FAQ Overview

STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Animation

Smooth rotation- How can I rotate an object smoothly 360 degrees? Anytime I go past 180 it jumps the shorter distance in the other direction.

Rotate your objects using three keyframes, not four, not less, not more.

First Keyframe: initial rotation (time 0)

Second Keyframe: 180 degrees + initial rotation (half time)

Third Keyframe: initial rotation (end time)

You MUST use the same sign for your rotations.

Following is an example:If your object was initially rotated -58 degrees, and you wanted to rotate it a full turn over 4 seconds:

1. First frame, -58 degrees

2. Keyframe at 2 seconds: -(58 + 180) = -238 degrees  

3. Last keyframe at 4 seconds: -58 degrees.

This works 100% of the time. In step 2 above I added 180 degrees onto the initial rotation, but ignored the sign - the most important step.

NOTE: Starting with Design 3D CX 6.1, you can now rotate 360 degrees very easily by using the new Rotate Script FX. The Script FX are found in the FX section of the Resource palette.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-09-15 20:10


Color depth - I rendered a small animation to Quicktime, the frames look fine while rendering, but the finished movie is all blue colored!

This can happen when the color Depth is set to Thousands. Use Millions or Millions + for the color depth when rendering animations, especially when using the Animation compression option.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:25


Reversing motion - I want the second half of my animation to go in reverse, without having to do it manually.

To have an animation replay in reverse what you need to do is add a Cycle Attribute for each animated object in the model.

Set the Current Time Indicator at the half way point in your animation, then select the object and go the the Plus Menu in the upper right corner of the Project Window.

Choose the command Add Attribute > Cycle Attribute. Expand the Cycle Attribute in the Project window and turn on the Back & Forth checkbox.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:25


Rotation - I'm trying to animate two meshed gears, spinning in opposite directions. I have keyframes at 0, 180 and 360, but they both spin the same direction.

Strata picks its own direction for rotations of 180 degrees and will always go the opposite direction for rotations of more than 180 degrees. In other words, it takes the shortest path.

To control the direction of rotation, break it up into smaller rotational units, 120 or 90 degrees.

NOTE: Starting with Design 3D CX 6.1, you can also rotate 360 degrees very easily by using the new Rotate Script FX. The Script FX are found in the FX section of the Resource palette.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2015-05-29 15:58


Export as Quicktime - I'm trying to set up my first movie and when I Export to a QuickTime movie from the modeling window, it doesn't work.

You cannot Export an animation directly to QuickTime from the modeling window.

You need to first Render your animation, using the Render Image dialog. Select All or a Frame Range in the Render dialog - otherwise you will just render a single image.

Once you click Render in the Render dialog, you can enter a name, location and file format in the dialog which appears.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-09-15 23:35


Creating keyframes - When I try to animate simple objects, the event markers do not show up.

Design 3D CX does not create keyframes automatically by defualt. You must turn on animation specifically for object(s) you want to have animated.

Look in the Project Window's Object Properties entry for the object you want to animate. In the center column you'll see two new icons - a stopwatch and an equals sign.

You want to click the Stopwatch button for the attribute you want to animate. Clicking the Stopwatch a second time will turn off animation for that attribute and remove all keyframes associated with that object attribute.

There is a Preferences option to use Automatic keyframing if you prefer to turn this on globally - the old style. All this information is in the User Guide, which we highly recommend you read as there have been many substantial changes to the program.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2015-05-29 15:43


Stretching keyframes - What is the key combination to stretch multiple keyframes out over time?

First, you need to select all the keyframes (including the first). This can be done by click-dragging over the keyframes in a given timeline or shift-clicking each of the keyframes in the timeline.

Now, Option(Alt)-Control drag the last keyframe to expand (stretch) or compress the selected keyframes for that particular timeline.

This cannot be done across multiple timelines.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:26


Keyframes - How can I rotate an object without the "in-betweening" smoothing the motion? I want the object to jump to the new position.

What you need to do is copy the keyframe for the first position to just before you want the rotation to happen.

You can copy a keyframe by Option-dragging it to a new position. The second keyframe holds the object's rotation constant so the actual rotation takes place between the two adjacent keyframes.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-09-16 18:19


Clearing keyframes - Is there is an easy way to clear out keyframes in the Project window?

The Stopwatch icon next to the Object Properties entry in the Project window turns Automatic Keyframing on and off for each attribute.

You can also use the Stopwatch to clear all keyframes for a particular attribute - just click on it. You will see a warning dialog, click OK, and the keyframes will be deleted. 

For more information, see The Stopwatch in Chapter 16 of the User Guide. 

You can also shift-click or drag-select event markers along a timeline, then delete them all at once. 

NOTE: Do not press the Delete key to delete an Event Marker, this will delete your selected object. Use the backspace key (labeled as delete on many Macs).

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:27


Rendering as Quicktime - I created an animation, now how do I render it as a Quicktime movie?

All you need to do is render the animation and choose QuickTime as the file format for it to be saved in.

In the Render dialog select the All option to render all the frames of your animation. Or, you can select a Frame range.

In the File Save dialog choose QuickTime Move for the Format option.

Rendering animations is discussed in the User Guide in Chapter 18 - Rendering Basics.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-09-15 23:29


Animation basics - I'm trying to create a simple animation of a cube but I can't get it to work.

To create an animation you must:

1 - Create an animation length in the Project window - use the red marker on the timeline to drag and set the length of the animation.
2 - Then, move the current time pointer to the point at which you want to make a change.
3 - Move your object, or make any other change that you want to animate.

Then repeat steps 2 and 3.

There are two short videos on this subject in our Videos and Podcasts page:

http://www.strata.com/support/videos_podcasts/

Click on the Beginner Videos tab and then look for "Strata Design 3D CX 6: Animation Introduction," Part 1 and 2.

You may want to enable automatic keyframing in Preferences, or enable it for just the cube, using the Stopwatch icon in the Project window. See Chapter 16 in the User Guide, Adding Animation.

Another way to create an animation path is to create a 2D object, and then use the Convert to Path tool to make an animation path out of the 2D object. For more information see Chapter 16 - Adding Animation in the User Guide.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:32


Deleting animation - Is it possible, once an animation is created, to keep the model but delete all of the animation information to start over again?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:29


Animation path - How do I attach an object to a bezier path?

You can use the Convert to Path tool to convert a 2D object into an animation path. 

Select the Convert to Path Tool from the Tool palette, then select the object that you want to animate.

When the object highlights, drag the cursor to the 2D line that you want to convert into an animation path. The path also highlights, showing that the selection is complete.

When you release the mouse button, the 2D object changes into a path for the first object you selected.

If the Remove Curve checkbox is checked in the Tool Setting dialog, the 2D path object is removed from your model. If this box is unchecked, the 2D object converts to a path for the specified object, but it also remains as a 2D object in your model.

For more information, see Chapter 16 in the Design 3D CX 7 User Guide, which is located in the Help menu of the application.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-01-11 20:27


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Camera

Aiming - Where is the camera pointing?

The camera is pointing wherever the Look-at point is aimed. The Look-at point is the crosshair icon inside the red square that indicates the part of the model that is visible in the camera's view.

You can click and drag the Look-at point to change the view of the camera. You can also click and drag the Look-at point to an object, and it will lock onto that object.

Another way to aim the camera is to use the Object panel of the Object Properties palette to select a Target object for the camera. In this way you can target any named object or shape in your model, and the camera will always be pointed at that object.

See Chapter 13 Using Cameras in the User Guide for more information. 

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-23 19:15


Moving - I have a hard time selecting and moving cameras once I put them in the modeling window.

