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RG's Shape Magic Software

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Creator of Shape Magic 3D software. Learn more at

My name is Rich Schafermeyer. I've been involved in computer art for several years now. Before that, I did pencil drawings, paintings, printmaking and sculpture. Sometime in the next 4-5 years, I hope to be able to focus my full-time energies on art. 3D and computers have been synonymous for me ever since I bought my first computer and software program, an Apple II+ and Apple World. Apple World allowed one to make wire frame models by defining each vertex in a text editor. It was primitive by today's standards, but it showed the promise that was to come. I've done work in Bryce, Poser and Vue. More recently, and quite by accident, my interest in 3D shifted from scene creation to software writing. I had been dissatisfied with the lack of vegetation in Bryce and began experimenting with ways to "fake" trees with terrains. I didn't care for the results, so I thought of building a model. Somehow it never crossed my mind to make a model using a 3D modeler; instead, I decided to write a program to do it. Part of the reason I took this approach was because a favorite program of mine, Hyperstudio, had just been updated. It has a 3D scripting language called Hyperlogo that makes it relatively easy to code. I taught myself how to write Wavefront object files and wrote my first program, Tree Magic Stump Maker. Why a stump maker? As I contemplated how much work there would be to create an entire tree, I decided to do just a little to be sure I knew what I was doing before I committed a lot of time. But I also wanted to make something that had at least some utility, hence a tree stump. This is where on-line community sites like Renderosity come in. I posted images from my program as it developed and found people who would help test the program. Their comments and suggestions led me to add key features and see possibilities I hadn't known were there. Several members of the Vue forum here at Renderosity posted pictures showing non-stump shapes like a hat and house steps. This opened my eyes: I had thought of the program way too narrowly. Inspired by the positive response I received, I started growing the stump into a trunk. Once again, unexpected shapes were found. Hence, Tree Magic Shape Maker was born. Not only does it make tree trunks, but logs, flower petals, vases, drinking glasses and more. Bryce's addition of trees took away my incentive for tree making. So for the past few years, I have focused mostly on creating 3D model making programs. My most recent effort is called Shape Magic 2. You can learn more about it at my site Shape Magic uses a simple graphical system of draggable dots to design a shape or a single click on a randomizer button to create the shape for you. What I hear most frequently from users is how simple Shape Magic is, which is especially appealing to those who are new to modeling. And just as with my earlier efforts, user input helps shape the program. Several features in Shape Magic 2 wouldn't be there without user ideas or images. So thanks to the beta testers - and all those whose support and encouragement lead me on. Rich

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