I've just started working with the Strata 3D[in] plug-in and Photoshop CS3 Extended and it seems to be working pretty well. I have only two questions. First, since I had trouble with the google 3D warehouse plug-in ( it kept crashing Photoshop) I've been downloading models directly from google warehouse and then saving them out of Sketchup as .KMZ files. Photoshop seems to recognize these files but Strata doesn't. Is there any way around this? Also in the video tutorials I've watched, they talk about soft shadows being created- such as the Aquos POP display video tutorial. What settings do you use in Strata 3D[in] to achieve these soft shadows?
Strata can not open the .kmz files directly. They will have to be opened in Photoshop then passed to Strata via the Model Edit plug-in.
Soft shadows can be rendered only with the Raydiosity render which will increase render times. In the video tutorials shadows are being softened with a Blur brush in Photoshop or by using the Eraser tool with a soft edge.
You'll want to look at the user manual to get details on how to produce soft shadows - but one key element to keep in mind is that Strata will not produce soft shadows from Directional lights (lights from the top portions of the Lights tab of the Environment palette).
Directional lights are like light from the sun - small source. Because of this the shadows are crisp. You can generate soft shadows from local light sources (point lights and spotlights) and from Light Domes (the light sources you can edit from the bottom portion of the Lights tab of the Environment palette).
When using local light sources the size of the light source affects the softness of the shadow. The size can be edited from the Object tab of the Object Properties palette when the light source is selected. Look for "Light Source Radius" in the pop-up menu that initially says "Total falloff distance".
And, as Brian pointed out, you'll want to use the Raydiosity rendering method to get soft shadows. You can simply select "Ultra" or "Best" from the pop-up menu just under the rendering tool to get a rendering mode that uses Raydiosity.
And obviously, you must have some sort of surface to catch that shadow.
Hi everybody...I´m new in this forum so...my name is abraham.(abrahamnero)
Please if someone can help me, it will be great...
I´m a beginner in strata, I´m graphic designer an I have treated to do renders with soft light using the lights domes but....it has been a disaster...someone knows how I can create a diffuse light from the top, or for all environment?, similar like photo product session light
Hi Abraham. There are several things you need to do. If you're using a light dome but you still have a directional light the directional light will continue to cast a hard shadow in the scene. You'll want to either turn down the directional light or simply make it a "construction" light. To make it a construction light you'll need to select it in the palette and then click on the Construction checkbox. Using the light as construction just means that it will illuminate your scene while modeling but not during rendering.