Most likely your Active Grid is the Y grid, which would be viewed edge on when viewing from the Front, Back, Right or Left.

That would prevent you from being able to manipulate objects from those views. You need to either manually switch your Active Grid (x, y, z keys) or you can turn the Auto Grid setting on in the Preferences > Windows dialog or by using the Enable Auto Grids command in the Scripting menu.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-10-28 14:51


Animating - What's the best way to animate a camera? I'm having trouble with this.

Animated camera behavior is usually far more predictable if you put a small construction object into the scene, and target it in the camera's Object Properties.

Then you can animate the construction object, or keep it stationary. Cameras can track targeted objects much more reliably than they track the look-at point with no target.

For more information see the User Guide, and this thread on the StrataCafe: Animating Cameras.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:35


Linking - How do I link a camera to a Bezier line I've drawn?

First draw the path using the Bezier Pen tool, then put a camera in the scene.

Choose the Convert to Path tool from the Tool palette. Using this tool, drag from the camera to the path. The path will highlight in red.

The Convert to Path tool is located in the Joint and Bones tool pop-up under the Joint tool (Looks like a bone) in the main Tool palette.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:35


This is Julie's test.

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-07-29 22:34


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Export/3D Printing

CX 7.5 - STL files - I need to use the .stl format to send a model to a Rapid Manufacturing (SLA or SLS) machine to get a 3D prototype.

STL files are preferred by some 3D printers and print services. You can now import and export STL files in Design 3D CX 7.5. STL files export with Strata model units. When you import an STL file into Design 3D CX 7.5, you can choose the model units in a dialog.

If you have a pre-7.5 version of Strata, you can still get a Strata model to an STL file but not directly. You will need to take the file through a third party program which can read one of Strata's export formats and in turn write the STL file for you.

-The most common method is to export a Collada or OBJ file from Strata 3D, then open that in a program like Silo or ViaCAD (both paid programs) or Wings 3D (free) and export to an .stl file. You can also use Netfabb to convert files from OBJ to STL. NetFabb is an STL file viewer and repair tool. The basic version of Netfabb is free.

-When converting a Strata file to an .stl file, you need to understand the scaling process. There is a helpful discussion on the StrataCafe about this:

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13913&whichpage=1&SearchTerms=stl

-There is a lot of good information about 3D printing and scale conversion on the StrataCafe Forums. Simply search the Strata Design 3D CX forum, and include the archives. The search page is located here: http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/search.asp

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2013-11-04 16:42


Illustrator - I exported a Strata file as a dxf file, and I tried to open the dxf file from Illustrator but Illustrator crashed. Is there any way to export a Strata file so that I can open it in Illustrator and edit the file?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-12-01 18:43


OBJ - When I export to OBJ, I just get a plain object, with no textures. How can I export the texture?

The OBJ export creates three different files. You will need to have all three files in the same location to successfully bring the object and texture into another program. The easiest way to do this is to create a new folder when exporting.

OBJ export produces these files:

- The OBJ file containing only the model's geometry.

- Image maps exported to JPG (jpeg) files. If your model has no textures with image maps, no JPEGs will be created.

- A materials or .mtl file. This will have the same name as the OBJ file, which describes which image maps are applied to which geometry.

You must move all of the files together to get the image maps brought into the importing program. We recommend that you create a folder to export into. All the files must be in the same location in order for the image maps to be brought into the importing program.

NOTE: Only the topmost texture is exported -  the one at the top of the list in the Textures tab of the Object Properties palette.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-23 12:28


CX 7.5 - 3D printing - Can Design 3D models be exported to 3D printing software such as the Z-corp 3D printer?

Yes. STL files are preferred by many 3D printers and print services. In Design 3D CX v7.5, you can now import and export STL files. STL model files are exported in Design 3D model units.

 

See this 3D Printing FAQ for more information.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-11-04 16:38


CX 7.5 - What formats can version 7.5 export?

Here are the supported formats for exporting from Design 3D CX 7.5:

Export - 3D Formats
Collada
DXF (R12)
OBJ
STL
Strata 3D Shape
TGS Amapi
VRML 1
VRML 2
XMM (Strata Live 3D CX)

Export - 2D Formats
Bitmap (BMP)
JPEG
Macromedia Flash (SWF)
Photoshop (PSD)
PNG
QuickTime Movie (rendered animations)
Targa
TIFF

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-11-04 16:39


OBJ - How can I control which objects are exported?

When doing an export to OBJ, if any geometric object(s) are selected, these are exported to an OBJ file.

If no objects are selected, then all of the geometric objects in the scene are exported.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-11-18 00:26


Textures - Can I retain the textures when exporting to OBJ or Collada?

Exported geometry and textures will not look exactly the same in different 3D software applications, however you can transfer much of the data in a Strata model file to another application by exporting with the OBJ and Collada formats. 

 -If exporting a shape or group with textures applied, the shape will be converted to a poly mesh, and the textures may be lost. To export most of the textures, you need to ungroup down to the most basic level on Shapes and Groups. You can Select All, then UnGroup until nothing further happens. Then you will be able to export with most textures intact.

-Not all channels of our textures are supported by other 3D software, so some texture attributes will not be present in the export. 

 -Some textures are a combination of different image maps, such as diffuse color, stencil, etc. Not all map types are supported on export.

-You may only be able to export one texture per object, depending on the export format and the version of Design 3D.

-The Embedded Reflection channel of a texture is not supported on export.

 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-28 15:27


iBooks Author - Can I use Design 3D to make 3D objects for use in iBooks Author?

Yes, you can use Strata Design 3D CX 7, Design 3D CXi or Design 3D SE to export 3D objects for use with Apple's iBooks Author.

You will need Design 3D CX v7.0.3 or higher, Design 3D CXi v7.03 or higher, or Design 3D SE v6.2.4 or higher.

To use 3D content from the other Strata 3D products you'll want to import the object into one of these Strata Design 3D products.

In Design 3D CX, CXi or SE, use the Export command to export a Collada (.dae) file. iBooks Author will import Collada files as 3D objects.

When targeting Collada and/or iBooks Author, it's a good idea to make a copy of your Design 3D model, and then modify the copy to create a version that better fits the iBooks/Collada export.

Textures

-Any textures you use that are greater than 1024 x 1024 pixels will be resized to 1024 x 1024 (by iBooks).

-Some files will produce multiple texture map .jpgs on export to Collada. These are textures which have been applied individually to parts of your object; groups, shapes or multiple objects.

-If the texture export does produce multiple .jpg files, you will need to keep them in the same folder as the Collada (.dae) file. The Collada file references these jpgs and if they are moved, your object's textures may not appear in iBooks.

Cameras

You can use a camera in Design 3D to set up your view in iBooks. Here's a quick way to do it:

-Insert your objects, and set up your scene.

-Use the View tools to adjust the scene to the view you want.

-Select "New Camera From View" in the Modeling window's Plus menu.

-Deselect everything - if you select only the camera, when you Export only the camera will be exported and the scene will appear empty.

-If you export with only object(s) selected, the camera's view will not be exported with the file. In this situation your object's orientation in iBooks may not be what you expect.

Objects

-You can export multiple objects to iBooks, as long as you don't exceed the recommended polygon count (see Polygon Count section below).

-When exporting from Design 3D - if there are selected objects then only those supported objects that are selected will be exported. If there is no selection then all supported objects will be exported.

-If your objects appear inside out or if you can see through your object in iBooks, you may need to convert the object to a polygon mesh before exporting.

-If you can still see through your object in iBooks, you may have some backfacing polygons (reversed normals) in your object.

