Paint With Live Video • Create Cellular Automata • Create Pictures with Motion Detection
Soundscape • Pointless Amusing Features • Many Interesting Tools • Email Pictures from the Program • Quirky Built-in Artwork

Sample Pictures made with Beautiful Dorena. Click on a picture to see larger version

About Beautiful Dorena

NOTE: Beautiful Dorena is not compatable with new versions of OSX. I have no plans to update it since it is not technically practical. Thanks to all of you who have used it.


Beautiful Dorena is an experiment. More accurately, it is a bunch of experiments. I wanted to create a framework that would allow me to try out ideas as they occurred to me. A “paint program” seemed to offer the most flexible option. This was especially viable because I have had experience doing this, having created the original Kid Pix program. I felt that this was also a good approach because it would let the user walk away with either an image file or a printout. To be clear, it is not intended to be, a full-service, full-featured program. It is quite quirky and basically does what I found interesting to make it do.

Ideally I would like people to see what Beautiful Dorena does by exploring and having fun with it.

A Few of the things Beautiful Dorena does...

Productivity software (graphics programs, word processors, etc.) don’t have much personality or tell a story. The idea is to let you get something useful done. Games, on the other hand have lots of personality and often tell a story but don’t generally let you create anything. I wanted to give my program a personality and a fictional back-story. A computer club at a small Oregon high school (Hazelnut Springs High) hypothetically created it. All of the names of the characters come from Willamette Valley, Oregon place names.

Most of the tools in Beautiful Dorena are more interesting than useful. Many are algorithmically driven (done with simple math) and hopefully are somewhat captivating. Some of the tool options are likewise not too useful. For example the line tool can respond to gravity and fall off the page.

In addition to the user-interface sounds, Beautiful Dorena contains a soundscape. The ideas being that you are using the program in your house in the fictional rural town of Hazelnut Springs, Oregon and you are hearing the ambient sounds. Ambient sounds are random and time sensitive. For instance, more cars pass by during “rush hour” and crickets and cats are heard at night.

Beautiful Dorena has two tools that let you place live video into your picture. One lets you stamp video images into your picture and the other used motion detection to only show what is currently moving.

Beautiful Dorena has a multitude of features. Please explore and send some of your pictures to me at

Craig Hickman
September 2005


Download a beta version of Beautiful Dorena by clicking on the button below.

If you have problems using Beautiful Dorena also email me. I can't fix bugs if I don't know about them!

While we're on the subject of emailing me, please email me any interesting pictures you make with Beautiful Dorena. I will put them on the web site. If you email from within Beautiful Dorena please remember to include your return email address, otherwise your picture won't get through.

You are welcome to use this program. While I am confident that it won’t cause any problems with your computer, this is a “use at your own risk” proposition. You also should not sell it or distribute it in a commercial way without the author’s permission

Only a Macintosh OSX version is available. Currently it is unlikely that there will be a Windows version, but who knows?

System Requirements:
• Macintosh OSX
• A display with at least 1024 X 768 resolution
• The faster the machine the better. It should be faster than 500 mhz.
• A FireWire or USB video camera or web cam.

• Color printer

After downloading, copy to your applications folder.

Click Here to Contact Craig Hickman

By the way, Beautiful Dorena was created in Macromedia Director

If you have a video camera or web cam you might want to look at...