formZ RenderZone 7 Try it FREE

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formZ 7
formZ 7

Best time ever to download and get used to the power and capabilities of formZ in it’s new version due for final release soon. While in beta development this package is functional, stable and capable of enhanced 3D modeling and 3D rendering capabilities over the bonzai3D package from where it’s development began. Available for MacOSX ( rel 10.4 +) and Windows 32 and 64.

More power than ever with an easier more intuitive interface. Many file formats (13+) and lots of rendering and animation capabilities to produce incredible photo realistic images.

Download here  and try it free; formz your next step up for more advanced tools from bonzai3D

we can help for those that want to own it – and other powerful 3D tools; see us here for 3d Rendering software

Architect using formZ for 3D modeling

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Wandering in the Garden of Technology and Passion, a book about Architect John Marx and his use of 3D modeling with form•Z.

February 14, 2012

Wandering the Garden of Technology and Passion, a book written by Pierluigi Serraino about Architect John Marx, a long time user of form•Z for 3D modeling and innovator of digital tools, and the impressive projects of his firm, form4. A vivid demonstration of how a small architectural practice can compete internationally with much larger firms, thanks to their grasp of digital tools.”Five chapters divide the work of John Marx that outline the wide-ranging and and biographical conditions of being an architect today. These episodes are structured around themes that cross-section his output, highlighting issues of general interest and avoiding the classic chronological trope so ubiquitous in tales of and architect’s accomplishments. Marx’s design impulse is the undercurrent throughout these sections. It is through design that architects have the greatest chance to bring relevance to their work and affect people’s lives in significantly positive ways.”
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This book is available at Amazon.com, you can find it there by clicking HERE.
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Book Description

Publication Date: January 18, 2012
John Marx is of the generation of design architects who witnessed their pencils morph into mouses and their drafting tables into computer desktops. Throughout this transition, he has maintained a remarkable aesthetic consistency in his architectural projects. Wandering the Garden of Technology and Passion is a study of digital design through Marx’s work. This beautifully illustrated book traces the professional path of an architect whose mastery of digital tools transformed his practice into a global player, but who still manages to hold on to the intimate qualities of a boutique practice.
Jeju International Airport

Table of Contents
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More users experience with bonzai3D vs Google Sketchup

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I have had a bit of a look around the forum and documentation, also downloaded the trial version of Bonzai and have only one burning question; Is there a viable way of creating construction drawings (for houses) that remains linked like they do in SU Pro?

I really like how Bonzai works, very intuitive and well thought out, but can see myself losing productivity if I have to use a 3rd party program for the final prints (and the obvious hassle of redoing exports if there are changes)

I notice that alot of users are exporting to Revit for this stage, but it doesn’t solve the problem with the drawings being divorced from the original model.

i don’t really want to go with SU pro due to the other work flow related issues (no tools for windows, doors etc, slow work flow) and can’t justify (at this stage) going for a 2K lite version of ArchiCad (It looks a little too crippled as well)

 

– Andrew Jones

response from autodessys Inc

 

Bonzai3d is designed as a 3d modeling program, and it can generate plans and sections that can be exported in 2d (or 3d) to a dedicated drafting program — such as AutoCAD, Archicad, Vectorworks, etc. As you note, this can require extra steps if there will be multiple revisions, and we are currently working on the Drafting Environment for formZ 7 — which will integrate the model with the documentation as you are requesting. 

formZ 7 will also use the bonzai3d interface (plus a lot more) so that modeling will be as quick and easy as it can be. If you would like to sign up for the Beta version and give it a try, you can do so here: 

http://www.formz.com/products/formz/formz7beta.html 

Right now, the Drafting Workspace is a bit of a work in progress, but Hatches have just been released, and soon Line Styles & Weights will be implemented — along with the full Layout Environment so that you can create full blown construction documents. And — if you make a change to the model, the documentation will be updated automatically. :-) 

Does this help? 

I haven’t test driven formz yet, it sound cool to have the bonzai features in it too. Is it possible to purchase bonzai and upgrade it later to the full formz program? Or perhaps buy the 2D drafting/ plotting environment as an add on? Anyway, that does answer the initial question. sorry to add more 🙂 I’ll have a look at the beta version, thanks.

– Andrew Jones

 

response from autodessys Inc

Yes, you will be able to upgrade from bonzai3d to formZ 7 in the future — but details have not yet been set for that. (The details for this will be available closer to the final release of formZ 7.) 