-To find the reversed normals in Design 3D, select the object, then check “One Sided” in the Object tab of the Object Properties palette. Now turn on Backface Culling in the preferences and set your Modeling window display to GL Smooth. This should allow you to see any backfacing polygons in your object.

-If your object is a polygon mesh, you can also use the Show Face Normals command in poly edit mode to find reversed normals (backfacing polygons).

Polygon Count

-The first-generation iPad is optimized for viewing 3D objects with fewer than 20,000 moderately textured polygons.

-The second and third generation iPads support viewing 3D objects in a completed book with up to 50,000 moderately textured polygons.

-More complicated objects may result in an increased load time, slower behavior, or blurry images.

-You can check an object's polygon count in Design 3D CX, CXi or SE:

Go to the Info panel of the Details palette. Choose Model or View Stats, then click the Collect button. This will display the number of polygons in your model of view.

Collada Export Options

When exporting to Collada for iBooks Author, make sure the .jpg option is checked. Leave the other options unchecked.


Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-30 16:56


CX 7.5 - 3D printing - Can I use Design 3D to model an object for 3D printing?

Design 3D and 3D Printing

3D printing - also called additive manufacturing - is the process of making a physical object from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes.

3D printing is used for both prototyping and manufacturing in jewelry, art, industrial design, architecture, engineering and construction, automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, and many other fields. Materials available for 3D printing include many types different types of plastic; also ceramic, glass and metals.

Different printers, Different Requirements

The file format and building techniques will depend on the model, the printer or printing service and the material the model is intended for. There are three primary types of additive 3D printers, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Polyjet or Jetted Photopolymer (JP), and Stereolithography (SL or SLA). There are many different 3D printers and 3D printing services, and each has its own requirements. It's important to find out these requirements; preferably before you begin modeling.

The resolution of a printed 3D model can vary widely, depending on the 3D printing technique. It's important to find out exactly how much detail to include, before modeling and printing. You will not get good results printing a highly detailed model with a technique that will not support that detail. To create functional pieces you need to know what technology will be used for printing, and request the proper material(s). Understanding the manufacturing requirements will help you create an appropriate model.

3D Printing Services

There are a number of companies that specialize in 3D printing, such as Shapeways, Sculpteo, iMaterialize, etc. Some have associated online stores where you can market and sell your designs. Some offer model checking and repair services, but some do not and will charge for printing mistakes caused by faulty files.

File Formats

Common file types accepted by 3D printers and print services include DAE, OBJ, STL, X3D, X3DB, X3DV, WRL. Strata Design 3D CX supports exporting to Collada (DAE), OBJ and WRL (VRML), and if the object(s) are created properly these formats can work with many 3D printers and services.

STL Format

STL files are preferred by some 3D printers and print services. You can now import and export STL files in Design 3D CX 7.5. STL files export with Strata model units. When you import an STL file into Design 3D CX 7.5, you can choose the model units in a dialog.

If you have a pre-7.5 version of Strata, you can still get a Strata model to an STL file but not directly. You will need to take the file through a third party program which can read one of Strata's export formats and in turn write the STL file for you.

-The most common method is to export a Collada or OBJ file from Strata 3D, then open that in a program like Silo or ViaCAD (both paid programs) or Wings 3D (free) and export to an .stl file. You can also use Netfabb to convert files from OBJ to STL. NetFabb is an STL file viewer and repair tool. The basic version of Netfabb is free.

-When converting a Strata file to an .stl file, you need to understand the scaling process. There is a helpful discussion on the StrataCafe about this:

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13913&whichpage=1&SearchTerms=stl

-There is a lot of good information about 3D printing and scale conversion on the StrataCafe Forums. Simply search the Strata Design 3D CX forum, and include the archives. The search page is located here: http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/search.asp

File Repair

There are companies and software for checking and repairing a 3D model in preparation for 3D printing. We've heard good things about Netfabb, an STL file viewer and repair tool. The basic version of Netfabb is free. Many 3D printing services have their own repair software and/or services.

General Guidelines for Modeling in Design 3D

Here are some general guidelines for modeling in Design 3D for output to 3D printing. Remember, it's critical to contact your printing service for specific requirements.

1. Objects must be closed, and structurally sound. Your geometry must be watertight - no openings in the geometry. It can sometimes be difficult to identify openings in your model's geometry. Some printing services can have tools to help you identify these problems. Your model may need support material during the printing process to keep it from collapsing. Support material is generally break away or soluble for easy removal after the printing process.

2. Objects must be manifold - no shared edges. A mesh is non-manifold if it has edges that are shared between more than two faces. In Design 3D, you can identify non-manifold edges by choosing Select Non-manifold from the Context menu while in Polygon Edit mode.

If you find there are open edges in your object, you will need to correct them. Make sure the surface of the mesh is solid by filling in areas where edges connect to only one face. If there are more than two edges, choose a face to delete or Unweld the edges. Then Weld only two edges back together.

3. Pay careful attention to the maximum size, scale and wall thickness. Incorrectly constructed or scaled models can cause delays and extra costs.

The optimum size of your object and the minimum wall thickness depend on the 3D printer, the production method and the material that you are planning to use. Wall thickness is important - it needs to be thick enough to support the the object once printed, but minimized to reduce cost. Thickness and size must conform to the 3D printer's requirements.

Design 3D's basic unit of measure is the point - so you will need to work out the scale factor between Design 3D and the 3D printer. There is a very informative discussion about this on the StrataCafe.com: http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13913

4. Correct normals. All surfaces of your model should have their normals pointing in the correct direction. Inverted normals can cause problems with 3D printing (as well as rendering anomalies). Inverted surface normals can occur when importing files from other applications, during polygon editing, etc.

To find and correct an inverted normal in Design 3D, set the object to One-sided in the Object Properties palette. Next, turn on Backface Culling from the Scripting menu or Preferences dialog. Any inverted normals will be invisible - you will be able to see through them in the modeling window.

To correct an inverted normal, go to Polygon Edit mode. Select the inverted normals, and then use the Flip command from the Context menu.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-04 16:40


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Extrude

Decreasing diameter - Is it possible to extrude along a path with the diameter decreasing as it goes?

No, you will need to use the Skin Tool instead of the Extrude too. You can reduce the size of the ribs of the skin object to get the shape you want.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:40


Illustrator - The bevel option is not available on any shape I import from Illustrator. What's up?

When you Import an Illustrator file, it is brought into Strata as a Shape. You may extrude the entire Shape in the main modeling window.

At this point, if the Shape contains multiple paths, it is converted to a Group. If you open this Group into its own window, you will be able to access the individual paths. This will allow you to edit the bevel.

Open the Group by double-clicking it. Select all objects within the Group. As long as all objects are selected as you edit the bevel, the same bevel will apply to all objects.

Alternately, you could directly Open the Illustrator file rather than Importing it, to avoid the initial creation of a Shape. This allows you to immediately access the individual paths directly in the main modeling window.

 

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2014-02-20 14:12


Solid objects - I keep wanting to create an object with the Pen tool and then Extrude it. I need it to be a solid object without a hole in it.

To create solid objects, click and hold on the Pen Curve Tool to select the Pen 2D Region Tool. You can also enable the Filled checkbox in the Object Properties palette.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:39


Illustrator - I'm trying to Path Extrude an open path profile along a closed path rounded rectangle. I cut and and pasted the paths from Illustrator, but it's not turning out right.

Avoid using Copy/Paste to move your Illustrator paths into Strata. When the path is copied to the Clipboard it is rasterized losing the Bezier controls.

When Strata pastes the data it does an autotrace-type function to convert it back to a path - but it will be a different path (even though it may have the same overall shape) with different Bezier control handles.

