jazu logo about Japan form.Z users' community

form.Z is a 3D software which has enjoyed the continued reputation of being the most powerful modeler since the beginning and even to this day.

In Japan, it was first released as Ver 1.05 in 1992 and its user base has grown steadily and it is now known as the most popular 3D software in engineering design such as architecture and civil engineering.

form.Z went through frequent revisions with added features in each update, and it gained professional rendering via RenderZone and radiosity via RadioZity. With the animation feature in version 3, it gave us the glimpse of the grand vision of the future as the integrated 3D computer graphics software.

In terms of modeling capabilities, it started out with solid modeler, then came surface modeling capabilities, metaballs, and version 3 added NURBS modeling capabilities. We expect to see ACIS-based modeling capabilities in the future.

Increased functionalities and advancement of features keep this 3D software as powerful as ever and it is a welcome news to users, but on the other hand the software is becoming more difficult to master completely in its entirety. In particular, with the introduction of spline-based modeling capabilities in version 3, it reached a new height and we believe we are entering a new stage where isolated individuals can no longer effectively master the software by struggling with documentation inside the closed office environment.

Therefore, we need a new framework where users unite with common interest in form.Z: exchange, share and store information on form.Z through friendly communication; develop new techniques through workshops and share the result with other users --- This is the Users' Community. With the above in mind, we believe that the Users' Community should be organized around a website on the Internet with local off-line activities to supplement it.

Once the Users' Community starts its activity, the following actions will become possible:
1. As we learn more, we will be able to present our feature requests in a coherent manner to the developers.
2. Communication with overseas form.Z user groups
3. Communication with the user groups of other software.
4. Instructional aid to beginners.

The reason the instructional aid to beginners came last is because we would like to stress the fact that the Users' Community is not an organization that replaces the formal technical support services from the vendors.
There is no intention to close door to the beginners, but Users' Community should not be abused as the convenient place to get answers or trouble shooting advises. Beginners and power users should work together to raise the overall level of professionalism in our Users's Community.

Makoto Toyabe
a member of the preparation committee for Japan form.Z Users' Community

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(c) 2000 jazu/japan formEZ user's community