Strata 3Dpro 3.0
Strata 3Dpro’s tool-set stops short of giving users full control over modelling and interface variables. Because the program calculates mesh-object resolution automatically, you can’t customize the polygon count for optimal redraw and rendering times. It also lacks options for sub-geometry component editing, such as polygon extrusion and vertex welding. There are still no hot keys for panning, tilting, or zooming, and the program’s single undo can be extremely limiting for professional production work. Strata 3Dpro does directly import the Amapi model format, however, so users have access to a spline-based modeller. Where Strata 3Dpro really delivers is in rendering. The ray-tracing and radiosity renderer offers fine numeric control over shadow quality, primary light-ray fidelity (even the number of secondary light rays), letting you balance image quality and rendering time. The result is photo-realistic still images and QuickTime movies at up to broadcast resolution.
With 3Dpro 3.0, Strata lives up to its reputation as a viable and affordable 3D-solution for the Mac. The price should be attractive to architects and designers looking for a quality 3D-production tool, as well as to enthusiasts looking for an introduction to the world of 3D. More-experienced 3D professionals will find Strata easy to learn, but they may find its modelling and interface features limiting.