The preferred method is to Save your Illustrator file as an .ai file type. Then simply Import that into Strata.

Be sure your paths have either a Stroke OR a Fill, not both. Strata sees Strokes and Fills as separate objects and will create a new Bezier Region (from closed paths) or Bezier Path (from an open path) object for each. This can lead to confusion and modeling errors.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:42


Illustrator - I'm trying to extrude a word (outlines imported as an .ai file) along a curved path, but only one letter is extruded; the others disappear.

Your imported .ai file is coming in to Design 3D as a group. Groups of object will not extrude along a path.

You will need to extrude each letter individual along the path. Open the shape/group window and place four copies of the path in and then extrude the each letter.

You might ask on the StrataCafe forums how others have done this, you may get suggestions on other ways to accomplish this. 

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:43


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » General

Licenses - I purchased Design 3D CX for use at my office. Does the license extend to home use also?

Strata's license allows you to install Design 3D on two systems as long as they are not used at the same time.

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2013-10-30 15:47


SIT files - How do you open a model in a .sit format in Strata?

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-13 18:34


Models - Where can I download pre-made models?

There are many sources of free models available on the internet. Most of them will not be Strata .s3d model files but they will have formats Strata can import like Collada (.dae), OBJ, VRML, STL, etc.

You can find a list of supported file formats here:

https://www.strata.com/design-3d-cx-8-for-mac/#features

There are models available on the StrataCafe: 

http://www.stratacafe.com/models.asp

In addition, we sell some shapes libraries on our website:

https://www.strata.com/downloads/category/shape-libraries/

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2015-06-04 19:23


CX 7.x - Where can I find tutorials and other learning resources?

Here are some free and paid learning resources for Design 3D CX. 

- The Strata3DUniversity.com is a great learning resource - the University contains hundreds of great tutorials for every expertise level from beginning to advanced. New material is added on a regular basis.

Some tutorials are free, but most require a subscription.

For beginners we especially recommend the Fundamentals course track on the University. You can find it here.

- The complete User Guide, which is located in the Help menu. 

- Browse or search the FAQs here in Strata Support.

- Keep an eye on the StrataCafe.com - here you'll find lots of informative topics, a gallery of gorgeous images, mini-tutorials, and some expert, helpful users.

- "The Art & Science of Strata Design 3D CX 7 Pro.” These pdfs contains a lot of in-depth learning material. Embedded videos demonstrate almost every concept that is discussed. It is available here on the Strata webstore.

- If you want more formal classes we can refer you to certified Strata trainers, who are available for in-person and online training. You can contact sales@strata.com for this information.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2015-06-04 19:29


Orders - I made a purchase yesterday, but have not received the download links.

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2015-06-04 19:31


Efficient modeling - I keep crashing or getting 'Out of Memory' errors.

The most common causes of frequent crashes and Out of Memory errors are not having enough RAM, unneeded complexity in your model, and unnecessarily high render settings. There are several things you can do to avoid these problems.

1. Simplify your model by using primitives whenever possible. Reduce any unneeded complexity of Subdivision meshes, Boolean objects, Deformation lattices, Extruded objects, etc. Remove any objects that will not show in your final rendering, especially in files imported from other software applications.

2. Make sure you have made use of Shapes for repeating objects in your model.

3. Make sure the image maps in your textures are not higher resolution than is needed. In some cases, such as imported files, you can downsample the image maps substantially without seeing any degradation in image quality or in your final rendering.

4. Make sure to use appropriate render settings. You can check the Art and Science of Strata 3D and the User Guide for more information about render settings. In addition, the StrataCafe forums are a good source of information.

5. Do not copy and paste large images or models; this ties up memory in the clipboard. You can clear the clipboard's memory by copying a simple cube or sphere.

6. Make sure you have enough RAM. You may get an Out of Memory error if your rendering requires more memory then your computer has. Memory allocation is handled automatically by the program. It will request as much as it needs from the OS until there is no more to be given, and then you get the error message.

NOTE: Design 3D CX 7.5 and earlier are 32-bit programs which limits the amount of RAM they can address to 4GB regardless of how much there may be in the computer. Subtracting system overhead gives a useable amount in the neighborhood of 3.5GB that the program can actually make use of.

Design 3D CX 8's rendering engine is 64-bit and can make use of the RAM available as needed.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2015-07-13 18:38


Lost serial number - I had a hard drive fail, and lost my serial number. How can I get it back?

If you registered your software with us you can look up your info by going to our Online Registration system at http://register.strata.com/.

To log in, you will need to enter the email address you used to register, and the password you used when you originally registered your software. It will then display all serial numbers assigned to you.

If you did not register online, contact sales@strata.com with your order number, so we can look in our records to confirm your purchase. If you don't have your order number, include the original email address, name, company and any other relevant information you can find to help us locate your records.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-29 16:30


Nested nodes - What is a nested node, and what can I do about them?

A "nested node" can happen when an attribute is applied to a group, and then the group is ungrouped. Nested nodes are more likely if multiple transformations have been applied.

During the UnGroup operation, the software applies each attribute that was applied to the group to each individual object. This information is then stored under a nested node entry in the Object list in the Project window.

Nested nodes may not always cause problems, but in general it is best to avoid them. The information in the nested node may override other changes and interfere with what you are trying to do. See Chapter 4 in the User Guide for more information. The User Guide is located in the Help menu.

There is also a helpful thread on the StrataCafe about nested nodes you may want to read:

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8504

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2013-10-30 16:40


CX 7/7.5 - Requirements - What computer do you recommend for running version 7.x?

We do not make hardware recommendations, however here are some general guidelines:

-The more processors you have available, the faster the rendering speed will be. So two, four or more CPUs will help more than anything. Design 3D CX 7 supports up to 24 "tasks;" a 12-core machine that is capable of hyperthreading equals 24 tasks.

-Strata is a 32-bit application and can make use of 4 GB of RAM; a system with at least 4 GB of RAM is recommended.

-Remember, it's important to model efficiently and use appropriate render settings.

Here are the system requirements for Design 3D CX 7:

Mac OS X

• Intel processor(s).

• Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later.

• Memory: 2 GB of RAM (more highly recommended).

• Hard drive: 1.7 GB of free disk space for full installation.

• Display: 1,024 x 768 resolution or better.

Windows

• Windows 7 or Vista - 64-bit is highly recommended

• Processor: Pentium 4, Athlon, Intel or better.

• Memory: 4 GB of RAM.

• Hard drive: 1.7 GB of free disk space for full installation.

• Display: 1,024 x 768 resolution or better.

Here are the system requirements for Design 3D CX 7.5:

Mac OS X

• Intel processor(s).

• Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later.

• Memory: 2 GB of RAM (more highly recommended).

• Hard drive: 1.7 GB of free disk space for full installation.

• Display: 1,024 x 768 resolution or better.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-30 15:41


Old model files - I purchased Design 3D CX 6, and I need to open some old Strata Studio Pro Blitz and 2.0 files. How can I do this?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2013-10-30 15:49


Old files - I need to open a Strata Vision 4.0 document created in 1995. I am running Design 3D CX 6.

If you are using an Intel Mac, you'll need to run Strata 3D CX 5.1.1, 5.5.x or 5.6 in Rosetta mode. Select the Strata 3D CX application icon in the Finder then use the Get Info command. In the Info dialog expand the General section and turn on the checkbox "Open with Rosetta".

This is not necessary if you are on a PowerPC computer.

You can open the file in one of those versions to convert it, save it out and then open it in CX 6.x.

