Strata 3D CX
A newer version of Strata 3D CX is available.
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Full user review
"Seriously dated interface. For hobbyists only."
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
I used Strata when it was one of the first PowerPC 3D programs for the Mac nearly a decade ago. I recently upgraded my copy to the current version. I was shocked to see how little the program had grown. While it touts new features like photon mapping, caustics, and multiprocessing, it has serious usability issues.
Any 3D program that doesn't support industry standard three-mouse buttons is seriously limited. Likewise, there aren't any W-E-R keyboard shortcuts for scale/ rotate / pan. Navigation requires several trips to the toolbar each time you want to change your view. It also doesn't have keyframe snapping, so aligning the playhead to specific keyframes and making modifications is tedious. There is no motion graph. Its modelling capabilities are likewise forgettable. It also doesn't support multi channel or depth map rendering. If you've used Cinema 4D, Maya or After Effects for 10 minutes, you realize how lacking this application is in a real production environment.
On the upside, it does have some of the easiest to use Metaballs. It has a pretty speedy raytracer (especially using multiple processors). It also has a great library of drag and drop textures.
Outside of its metaball engine, I could never recommend this program to anyone but the Bryce/Poser home hobbyist crowd.