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View Full Version : Strata 5 Announced.


Nichod
04-08-2006, 06:33 PM
I'm actually pretty impressed. Strata has become a powerhouse for illustrators with some nice features beyond. I used to use Strata in illustration work myself and always loved its renderer, it can produce such beautiful results.


Strata 3D CX 5.0 provides new scripting power via the popular Lua scripting language. Used by a host of 3D games and engines, Lua gives the user the power to add almost any feature or effect they desire. And for those not inclined to do scripting they can rely on an army of third-party developers and users to create and share new scripts. Scripts that ship with Strata 3D CX 5.0 include Twist, Bend, Wave and more


The most powerful modeling technique going is SDS (subdivision surface) - and Strata 3D CX 5.0 takes it even further by adding support for Quad Meshes and the Catmull-Clark algorithm. The CX Polyspline modeler has also added the new Magic Wand tool, support for Mirror, Bridge, Connect, Flip, Unify and more.


Entering a new world can be confusing. Strata 3D CX takes artists into the third-dimension using familiar and friendly interface elements that make the journey a pleasure. New palette features such as Docking, Stacking, Expert Settings and Auto-Collapse have been added. The new Status palette includes a History tab for multiple undos. Strata 3D CX 5.0 works the way you expect.


CX 5.0 introduces the Motion Stopwatch and an all new bones and IK (inverse kinematics) system has been added. These powerful new systems also make it possible for a suite of new plug-ins from Greenbrier to be made available for importing Poser models, applying voice control from applications like Mimic and importing motion capture data to apply to your own models.


Possibly the most powerful new features in Strata 3D CX 5.0 are the Adobe connection features. These include improved native Photoshop file import for linked 3D textures and improved native Illustrator import to create 3D objects ; Filter FX where Photoshop-style filters get applied to any object or scene based on position, size, direction, depth, light color, light direction, light distance, etc.; and Render to Layers where each image component gets rendered out as a separate layer in a native Photoshop ".psd" file

More info:

http://www.strata.com/solutions_workflow.asp

http://www.strata.com/strata3d.asp

http://www.strata.com/strata3d_features.asp

Rezonance
04-10-2006, 06:46 AM
Apart from it's Kick-ass quality render engine, I cant see much reason to get this over Carrara 5 or another app. Carrara seems to be developing at a much faster rate then Strata. There is still no UV mapping, no SSS, no physics... The best thing about Strata is its user community, I have never seen a group of people milk out soo much goodness out of an application.

At $695.00 + ($99 if you want a dual OS disc) they really are Pricing them selves too high. Eovia does a Carrara 5 Pro for $549 or a Carrara Standard 5+ Hexagon 1.2 (with free upgrade to hexagon 2) for $599. Luxology do Modo plus an upgrade to 2.0 (with what looks like a much more capable render engine) for $695 and Softimage Foundation is $495 (thought it is not OSX compatable yet).

Not trying to sound like a troll and if it is software that you love then then use it! , but I just wanted to point out what I see.

paintbox
04-10-2006, 08:08 AM
Well, I was surprised to it was still around (havent heard about Strata in ages!)

I think they must do something right...maybe it helps that they are one of the few Mac centric 3D programs when 3D was gaining ground.

jbradley
04-10-2006, 01:40 PM
Even though I'm a full time Maya artist, I can say that the next upgrade to CX 5 is well worth it. I've used Strata for about 15 years now. It provides an interface and level of comfort for Illustrators and designers that other applications have a hard time matching. I don't specifically use Strata for full time work due to the fact that I do have Maya 7 Unlimited as my main production tool, but I do use it for all my personal work or when I need a very high quality still rendering of a product.

The features game between applications is definitely getting tighter these days, as Rezonance alluded to, though I believe this latest update to the software will be well worth it. This is just the start of some great things to come.

