfaces such as that of a hat can be created as c-meshes. This tutorial gives an example of such a free flowing model.
Rounded balls with seams
form·Z can, of course, generate faceted soccer balls. But what about smoothly rounded balls whose seams are also shown? To create such balls, you model two pieces: a hexagonal and a pentagonal piece. You then attach copies of these pieces to the respective faces of the faceted soccer ball.
Prototyping form·Z models
This tutorial gives examples of rapid prototyping from the in•form·Z Newsletter.
Doing your own rounding
The task: Round the sequence of segments shown. The modeling methods presented here are based on suggestions offered by Fred Lewis of Moving Media and Jay Roth of ElectricImage.
Embossing surfaces
The task: Given the shown curved surface, pull out a piece from its top and connect (stitch) it to the remaining portion of the surface, through faces that extend between the two pieces.
Rapid Prototyping
What is rapid prototyping ?
It is a technology that has evolved in recent years, which constructs plastic models directly from computer models. Unlike the previously available computer aided manufacturing process (CAM), which relies on numerically controlled tool paths, rapid prototyping builds a model from a series of horizontal cross sections.