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The Basics - Creating the Side View

When you first open Shape Magic, you will be on the Side View page. To create a new shape, click on a randomizer button as Woodette is doing. This will create a new random shape of the indicated type. Or click and drag a colored dot as Woody is doing. It's that simple!

Woodette is pointing at the Primitive Buttons on the right hand side of the page, below the randomizer buttons. Most of these create a fixed-size shape of the indicated type. The rectangular button (third from left) creates a rectangle based on the position of the red and black square dots.

Just below the Primitive Buttons is a button labeled Align. This will line up the shape in a straight line from the bottom to the top. This differs from the rectangular button in that the line is angled, not vertical.

Woody is showing off several features that make it easier for you to create a shape. Click on a checkbox to turn it on/off. Click on the green oval buttons to set the size of the grid or the position of the template. Woody and Woodette will tell you more about templates later. For now, just know that they show the outline of a previously made shape that you can use to guide the creation of a new shape or to make multi-part models.

The Advanced checkbox hides some of the controls. This can be helpful for a new user.

Woodette is pointing to the Bezier Segments section located on the left hand side of the Side View page. The bezier segments determine how many straight-line segments make up each curve. More on this in a moment.

Woody is showing 3 buttons that can quickly align all the bezier segments. Equalize T-M-B will set the top, middle and bottom sections equal to the current value of the middle section. Equalize All will set all five values equal to the current value of the middle section. Equalize Faces will set the Top Face equal to the Bottom Face.

You can have a different number of bezier segments for each of the five sections in a Shape Magic object. A low number (2-6) makes for a more jagged line, a high number (9-32) makes for a smooth line. A value of 1 makes a straight line.

Click on a number box (B) and you can type in the value, or click and drag a dark screen square (C), or click on either side of the dark green square and the value will increase or decrease by one.

The design dots can be hidden for each section by clicking on the 2-dot icons (A). This can make it easier for you to see the design of the shape.

Hide a Section: If you set the Top or Bottom bezier segments to zero, something special happens. These sections disappear! This can be handy for times where you only need one or two sections to make an object.

Hide a Face: If you set the Top Face or Bottom Face bezier segments to zero, the faces disappear. For example, to make an open vase, cup or bowl, set the Top Face value to zero. Or to make a bracelet or ring, set both the Top Face and Bottom Face to zero.

The bezier segments can be shaped from 0-3 dots. The dots are set by clicking on the 3-dot icon (D in the image above). Each click will cycle through the values.

Here Woodette is showing the difference between 1, 2 or 3 bezier dots. One dot gives you a simple curve, two dots a S-shaped curve, three dots an indented curve. If no dots are shown, the line is straight.

Woody is pointing to the icon bar (W) at the bottom of the Side View page. These icons can be used to adjust the size and position of the page in the design space. Click on the green ? button for help.

Clicking on the Set Scale button (X) opens a dialog that allows you to enter a value from 100 to 150%. This scaling factor is then applied to the icons numbered 1-6. Icon 1 increases the size in all directions. Icon 2 decreases the size in all directions. Icon 3 increases the width while 4 decreases the width. Icon 5 increases the height while 6 decreases it.

Icon 7 moves the shape up the page. Icon 8 moves it down. Icon 9 flips it vertically. The icons at 10 turn the color dots on and off so the shape can be more easily seen.

The green arrows (Y) are the undo/redo buttons. Up to 30 design changes are kept in a loop. Feel free to makes changes as you can always go back!

The three letter buttons (Z) are used with the design dots. Click on one of these first, then on a hollow or solid color dot. H causes the dots to align horizontally, V vertically, A aligns two hollow dots in a straight line with the intervening solid dot.

After designing the side view, click on the Top View tab at the top of the page to go to Step 2, Creating the Top View.

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Shape Magic Products are designed by Rich Schafermeyer.
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