Back to the Shapespark home page

Trial Evaluation


#1

My trial is about to expire so I thought it would be appropriate to pass along my evaluation. I will be the first to admit that I am not the greatest artist and I am not an engineer but I must say that i have learned a lot and, in general, have a very positive feeling about Shapespark. Here is a link to the model that I worked on during the trial Car Wash

So…here is my feedback:

Strengths

  • UI - I think that Shapespark has a pretty straight forward UI that is not all that difficult to learn. While I think there could be some improvements (see the Wish List thread). The documentation of the product answered a pretty fair number of the questions I did have about the UI and the support in this forum answered the rest.
  • Support - I have found the support by the Shapespark staff on this forum to be very good. I feel I asked some pretty dumb questions but received very good replies and suggestions for addressing problems/misunderstanding I incurred during the trial period.
  • SkecthUp Compatibility - One of the things that I have really likes/appreciated is that when my scene comes from SketchUp, the object and material list looks like what I am used to seeing in SketchUp. In particular, in other products that I have looked at, when I go to the object list, I normally see very generic terms for the objects but in Shapespark, I see things that look just like what I see in the Outliner in SketchUp. Material names also look the same. IMO this makes it much easier to identify what I want to work with in Shapespark.
  • VR Scene & Navigation - Of the products I have looked at, I think Shapespark has some of the most “user friendly” and comprehensive VR scene navigation capabilities that I have seen. Particularly when you are not using a VR headset and are relying on the WebGL functions in web browsers. In particular:
  1. The ability to have a list of views that help the viewer navigate their way through my scene
  2. The ability to use the cursor and arrow keys to move through a view so the user can walk through a view or the model
  3. It is rather easy to define the starting point for each of the views which again makes navigation for the viewer much easier yet give me some control in defining where I want the user to start in each of the views (hope this statement makes sense)
  • Self Hosting - I think this is a very valuable feature for many companies. While I did not try this during my trial, I think the fact that it is an option is a very strong feature for a number of users/companies. In particular, the ability to share the output with clients but be able to have total control over who has access is a great asset IMO.
  • Licensing Flexibility - Again, IMO, the pricing of Shapespark seems to be reasonable and there are a number of options.

Opportunities for Enhancement

As a general statement, the perfect product has yet to be offered by anyone. So, yes I think there are opportunities for enhancements that could make the product stronger. Most of them are covered in the Wish List that I referenced so I am not going to go over them in detail again.

As a SketchUp user, one of the things I had to get used to was the terminology. In SketchUp, you work with models while in Shapespark it is a scene. In SketchUp, you have scenes while in Shapespark, they are views. Even thought it was somewhat of a transition, it was certainly not a show stopper. Just have to be careful if you are discussing things with another SketchUp user.

As I said, most of the things I think would be good enhancements are already mentioned in the Wish List, my priorities from the list would include (in no particular order):

  • Animation
  • Interactivity
  • Color chart
  • Handles/guides for resizing and moving bounding boxes and objects
  • Ability to add objects from libraries or other sources
  • Material libraries independent of the software used to create the scene.

Bottom Line

For me the bottom line (as I have already alluded to previously) is that Shapespark is a very good product for presenting 3D models. I think it is reasonably priced and has a lot of potential. While it is not oriented toward product presentations (i.e. presenting mechanical things like an electric drill), it has a lot of strength and potential in presenting and allowing viewers to navigate the interior and exterior views of buildings and other architectural endeavors.

I look forward to seeing and following the continued enhancements to Shapespark. :slightly_smiling_face:


#2

Thank you very much for such a detailed summary of your trial experience!