We are not sure if we will be adding a 2d add-on for bonzai3d in the long run — but it will not be available in the near future. If you know you will want integrated Drafting (beyond basic notes and dimensions), you should most likely choose formZ over bonzai3d. 

 

Ok, that makes sense. Had a bit of a play today with Beta 7, love the roof building tool! Love the way the drafting tool set can be selected easily, and the quality of the icons and descriptions is fantastic, great work.

I’ll keep poking around.

So I’m thinking the best option would be to buy bonzai3d now (so I can start learning the tools etc), and upgrade when fomZ 7 is released…anyway, sounds good either way.

– Andrew Jones

iSCSI Storage

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In computing the term iSCSI  is an abbreviation of Internet Small Computer System Interface, it is an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for linking data storage facilities.

By carrying SCSI commands over IP networks, iSCSI is used to facilitate data transfers over intranets and to manage storage over long distances. iSCSI can be used to transmit data over local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), or the Internet and can enable location-independent data storage and retrieval. The protocol allows clients (called initiators) to send SCSI commands (CDBs) to SCSI storage devices (targets) on remote servers. It is a Storage Area Network(SAN) protocol, allowing organizations to consolidate storage into data center storage arrays while providing hosts (such as database and web servers) with the illusion of locally-attached disks.

Unlike traditional Fibre Channel, which requires special-purpose cabling, iSCSI can be run over long distances using existing network infrastructure.

Synology Inc provides a large range of Networked attached Storage (NAS) devices that can provide  low cost solutions for home use all the way up to large scale 100TB + high speed  enterprise solutions.

For more information on the capabilities of these high speed drives see: http://bit.ly/Ahf6cN

Google Sketchup Pro Competitor!

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bonzai3D powerful 3D modelling
bonzai3D powerful 3D modelling

Bonzai3d can be best described as SketchUp on steroids.  It takes the Google program and enhances it to the next level.  Bonzai3d is not a polygon based modeller, but has the ability to use surface NURBS (the organic form modelling).  It also has the ability to create renders, build complex NURB shapes, deformations (bulge, taper, twist, bend surfaces), smart interfacing, thicken surfaces (even if curved), print 3d models (this is uber cool), push/pull and has intelligent guides.

Google SketchUp’s advantage is that it has huge user coverage with its ability to load up models into a warehouse and onto GoogleEarth.  AutoDesSys have programmed their software to make advantage of this social library.  Bonzai3d can import and export skp files (SketchUp’s file extension) meaning the designer has complete accessibilty to the SketchUp warehouse.

Bonzai3d was released in July 2009 and probably slipped under the radar of most users and for its power and ease of use should be used more widely.  The push/pull tool is exactly the same as Google’s but has the added bonus to creating more complex shapes by using a thicken tool and then it can render realistically!  The great thing is if you are a SketchUp user in the past then learning Bonzai3d is a very easy cross-over.  You can attend webinars or can sign-up to or watch a replay online.  These webinars are a great way to pick up tips and tricks from the makers of the program and ask them questions.

Download the trial version onto your Mac or PC  and see what you think.  Once you have trialled Bonzai3d after downloading it for FREE  for up to 30 days  we are sure you’ll want to keep it.

As such we are offering a special Purchase discount  coupon (B3DWP) that can be used for a 15% discount off all new bonzai3D purchases online  here at Smarttec.com.au.

I would love to know what you think, but I’m sure you’ll agree with me.

Top 10 reasons to purchase:

1. bonzai3d offers EASY SCULPTING
2. bonzai3d offers a FLUID, POWERFUL and SMART INTERFACE
3. bonzai3d offers CLASSIC MODELLING TOOLS with REAL TIME DYNAMIC EDITING
4. bonzai3d offers DEFORMATIONS that work on any solid or surface
5. bonzai3d offers SPECIALTY TOOLS peppered throughout the application
6. bonzai3d offers an expandable CONTENT LIBRARY able to import .skp models
7. bonzai3d PLAYS WELL WITH OTHER programs 16 import file formats & 13 export file formats
8. bonzai3d offers ADVANCED REAL-TIME RENDERING
9. bonzai3d offers the MATCH VIEW TOOL
10. bonzai3d offers NURBS based ORGANIC FORM modelling
Bonzai3d also includes FREE EMBEDDED VIDEO TUTORIALS making learning easy!

