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Objects are created using the prompts palette to specify input parameters. In this example all points are being specified relative to the first click point. The input can either be specified graphically in the modeling window or numerically directly in the prompts palette or a combination of the two. (see 002)
The precision for which form-z is so renowned comes from a combination of the ability to set the coordinate system being used to be appropriate to the task at hand and form-z's ability to snap precisely in 3d better than any other program on the market.
The Project Working Units dialog allows you to specify the coordinate system the prompts palette will use. The key decision here is the ability to specify the use of a relative coordinate system so that all size input and move parameters happen based on the position of the object you are trying to effect. In addition one has the easy ability to decide to use the world's coordinate system or specify the size or movement along the active plane's coordinate system. These settings can also be changed on the fly in the prompts palette (note the little checkboxes labeled "A" "W" and "C" on the right of the prompts palette). (see 003)
Working Unit Settings
By using this system you're able to numerically specify the size of objects or the vector of the move you are trying to accomplish along whatever coordinate system is most convenient for the type of object you want to create.
Snapping in form-z is a pleasure to use. The single greatest thing I can say about it is that it just flat out works. There is a full compliment of standard snaps available that can be used singularly or in whatever combination the user requires. There is also a "Snap to Center of Face" (the third one down on the palette labeled Object Snaps) that are very helpful for positioning and mirroring/rotating objects.(see 004)
When one accesses the snap preference dialog box (by double clicking on a snap icon) you can specify how the program handles the z value of the point you are snapping to. By locking the drawing to the first point you can, for instance, draw an overhanging roof by specifying a rectangle to snap first to a point on the eave and then to a point on the slab below without changing the fact that the rectangle is being drawn parallel to the ground.
Next Page: formZ 4.1 - Working on Multiple Levels of Geometry
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