Strata Design 3D CX 7.6 is a powerful modelling and texturing upgrade, which includes many of the most requested features from long-time Strata Design 3D users.
Photoshop files can be imported and mapped without flattening and it has excellent rendering quality. Its ability to export to a number of file formats, including EPS and Flash, will certainly be welcomed by print graphic designers.
New features include UV texturing components that allow you to more easily visualise the exact layout and placement of your textures, with polygon manipulation features that provide a new level of control over your 3D objects, and added in some very useful import and export options to make version 7.5 more compatible with CAD porgrammes and 3D printing services.
“Strata Design 3D CX has a lot to offer 3D or 2D artists who want to integrate 3D elements in their work, and it’s also backed up by community forums, videos and the web-based Strata 3D University.”
—MacUser UK Review, October 2011
All the Power for One Simple Price
Unlike some 3D applications, Strata Design 3D CX gives you all of its 3D tools for one great price. The makers of Strata Design 3D CX don’t force you to decide how you’re going to use the product in the future, or make a guess ahead of time about which tools you might need for future projects. The only pricing decision you need to make is whether to buy Design 3D CX by itself, or as part of the Strata 3D CX Suite.
Simplified 3D Learning Curve
Strata Design 3D eases the learning curve for 2D designers who are new to 3D. Quick start templates, libraries, predefined effects, backgrounds, environments and more allow designers to create complex scenes in minutes. With a user interface and tools that are familiar to today’s 2D designers, you invest your time learning 3D design concepts rather than a new design paradigm.
Model Anything in 3D or Import Existing 3D Assets
For many, the thought of 3D modelling is a daunting task. Design 3D offers an extremely friendly modelling toolset and environment for manipulating your polygons, splines and primitives into any 3D object or scene you can imagine. If you’re working with existing 3D assets, Strata Design 3D CX utilises a host of filters and options to accurately import third-party 3D models and scenes.
Apply Surface Textures with Precision
In the world of 3D, texturing may just be the most important component in creating convincing final renderings. Once you have designed your 3D model, Strata Design 3D CX gives you powerful tools to create, apply and manipulate surface textures with beautifully accurate results.
Set-Up Your Scene with Lighting, Backgrounds, Cameras, etc.
Scene composition is a critical step in producing stunning images. Design 3D CX makes it easier to control the environment than any photography studio you could imagine. Position your 3D objects and then place lights, reflection panels, cameras, backgrounds, environments, reflection elements and more to produce a superior final render or animation for your design project.
Render Photo-Real Images and Animations at Blazing Speeds
Design 3D is well known for its extraordinary rendering technology. Whether you’re after photo-realistic results or some other style for your static or motion graphics, you will find the rendering options to suit your needs and output the results using one of the fastest rendering engines in the industry. After all, it’s all about the final results and Design 3D delivers.
Tightly Integrated with the Adobe Creative Suites
Design 3D CX comes with six Adobe Photoshop Plug-ins that connect you directly to your favourite image application and improve your design workflow. Interoperability is also a key part of Design 3D with the ability to read in Adobe files including psd, eps, .ai and pdf. Note: Photoshop Plug-ins require Photoshop CS4 or CS5 Extended running in 32-bit mode.
Native UV Mapping for Perfect Textures
Design 3D CX introduces a powerful new UV Mapping environment that makes exact placement of textures easier and faster than ever. UV texture mapping is a technique used to accurately wrap a 2D image texture onto a 3D model, where the image texture can then be stretched, squeezed and rotated to fit correctly. UV coordinates maintain the relationship between the texture and 3D model, even when the model is further manipulated.
A New Standard in Rendering Perfection
Design 3D CX establishes rendering superiority with an array of updates that advance overall output quality and speed. Added support for blurry transparency and reflectivity produces stunningly lifelike realism. Instance Rendering Properties offer control over how an individual object’s shadows, caustics, reflections and transparencies are rendered, or whether an object is even displayed at all. Design 3D CX handles higher oversampling settings and lower block and threshold settings without loss of speed.
Modelling Evolved with Polygon Editing Enhancements
Ample improvements to the polygon modelling toolset and workflow include new Flatten, Weld, Unweld, Flip and Save Subset features. When combined with more intuitive mouse interactions and visual feedback, hard edge handling, selection options and new customisable keyboard shortcuts for common modelling tasks, Design 3D CX takes one giant step towards modelling bliss.
Customisable Keyboard Shortcuts Let You Define Your Workflow
All graphic designers rely on at least a few keyboard shortcuts in their favourite design porgrammes. Others can tell you every shortcut that’s available. We all have our own preferences and opinions on what key combinations make sense for certain tasks, so who are we to decide what’s right or wrong? Design 3D CX allows you to take control and create your own Keyboard Shortcut Sets to match your favourite design porgrammes or you own personal preferences.
Boolean Modelling Refined
Boolean Modelling allows you to add, subtract, intersect and cut 2 different objects to create a new 3D object. It is not new to Design 3D, but version 7.5 unveils an entirely new Boolean engine that utilises the same workflow, but produces cleaner, more accurate and reliable results.
New Texturing Options with Normal Maps
In addition to greyscale Bump Maps, Design 3D CX 7.5 ushers in the ability to use Normal Maps for creating realistic surface details through the use of an RGB image. Normal Maps can also be used to “fake” lighting details of an object instead of modelling all of the details. It’s just one more way that texturing in Design 3D CX makes your life easier.
Time Saving Project Templates
New 3D scene templates offer designers an easy way to jump start their 3D projects, without beginning in the vacuum of a New Empty Project. Scene templates include advanced lighting with soft shadows, environments, backgrounds and more, which can all be edited to suit your needs. Working with templates is also a great way to learn how to formulate your own 3D scenes.
Unique Surface Realism Through Anisotropy
Anisotropy is an advanced surface property that yields subtle, yet realistic effects to surfaces and reflections. An example of Anisotropy is a surface that blurs in a vertical direction but not in a horizontal direction, such as brushed metals. Anisotropy settings are a new addition to the Image Texture controls.
Grid Templates Make Modelling Easier
To aid in certain modelling processes, images can now be applied to X,Y and Z Grids for use as a template. The opacity of the grids can be adjusted to behave similar to tracing paper, which allows you to quickly model to proper proportions and accurately locate the components that make up your 3D model.
Match Motion Brings the Real World and CG World Closer Together
Visual effects artists often use a combination of live action and 3D action, which visually match up to create a realistic scene. Match Motion imports camera data from Pixel Farm’s PFHoe to create a 3D scene, which matches the motion of a live camera scene.
Sun and Sky Backgrounds add More Reality to Your Environments
A new background type is available in Design 3D CX that will give your projects a real world feel. Sun and Sky backgrounds change colours to mimic a real sky and horizon as you move your light source. Features like haze and turbidity provide additional realism. If you want your scenes to change from sunup to sundown this is your feature.
Learn Design 3D CX Online at Strata 3D University
Learning 3D doesn’t have to be difficult. Especially with Strata’s online training library at your fingertips, covering every aspect of Strata Design 3D CX and the entire 3D design workflow. Strata 3D University makes it simple to find the subject of interest and quickly get up to speed with short, informative videos created by professional 3D designers.
That’s Not All
Design 3D CX offers too many features to list here, but you will also benefit from numerous productivity enhancements, support for new file formats, long file names, view persistency and a new Collect and Save function that gathers your model file and linked files all in one location. Buy Design 3D CX 7.6 today and see for yourself why it’s Strata’s most important release to date.