There is no guarantee that everything will transfer properly, but most of the model should make it through this process OK.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2013-10-29 16:26


Cyrilic symbols - I am having problems typing Cyrilic symbols using a TrueType font in the Text tool.

The Text tool does not support the use of Cyrilic characters. One way that you could work with Cyrillic would be to use a program like Adobe Illustrator to create the characters and import the AI PDF into Strata 3D, and then extrude them. This is actually how most users prefer to create text and logo designs.

In order to use non-English characters in the Text tool in Design 3D CX 7, you must first install the needed fonts for a particular language onto your computer. This will make them available for the Text tool. 

Every language has its own fonts to handle special characters such as umlauts and many others. Some fonts can be downloaded free from the internet.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-13 18:41


QTVR - Can I make QuickTime VR movies with Design 3D CX 6 or 7?

Yes, you can render a QuickTime VR panorama with Design 3D. Strata doesn't create the QT VR file, just the rendering to be used in the panorama.

The QuickTime VR Panorama simulates a camera with a 360° panoramic lens. You will need to render through a Camera window.

Once you have inserted a camera into your model, go to the camera's Object Properties palette. In the Type menu, select Panorama. This sets an appropriate aspect ratio.

There are also some settings in the Render dialog. In the Render dialog > Size pop-up menu, choose Panorama Large or Panorama Small. 

After you complete the rendering, you will need to use a third-party tool to compile the image into a QTVR Panorama file. Here is one we've heard of:

http://gardengnomesoftware.com/

For more information, see Chapter 21 in the User Guide, located in the Design 3D CX Help menu.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-10-30 15:43


CX 7/7.5 - Do I need Photoshop to use Design 3D?

No, Strata Design 3D CX is a stand-alone all-purpose 3D application. You don't need any version of Adobe® Photoshop® to use it. You can use all of the modeling, animation, texturing and rendering features in Design 3D without Photoshop.

These features take advantage of 2D Photoshop files, and work with any version of Photoshop:

- Link to Layered Photoshop Document in the Image Texture dialog allows you to use a linked PS file as an image map. Changes made in the PS file are automatically used in the Design 3D texture.

- Render to (Photoshop) Layers - this outputs your rendering in PS layers for easy post-production work.

- Image maps created in any version of Photoshop and saved (as TIFF, JPEG, PSD, etc.) can be loaded into the texture channels as image maps for creating textures.

Photoshop Plug-ins - Discontinued in v7.5

Design 3D CX 7 shipped with several optional Photoshop plug-ins. These plug-ins have been discontinued in version 7.5.

Three of these plug-ins required Photoshop CS 4 or CS 5 Extended, because the Extended version supports 3D. These plug-ins supported the transfer of 3D information back and forth between Photoshop and Design 3D:

- Match

- Model New

- Model Edit

- Render

- TexturePaint

Strata Ps Texture Scripts

Two other PS plug-ins (scripts) are included with Design 3D CX 7, and require Photoshop CS3 or later (not Extended). These help you manage layered texture files that are created in Photoshop and linked to Strata Design 3D CX. 

-Strata 3D Texture Maker

-Strata 3D Texture Exporter

For more information, documentation and tutorials about the pre-7.5 Photoshop plug-ins, and all of Design 3D's Photoshop connectivity, see this (free) section of the Strata3DUniversity: Design 3D CX + Photoshop Plug-ins.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-30 16:34


CX 7.x - How do I use the Keyboard Shortcuts feature?

Design 3D CX 7 has a powerful and comprehensive mechanism for assigning keyboard shortcuts. This new feature lets you set your own custom keyboard shortcuts for almost all modeling commands, menu commands, edit modes, tools, palettes, etc.

You can access this new feature through the Edit menu > Keyboard Shortcuts. When you select this command, a dialog appears where you can locate the functions ones you want and assign new shortcuts for them.

In the dialog, you can also choose from default and custom shortcut sets, save your own custom sets, or export a printable html summary of a shortcut set. Shortcut sets are saved in a special .sks format, which can be stored or shared with other users.

NOTE: Resetting Design 3D's Preferences will erase any unsaved custom hotkeys you have set in the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog.

To save your customized keyboard shortcuts, use the Save Set button in the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog to save an .sks file. After resetting your preferences, you can use the Load button to import your custom shortcut set back into Design 3D.

For more information see Chapter 22 of the User Guide, or the new v7 tutorials on the Strata3DUniversity.com. 

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-10-30 16:36


Serial number - I have installed Design 3D CX and entered the serial number. But every time I restart it, it asks for the serial number again.

You have to be logged onto the computer as an administrator when the software is being registered. The registration information is saved in a protected area which requires administrator privileges.

When you are logged on with a regular user account, the info never gets saved and you are asked to enter it again the next time the program is launched.

You just need to log on as an admin, enter your serial number, then Quit it and log back on with your normal user account.

If you are still having trouble, and you are on a Mac, see the Macintosh FAQs here.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-29 15:48


Lua error - I'm getting a message "Lua: error in script." I got this after updating, and the software won't run.

The error " Lua: error in script" usually means that something that was supposed to be removed was not removeable (during the installation). This can happen during an update (free) or an upgrade (paid).

First, run Permissions Repair with Disk Utility (Mac only), and/or any other system maintenance. This should fix any permissions issues, and allow the uninstall and reinstall to work properly.

If you are a Mac user, drag the Strata Design 3D CX application or application folder from your Applications folder to the trash.

If you are on Windows, Uninstall Design 3D CX.

Then re-install Design 3D CX. This should give you a fresh clean install, and it should open properly. 

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-10-29 16:41


Interface - Why do the menus and fonts look great on some monitors, but not so good on others?

On some third-party and non-Apple computer monitors, the fonts in the Design 3D CX interface might not look as good as they do on other monitors.

If this is happening on your monitor, try turning off "LCD Font Smoothing" in the system preferences. This can improve the look of the Design 3D CX interface.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-11-01 16:21


Resource libraries - Can I use the pre-made shapes in my work?

The resource libraries shipped with Design 3D CX are royalty free. The only thing you can't do is repackage the resources and sell them. You can use all the resources including shapes, textures, etc. in your work as you see fit. This includes commercial uses.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-01-20 16:38


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Grids, Guides and Views

Active grid - How can I set it up so that the current view I'm viewing is always the active grid?

To enable Auto Grids, open the Preferences dialog then click the Windows tab. Enable the Auto Grids checkbox.

The program's preferences are covered in detail in Chapter 22 of the User Guide. The User Guide is located in the Help menu of Design 3D. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2013-01-03 09:22


Auto grid - In the Edit Menu > Active Grid, can grids be made active at all times? I want to switch between views without having to change the grid each time.

Enable the "Auto Grid" option in the Windows tab of the Preferences dialog.

When Auto Grid is enabled, switching views automatically switches the active grid to the face-on grid.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-13 18:45


Moving objects - This may be a simple question, but when using a Point Light, the light sticks to the grid and will not move vertically.

You need to change the active grid, which is constraining the movement of the light (or any other object). You can use the x, y or z keys to switch grids, or the plus/minus keys to toggle through the grids.

Or another option is to enable "Auto Grids" in the Preferences dialog. This will automatically switch the grid when you change views (front, left, top, etc.)

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-03-18 10:16


Inserting objects - I can only insert shapes, light sources in top/plan view, and not in any other view.

Most likely your Active Grid is the Y grid which would be viewed edge on when viewing from the Front, Back, Right or Left. That would prevent you from being able to manipulate objects from those views.

You can manually switch your Active Grid using the hotkeys (x, y, z keys).

