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 is this forum dead ?
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seegson
Infrequent Poster

9 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2018 :  10:42:40  Show Profile  Visit seegson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
just asking because I could need a little technical help doing blurred reflections

Wally_B
A Regular

USA
450 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2018 :  07:06:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If I had to guess.... I don't think Strata is being developed anymore. It's been well over 2 years since the last update, and any inquiries about ongoing development have been ignored.

The forums can go a month or two at a time without a post... so if that fits your definition of "dead"...

Randomly, I actually still habitually check this forum every day though...for fun I guess?...I stopped using Strata for my main work a long time ago. There's like a handful of people who still respond every once in a while.
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seegson
Infrequent Poster

9 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2018 :  01:49:21  Show Profile  Visit seegson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I used to have Strata Vision on the Mac in the old days and thought I give it another go because I used to like Strata Vision. Sure Strata could do with an urgent upgrade to the viewport and object / polygon manipulation tools like having arrow handles without pressing X, Y, and Z to constrain movement.

As I understand Strata is still pretty much a one-man band so to speak, but for the rather highly priced Strata CX 8 they really need to deliver a better user experience. I don't mind the floating windows if the user input is more contemporary to mainstream 3D software tools like Maya or Modo.

Overall I use Blender but Strata has some interesting aspects to the radiosity engine and the atmospheric effects which I like. Or maybe I'm nostalgic.

Conclusively and not meant to be rude, not at all, but Strata is overpriced and doesn't hold up to the mainstream players on the market, both free and paid.
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Wally_B
A Regular

USA
450 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2018 :  06:06:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
@seegson
I don't think you're being rude at all, the way I've described it in the past is the Strata hasn't kept up with the workflow standards that have come to be expected in current 3D DCC apps.

When you can't do something as basic as change the order of your mesh items in the project window in 2018, you know the problem has gotten out of hand.

I think you're right, that the idea of Strata, as a simple-to-pick-up, Adobe-friendly 3D app for designers is wonderful... I really wish that they had stayed committed to Strata's development...
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MacSavers
A Regular

USA
310 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2018 :  06:14:59  Show Profile  Visit MacSavers's Homepage  Send MacSavers an AOL message  Click to see MacSavers's MSN Messenger address  Send MacSavers a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I've used Strata off and on since the 90's. I have to agree that it's fallen to be one of my last pieces of software that I use for 3D. It's still easier to use in many cases, but it's weaknesses outweigh it's strengths. It was one of the best at rendering, but just about all of them render well now.
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tbgriswold
Regularly Educational

USA
1426 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2018 :  08:28:38  Show Profile  Visit tbgriswold's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I still use it, and I still watch this forum. But there is so much more I could accomplish if they were to bring the feature set up to date.

Britt
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Tom Macie
A Regular

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2018 :  19:19:30  Show Profile  Visit Tom Macie's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I use it every day with other things in my workflow, but am considering other things as any business person should always do. This forum has been nearly deprecated for a newer support forum:

https://www.strata.com/forums/forum/basic-support/design-3d-cx-8-forum/

The company can be more forthcoming with what's going on behind the scenes IMHO, but I don't think the product is dead. They've been very active with a lot of AR and VR things lately, and D3D can be the central development core for these.

Apple has committed to abandoning applications that are not 100% 64-bit so I can only guess that they are in the throws of trying to achieve a fully 64-bit application.

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seegson
Infrequent Poster

9 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2018 :  21:56:37  Show Profile  Visit seegson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
of course 64bit... if I recall correctly then they would have to have a 64bit by 2019
time is ticking...

but 64bit alone won't be good enough
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Wally_B
A Regular

USA
450 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2018 :  05:18:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tom Macie

I can only guess that they are in the throws of trying to achieve a fully 64-bit application.



I don't know... the last time I got ANY kind of response as far as development plans goes was a really long time ago... and it was to tell me that any improvements to the "Project Palette" would require a serious overhaul of their base code, and that this just wasn't in their priorities...

