By Michael Burns | on September 28, 2006
Price When Reviewed: 395 . 559
Pros: Renders to layers, and offers good Photoshop and Illustrator integration and file support. New subdivision tools, scripting support, bones and IK system, and history palette.
Cons: Animation still basic compared to competition. Limited undos.
Strata is a 3D application aimed at giving designers the kind of simplicity they experience on the likes of Photoshop and Illustrator. It rejects the standard single-window approach found in high-end 3D applications in favour of loads of floating palettes. The approach gives graphic designers an accessible route into 3D design.
The Adobe look-&-feel is continued with the provision of a history palette, which offers multiple undo, as well as dockable palettes. Infinite undos, and a version of Photoshop’s Revert command wouldn’t hurt, but the versioning tools improve on previous versions of the software.
Other interface enhancements include an auto-collapse feature for stacking palettes. Native Illustrator and PDF file import comes in handy, too.
Strata is one of the most straightforward 3D packages available, and offers impressive power at an affordable price. Designers looking to dabble in 3D will feel right at home with the friendly interface and familiar tools.
Tech notes: Strata Live 3D