The rendering engine in Strata is one of the major reasons to use the application. It's many times easier to render than using engines like mentalray, and an artist can spend more time on their work and less time fiddling with settings to get a high quality render. Because it does have a full scene radiosity rendering engine, it's on par or better than the quality of most other rendering engines out there. With the last set of updates, HDRI rendering with radiosity is also finally possible. The new version enhances that toolkit quite well.

The Lua scripting is magnificent. It's not comparable to MEL (it's much more powerful), because Lua is created as a extension language and can easily be extended with compiled C/C++ shared libraries. These libraries can interact directly with the application, making it much more powerful than MEL, MaxScript, Coffee or any of the other scripting languages. Lua is also orders of magnitude faster than Python and even Java in it's execution than almost all other scripting systems, which is one reason why many games choose to use it as their scripting language of choice (major games, at that - see http://www.lua.org/uses.html)

Lua is also making inroads into production software - Lua forms the backbone of DFscript which is the scripting language for DF's Nuke compositing software. Aside from many game platforms, production studios are starting to use it because of it's speed and capability for expansion.

instinct-vfx
04-10-2006, 02:25 PM
just to put a few things straight. I dunno for mel, but mxs CAN be extended using shared libs (so-called maxscript-extensions and there's plenty out there too).

Considering DF you're mixing a few apps there too. DF is Digital Fusion (wich is now named Fusion only) by eyon software. Fusion has nothing to do with nuke tho. Nuke is done by d2 (wich is a subsidiary of Digital Domain) and uses tcl based scripting.

Dont get me wrong...am not saying lua is bad...just hought i'd make the above points clear

Thorsten

EDIT: After checking eyeon's site i'm not sure if F5 is actually still bound to lua at all. All they say is that it "includes a built-in scripting language" but that one could "alternatively" use any scripting language one wants. No idea what they mean exactly.

jbradley
04-10-2006, 03:19 PM
just to put a few things straight. I dunno for mel, but mxs CAN be extended using shared libs (so-called maxscript-extensions and there's plenty out there too).

The SDK is not a 'maxscript' extension. From what I understand, you can extend Max with a DLL and make some of those methods and properties from the loaded DLL availabe to maxscript. Lua, on the other hand, can be extended itself. Lua loads the extensions directly into it's own footprint and can modify and work with them direclty. You could feasibly re-write the entire language or add additional core functionalities to it. You can extend the language itself, and not just connect to the software (which, is in effect what the SDK system for max is).

This is a large functionality difference - it's slower and not as robust. What makes it robust is the fact that max has an SDK you can write to. Unfortunately, Strata does not have an SDK at this time.

Considering DF you're mixing a few apps there too. DF is Digital Fusion (wich is now named Fusion only) by eyon software. Fusion has nothing to do with nuke tho. Nuke is done by d2 (wich is a subsidiary of Digital Domain) and uses tcl based scripting.

Yea, you're right. It's Fusion and not Nuke. It still uses Lua as it's core language and will most likely do so for a long time. It's arguably the fastest possible scripting language to choose, the easiest to learn and extend, and the best language choice to integrate into a C/C++ application because it has an incredibly tiny footprint and requires relatively little investment to implement.

EDIT: After checking eyeon's site i'm not sure if F5 is actually still bound to lua at all. All they say is that it "includes a built-in scripting language" but that one could "alternatively" use any scripting language one wants. No idea what they mean exactly.

You can use a few lanauges in Fusion 5 - but you may have to impement your own policy because there's a command-line interpreter that's linked to the app. You could also download the SDK to hook in your own lanauges. DFScript is still Lua though.


cheers.

Nichod
05-15-2006, 07:27 PM
Didn't realize people replied to this:) Need to turn that on in my email. Strata is an excellent application. Though I agree they could do a lot better if they priced a little more reasonably. Take off a hundred or so. But they are advancing rather rapidly lately, and I wouldn't be surprised if much more came from them over the next few years.



I think they must do something right...maybe it helps that they are one of the few Mac centric 3D programs when 3D was gaining ground.


It also runs on Windows quite well.

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