form•Z Fundamentals Online Training Course


form•Z Fundamentals Training Course

Learn the best 3d modeling program for architecture and design.
Longtime form•Z user Evan Troxel has created an amazing new way to learn 3D modeling with form•Z. Whether it’ll be your first time opening the program, or your 300th, you’ll learn techniques that will ensure your success in building and visualizing the best 3d models you’ve ever made. Using the powerful tools form•Z puts at your fingertips, you’ll be inspired and ready to make more great designs with your newfound skills and tools.
This course has more than 6 hours of form•Z video training. Unlimited viewing allows you to watch the videos at your own pace and use them as reference for years to come.
As a special introductory offer Evan is offering $100.00 off the course thorough April 21st. Click here for details and to view a few sample lessons.

form•Z pro 8.5 released

formZ Hex-Panel

form•Z pro 8.5 released



With form·Z pro v8.5 released  there is a new suite of creative design tools to enhance form generation. These tools offer a variety of ways to create new and interesting forms especially when combined with each other. These tools also work well with many existing form·Z pro tools like subdivision surfaces and deformations to make even more interesting forms. This new tools suite includes: Voronoi DiagramPoint ScatterSurface ScatterVolume ScatterParametric MapWrap, and Delaunay Triangulation.

The form·Z pro Layout environment has been migrated to its own app. The new form·Z pro Layout app includes numerous improvements plus a title block feature including a library of ready to use title blocks. The title block feature can auto-fill commonly used title block text from a user defined dictionary.



form·Z pro 8.5 features

form•Z pro v8.5 introduces a new suite of creative design tools to enhance form generation. These tools offer a variety of ways to create new and interesting forms especially when combined with each other. These tools also work well with many existing form•Z pro tools like subdivision surfaces and deformations to make even more interesting forms. These new tools suite includes:

  • The Voronoi diagram tool creates a formation of cells from a set of points.
  • The Point ScatterSurface Scatter, and Volume Scatter tools create formations by distributing copies of objects on or inside of other objects.
  • The Parametric Map tool allows 2D objects to be mapped onto a surface or face of another object.
  • The Wrap tool creates a new object from the 3D spatial boundary (or convex hull) of a set of objects or the 2D boundary of a planar set of points.
  • The Delaunay Triangulation tool creates robust triangulated meshes from a set of points on a surface or plane.

The form•Z pro Layout environment has been migrated to its own app. The new form•Z Layout app includes numerous improvements plus a title block feature including a library of ready to use title blocks. Commonly used title block text can be auto filled from a user-defined dictionary.

form•Z pro v8.5 includes an interface for the Augment reality app. With Augment, you can visualize your form•Z models in real world settings, at real size, in real time on OS X and Android mobile devices. See for more details.

The Hidden Line rendering in form•Z pro v8.5 has been improved to allow interactive view navigation and can optionally show hidden/back edges as dashed lines.

Access the form•Z pro v8.5 documentation HERE.

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Beta Testers feedback:

This is a great update’…“we have a very solid design tool indeed in 8.5! Thanks!” –Alan Cooper

love the voronoi and scatter additions in 8.5“. – Stefan Laub

This new version is really good I think – it fills a whole lot of gaps for me” – LLoyd Sharp

The new tools look pretty cool” – user “Rob” posted on the form•Z forum.

form•Z pro v8.5 also includes:

  • ACIS r25 and (ASAT r25 file format) support for improved smooth modeling
  • Improved display performance for layout files and complex 3D model files.
  • Enhancements to the Bend Along Path tool and Align/Distribute tools.
  • Improved numeric input.
  • New High Quality smoothing export option.
  • A variety of improvements and enhancements throughout.

Working with Maxwell Render plugin


Working with Maxwell Render plugin

MaxwellWebinarImage300x290-1Here is an online webinar (~30mins) that covers working with the Maxwell Render Plugin, in this case from within the powerful conceptual 3D modeller formZ v.7.

Don’t forget that Maxwell Render seamlessly integrates with the major 3D applications.  ONE Maxwell Render license purchase comes with ALL of the following plugins:


  • Maya
  • 3ds Max
  • Rhinoceros
  • SketchUp
  • ArchiCAD
  • Revit
  • Softimage
  • modo
  • After Effects
  • formZ
  • Houdini
  • bonzai3d
  • LightWave
  • MicroStation
  • NUKE
  • SolidWorks
  • Photoshop

Third party supported plugins (not included as they are not developed by Next Limit) include:

  • Blender
  • SolidThinking
  • Inventor

This webinar covers many of the new and unique features that Maxwell Render v.3 introduces over it’s previous release v.2.7.




Among the features covered are adding realistic grass to ground planes, scattering trees and other objects easily over models using the new ‘instancing’ feature that does not add to model overheads, adding realistic sea and volumetric lighting effects.

