New Website!
ShapeShop has it's own website!
You should be redirected automatically. If not, click here.
What is ShapeShop?
ShapeShop is a sketch-based 3D modeling tool for creating procedural hierarchical implicit volume models, also known as "BlobTrees". At least, that's the technical description. The short version is that ShapeShop is a fun tool for quickly sketching 3D models, which just happens to have some very powerful features that aren't available in any of the state-of-the-art commercial 3D modeling systems. If you're familiar with Metaballs, then you might have some sense of what ShapeShop's BlobTrees can do. But BlobTrees go way beyond what is possible with Metaballs. In fact, ShapeShop only scratches the surface of what is possible with BlobTrees - there is much more to come!
Download ShapeShop v002

ShapeShop v002 has been released! New features include Save/Load, Decal-based Texture Mapping, NPR rendering, and, well, other stuff. See for yourself - download it below!

Download Shapeshop v002

Some sample models are also available:

Download Sample Models

System Requirements:

ShapeShop now requires an Intel Pentium 4 (or more recent), or Operon/AMD64 Athlon chip to run, as it uses SSE2 processor instructions. If you want to know whether or not your computer supports SSE2, check here. Otherwise, it should run on any Windows XP machine. (You will need a reasonably fast processor as well).

Current Issues:

- You have to click the open button twice to get it to work. I have no idea why...

- The XML load-save is a bit buggy. Sorry! Hopefully I will have time to fix it soon...

- The manual hasn't been updated to reflect all the new features in v002 ( in particular, there is nothing in there about texturing...)

If you want to be notified when I release an update, send me an e-mail. In fact, if you have downloaded the software and find it useful, please send me an e-mail and let me know what you are using it for / about bugs you have found / any features you are interested in / etc. Don't be shy - I would be very interested in your feedback!

ShapeShop Videos and Manual

An Instructional Video has been uploaded to YouTube, click here or watch it below.

The manual is not anywhere near completion, but it should (maybe?) be enough to get you up and running. If you are really confused, let me know what you don't understand so I can add it...

Download ShapeShop Manual v0.0.1

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Feature XYZ doesn't work, ShapeShop crashes, etc
  ShapeShop has been entirely constructed and maintained by a single graduate student, who has only limited resources (time). Send a bug report or feature request, and you may see it in the next release!
ShapeShop Gallery
Demo Reel

Biological Models

ShapeShop's implicit blending makes it very easy to create the smoothly curving and branching surfaces necessary in biological models. The branching veins on the top of the heart (below, left) are composed of a bunch of small tube-like shapes all blended together. This is quick and easy to do, the heart took about 30 minutes. The vertebra model (right) was not sketched, it was re-constructed from a CT Scan dataset. Once imported* into ShapeShop, it can be edited just like any other surface. You might question the usefulness of being able to cut a hole in a vertebra. Well, besides being kind of fun, it could be useful for medical training systems and that sort of thing.

* the functionality to import these CT scans is not available in ShapeShop v002

Character Models

ShapeShop is pretty useful for creating character models. The gremlin model below is by far the most complex model I have created using ShapeShop. The model was created in parts and then stuck together*, using a more recent version of ShapeShop (available soon!).

This skeleton is the most complex model I have done in the version of ShapeShop which is available for download above. Miraculously, it only took about an hour, although there were several false starts as I ran into bugs (!). It was the first model I did on a Wacom Cintiq, which is an awesome piece of hardware for using ShapeShop on. The skeleton was made for our SIGGRAPH05 sketch, as was the scorpion-ish model, which I just sort of doodled one day when I was bored.

These are some earlier ShapeShop models. The elephant is a combination of sketching and traditional CSG modeling techniques, which are trivial to combine with ShapeShop's implicit representation. The rat character is the first non-trivial model that I created with ShapeShop, before it had revolutions or even an erase function.

Mechanical Models

The CSG operations in ShapeShop are useful for creating things like the car body on the left. The rough volume of the outer body was sketched first, and then the interior was "hollowed out" using CSG Subtraction. That image is actually a cut-away view, the roof has been removed. The car took about 30 minutes to sketch. The shuttle was also made in ShapeShop, although it was done with the traditional modeling tools, rather than the sketching tools - because I can't draw very well. A better artist could have made the same model by sketching, since I used all the same operations, I just did them with spline curves instead of sketched curves.

These mechanical parts nicely show that ShapeShop can be used to model smoothly blending surfaces (left) and sharp edges (right). The pipes on the manifold are actually 3D Bezier curve primitives, blended together at the base. The piston was sketched in about 10 minutes (on my first try!). It has interior cavities, like a real piston would.

These are some early models of more real-world objects. Everything here is sketched except the wire on the plug, which is Bezier sweep primitive. These did not take long to make, even with the interface at that time, which was much more primitive than in ShapeShop v002.

Design Iterations

ShapeShop's sketch-based implicit surface modeling tools allow you to smoothly blend new volumes onto an existing model. For example, starting with the basic dog model (below left), I created a pig-dog, punk-rock dog, and space dog. The nose in the pig-dog was created by blending a new surface onto the dog's nose. The original model is still under there - I can load up the pig-dog and erase the pig nose to get back to the dog nose. Click for larger images.

Weird Arty Stuff and Other Things

The first model on the left below was based on a vertebra reconstructed from a CT scan (see above) . I added some "wings" to make it look like a spaceship, but I didn't like where it was going so I just subtracted the EG 2005 logo out of the middle. Weird? yes.

The center model is maybe my favorite model so far, because it completely changed my perception of what was possible with Sketch-Based modeling. I had been looking at Dali paintings when I got a phone call which was not terribly interesting, so I started doodling. But I wasn't absentmindedly doodling on a scrap of paper (like I usually do). I was absentmindedly doodling in ShapeShop, and after the call ended (about 15 minutes), I had what might be the first 3D doodle. When was the last time you "doodled" a 3D model?

Finally, on the right is a snapshop of a friend of mine using ShapeShop on an interactive tabletop display. He had never used a 3D modeling program before, but he caught on very quickly, and he had fun doing it. I took that as a good sign, since at that point he was the third person to have used the software.

Sketched Something Cool?
If you use ShapeShop to make something cool, send me a screenshot and I will post it here!

Interactive Decal Compositing with Discrete Exponential Maps (2005). Schmidt, R., Grimm, C., Wyvill, B. To Appear in ACM SIGGRAPH 2006. [PrePrint PDF] [Figures]

Interactive Decal Compositing with Discrete Exponential Maps (2005). Schmidt, R., Grimm, C., Wyvill, B. Technical Report 2006-824-17, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary. [PDF]

ShapeShop: Sketch-Based Solid Modeling with BlobTrees (2005) Schmidt, R., Wyvill, B., Sousa, M.C., Jorge, J.A. 2nd Eurographics Workshop on Sketch-Based Interfaces and Modeling, pp. 53-62, 2005. [PDF] [Figures] [PDF Slides] [Powerpoint Slides w/ Videos]

Sketch-Based Modeling with the BlobTree (2005). Schmidt, R., Wyvill, B., Sousa, M.C. SIGGRAPH 2005 Technical Sketch [PDF] [Figures] [Video] [Slides]

Questions?Comments? Email