HUGE update to FormIt iOS and Web

The FormIt team has been working incredibly hard on a whole bunch of new features and polish to FormIt. So much so, that we have decided to remove the “beta” label from the web app! The new url for FormIt on the web is: http://formit.autodesk.com/app. These videos highlight what is new in Web and iOS and a more complete feature list is after the break.

2015-03-03_0127 Create Group Instances

The biggest update is the ability to create and modify Groups. This not only allows you to create separate, distinct objects that do not auto-join while sketching – but also allows for instance copies that update when edited. This enables an enormous amount of flexibility in design.  Visit our help for more info.

Conceptual BIM: FormIt to Revit Conversion

The FormIt to Revit translation methods and stability have been vastly improved. FormIt Groups translate into Revit Mass families to maintain distinct elements and nested structure. Splines, arcs, cylinders and domes now translate into native Revit geometry without facets. Visit our help for more info.

Editing Tool Polish

There have been a number of improvements to the editing tools

  • The Rotate tool has been completely redesigned to be more usable and precise.
  • Select and Drag multiple faces at the same time.
  • Use Smart selection on web to find faces of the same size, pockets of faces, and pockets of faces of the same size.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts on web are expanded to include creation tools, group tools, and editing tools.

There are also a few features only available in the Web app:

  • jetpack FormIt Web Fly-through Mode – click on the jet pack guy!
  • 2015-03-03_0114 FormIt Web Content Library – link to a local folder or a folder on A360 to read in a user defined folder structure and then drag and drop from the Content library panel into the FormIt Web scene to add pre-made elements into your design

Our biggest release yet for Android

Many of our Android users have been waiting a long time for FormIt to catch up to the functionality on the iOS and Web versions. Your wait is over! Today marks the biggest update we have ever had since launching the Android version in 2013. This short video shows the highlights and the full feature list is below. Check it out on Google Play. Please join us at our new support forum and let us know how things are going. Also visit our new home at http://formit.autodesk.com and post some images in our new public Gallery!

  • Full support for Android Lollipop
  • A completely revised 3D sketching and snapping system!
    • You are now no longer constrained to sketching in one plane.
    • Use other objects in the scene as snap references when drawing and modifying
    • Snap to levels when sketching or dragging face
    • Move objects more accurately by first selecting the point you wish to snap with
    • Sketch Lines with local and global axis alignments and snapping options
  • Sketch lines can live in the scene without being part of a closed shape
  • Select and modify individual vertices – on both 2D lines and 3D objects
  • Select and modify multiple faces at once
  • Double tap now selects an entire object. Single tap selects faces, edges
  • New tools:
    • Rotate tool has been completely redesigned to allow snapping and manual entry of degrees
    • Sketch a circle
    • Offset the lines of a face
    • Review historical climate data based on the project location
  • Note: Changing an existing material bitmap is currently disabled. We are working hard on a fix. In the mean time, you can still create new materials with new bitmaps.

Visualization in FormIt for Web

There are some pretty nice ways to look at and study your FormIt model. There is a suite of visual style settings that can be applied quickly to give your model some pizzazz. There is also a pre-populated list of materials that can be quickly applied to give your model some life and color. In this latest video, I demonstrate how to make your own materials out of images and colors, with or without transparency as well as how to edit materials. This is a very nice tool. Finally, for you solar study aficionados, there are some fast ways to study light, shadow, and if you have your site image imported, you can even look at how your shadows are falling on adjacent properties. I hope you enjoy this video tour of the visualization tools.

Model Editing in FormIt Web

Editing a model in FormIt for Web is super easy. The right-click menu pops up a radial selection of context sensitive functions that can be applied. In this video, I demonstrate how to use the typical tools like Move and Rotate. Array has gotten more robust with its ability to not only array shapes, but also edges and faces. Yes, edges and faces! And Scale has gotten an upgrade in its functionality with the ability to choose a base point from which to scale with handy new little grips and drag arrows. But what is really exciting are the new tools including Offset Face and Tilt Face, both super cool. Check out the video:

Creating the Seattle Central Library with 3D Sketching

Last week we posted a challenge to our users to create the famous Seattle Central Library by OMA and LMN with the new FormIt. Here is a sped-up video showing how I approached the problem. I started by laying out the four basic stacked programmatic blocks and then used the new 3D sketching in FormIt to push and pull the design. I used drawings found at ArchDaily as a dimensional reference.

FormIt and Revit, Beautiful Together Pt. 2

I was invited to present FormIt to the audience of Revit Radio. RR is an open invitation Goto meeting hosted by Reviteers Brian Mackey (The Revit Geek), Brian Juge, and Stan Hennigh. If you’d like to benefit from their …uhhh… “wisdom”, check it out each month!

My demonstration focused on the benefit of using FormIt to get ideas into 3d… then into Revit. I recorded the video with helpful captions and posted to Youtube… Note, I also demonstrate this workflow in my new Essentials of Revit 2015 book! Check it out here.

New update for FormIt for Android

Our Android client has just gotten much closer to true feature parity with the iOS client. A new update went live on the Google Play Store today. Here are the significant updates in the update:
  • Real-time tracking of gross area and floor area ratio
  • Import and edit image layers (transparency, vertical order)
  • Save images of your sketch to your device photo gallery
  • Import existing 3D models (OBJ) from other programs into the sketch
  • Save OBJ files to Autodesk 360 so that you can share them with others
  • Editable dimensions to create more precise geometry
  • Fixed bugs in gallery and in sketch area

Check out the videos highlighting the new features. And as always, follow us on Twitter @FormIt3D and post any bugs or requests at our GetSatisfaction site.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries?list=PLY-ggSrSwbZpiftjnCF8EJjXb3IvttOdo]

All gussied up for iOS 7

Greetings FormIteers! The blog has been quiet of late (I really need to grow a new set of hands so I can blog and tweet WHILE getting a new version ready for release!) I am happy to announce we have submitted our new version to Apple and are eagerly awaiting approval. Here is a short video outlining some of thew new goodies.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr88PTbthFY&w=560&h=315]

Introducing FormIt Web Beta!

This past June at the AIA conference in Denver we announced that we were working on a web-based version of FormIt. After a lot of work We are really psyched to launch our first beta of FormIt Web! Check out the video and more details after the break.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEGFU5q3wjo&w=640&h=480]

While FormIt Web does not have all of the features of the iOS version (yet) we still could not wait to get it out there and get your feedback. Here are some details:

  • Runs in the latest stable builds of Chrome and Firefox on Windows or Mac.
  • Modeling operations including: place primitives, extrude polygons, modify faces and edges, boolean operations
  • Import satellite images
  • Metric or Imperial units
  • Apply default materials
  • Opens and saves FormIt sketches created on iOS or Android by logging into your Autodesk 360 account.
  • We also just released minor updates to the iOS and Android FormIt to support reloading sketches that have been saved from the web (and between the two mobile platforms)
  • We want your feedback! Please post your issues, ideas, and questions on our support site.

A is for Aalto

The wonderful blog ArchDaily posted last week “A to Z” Modernism on their Facebook page. The second Wednesday of every month they will profile four modernist icons. They started, of course, with one of my favorites: Alvar Aalto. Specifically the Wolfsburg Center near Berlin. I decided to try and keep up with them and re-create all 26 projects using FormIt.

Alvar Aalto Wolfsburg CenterCourtesy of www.worldarchitecturemap.com

[wpvideo FoIlytvP w=500]

I will be sharing all of the FormIt files. Here is the first one. Just copy it to your FormIt folder on Autodesk 360 and resync from the FormIt Gallery page in the app to open the file.