3D Printing just got more affordable

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3D Printing just got more affordable
Now only $1,619 +GST

Up 3D Printer
Up 3D Printer

3D Printing just got more affordable

with the reduction of pricing in Australia.

Smarttec.com.au has substantially dropped its price to make 3D printing available to everyone who wants to create there own models from 3D applications like bonZai3D and formZ.

The same features but now the filament feeder  is no longer needed it has a new more powerful stepper motor and no longer requires the green paint.
High quality 3D models produced by molten deposition of ABS type plastic feed from larger 750Gm reels are now possible at affordable prices. The software included with the 3D Up Printer for either MacOSX or Windows is powerful enough to take most ‘watertight’ 3D .stl models and produce the models with all the supporting structures in place to ensure it is manufacturable.

Produce models and structures not possible without 3D Printing.

 

FREE DaVinci Resolve

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DaVinci Resolve: The Free Version

Released: DaVinci Resolve Lite

BlackMagic has posted a Public Beta of DaVinci Resolve Lite: a free version of BlackMagic’s $1,047.20 DaVinci Resolve for Mac. You can select the details here from this link for a 265Mb download:

DaVinci Resolve Lite includes all the same high quality processing of the full DaVinci Resolve. However it limits projects to HD resolutions or less, only two color correction nodes, a single processing GPU and a single RED rocket card. Stereoscopic 3D features, noise reduction, Power Mastering, remote grading, and sharing projects using an external database server are features only offered in the full DaVinci Resolve and so are not included in this free DaVinci Resolve Lite edition. Customers who want to eliminate these restrictions can purchase the full DaVinci Resolve Software for only A$1,047.20

The removed features seem pretty reasonable. The 2-node restriction doesn’t allow for the more complicated Parallel, Key, and Mix nodes – which are ‘power user’ features. Yet it still supports a GPU + Red Rocket card.

BlackMagic has struck a nice balance between giving away a very powerful color grading solution but holding back enough key features that owners of the paid versions won’t complain too much.

The download can be found here. Select MacOS > DaVinci Resolve > DaVinci Resolve Lite then fill in your details to download this free app.

3-Way Color Subtab

This Lite version is pretty big news but don’t lose sight of a brand new interface that makes this Lite version much more accessible to the people most likely to use it… mouse-only desktop colorists. That’s right, this new version of both Resolve for Mac and Resolve Lite now include a new 3-Way Color Panel. See my accompanying blog post about the new 3Way interface and the modifiers you can use with it to enhance your experience grading with a mouse on Resolve.

iMac and MacBookPro Support

One of the big features of version 8 is Open-GL support, allowing Resolve to run on non-Nvidia cards (except for the new Noise Reduction feature which is CUDA – only and requires one of the supported NVidia cards). This opens up DaVinci from being a tower-only app to also running on iMacs and MacBookPros. Due to the limited architectures of these machines, DaVinci describes the ideal workflows for these two particular configurations:

MacBook Pro

Ideal for ‘SD Grading and SD / HD Shot Preview’ suited for:

  • On-set, pre-grade, previewing and training
  • Real-time processing of SD DPX files
  • Apply shot by shot ‘look’ grades to HD images (for later grading in a MacPro or Linux workstation)
  • Supports internal SATA or SSD storage options (BlackMagic recommends the biggest internal SSD you can afford for the best performance)

iMac

Best for ‘SD or HD 720p Grading’ suited for:

  • Pre-grade, Previewing and Training
  • Realtime processing of 720p images
  • Preview, grade, render HD images
  • Internal SATA or SSD storage options (again, they recommend a big internal SSD for performance with FireWire, USB, or Internal SATA only for low resolution images if realtime performance is required)

Resolve & Lite: Supported Configurations

Lite may be free but it’s still powerful and requires a very modern Graphics Processing board in iMacs and MacBook Pros for it to work properly. Version 8 was re-written to support Open-GL – the programming language that Apple has embraced for it’s graphics cards. For MacBook Pros, here’s the relevant  requirements for optimal performance of Resolve and Resolve Lite:

The MacBook Pro contains two GPUs; one for high performance graphics and the other for better battery life. It is essential to enter the Energy Saver preferences, in the System Preferences of Mac OS X, and select the high performance graphics option. Failing to do so will render Resolve unusable. On the mid 2009 model, set the Graphics radio button to “Higher Performance”. On the mid 2010 and early 2011 models, disable the “Automatic graphics switching” checkbox.

