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Auto.des.sys Launches Form.Z 4.0

Modeling app support Mac OS X, gains new performance, rendering and modeling features By Dave Nagel
Auto.des.sys today released Form.Z 4.0, the latest version of the company's 3D modeling suite. The new version gains a wide range of enhancements to modeling and rendering functionality and also sees significant performance improvements. It's available now for Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows.

Form.Z 4.0 adopts a new modular and open architecture that the company says heralds a new phase of the program's evolution. For rendering, the program gains support for network rendering and adds support for multiple processors. And it can now accept new plugins, the first of which are Sketch Rendering, Point Cloud Re-Engineering and STEP Translator.

RenderZone options have now been reorganized and are presented in four tabs: Shading, Geometry, Scene and Postprocess. There are two new color shaders, Roof Tiles and Granite; a new Reflection shader called Generic, which is a ray-traced reflection; new Texture Map options; and two new global environments, Mapped and Rendered.

For modeling, the program adds 22 new tools and enhances several of those found in previous releases. These include a new lofting operation, new blending and filleting and more parametric editing. Most of the new tools are in the area of NURBS curves and surfaces, called nurbz in form.Z. These include attaching, blending, merging, extending and breaking smooth NURBS curves. Other new modeling functions include an expanded Place tool; support for symbols that include lights with the Symbols tool; support for curves, including NURBS curves, with the Line of Intersection tool; and the ability to generate NURBS objects with the Metaformz Evaluate tool.

Form.z 4.0 also gains a number of interface enhancements, including a reorganization of tool palettes and dialogs. It's supposed to be released today, though the company had not updated its Web site with pricing information as of this writing. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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