View Full Version : .lwo export from FormZ

06-17-2004, 12:15 PM
Has anyone had any success using FZ .lwo export? Besides being severely diced(yes, triangulation is off). FZ generates .lwo with piles of misaligned (requiring manual flipping) and micropolys (3 point slivers). I've tried not only the export settings but also the objects display settings resulting in a variety of Brundlefly messes. About the only clean objects I've managed to get out of FZ are unaltered basic objects.

I tried using .fact instead of .lwo but FZ fac files haven't been particularly clean either. Besides LW8 doesn't appear to allow .fact import anymore. LW8 crashes opening anything other than .lwo even files that LW7.5 would open.

06-17-2004, 01:03 PM
you're not using the functions of formZ properly. i used to do this all the time. convert your objects to faceted first with a high enough resolution, then export.

you can send me a file to convert for you if you want.

the base of this was modeled in formZ and brought into lw.

06-17-2004, 02:53 PM
I've had limited luck prefacetting my objects for export. Sometimes the polys LW creates just aren't predicted by this tool.

Besides formZ tech maintains that the facetting done at export is the same as accomplished by the tool, prefacetting will just preview the "polys." I don't know if they are standing by this but it I'd hope they'd take into account that for some projects this just isn't practical.

Rounding curved shades in particular can create dozens of polys that need to be manually flipped, or killed and recreated.

06-17-2004, 03:32 PM
i've had no problems. if you manually convert, at least you can see the results and undo if they are not satisfactory.

are you setting your display resolutions high enough? this will result in a low poly conversion.

06-17-2004, 03:35 PM
here's a sample

06-17-2004, 05:22 PM
I've tried just about every setting permutation possible. Here's what my object looks like. The last pair seems to confirm that there is no difference between facetting done at export and done with the convert to plain. Changing resolution settings just moves the defects around. I've dispatched a bundle of screen shots and model files to formZ tech so I guess I'll see if this is just a matter of not stumbling across the right settings.

06-17-2004, 05:59 PM
can you send me the formZ object?

06-17-2004, 06:38 PM
can't you just make it in modeler?

06-17-2004, 07:02 PM
Sure I could make THIS object in LW. But there are a lot of others I won't dream of. Using the same method from FZ (cylinder Booleaned twice then rounded) in LW generated errors from Rounder. Which (if the export worked) is faster and more accurate than bending a flat rounded arrow into shape. The arrow included in the .fmz file is in both smooth and plain states.

At formZ's request I exported some of their sample objects and I encountered the same glitches. Here's hoping it's a personal problem and someone will set me straight.;)

06-17-2004, 07:06 PM
here's the one i spent the last hour making in formZ and exporting to lightwave. sheesh, it long with my mac running os9.

06-17-2004, 07:10 PM
i'm using formZ 3.9. that won't make a difference in the conversion, but i can't open your file unless you save it down for me.

i really think you're just missing a step here. don't get discouraged, i'll help you figure it out.

06-17-2004, 07:16 PM
when you convert the object are you just going to plain or to faceted?

query the object and check the display resolution. what is that set at?

when i made mine i didn't boolean anything. i drew the arrow in front with a 6" height. then i rounded it with a 2" radius. then i radially bent it. then i set the diplay resolution very high. then i converted it to faceted. it came into lw with about 3 or 4 polys flipped, but i just made it all double sided.

06-17-2004, 09:15 PM
Well, construction techniques are academic at this point. I just want to know that I can depend on the tools at hand. Using booleans this shape was "done" in about 10 minutes. But of course if booleans are the source of this muck...

I saved the fmz file back to 3.9. There are 3 objects in the file. An unconverted object, converted plain/smooth and converted plain/facetted. Exported they all look like the pair above.

THX for the help.

06-17-2004, 09:36 PM
you don't have your display resolution set high enough. this determines how many facets are created during conversion. facets are what formZ calls polygons.

the good side to high resolution is good conversions, the bad side is high poly counts in lightwave.

06-17-2004, 09:36 PM
here is the lw file straight from formZ.

06-17-2004, 09:38 PM
here is the formZ file with my display settings.

06-17-2004, 11:07 PM
****, 512 did it. Was this trial and error? 400 still craps out on export. It looks great but it seems kind of heavy. Do you have to resort to this for every model?

With .fac export a tenth that resolution would look fine... and Electric Image can handle the polys.

I'll let you know what formZ says after they look over the files.

THX again.

06-17-2004, 11:30 PM
with electric image i export as sat files. then bring them into ei's modeler and tessalate there. sometimes i wish i was still using electric image. i still have 4.

this was trial and error a couple of years ago. i try to work in increments the computer understands best, 128, 256, 512 and up. yes, i do this for every model. luckily, i've learned alot of work arounds since i don't have to use formZ all the time anymore. i used to work in an architectural environment.

glad i could help.

06-19-2004, 03:08 AM
Well, it looks like I spoke to soon. I don't think its the setting, its form•Z 3.9 that was working the miracle. I duplicated the resolution in my main model and the results are weren't any better.

Take a look at this. The far left is set to 512 in FZ 4 and exported to LW. The other 4 are adjusted in 3.9.5 and saved out of 4 as .lwo. the 56 facet version looks good! As long as you don't touch the settings in FZ 4 the facetting from 3.9.5 sticks.

I knew something was wonked. The only drag is FZ 3 is a classic app and classic and FZ 4 don't mix.

06-19-2004, 08:24 AM
maybe you can post this to [email protected]? as a betatester, i've also sent them a few issues with LWO export and they are very responsive about fixing this kind of problems. :-)

best regards


06-19-2004, 12:18 PM
I've been corresponding with FZ tech and they have been insisting that export is fine. They're conclusion was that I needed to engage the tri options at export. Which kind of makes me feel like a dupe documenting a problem that they obviously know about.

This is the kind of behavior I expect from Quark. autodessys is usually an upfront company with excellent communication.

How many other companies will plot out the progress they expect to make with future versions. For instance, version 4.2 will upgrade the ACIS engine which will "offer additional corrections of reported irregularities in the smooth modeling area." hmmm