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What is Shape Magic? Click on the link for a brief pictorial description of how Shape Magic objects are formed.

How do I start Shape Magic?

You first start Hyperstudio Player 4 Player. You will then be asked to select a .stk file to open. Find shapemagic21.stk and open it. Or you can create a shortcut to shapemagic21.stk by right clicking on shapemagic21.stk, holding down the mouse button and dragging the icon onto your desktop. Then just click on the shortcut to open both the player and Shape Magic.

Do I need the menu items "File Edit Move Help"?

These menu items are not needed to use Shape Magic. You can use them to export a copy of the screen or to print the screen, but for the most part, they are not used.

When I go to the Save File or Open File pages, the words "Working..." appear for a long time. Is this normal?

When you go to these pages, Shape Magic reads and sorts the folder. This is fast if the folder has only a few files in it, but it can be very slow if there are a lot of files (for example, if shapemagic21.stk is in the root directory). I recommend you create a folder named Shape Magic, put shapemagic21.stk in that folder, and save your .obj and .smg files in a subfolder. If the folder with shapemagic21.stk gets full to the point that the speed slows down, move files to a new subfolder.

You can also hit the Esc button to cancel a Shape Magic action. The most common time to do this is if the file sorting is taking a long time. It also can be helpful on the Top View page if you have a complex bezier curve with many petals and bezier segments and you want to stop and reduce the number. Avoid hitting Esc during the file saving action as this will cause the file to not save properly and you will have to use a new filename to save the file.

How do I create a shape?

See the Tutorials for detailed instructions and examples.

When Shape Magic starts, you will be on the Side View page. Click on the randomizer buttons on the right hand side of the screen to make a new shape. Or click on an open or closed dot and drag it around the screen. Help is available on each page by clicking on the Help tab at the upper right of the screen. There are also help buttons (indicated by round green buttons with a ? in them) near various features.

After creating the Side View, click on the Top View tab. Click on the randomizer buttons on the right side of the screen to make a new shape. Or click on an open or closed dot and drag it around the screen.

Next click on the Create File tab. Click on the Create button at right hand side of the screen. Your shape will be drawn. You can add Special Effects by clicking on a number box at the left of the screen and typing in a value (see help for an explanation of each effect).

After creating the shape, click on the Save File tab. Type in a file name and click the Save button near the bottom left of the screen.

What is an .smg file?

This is a special file format that saves information about the Shape Magic model in compact form. A .smg file is saved with every .obj file with the same filename. Files created in the original Shape Magic can still be used in Shape Magic 2. Example files can be found on the Downloads page.

Is the 3D Preview an accurate representation of the shape?

Hyperstudio was not designed to show 3D models. The original Shape Magic did not have a 3D preview and it was only after the model was imported into Bryce, Vue or Poser that its design could be fully checked. Shape Magic 2 has a 3D preview made by drawing closely spaced thick lines around the model. The color changes depending upon the x,y,z position. This gives you a psuedo-3D view of the shape which will allow you to make changes before saving the file.

How do I import .obj models into Bryce, Vue and Poser?

Each program handles .obj files in slightly different ways. See your programs help file to learn how to import .obj models. Also see the Tutorials for help.

I have Quicktime 7.0.2. What's wrong?

Quicktime 7.0.2 has a bug that causes Shape Magic 2 to not open. Upgrade to Quicktime 7.0.3 and everything should work fine.

I have Bryce 5.5 and can't load Shape Magic objects. What's wrong?

Early versions of Bryce 5.5 loss the ability to read .obj files that use relative referencing to define vertices (as Shape Magic 2 uses). Upgrade to Bryce 5.5c and all should work fine. (Every new version of Bryce seems to have this problem which then gets corrected. You can also use a program like UVmapper to transform it automatically into absolute referencing which also solves the problem).

Shape Magic Products are designed by Rich Schafermeyer.
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