Or you can enable the Auto Grid setting in Preferences > Windows; or by using the Enable Auto Grids command in the Scripting menu. When Auto Grid is enabled, switching views automatically switches the active grid to the face-on grid.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-13 18:47


Clipping plane - Sometimes the front part of my object disappears, it's cut off and I can't get it to come back.

You're encountering the clipping plane, which is just the "front" of the 3D modeling space.

To readjust your view, select the View Move tool and click and drag one of the corner handles down. This will back up your view so that all of your object is in the view.

You could also use Fit Views to All or Reset View from the Windows menu to reset your view.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-10-25 00:12


Guides - How do I get rid of a guide, once I've summoned it?

A guide is a one-dimensional guide that can help you position an object, or part of an object, while modeling. If a guide is active and showing in your modeling window, it will constrain any movement to the guide's axis.

You activate or deactivate the current guide at any time using the hotkey ";" (semi-colon). 

For more information about using default and custom guides, see Chapter 4 of the User Guide, which is accessed through the Help menu in Design 3D.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-07-17 18:31


How do I use a custom grid or guide?

The ability to create custom grids and guides and use them while modeling is a very powerful feature of Strata Design 3D CX. Grids and guides allow you to constrain the creation and movement of objects and object elements with great precision.

In addition to the standard grids that are always present in your model, you can create grids in any location or orientation. Design 3D also provides default and custom guides. Guides are very similar to grids, however they are one-dimensional, while grids exist in two dimensions.

Like grids, guides constrain the movement of objects or the elements that make up objects: faces, edges and points (vertices). Default guides exist in every model, while custom guides are created as needed.

Custom grids and guides can be created and used in the main Modeling window, in Poly Edit mode and in UV Edit mode. In all modes, grids and guides provide a way to precisely control the position and movement of objects, groups and elements. In Edit mode, you can set up a custom guide or grid exactly where you need it, and then move an object's surfaces, edges or vertices (points) with great precision.

The creation and use of custom grids and guides is described in the User Guide, Chapter 4 - Advanced Modeling. See also Chapter 6 - Polygonal Mesh Objects and Chapter 11 - UV Editing. The User Guide is located in the Help menu of Design 3D.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-21 15:25


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Illustrator

When I import a shape layer from Illustrator that has a hole in it (the letter "a"), it doesn't knock out the center, it shows as two bezier regions. How can I make the solid shape have a hole in it?

When you want to import letters from Illustrator to Strata, you must first convert them to paths.

Any letters with cutouts in them need to have the letter's outer path and the cutout path combined with the Make Compound Path command in Illustrator.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-10-11 21:24


CX 8 - I can't import Illustrator or PDF files for some reason. Is this a known problem?

Make sure that you have installed the AI/PDF Importer for your Strata software. 

When you open the Design 3D CX 8 install disk image, you will see two drag-and-drop entries in the window. The first (top) one is the application, and the second one is the AI/PDF plug-in.

To use the drag and drop installer, just click on the icon on the left side, and drag it to the alias icon on the right side. Make sure you install the Strata Design 3D CX 8 application first, then the AI/PDF plug-in.

If you don't install the importer the first time, you can always go back and do it again. Just open the Design 3D install disk image, and click and drag the AI/PDF Importer to the Extensions icon on its right.

NOTE: For the AI/PDF plug-in install to work as designed, Design 3D CX 8 must be installed into your system (not user) Applications folder.

 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2015-05-29 15:31


How can I transfer or place isometric projections from Adobe illustrator into Strata Design 3D so that it can make an object?

You won't be able to transfer your Illustrator isometric projects directly into Strata Design 3D CX. All Strata reads from Illustrator files is the path's Stroke and Fill data and it sees each as a separate object. For this reason you should use one or the other but not both in Illustrator documents you are preparing for use in Strata.

Once you have the Illustrator file brought into Strata there are tools you can use to create a 3D object from the 2D paths - Lathe, Extrude, Extrude Along Path, etc.

You can also Convert the paths into a polygon mesh object then use the polygon editing tools to do further modeling, to create 3D objects from them. Once you have them in a 3D form then they can be viewed in Isometric view mode.

The first chapter of the User Guide has a good tutorial which demonstrates using an AI file to create a 3D object - in this case an apple.

You'll start with a 2D profile created in Illustrator, lathe it into a 3D apple shape in Design 3D, and then apply a texture to it. Finally, you'll add some lighting and render a finished image. 

The User Guide is available directly through the program's Help menu.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-10-11 21:21


I can't import an Illustrator file containing text, it opens up blank. I tried outlining my logo, but only the 'K' was solid.

There are a few things you should do differently with your .ai files.

First, you've made a Compound Path out of all the text. You want only those letters with holes in them, the Os and R in this case, to be Compound Paths and they should be done separately.

Second, Strata is an RGB program. It won't work with CMYK colors. You should make all your Strata-bound Illustrator documents RGB.

Third, use the native .ai file format.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-10-10 23:28


2D to 3D? - I'd like to take a leaf shape I drew in Illustrator, and apply a curve and a little dimension to it.

Any filled or closed shapes you will create in Illustrator will not be the correct kind of geometry to curve into the third dimension in Strata. Filled or closed Illustrator paths are the same thing as a 2D Bezier region in Strata, which is by definition 2D, not 3D.

So, you will want to model the leaf in Strata. A Bezier surface is capable of being wrapped, or you could model a skin or hull surface directly in a curved configuration. A properly constructed polygon mesh or subdivision surface can be deformed to curve as well.

There is a very helpful thread on this subject on the StrataCafe:
http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8499

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-11-21 23:50


I'm trying to import an AI file made up of several profiles. Copy and pasting doesn't work. If I save as an eps and import, the file's blank.

Copying and pasting is not the best way to get your objects from Illustrator to Design 3D. Instead you should save as an Illustrator file (.ai) with the PDF compatiblility option selected.

Then you will be able to import into Design 3D. Make sure you have installed the optional PDF Importer.

For more information, see Chapter 4 of the User Guide, which is available in the software's Help menu.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-10-10 23:35


I'm trying to extrude a word (outlines imported as an .ai file) along a curved path, but only one letter is extruded.

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-10-11 21:10


I'm trying to extrude a word (outlines imported as an .ai file) along a curved path, but when I try, only one letter is extruded.

Your imported .ai file is coming in to Strata as a group. Groups of object will not extrude along a path. You will need to extrude each letter individually along the path. Open the shape/group window, and place four copies of the path in it. Then extrude the each letter.

You might ask on the StrataCafe forums how others have done this to see if you get any suggestions on other ways to accomplish this. 

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-10-11 21:22


7.x - I just installed v7 and I can't copy and paste shapes from Illustrator.

In Design 3D CX version 7.0 and later, pasting images into the modeling window is no longer supported.  

In previous versions, this would extract geometry from a PICT image when copying from Illustrator. The PICT format is quite old, and was deprecated by Apple as of OS 10.6. 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-04 16:24


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Import

Pro/E - How can I get Pro/E files into Design 3D?

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-11-07 15:44


SketchUp - Is there a way to import SketchUp models with textures into Strata?

It depends on the version of SketchUp the model was created in. Older Sketchup models were actually compressed Collada model files. You can unzip the .skp file to get to the Collada file inside it then Design 3D CX can open the Collada file.

For newer Sketchup versions, you can open the model in Sketchup, then export as Collada (.dae) for import into Design 3D.

 

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2014-01-16 11:09


CX 8 - File formats - What file formats does version 8 import and export?

Here is a list of the supported file formats for Design 3D CX 8.0.
Many users move their models between Strata and other programs. Search the StrataCafe Forums and you'll find many discussions and tips on this topic.

