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Ken Bringhurst Posted - 07/15/2015 : 16:10:35
Hi Everybody!

We’ve recently added support forums to Strata.com (https://www.strata.com/forums/) where Strata personnel and expert users will be helping users with their software and design issues.

We’d like to start transitioning everyone to these new forums. We’d love to hear your opinion about the forums as we try to build them into an excellent new support system.

If you’ve purchased or downloaded anything from Strata.com recently (in the last couple of years) you likely already have an account that you can use for the forums. If not then you’ll need to register a new account - just look for the “Register” link below the “Log In” button on the right side of the Support Forums page.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Ken

https://www.strata.com/forums/
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Wally_B Posted - 08/19/2016 : 12:10:37
Yep! I agree...Strata does have a good renderer...but... even with all of their render advancements, it still can't render Sub Surface Scattering, which makes getting convincing organic objects almost impossible... This further limits the pool of potential users to people who are doing hard surface models.

I'm actually watching with alot of curiosity to see what the company does next with the software... I personally think it might be too late for them, but I'd be totally happy to be proven wrong. Your move Strata!
MrTickTock Posted - 08/19/2016 : 10:59:27
Wally_B, I primarily use Strata now as a render engine, I find the final outcome just stunning. Though for modeling/design, most of what I do is more mechanical in nature for watches and stuff, so I needed quite a bit more accuracy with modeling functions, so I went to Fusion.
Wally_B Posted - 08/19/2016 : 09:51:16
@MrTickTock

I actually do check the new forums and this forum almost every day just for kicks...I don't use Strata much anymore since moving on to Modo, but since I used to spend alot of time here, I check back in like a ritual a couple times a work day and answer when I can...

Here's the thing...this is the ONLY place that exists the whole internet for people to come for Strata questions and support... if someone has a question, they'll come here, or to the new forums to ask it. No one is asking questions or posting things, because I don't believe that there are that many Strata users left. I could be wrong on that... but I don't know what else to think after checking both forums every day for a whole month without seeing one bit of activity on either website.

It does make sense to me though...Strata does have several unique aspects that work well, and give the app some validation in the 3D market...but conversely, there are a huge number of workflow and tool function standards that Strata hasn't kept up with...

People just aren't willing to work with an app that clears their undo history every time they switch to poly-edit mode ...or doesn't allow them to undo selection steps. They won't tolerate not being able to organize or move layers or undo keyframe changes in the project palette... People know that there are other apps that offer modeling tools that could allow them to create some shapes three times faster than you could with Strata's basic tool lineup...and many of the modeling functions that Strata is missing have become standard expectations...

Like brush-type options that push, pull and smooth points... and selection options that make it easier to grab complicated stretches of polygons.

Modeling is the first skill that a new Strata user will test out in the app...since you need to build a model before you do anything else... and the typical user in the current market will be expecting alot of things that are missing... and then they'll move on.

When Strata 8 came out with almost zero new modeling features and NO updates to the project palette, I shook my head and wondered why they spent all their time focussing on rendering again... if people can't create models in Strata as easily as they can in other, much cheaper apps, then they won't work on a project long enough to even GET to the rendering stage.
MrTickTock Posted - 08/19/2016 : 09:04:32
Answer is no... just checked the forum, and there are 116 posts [posting correction, as it was pointed out to me that they do get answered]; but, it's like a ghost town.

(I will say direct email support is fabulous!)

Sad, we need user interaction... take for example the forum over at Fusion360; insane amount of involvement, amazing response from the community and programmers.

Strata DESERVES this level of enthusiasm; it's such a brilliant software, but it needs the support - not paid support, that's what paid upgrades are for; but encouraged free support...

Here is the catch 22: if we can't use the software to produce what we have in mind, then we won't promote the software to anyone as a viable solution for 3d design. Which in turn drives sales to Strata's competition. So, it would factually be in the utmost self interest for Strata to provide top tier free support on an almost obsessively involved level to stoke the fire of user enthusiasm.

Just my humble opinion.
Alldaron
MrTickTock Posted - 08/19/2016 : 08:56:48
is anyone actually using the forum over at strata.com?
tbgriswold Posted - 02/29/2016 : 19:58:18
They have a free support forum on Strata.com. Plus if you have the subscription, you get to use the Pro version, a perk to encourage subscription buys. I don't think they are "milking" the users on this.

Britt
rooneytunes Posted - 02/29/2016 : 17:11:17
Just noticed this discussion.
This is what I'm thinking now.
' Don't fix what isn't broken ' comes to mind as someone else said.
Sad that at this stage, after all the years of Strata users and buyers contributing so much to what the software is today we are to be 'milked' for support.
Will we find, progressively, that answers to discussions on Stratacafe are 'withheld' to 'encourage' folks in need to pay on the other forum then eventually Stratacafe will just 'cease trading'.
tbgriswold Posted - 01/21/2016 : 18:38:15
Agreed.

Britt
MacSavers Posted - 01/21/2016 : 16:06:54
I agree with your assessment of how it should work. But since Stratacafe has been populated by so many Strata users, I seem to see more activity here than at Strata's site.
tbgriswold Posted - 01/21/2016 : 14:42:46
My impression is that your question will get answered on the new service, it is just that you will get the in-house attention quicker if you are going with the premium support. Otherwise it is just like here with volunteer users replying.

Britt
MacSavers Posted - 01/20/2016 : 15:04:05
Just as a hobbiest user, I think I will be sticking with using StrataCafe. I trust the users here and can't really afford to pay for upgraded support.