You will experience:
• An overview of using Maxwell v3 with form•Z or bonzai3d to render your models.
• How Maxwell controls are accessed from directly within the modeling application.
• An architectural exterior project example set up and rendered in Maxwell.
• How to set up illumination in your exterior 3d scenes using Maxwell Physical Sky.
• How to apply form•Z and bonzai3d materials to objects and adjust their placement
with easy to use controls.
• How to set up and render Maxwell Grass, use Reference and Scatter objects, place
Sea objects, and use Multilight to get multiple lighting scenarios to produce many
different useful images from the same render!

formZ 7 transition Guide


Users Guide – formZ 7 transition Guide  from v6.7 to 7 by Steven Houtzager


Many older users have had some challenges and need a formZ 7 transition Guide for getting the transition protocols in the new v7 paradigm after many years of getting to know formZ which changed its interface from v6.7. It has in fact become much easier to use but there are some tips to help those users people transitioning to the many new features in v7.

Here is a document you might find useful by Steven Houtzager from

Further details can be found below: ( if you have any difficulties call 1300 030655 for direct site access )

Release Notes.

Download pdf file here:




formZ 7.1 released


formZ 7.1 released.

lorealPlease find following the official release information:

If you have been using any of the pre-release versions, please download the following applications and discontinue using the pre-release versions. You access these downloads here:

If you have not been using the pre-release version, your formZ 7.0.0 or formZ 7.0.1 software can be updated by choosing Check for Update from the Help Menu (or formZ will notify you automatically based on your settings in Preferences: Updates).

This version contains a number added features and many corrections and improvements to Printing, Components, Layout, NURBS, Performance, and more.

Further details can be found in the Release Notes, which are available here:

We would like to thank everyone for their valuable feedback.
The development work continues.

UP 3D Mini Printer


3D Printing revolution with UP 3D Mini Printer



The UP 3D Mini Printer allows you to print quality 3D models right from your desk for visualisation, collaboration, and functional prototyping testing from your model designed in formZ, bonzai3D or other 3D package.

The UP Mini Desktop 3D Printer is simple and affordable. It uses an additive manufacturing technology to lay down successive layers of ABS to build up a printed three dimensional model. 3D Print whatever you want, whenever you want and as any times as you want.
The printer is assembled and ready to go out of the box and you’ll be printing models in 15 minutes. No need to spend weeks tinkering or fiddling to get average quality 3D prototypes with a cheap DIY 3D printing project, the UP! Mini 3D Printer is ready to go out of the box for either personal or professional 3D Printing.

In order to create super large prints, simply slice your 3D models into sections, then print as components and glue together with nail varnish remover (acetone).


For more info call 02 9939 4000

The hidden power of animation in form•Z 7


The hidden power of animation in form•Z 7

Solar Panel Animation

Animation features from Smarttec formZ webinar Smart Chat

FormZ Webinar Smarttec Smart Chat go far beyond basic fly through of your model. formZ’s parametric animation gives the power to create stunning dynamic presentations of a design. The formZ animation features can be used to as a whole new way to explore and develop new 3D forms. Join us for this exciting webinar as we demonstrate the power and ease of the formZ animation features.


You will experience:

  • How to animate objects, lights, materials, cameras, sun position, and more.
  • Easy techniques for creating and editing walk-through / fly-by camera animations.
  • How to quickly create sun studies of a design.
  • How to use parametric animation to produce dynamic presentations of a design.
  • Learn how animation modeling can be used to extend the modeling capabilities of any tool.
  • Discover how time can be used to interpolate shape and form
  • Experience the ease and power of graphical control over
    animation tracks, velocity etc.
  • And much more…

This webinar will be followed by a question and answer session and will ultimately be available for those not able to attend at this very early time of the day in Australia can view the recorded session a few days after delivered.

We at Smarttec are always available to discuss your requirements and see more on formZ 7 here online



A replay will be available a few days following the webinar.


Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm EST (18:00-19:00 GMT)

Maxwell Render Fire Support


Maxwell Render for formZ Technology Preview


A technology preview of the new Maxwell for form•Z 7 plugin is available now. This update incorporates numerous new features and improvements, including:

  • Maxwell Fire support for real-time previewing of views, lights, materials and objects
  • Maxwell Grass support
  • Dramatically faster scene export
  • Significantly enhanced Materials and Lights support
  • New Resource Manager which automatically detects and corrects missing file dependencies, even when moving between workstations
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The technology preview plugin is available to Maxwell customers from the Next Limit customer gateway located HERE.

Please provide feedback on the technology preview forum located HERE.

We look forward to hearing from you!   form•Z Model Courtesy of Craig Williams, Becker Morgan Group, Inc.


formZ 7 30 Day Trial version available

In formZ 7 you will find a modern interface with a lot of new functionally along with enhancements to existing formZ functionality. With the new interface many steps have been automated, interactivity expanded, and performance increased which all means less clicking and more doing. You too can join the growing community of formZ 7 users. This Trial software download is available on our site software review by clicking HERE.