I would have to assume the same is true of a jump to 64 bit... and while it's possible that this 64 bit deadline from Apple has motivated them.... I haven't seen any evidence that they care that much.
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seegson
Infrequent Poster

9 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2018 :  06:18:03  Show Profile  Visit seegson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
@Wally_B

well, their code-base will either die and be forgotten or they make it OpenSource and concentrate on service plans rather than income from the sales numbers of boxed or downloaded copies from Strata. And then comes, are there really enough people out there to have such great interest in using Strata TODAY in their production pipeline. The question is: what does have Strata that other software don't have that they need ?

That's something to think about, and my guess is that Strata does not have the answer to that question, because there is no possible answer.
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Wally_B
A Regular

USA
450 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2018 :  05:20:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On the surface, I very much agree. In a technical sense, Strata doesn't offer anything to a user that they couldn't get for a much better value someplace else. The case for Strata revolves around its relatively gentle learning curve, and its Adobe-familiar workspace... But the actual features of the app have become so outdated and arcane, that this advantage has lost much of its significance.

There is still an open parking space for Strata in the "ease of use" niche of the market, but they don't seem interested in filling it. Which is fine... no one is making them fill it. In the mean time, designers who are looking to add 3D to their repertoire have a ton to gain by learning Blender... I hear that with the latest update, it has made great strides towards becoming easier to use.
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MacSavers
A Regular

USA
310 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2018 :  06:26:38  Show Profile  Visit MacSavers's Homepage  Send MacSavers an AOL message  Click to see MacSavers's MSN Messenger address  Send MacSavers a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I think the biggest thing for me is that box modeling has taken over the 3D space and even though Strata now has it, it's always been playing catchup in this area. Rendering has always been Strata's strength, but that isn't the strength it used to be. Now with Blender going to the new renderer that's almost real-time with realistic results, when they finally release it, it will put Strata and others farther behind a piece of software that anyone can get for free.
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Wally_B
A Regular

USA
450 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2018 :  07:17:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Man... I don't disagree that Strata has a good renderer, but I always cringe a little when rendering is listed as one of Strata's strengths... Strata's renderer doesn't even support real subsurface scattering, making it almost impossible to render MANY material types. The absence of SSS is a huge problem.
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MacSavers
A Regular

USA
310 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2018 :  07:25:54  Show Profile  Visit MacSavers's Homepage  Send MacSavers an AOL message  Click to see MacSavers's MSN Messenger address  Send MacSavers a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Agreed, SSS is a weakness, but Strata was one of the first to offer Radiosity for rendering and their renders look very good, especially for architecture. Unfortunately, they have been using that as their strength ever since and have only done speedup improvements to it. It's still the strongest part of their program.
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seegson
Infrequent Poster

9 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2018 :  14:48:48  Show Profile  Visit seegson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
SSS is nice to have but render times with Strata 32bit for example say a candle to render would probably take endless hours even compared to Blender Cycles not counting realtime SSS Shaders. My suggestion would be to fake SSS unless you have plenty of GPU/CPU render horsepower - if Strata would offer SSS that is.

Blender is really pushing it with EEVEE and my guess is when Blender 2.8 matures they set the bar pretty high that Maya & Co will have a really hard time catching up. The only reason that studios still use Maya is that their workflows consist of mostly homegrown plugins that are not easily replaced or ported to Blender. Blender offers so much but making a switch is tough for studios and Strata is not the answer either even if they improve render times on a 32bit architecture.

Strata radiosity engine is pretty good quality-wise but doesn't even come close to Blender Cycles speed-wise. And still I like Strata quality-wise, however time is the biggest problem that's why I HAVE to resort to Blender instead for larger scenes. I can't use Strata for complex scenes.

This scene was done in Blender Cycles. In Strata I even couldn't orbit around or position the camera because Strata crashed out on it.



well... now what ?
OpenSource Strata or hire a professional team and the license of Strata could skyrocket that nobody would buy it because other mainstream products are stronger for the same price.
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seegson
Infrequent Poster

9 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2018 :  14:54:11  Show Profile  Visit seegson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
what's the code to resize the humongous image... LOL ?
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