In 2002 with a grant from SketchUp and at the California State University San Luis Obispo Fred Abler started a website called Objective Networks as a place for SketchUp artists to upload their models to share and download models made by others. Artists uploaded 1,000s of 3D models of cars, furniture, people, trees, plants and more. It was a success. With that success came the issue of maintaining quality and paying for the web site's maintenance.
In order to consistently offer well-made models Fred along with the most excellent SketchUp artists chose to start FormFonts. The site went live in November of 2004 and has posted tens of 1000s of high-quality low polygon 3D models on a subscription basis.
The Form Fonts 3D Team
Principal & CEO
Fred Abler is a graduate architect and has worked in the software industry for more than 20 years, holding several research & development positions related to intelligent spatial decision support systems, including those used in logistics, architecture, BIM, and facilities management.
His interests include spatial representation, object-agents, and digital design communication. He started FormFonts because he saw a large unmet need for "off the shelf geometry" that could support all types of virtual world-making.
Marc Fredrickson is an alumnus of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (BArch 1990). After graduating, Marc worked as a junior architectural designer in Sacramento, CA for several years before earning a Masters of Architecture II at University of California, San Diego in 1994. Upon graduation Marc received an architect's license shortly before joining Angel Studios, Carlsbad, CA, which at the time was starting to produce 3-dimensional video games for the Nintendo game platform N64. His main focus throughout his tenure has been the design of 3D urban environments for game design-playability and 3D art requirements. has worked in the video game industry for 11 years for Angel Studios and Rockstar San Diego. He has worked on many multi-million-unit seller games such as Midnight Club II and Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition. Marc has held the positions of artist, Art Lead, Environment Designer and assistant to the Art Department Director before migrating to the game design side of
development with the roles of Level Designer, Game Designer and Game Design Department Director. He practices architecture working on residential additions.
Marc lives in San Diego, CA with his wife, son and cat. They live in a house Marc designed and built. He's taken to designing toys for his son in SketchUp and having them 3D-printed in plastic.
Alan Fraser lives on the coast, just north of Liverpool, UK. He graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and started off in teaching before working as a freelance Illustrator and Designer.
Alan has worked for many of the leading publishing houses over the years, mostly as a cover artist and the illustration of children?s books. His career took him from watercolor and airbrush, through vector artwork and then to 3D polygonal modeling; but he never used 3D models to any great degree until he stumbled across SketchUp in 2002.
He immediately recognized its potential for subjects that might previously have been produced in line and wash or by airbrush...especially the kind of content that might be needed for the more technical types of publications, encyclopedias etc.
This was very early days for SketchUp---before its acquisition by Google---and Alan also noted the almost total lack of any content beyond the small sampler pack that was bundled with the program itself.
The user base at this point was mostly pro users---architects and designers. Most people could model furniture, street furniture or sofas; but were at a loss when it came to good quality people or vegetation. Alan responded to the gap in the market by bringing out a CD containing the very first human figures specifically built for the low-poly requirements of SketchUp.
Asked which are his favorite 3D models, he responded by saying that the favorites were also the most demanding and therefore the most satisfying to actually bring to some kind of completion. He has been continually pushing the envelope as far as human figures are concerned, so the favorites are the recent, fully mapped male figures.
He is also quite proud of some of his tree models, especially some of the palms and pines. It probably passes by the average user, but getting large specimens of vegetation to look that realistic with few low polygonal faces is an achievement.
When asked what the most challenging model to build was he mentioned that the organic shape of the body protector for Fox Racing. The model of the US Capitol Building, also presented some unique problems; not least the sloping site and the challenge of maintaining a small file size despite its actual real-life size.
Gabriel Concha lives in Santiago, Chile. He's an Architect and 3D Designer graduated from the University of Santiago. He has great skills in graphic arts, being recognized for this throughout his entire career. Gabriel is a professor of Architectural 3D Design and Workshop at the University of Santiago.
Gabriel started working with 3D models in 1999, and though expert in many diverse CAD software packages, his favourite tool is SketchUp, which he has used consistently since 2003. He's a specialist in modeling complex objects, bringing to each model its own personality. For FormFonts 3D models He makes vehicles, cars, trucks, boats, people, furniture, appliances, statues and much more.
When asked what his favorites models he created are he said. "Ok, uff a difficult question, let me see, I've made almost a thousand models so far, and I like a lot of them, but there's three that make more 'proud'. The Christen Eagle II, The Peterbilt 389 truck, and the Mercedes O303 Bus. Also I like the Hyundai Getz, because it was one of my first professional models, and it's the car that I own."
And his answer for the most challenging 3D model he's ever made is, "The most difficult model was the Christen Eagle, I put a lot of attention on details, it took me days to finish it."
Gabriel's motto is " less is more".
David William Edwards
David William Edwards was born and raised in California but now makes his home in Alabama. He has a BS in Mathematics and has been in the CAD industry for 35 years as a manager, consultant, author and lecturer.
He's had over 80 magazines articles published and spoken at several conferences such for the National Computer Graphics Association and AIA Conventions. He currently specializes in 3D Modeling, Architectural Renderings/Animations, and BIM deployment/integration.
He is also a professional drummer, technical editor and voice over artist. His hobbies include exploring a minimalist lifestyle which includes human-powered yard-work and is an avid consumer of off-beat comic books, graphic novels, and anime.