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  • A New Competitor to Sketchup? (Bonzai 3d)

    I'm sure many of you are familiar with formZ, the powerful yet frustrating (unintuitive) to use solid modeler, well the makers of formZ are developing a new "sketch-oriented" modeler, which they claim will have some extra power behind it that you don't see in the competition. This is an interview with Chris Yessios, the creator of formZ.

    Industry innovator Chris Yessios talks about its new BonZai 3D program and how it will challenge SketchUp and become an on-ramp to one of the industry's mightiest modelers -- form.Z
    BonZai 3D is a brand new Mac and Windows application based on the same code base as form.Z. It is 100% percent file compatible in both directions with form.Z. It features real-time Boolean operations, NURBS and what the company calls "Smart 3D" drawing. It also will have extensive file interoperability (over 30 export/import formats).

    BonZai 3D will be both Google Earth and Google SketchUp file compatible as well as support Google's 3D Warehouse.
    Interested? Read more here?

  • #2
    Here is some info I snagged from the formZ website.

    What is BonZai 3D?
    BonZai 3D is a new 3D modeler developed to fill in the demand for a quick, easy, simple but, most importantly, geometrically robust approach to 3D. A response to those who wish to express their thoughts graphically in 3D, on the fly, without too much hassle, and then be able to advance to the next level of detailed solid modeling and production, if they wish to do so.

    In many ways, BonZai is an offspring of form•Z. At the same time, it is a different tool and represents a fresh approach to 3D modeling. The BonZai tools have resulted from experiences, experiments, research, and user input of the past 15 years. Its goal is to support the conceptual and sketching stages of design with utmost ease, but also the production of accurate and robust models that can be used for construction drawings, can be smoothly rendered, animated, and fabricated (i.e. printed in 3D). All this and more at an affordable price.

    You can think of form•Z as the Swiss army knife of 3D modeling and BonZai as a pen knife you carry around to depend on for quick solutions to all kinds of immediate needs.

    Anatomy of Bonzai
    BonZai is the next generation of ease of use, combined with underlying solid modeling, that leads to effective workflow that minimizes input effort while maximizing productivity. It offers all the basic tools a designer needs to present one’s ideas in a 3D representation. It is built on form•Z’s trademark strengths that include solids and nurbz, multi-platform support, reliable Booleans, import/export file translators, and above all its solid reputation for the mark of excellence in 3D.

    Some of the individual features in BonZai are:
    • Fluid, powerful, and smart interface.
    • All the classic modeling tools (extrusions, sweeps, transformations, etc.).
    • Real time Booleans.
    • NURBS curves and surfaces.
    • Smart 3D drawing.
    • Dynamic graphic editing.
    • Push/Pull tool for easy sculpting and shape editing.
    • Advanced OpenGL rendering with shadows, transparencies, and textures.
    • Graphic texture map editing.
    • Over 200 free materials (texture maps).
    • Content library for trees, furniture, entourage elements.
    • Support of 3D Warehouse.
    • Google Earth and SketchUp file compatibility.
    • Over 30 export/import formats for easy inter-operability.
    • Embedded video tutorials

    When to Expect bonZai 3D?
    What is presented at AIA 2008 - BOOTH #22139 - is a sneak preview of what’s to come in the summer of 2008. AutoDesSys expects to start public Beta testing soon.

    Factoid: the meaning of bonZai 3D

    bon |bän - ORIGIN French, literally ‘good’

    Z |z - The third dimension

    ai |aï - Accurate/amazing/awsome - ideas/images/impressions

    And of course, bonsai is a small, elegant, yet powerful to grow little tree!

    In short: bon (good) + Z (3D) + a (accurate) + i (intelligent)


    Easy- Accurate- Powerful - Affordable

    the factoid ...


    • #3
      This looks very interesting. I can't wait to see a preview -- or even screen shots -- of this product.

      SketchUP with nurbs and solid-modeling? That would be a dream come true!


      • #4
        me also wanna see it......................but just remember.........reload your gun and make it the best weapon for you works no matter whats programs that you use.....


        • #5
          PPB & SCF in article.

          As seen at SCF by gaganraj
          SCF thread


          • #6
            Google needs a little competition. Sketchup is getting a little long in the tooth.


            • #7
              I agree Jake. I've used formZ and while it does have a good reputation for modeling, I always thought the interface was a bit convoluted. Maybe this will be just what that company needs. Re-energizing there modeler with a new interface while not running off the formZ faithful.


              • #8
                Well they will have to rethink there marketing strategy I think. After all they are competing with a company who give away a pretty good basic version. It's also been supported by the big cad software guns in terms of integration.
                It looks to me like this software is pretty much tied to formZ.


                • #9
                  Sounds like someone putting their hand up to be bought!!! I must say although an absolute SU devote I welcome something that offers a liitle more these days! Maybe SU7?


                  • #10
                    Oh I thought they are getting rid of FormZ but looks like they are not.
                    So Bonzai will always be a little brother of formZ, always cheaper but with less capabilities?
                    IOW We are seeing what Bonzai cannot be in FormZ. That is promising....


                    • #11
                      What I wish from SketchUp is a DEPENDABLE bevel for more complex shapes. When I render I would like to get that nice highlight along the edge that ALL objects have except for possibly a razor blade. The plugins just don't seem to be that dependable. I always get some odd geometry at at least one corner.

                      Just a couple little tweaks and Sketchup would be kickass again.


                      • #12
                        I actually find thinking about this competition interesting in a way!

                        Would Google actually have any concerns with the development of a software that competes with SU? That si SKP, GE and 3Dwarehouse compatible? Google afterall is pretty much a media company. Anything that exposes users to their content / media and advertising is in their benefit anyway!

                        I doubt we would ever read a response from Google regarding any growing competition to SU though I'd love to be a fly on the wall and hear their discussions.

                        Reading the linked article it is interesting that the developers realise that the users of apps designed and developed to be simple will grow to the reality that they have outgrown the application and want for added functionality to suit their growing demands.

                        I hope that Google have also taken this into account in the development of SU7. I support their ideals of keeping everything as simple as possible for the user though I think being mindful of the users growth is an important consideration.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jake View Post
                          What I wish from SketchUp is a DEPENDABLE bevel for more complex shapes. When I render I would like to get that nice highlight along the edge that ALL objects have except for possibly a razor blade. The plugins just don't seem to be that dependable. I always get some odd geometry at at least one corner.

                          Just a couple little tweaks and Sketchup would be kickass again.
                          Mate this is going to be a new WishList if you keep that up!

                          I want mapping tools!!! Texture unwrapping!!! Better scale tools!!! Better poly loads!!! Better texture editing!!! And built-in real time game type render engine!!! plugin object animation support!!! Bevels, fillets!!! Obj / Mtl suppport!!! Reliable 3DS import!!! *.Max import!!! Xrefing!!! And of course my low poly cars in the package!!
                          Last edited by Richard; 16-08-2008, 03:58.


                          • #14
                            As a former user of FormZ, who give me a lot of satisfaction (stopped when SketchUp arrives), I wander how Bonsay will be cheap and intituive of use. We are specting the release of the Beta release.....


                            • #15
                              I am looking forward to checking this out, but I have used Form-Z and I couldn't stand it.

                              The whole interface was in no way intuitive, so I am hoping that they have either learned from their mistakes or they have hired somebody new to design the interface.