Shape version 5.0 Beta release notes


Shape is an interactive astrophysical 3D simulation package that is based on modern computer graphics technology. The new beta version 5.0 incorporates a number of major new features, including hydrodynamics and magnetic and gravitational fields, a high-resolution renderer, as well as a  substantial overhaul of the user interface.


Beta release date: June 7, 2013

System requirements:

Major changes to the software from previous version:

New modules:

  • Hydrodynamics (allows basic numerical hydrodynamical simulations)

  • Fields (generates magnetic and gravitational fields that can be used for radiation computations)

  • Filters (selective filters of physical properties that can be applied to any 3D object)

  • Desktop (module management and file management)


  • High resolution rendering

User interface:

  • Most icons have been changed

  • The tool bar with access to the modules is now customizable

  • Major overhaul of the user interface in general.


  • Dust grain presets for amorphous carbon, silicate and graphite based on experimental data for the dust properties

  • Magnetic and gravitational fields with their complex geometry can be generated and used for the computation of radiation properties such as synchrotron or cyclotron emission near high gravity objects or in jets

  • Relativistic Doppler-shift and boosting (e.g. for spectral lines from disks around compact objects)

  • CO molecular radiation transfer

  • Hydrodynamics integrated with the 3D environment and rendering system. No user programming required.

3D Modeling:

  • New modifiers

  • Image texture based displacement modifier

  • Image texture based structure modifier for density, velocity, temperature and pressure which allows accurate structure modeling

User manual:


Note for MacOSX users:

Download the following zip-file and place all the content files in the directory /Library/Java/Extensions/

Run the Mac Installer for Shape and then simply launch the software.

We are indebted to Miguel Santander-García and his brother-in-law for finding the way and the files to make this installation possible. We should also thank Harvey Harrison, who has done the programming that Apple didn´t bother to do.