At the time of its release (Late July 2011) here are the specific MacBook Pro Specs:

  • 17-inch, Mid 2009, 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 17-inch, Mid 2009, 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 17-inch, Mid 2010, 2.53GHz Intel Core i5
  • 17-inch, Mid 2010, 2.66GHz Intel Core i7
  • 17-inch, Early 2011, 2.2GHz Intel Core i7
  • 17-inch, Early 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Core i7
  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6.7
  • RAM: 8 GB

Also as of late July 2011, here are the specific iMac Specs:

  • 21.5-inch, Mid 2011, 2.5GHz Intel Core i5
  • 21.5-inch, Mid 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Core i5
  • 21.5-inch, Mid 2011, 2.8GHz Intel Core i7
  • 27-inch, Mid 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Core i5
  • 27-inch, Mid 2011, 3.1GHz Intel Core i5
  • 27-inch, Mid 2011, 3.4GHz Intel Core i7
  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6.7
  • RAM: 8 GB

What About Mac OS Lion?

According to an email I received from BlackMagic – Resolve 8.0.1 and Resolve Lite 8.0.1 Public Beta are both Lion-ready. Decklink users should update to the latest drivers, which are also Lion-ready. I myself haven’t had time to test it. I suggest running these configurations on a separate boot drive or partition to make sure everything is working properly before putting it into a production situation.

More on latest Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 latest update

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From article by Heath McKnight (http://heathmcknight.com/)

As usual, Apple has been listening to us and have introduced their second big FCP X update since the app “shipped” via the Mac App Store in late June 2011. We had the first update in September 2011, which brought XML, media stems and more; a minor bug fix in November; and now another major update for January 2012. I mention this first, because Apple usually released major updates to past versions of FCP every year or so. I believe FCP 7 only got two major updates and a minor one after it shipped in August 2009. So we’ve had just as many in seven months, and everything comes through quickly via the Mac App Store!Apple’s Richard Townhill, senior director of applications marketing, took time to talk on the latest major update to Final Cut Pro (http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/), ver. 10.0.3. Apple is delivering multicam support, broadcast monitoring via third-party PCI-e cards and boxes (in beta, along with Thunderbolt), advanced chroma keying features, XML 1.1, the ability to import layered Photoshop graphics (PSD), and media relinking.

The big feature is Multicam, and as usual, Apple doesn’t just add in the feature to FCP X, but they make it better and easier to use. You can mix up to 64 different camera angles and sources, using mixed formats, codecs, frame rates and frame sizes, and also you can mix stills with the video. Syncing has always been tricky with multicamera editing, but FCP X makes it simple with their auto sync feature, which will sync up video and audio based on timecode (all cameras have to have matching timecode) or a time-and-date stamp (again, all cameras must match). You can also sync based on metadata, along with customizing that information. FCP X also goes a step further if you’re using the GoPro, HDSLRs or cameras that don’t match timecode or time-and-date. They use the audio from the cameras and match up the waveform and then sync the footage up that way. That’s pretty incredible! So if you’re shooting a three-camera production of an interview, FCP X will sync according to the audio waveforms of the person talking, or if you’re shooting a live event, like sports, it will find the similar audio waveforms and sync them up!

In beta right now is Broadcast Monitoring, which uses third-party PCI-e devices and cards, and Thunderbolt, which is still one of my favorite new features on pretty much all new Apple computers. AJA has already updated their drivers at www.aja.com, and feature the new ioXT Thunderbolt device (http://www.aja.com/products/io/io-xt.php), and Matrox and BlackMagic are working on some cool new Thunderbolt devices. You can also do on-set, in-the-field monitoring, as well! In fact, my sources told me Apple was working on broadcast monitoring back in July.

Apple also introduced more robust Chroma Keying controls, so it’s not only easy to do a quick key, you can also tweek it and perfect it, especially if your green- or bluescreen wasn’t lit well. No need to export to Motion or After Effects, plus you can view it in real-time, thanks to FCP X’s 64-bit architecture. Richard also mentioned that Jimmy Fallon and SNL use FCP X’s one-step chroma key feature, which is pretty cool.