I've used Strata since the early 90's, so I am a long time supporter of Strata, but I rarely ever get a job that pays for something I do in it. I use it for my hobbies almost solely.
Wally_B Posted - 01/20/2016 : 13:30:27
Hey Shaddam,
I really don't think that those "animation features" are going to make it into Strata at ANY point in the future. The last time that I spoke with Strata people on the phone, I asked them about their plans to develop some animation-centric features...Their answer was that Strata is not a full service animation tool, and that they would be developing towards their strengths, modeling and rendering.
I'm not trying to bash Strata, because it has it's uses...but I really don't believe that animation will receive any more support. It's certainly not a priority by their own admission.

Once we switched to a different app for animation projects (Modo), we were able to put out better animations and work at twice the speed as we did in Strata! I'd really suggest looking into some different tools, it's a pleasure just having the right tools at your disposal as an animator.
ShaddamIV Posted - 01/19/2016 : 21:22:53
My fear is that corastar will get more benefits from a broken/flawed software than a perfectly working one. The more broken, the more $upport requested. What is next? In app purchase 1$ per render or 1c per polygon?

I prefer to pay 200-300$ a year everything included and not be bothered.
I would pay 500$ a year if they could implement the animation features I need.
I want to see Strata grow and improve and I don't mind paying to keep Strata moving forward.
Too many 3D software have been abandoned and died because they did not have recurring income.
Hopper2 Posted - 12/04/2015 : 07:36:22
This new forum approach is a bad idea.

Hopper
MrTickTock Posted - 10/31/2015 : 18:12:47
I'm not a fan either! Don't fix what's not broken... instead solve the Strata Saving Error.
studio309 Posted - 08/09/2015 : 20:43:51
I posted in the new forum a couple days ago. So far, no response. I'll try posting it again in the Cafe.

Jerry Russell
STUDIO 309
www.jerryrussell.com
colorjaws Posted - 07/31/2015 : 03:32:17
Open Source projects are at the base programs made to be shared, That is, anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way, and the source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software.

When you pay for a software you are not expecting to pay for the help.

If there is a paid version for a private thread but let everybody read the answers, no?

It's the small rivers that make the wide channels...

Duke Posted - 07/30/2015 : 09:55:27
I work heavily on Open Source Projects where the only revenue stream is from support subscriptions. In that context the paid/free categories make sense because they guarantee a first response time from staff where the free category is largely community support. In this case, no subscription is required to view anywhere in the forum. No sub is required to contribute a reply to any thread though they moderate and ban for hijacking someone else's thread to ask a different question in the paid forum. You only need a subscription to launch a new topic in the paid categories. While information gets doubled up a bit, it seems to work well and keeps the community sharing spirit honored. Staff gets actively notified of all posts in the paid categories to meet the promised SLA.

Others use a similar approach but keep one set of categories. They have the alert system setup to notify staff when a subscriber launches a new topic in any of the software support categories or submits a new comment in their own thread (usually additional info on the issue). This approach is just as easy to administer but has far greater appeal to the community. The 'hot topics'/'recent topics' views look as one so from the public user side the paid unpaid lines blur, but subscriber issues raised within a thread they did not launch does not get the paid subscriber alerts. (Staff participates in all threads including free ones to assure a 24-hour/one business day response time to any issue. They pride themselves that no issue goes unanswered/without a response by someone in the community. Replies = 0 also triggers staff alerts after two business days.) I'm hoping Moderator Guy might switch the software to this approach for marketing reasons as it better fits both goals.

Subscriptions might also include access to a ticket system for private uploads and responses/file repairs. The companies that lose the community do so when too many of the forum replies say 'submit a ticket' without staff coming back to publicly share and discuss the issue and solution. This produces numerous 'how-do-I' search results that are frustrating dead ends and makes the software wrongly appear poorly supported or buggy.

Also, I hope all this KB history gets migrated into the new software and/or the new software is installed/linked under this domain. Far better SEO to have a separate site like this cross-linking to the product/company site without duplicating content.

My 3 euros.
Wally_B Posted - 07/30/2015 : 09:18:16
I also thought the paid section was very odd... I can sort of understand the angle that they're going for...like paying for a guaranteed helpful response instead of rolling the dice and hoping someone helps you on the normal forum...but this type of paid guarantee isn't required on other forums in our industry, the people who help are just awesome folks who are into the whole community thing. They could be shooting themselves in the foot with this one by stealing the expert users away from general community building helpfulness.
colorjaws Posted - 07/30/2015 : 03:37:57
I am open to transition but:

why make two sections: one for paying members and one for the basic members.
What is wrong with the "free" sharing of information??

I go to forums (adobe, apple, stratacafé...) to help and be helped, for free.

If I make a search and find a topic that could answer my problem but it is in the payed version what should I do? make the same question in the unpaid version?what will be the policy? are moderator removing double question to get payed?

Other strange thing:
Even if you want to read the forums you'll have to be loged-in, don't you think you're excluding any new user that could be interested in a 3D program but wants to know what kind of hard kern is behind the forums?

The community of a program is almost as important than the program itself, don't shut down passionate people just because you want to make more money

By the way I do not know any other 3D program that is making there forums with a pay for view information even for more "premium support"

this is just the point of view of a passionate but poor strata user.

colorjaws

ps: I introduced two other small packaging compagnies on Strata, I hope I didn't make a mistake

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