Monday, June 22, 2015


This blog is suffering from serious neglect.  My usual style of posting takes so long.  Let's try to do something fast.

It's Ramadan (in case you didn't notice) Got home early last night and consequently up with the lark and into the office before 7.  Decided to do a quick blast on Formit.  (Bit by bit, build up my fluency)

Fired up the map and headed for Great Zimbabwe (feeling homesick)  Hit Import Satellite Image, adjust the location slightly to centre on the Great Enclosure, down in the valley, and off we go.  Better set units to metric, and since I need to draw very loose splines, better switch "snap to grid" off.


Draw two splines, roughly sort of parallel.  Important to note that you get one chance to draw it right.  No adjustable nodes to fiddle with the line afterwards (like in Revit)  This is a different world.  Forget parametrics, think quick and dirty (like this post)  The minute you close the loop it becomes a surface.

Flip to 3d (we were in plan ... the only other choice) select the surface and drag it up.  You can type in a height if you like but I'm just guessing it anyway, so proceed to repeat the procedure for more curvy walls.  It would be nice to make them slope in, but I couldn't figure that one out.  With regular shapes it's easy, (just grab an edge and move it) but these walls are actually made of lots of little facets (you can see them as little orange dots when you hover over a surface)  Let's move on.

The famous conical tower is hidden in the trees, so I decided to try loading another image. 

This turns out to be pretty easy, just need to use a bit of trial and error to adjust the size.  Then you can also play with the transparency.  As far as I can see it just comes in centred.  Can't push it around afterwards.  I'd probably have to recrop the image to get it's position closer to the satellite image.  Let's work with what we have.

I made a material with an image I had on file.  Not really seamless and it maps rather strangely to irregular shapes.  The cone is really wierd.  Probably looks OK from a disgance though.  I tried out jetpack mode for the first time.  Despite its name this is primarily the "look around" tool I was ... looking around for, last week.  Just move your mouse and swivel your head around 360 degrees.  Space bar does the actual jetpack thing.  Sort of playing kangaroos.

So I ended up with a tolerable representation of my favourite National Monument (actually a really amazing place) and it took less than an hour, even as a stumbling novice.  It's great as a quick first look at a project in a specific location.  Eventually I will come back and model this in Revit.  Maybe I will have a second go in Formit first, just to help me strategise my Revit work.

Then came the write-up (at lunch time)  Here comes one of my other favourite "quick & dirties" : the snipping tool.  I used this for the screen captures as I was building the model.  Now I just reframe the ones I want to use and add some quick doodles to direct your attention.  Thick red pen is favourite.  Type up some text in notepad and I'm finished.  Back to work guys.


It's time to go home now.  Done my statutory overtime.  Can't resist one last image.  This is my son Joe, at Great Zimbabwe in 1994 wearing his famous Chicago Bulls outfit.  Those were the days.  He's a dad himself now.  How time flies.


1 comment:

I've been getting a lot of spam so had to tighten up comments permissions. Sorry for any inconvenience. I do like to hear from real people