Media Relink makes it easy to relink your footage, audio, etc., when you’re exporting or importing items from third-party software, such as color corrected footage, cleaned up audio, etc. It will also find footage that was transcoded, as well, which is great, since many of us prefer to use Apple ProRes and other codecs that are easy to cut with.

Richard talked a bit about my friend Philip Hodgetts (and his partner Greg’s) 7toX , which will allow you to bring Final Cut Pro 7 projects into Final Cut Pro X! That’s right, no more using two different FCP NLEs on old and new projects, just use the 7toX app and you’re ready to go. Make sure you read the information on the above link, because things obviously change when going from bins, etc., to FCP X. It’s only $9.99 and is already available on the Mac App Store.

7toX takes advantage of the new XML 1.1 feature, plus the update allows you to export to color correct in DaVinci Resolve and other third-party color correction apps. You can also “import and export audio keyframes and intrinsic effects parameters such as opacity and scale,” according to Apple.

While you could import and work with layered Photoshop graphics in Motion 5, you couldn’t in FCP X. The new 10.0.3 update allows you to do just that, which is a fantastic feature that many of us loved in FCP 7 and earlier.

Full rundown and details of the 10.0.3 update can be found athttp://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/software-update.html, plus the 30-day free trial of FCP X includes all the new updates, including those for Motion 5 and Compressor 4. Also of note are the third-party developers, which are putting out some great stuff for FCP X, including Red Giant Software (http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/), GenArt’s Saphire Edge (http://www.genarts.com/software/sapphire-edge/final-cut), FxFactory (http://www.noiseindustries.com/fxfactory/), and many others.

by Heath McNight

3D UP Printer

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UP! 3D Printer  can print Amazingly accurate ( 0.2mm tolerance ) and strong 3D models directly from your Windows or Mac computer models using 3D UP Printer in ABS plastic in sizes up to 135mm x 135mm x 125mm.

These parts have 30% the strength of injection moulded objects but done easily by DIY. Learn to design and test with our easy to use 3D packages such as formZ and bonzai3D as this printer we can supply comes with it’s own control software for windows or mac that imports any well formed .stl file format models.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmkQCUJNooA]

Want to learn more about Desktop Video?

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Click here is a downloadable pdf file (10.2Mb) that gives the best, most illustrative overview of how you can produce high quality video using BlackMagic Design products that Smarttec can supply and support.

Also available for download is the latest Desktop Video v9.2 beta

About Desktop Video Software

This software includes everything you need to set up your DeckLink, Multibridge, UltraStudio, Intensity and H.264 Pro Recorder for any task in your facility.

What’s new in Desktop Video 9.2 Beta 1

• Broadcast monitoring support for Final Cut Pro X

• Avid Media Composer 6 improvements

• Media Express 3.1

• DNxHD playback support for Media Express 3.1

Minimum system requirements for Mac OS X

UltraStudio 3D and Intensity Extreme

• Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later.

• Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard or later.

• Thunderbolt iMac, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air

• 4 GB of system memory.

DeckLink, Intensity and Multibridge products

• Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later.

• Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard or later.

• A suitable PCIe slot – PCIe x1 lane cards should work in any slot. PCIe x4 lane cards require a x4 lane or faster PCI Express slot.

• 4 GB of system memory.

H.264 Pro Recorder

• Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later.

• Mac OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard or later.

• USB 2.0 connection.

• 4 GB of system memory.

Third Party Software Support

• Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.1

• Adobe After Effects CS5.5

• Adobe Photoshop CS5.5

• Adobe Premiere Pro CS5

• Adobe After Effects CS5

• Adobe Photoshop CS5

• Apple Final Cut Pro X

• Apple Final Cut Pro 7

• Apple Motion 4

• Apple Soundtrack Pro 3

• Apple Color 1.5

• Apple DVD Studio Pro 4

• Avid Pro Tools 8

• Avid Media Composer 6

• Nuke

Installing Desktop Video Software

The drivers install components in to applications including Avid Media Composer 6,Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. If you have installed the drivers prior to installing any of these applications, we recommend that you uninstall and reinstall the drivers. This will ensure that all relevant components are installed in their required locations.

To remove the Desktop Video software out of your system, simply run the “Uninstall DeckLink” utility which is included on the CD or disk image.

Additional Information

Please check www.blackmagic-design.com for additional information on third party software compatibility and minimum system requirements.