3D Rendering and Social License



Dr. Ben Guy
Managing Director, Urban Circus
(+61) 07 3255 3847

A tram overpass in Adelaide had been stalled for a year. Why? Because the community couldn’t visualise the impact of the new overpass on their environment, and therefore wouldn’t support the project. 3d Rendering, endless expensive photoshopped drawings, handsome architectural sketches and engineering plans – all to no avail as the social license was withheld.

Winning the ambiguous and unofficial ‘social license’ can be as important as the environmental, safety and functionality conditions in many projects. And sometimes it is even more important.

When it goes wrong, and you’re unable to get the social license, we see an increase in complaints and projects stalled. The bigger the community dissatisfaction, the more intense the reactions become – to the point of people marching in the streets.

The fear of community anxiety, resistance to change, and backlash has been noted in recent COAG cities reports as an inhibitor to some projects. Even though the projects may be critical for productivity and urban quality, they are just too hard to get off the ground.

Public servants also want to avoid unhappy communities and stakeholders. It is the bureaucrat who receives the complaints from ministers and mayors, and is asked to respond promptly. Each response can take many days, as they try to explain how the situation will exactly play out from the objector’s viewpoint. This can be tedious and unsatisfactory work.

Our educated population wants to know what is going on in their environment, and they expect best practice. This is not just a NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) phenomena – it is a growing social conscience of what is good planning and design, and outcomes for the city, state or locality.

And why should the population trust the ‘experts’? Poorly-executed buildings and infrastructure have depressed areas for generations, created ghettos, encouraged crime, and even caused deaths. Over the last 50 years we’ve seen trams removed from cities, a failure in social housing, riversides destroyed by roadways, and a mentality of the city as a machine.

As our population ages, and if they ever get to retire, the ‘non-experts’ (residents) will become even more engaged in projects, planning and design in their vicinity. Therefore, in future, we can expect the social license to be even harder to win, and the bar to rise. Perhaps this is an opportunity for crowd-sourcing in city planning.

But how do you gain the social license from a community? Often we see the engineer personality at community events with impenetrable plans and an inability to socially engage, the architect defending the glory of their monument from selected viewpoints, and the army of wordsmiths with a pile of reports and brochures.

There is often a complete lack of trust, and sometimes of respect, between communities and experts. We all know how much the information is presented in its ‘best light’ – the 50 revisions of the brochure full of weasel words.

One of the keys is to enable complete, open transparency. To allow people to see how a new project will directly influence their life and environment. And to do this in the most easy way. Why should it be hard? Why should they need to sift through hundreds of pages or assimilate abstract drawings in their head?

They want to know – how will this new road look from my back door? How will it affect the sidewalk, or the park where I walk my dog? What if it rains? How does it integrate with other facilities? Will it add or remove value for the local area? Will my neighbourhood be better for the change?

In order to win the social license, you need the community and the stakeholders to be convinced that they are completely aware of the environmental change – from every experience and perspective of interest.

When we provide full visibility, even when the most drastic changes are being proposed to people’s previously sedentary life, people buy-in to the project. Take away the razzle dazzle of the over-manipulated information, and make it open and immersive. And remove the need to convert and interpret abstract plans and drawings.

Across thousands of experiences with community members and other stakeholders, including industry professionals, we see the light bulb go on, anxiety and worry vanish and the immediate realisation of understanding. People despise not being able to understand something – it makes them anxious. So the sooner you can truly create understanding, the sooner you can win the social license.

A neighbourhood planning process in Brisbane was pleasantly surprised when community members said, “Yes, you should really bulldoze our houses along this transport corridor and put big buildings here. It is the right thing to do for the place, even though we have lived here for decades.”

When projects and plans are transparently revealed in a simple and easy manner in a virtual replication, anxieties are eliminated, people become calm, and objectors become evangelists. Residents aren’t intentionally hindering your work – they just need to understand. And the easiest way to do this is through seeing how all the pieces fit together, clearly and simply.

formZ 7 3D modeling video


Flexible 3D modeling design in formZ 7

Discover the ease and flexibility of 3D modelling software creating smooth modern 3D forms using the new interface and tools of form•Z 7. In this webinar you’ll be guided through an exploratory journey in the conceptualization of a modern Metro rail project utilizing modeling, rendering, and animation.
You will experience:

    • The new interface which allows for greater design experimentation and “playing” with complex 3D forms.
    • New techniques to smoothly blend details into organic forms.
    • Various methods to dynamically control continuity between surfaces, which help you control the “razor-sharp” or “smooth-soft” feel of your design.
    • Quick ways to add contemporary structural details derived from your 3d forms by harnessing the information that is automatically inherent in your smooth shapes.
    • New analysis tools to analyze the aesthetic appearance of your design surfaces in “real-time”.
    • Witness the ease of filling openings or closing gaps in your surfaces while maintaining continuity with the original form.
    • And many other new or improved nurbs and smooth modeling tools, which make modeling contemporary modern forms easier than ever before in form•Z 7.