Export - 3D Formats
Collada
DXF (R12)
OBJ
STL
Strata 3D Shape
TGS Amapi
VRML 2
XMM (Strata Live 3D CX)

Export - 2D Formats
Bitmap (BMP)

EXR
JPEG
Macromedia Flash (SWF)
Photoshop (PSD)
PNG
QuickTime Movie (rendered animations)
Targa
TIFF

Import - 3D File Formats
3D Mesh
Autodesk 3D Studio (3DS)
Collada (.dae, .zae)
DXF (R12)
FBX (version 6)
MiniCAD Text File
OBJ
STL
TGS Amapi
U3D
VRML 2

Import - 2D Vector Formats
AI
PDF
EPS v8

Import - 2D Image File Formats
Bitmap (BMP)
JPEG
HDR
EXR
Photoshop (PSD)
PNG
QuickTime Movie
Targa
TIFF

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2015-05-29 15:47


OBJ - When I import a model in the OBJ format, the model comes in fine but the textures are stripped of image maps, etc. How do I maintain the applied textures?

You need to keep the .obj, .mtl and all the image map jpeg files together in the same location when importing the model into Strata. You may need to edit the .mtl file to identify the location where the image maps are located.

For more information, see this thread on the StrataCafe forums. It discusses OBJ imports and textures: http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7987&SearchTerms=.mtl,file

 

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-11-17 19:48


U3D - Which version of Strata 3D CX is required to be able to import .u3d files?

You need Design 3D CX version 6 or later to import U3D files. Earlier versions do not support this file format.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2013-11-07 16:10


3D Studio Max - Can Strata Design 3D CX open models from other 3D programs like 3D Studio Max?

Yes, Strata can open models from 3D Studio Max as long as they have been saved in a compatible format such as .3ds, OBJ or VRML.

For more infomation, including a list of all supported file formats, see Importing and Exporting Geometry in Chapter 4 of the User Guide.

You can also use the Import command, and look at the pop-up list in the dialog. All available file formats are listed there.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2013-11-07 16:12


FormZ/DXF - What's the best way to get models from FormZ into Strata?

The DXF file format is the most commonly used to import FormZ models.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-11-17 20:00


STP files - How can I use my .stp files? Is Design 3D a good choice for designing small enclosures (ie cell case)?

Yes, Design 3D is a good choice for this. To import STEP files you'll need to use another program that can import that format and export it to one of our formats. There is an inexpensive (less than $100) program called ViaCAD which a lot of our users use to convert CAD files to files which Strata can read.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2013-11-07 16:14


AutoCAD - Can I import existing CAD files into Design 3D CX using DXF?

A DXF export may work well for you, but it will depend upon which version of AutoCAD you are running and what file formats it can export. DXF is a geometry-only format though so no textures, backgrounds, cameras, etc will come across.

There are several import options available for DXF files that let you specify how to transport the imported file into Strata 3D data.

If a DXF file consists of several components, each component may appear in its own shape preview on the Resource palette after importing. The entire DXF file can be easily located on the palette because it appears with the same name as the DXF file that was imported.

There is a forum thread on StrataCafe.com that you may find helpful:
http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7838&SearchTerms=Autodesk

You can also search the forums here:
http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/search.asp

If DXF does not work for you, Design 3D can import other formats including U3D, OBJ, Collada, and VRML2 (97). If you can export one of these formats then you should be able to import your data into Design 3D CX.  

If not, then you could use another program that can import the file, then export it to one of Strata's supported import formats.

Another option many Strata users utilize is a third party conversion utility - Okino Polytrans on Windows is one possible option. On the Mac, several of our users recommend ViaCad, which costs about $100.

You might do a search or post your question on the StrataCafe forums. There are a number of discussions about ways to get the CAD models into Design 3D CX 6 and 7.

Here is a discussion that might help. As mentioned in these discussions, if the AutoCad objects are 3D solids then you will need to convert them to polygons for Strata to be able import and use them.

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7838&SearchTerms=autocad

 

 

There is also an inexpensive (less than $100) program called ViaCAD which a lot of our users use to convert CAD files to OBJ files which Strata can read.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-11-22 18:46


SolidWorks - What file format can I use to import a file from SolidWorks?

Strata Design 3D CX can import several formats: STL, DXF, U3D, OBJ, Collada, and VRML2 (97). So you need to look at the export formats available in SolidWorks, and do some experimentation to find what works best.

There are couple of StrataCafe forum discussions on this subject you may find helpful, or you may want to do a search of the Design 3D CX forum using the word "SolidWorks." This link has some good specific information about getting a file from Solidworks to Design 3D, using ViaCAD:

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?whichpage=1&TOPIC_ID=13340#56863

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-11-07 16:04


AutoCAD - How can I get my AutoCAD models into Strata?

Strata Design 3D CX can import several formats: STL, DXF (R12), U3D, OBJ, Collada, and VRML2 (97). STL may be your best option. If you can export one of these formats then you should be able to import your data into Design 3D CX.  

If not, then you could use another program that can import the file, then export it to one of Strata's supported import formats.

Another option many Strata users utilize is a third party conversion utility - Okino Polytrans on Windows is one option. On the Mac, several of our users recommend ViaCad, which costs about $100.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-11-07 15:59


VRML - Is there a way to delete all the textures from all the objects in an imported VRML model?

There is no simple way to do this from within Strata. However, textures can easily be stripped from the VRML file before importing to Strata. 

One of our beta testers has written a tutorial on how to edit the VRML file so that only one material is assigned to all objects in the model.

It would be easy to modify the script to remove all materials; or use it as is and then delete just the one texture once the model has been imported.

http://www.jeanprobert.com/tutorials/VRML.html

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-10-10 22:39


VectorWorks - What's the best way to bring VectorWorks files into Design 3D?

VectorWorks has a direct Strata exporter but it is hidden away and you have to enable it.

Here are the instructions for doing that along with some tips for setting up your VW model to get the best results from Strata.

In VW, open FILE > WORKSPACES > WORKSPACE EDITOR. The editor allows you to configure all your menus and palettes. Bring "Export Simple Vectorscript (3D only)" into your EXPORT sub-menu under FILE. Close out of the Workspace Editor.

Now, when you go to FILE > EXPORT, the above command will be there.

• When building the VW model, designate a Class for every object you would like to be a SHAPE in Strata. If you have planned your model in advance, go to the Classes dialog (under ORGANIZE) first and set up your classes there.

Apply them to your objects as you model them by making the selection in the Object Information palette. When you are done modeling in VW, everything should have a class designation.

• Don't export duplicates of anything, you'll just complicate your Strata file. If the VW file has 1000 glasses on windowsills, export one in it's own class, then distribute it as a Shape instance in the Strata file. You can use exported dummy objects (primitives) as place holders on the windowsills, then use "Replace Selected" in Strata to distribute the glasses.

• Convert all Boolean objects in VW to 3D polys. You may find complex Sweeps benefit from this too.

• Make sure that every item in a VW Class is grouped and sub-grouped in such a way that if you have to ungroup it in Strata's shape window for texturing, converted Boolean objects don't ungroup into a bazillion polygons.

• Don't include color information in the Import process. Strata will ask if you want to "Extract Color Information". You'll end up with useless textures in the Resource Palette, many of which will be impossible to delete.

Done properly, opening a VW file in Strata will yield a ready to go file, to scale, everything happy in it's own Shape window.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-12-08 20:00


CX 8 - I can't import Illustrator or PDF files for some reason.

Make sure that you have installed the AI/PDF Importer for your Strata software. 

When you open the Design 3D CX 8 install disk image, you will see two drag-and-drop entries in the window. The first (top) one is the application, and the second one is the AI/PDF plug-in.

To use the drag and drop installer, just click on the icon on the left side, and drag it to the alias icon on the right side. Make sure you install the Strata Design 3D CX 8 application first, then the AI/PDF plug-in.

If you don't install the importer the first time, you can always go back and do it again. Just open the Design 3D install disk image, and click and drag the AI/PDF Importer to the Extensions icon on its right.

NOTE: For the AI/PDF plug-in install to work as designed, Design 3D CX 8 must be installed into your system (not user) Applications folder.

 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2015-05-29 15:33


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Lighting

Visible light - How do I create visible light, like a street light or flash light?

Design 3D CX allows you to create a visible light effect for local lights (spotlights and point lights). This effect is similar to how street lights appear on a foggy night, for example. 

To make the light from a point or spotlight visible, simply apply a Volumetric texture (Fog, Mist, Haze or Clouds) to the light through either the FX menu in the Object Properties palette of the selected light, or by applying the Volumetric texture directly to the selected light from the Textures panel of the Resource palette.

For more information, see Chapter 15 - Lighting the Scene, in the User Guide, which is found in the Help menu.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2013-11-07 16:25


Visible laser - How can I make a realistic visible laser?

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-11 19:42


Shadows - How do I adjust the density and the blurryness of shadows?

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-09-15 19:44


CX 7.x - Sun and Sky - Is a Sun and Sky lightdome connected to the global directional light? How does it work?

Yes, the new Sun and Sky simulates the visual effects of a sun and a planet’s atmosphere. When Sun and Sky is used as a lightdome, the global light acts as the sun.

Sun and Sky offers a lot of possibilities in setting intensity. You can adjust the lightdome intensity, the global light intensity, the intensity of the atmosphere in the Sun and Sky dialog, and also the intensity of the light in the Sun and Sky dialog independent of the other values.

It is not recommended that you rotate the lightdome once you have this set up, instead just move the global light around. Otherwise it'll get confusing. 

As an example of the possibilities of Sun and Sky, you can leave the global light at 95% (default) intensity, but then set that intensity to zero in the Sun and Sky dialog.

This will keep the atmosphere 'lit' but not provide direct illumination. This is useful if you want to use a spot light instead of the global light for situations where you want soft shadows, something a global light can't provide.

If you do do this then you'll need to manually match the coloration the global light would receive from passing through the atmosphere, especially if it's low to the horizon. The global light needs to be above the horizon.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-07 16:18


Light settings - I can't seem to get my spotlights or point lights to have much effect on my rendering.

With large scenes, such as those rendered in real space dimensions, it's important that the fall-off distance is appropriately set.

Select the spotlight, and then look at the Object Properties palette. Select Total Falloff Distance in the pop-up. The value set in the numeric field to the right of Total Falloff Distance controls the extent that the Point Light will cast any light.

The default setting for Total Falloff is 1000 inches or model units. It's important to check this setting, and make sure it's proportional to the size of your model and the distance you want the light to go. Also check the Full Intensity distance in the spotlight's Object Properties, this controls the extent of full-intensity light cast by the spotlight.

These same principles apply to point lights.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-01-11 19:44


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Macintosh

Crashing - Design 3D CX is crashing a lot, what can I do?

If Design 3D CX is consistently crashing we recommend:

-Reset your preferences in Design 3D. Go to the Preferences dialog, and click the Reset button.

-Run Disk Utilities > Repair Permissions (Mac) or other system utilities.

-Restart your computer.

If the problem persists, please submit a sample file, and the steps needed to reproduce the crash, to support@strata.com.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-09-20 00:12


Snow Leopard - Does Strata Design 3D CX 6.x work under Snow Leopard - Mac OS 10.6?

Strata Design 3D CX 6.x is working well on Snow Leopard (10.6).

One issue has been discovered in Design 3D CX 6.0 - an occasional crash when clicking on the Convert button. This has been resolved in Design 3D CX 6.1. You can download the free 6.1 updater here: http://support.strata.com/index.php?action=news&newsid=9&newslang=en

Also, the Strata 3D Vector plug-in for Strata Design 3D CX 6.x will not work on Snow Leopard unless you install the optional support for PowerPC backward compatibility (Rosetta).

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-09-20 00:19


Uninstall - How can I uninstall Design 3D CX 6 to do a clean install, or install it on another machine?

To uninstall Strata Design 3D CX 6 on a Mac:

1. Remove any custom Resource Libraries, files, etc. that you don't want deleted from the Strata Design 3D CX 6 application folder.

2. Delete the Strata Design 3D CX 6 folder.

3. Delete the preference file, com.strata.StrataDesign3DCX.plist from the Library > Preferences folder on the main hard drive (/Library/Preferences/com.strata.StrataDesign3DCX.plist).

4. Delete the preference file, com.strata.StrataDesign3DCX.plist, from your user account > Library > Preferences folder (/Users//Library/Preferences/com.strata.StrataDesign3DCX.plist).

These four steps remove the important components of the software from your computer.

There are also two Library > Application Support folders that may or may not contain custom saved support files. Look in the same Library folders listed above. Look for Application Support > Strata Design 3D CX 60. This Strata support folder is where custom Strata Design product settings are stored, either for computer wide or specific user account access depending on the Library folder that contains the item. If you have custom settings, previews, scripts, etc. in either of these folders, you might want to transfer them to the new computer.

You can re-install the software either from the disc image you downloaded or the DVD you received. Make sure you check the updates page at Support.Strata.com and run any needed updates.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-07-12 19:46


CX 6.2 - Design 3D CX 6.2 keeps asking for my serial number.

Lion (Mac OS 10.7.x)

If you are on Lion (Mac OS 10.7.x), Design 3D CX 6.x may not retain your serial number - but there is a solution.

Apple has made some changes in the operating system starting with 10.7.x, having to do with where and what our application can write. We've made some changes to compensate for this in Design 3D CX version 7.x, but until you're ready to upgrade, there is a workaround for this issue.

The workaround requires changing the permissions on the system wide preferences folder, temporarily:

-Locate the following at the top level of you hard drive, Library > Preferences.

-Select the Preferences folder and Get Info on it. At the bottom of the Get Info dialog in the Sharing and Permissions area, change "everyone" to Read & Write. (You might have to click the Lock icon in the lower right and authenticate with your (admin) password)

-While "everyone" is set to Read & Write, launch Design 3D CX 6, enter you serial number and user info. Then quit and relaunch Design 3D CX 6.  You should not need to enter the serial number on the second launch.

-Now, you will want to change the permissions for "everyone" back to Read Only for that Preferences folder. 
You should no longer need to enter the serial number when launching Design 3D CX 6.

Mountain Lion (OS 10.8.x) and Mavericks (OS 10.9.x)

If you are on Mac OS X 10.8.x or 10.9.x, Design 3D CX 6.x will not retain your serial number, but there are a couple of solutions.  

1) Upgrade to Design 3D CX 7.5 - this is the best solution.  

2) Send your serial number to Strata support and we can provide you with a file and instructions on where that file goes so that you don't have to enter your serial number on each launch of Design 3D CX.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-11-26 10:24


CX 7 - Custom resources - Where are the custom resources in version 7 and 7.5?

Due to changes in the Mac operating system beginning in Mac OS 10.7 (Lion), the location of custom and default resources has changed from previous versions of Design 3D CX.

Custom resources include resource libraries (textures, shapes, etc.); render and texture previews; render settings, model templates, keyboard shortcuts and scripts.

Go to this folder:

(Your user account)/Library/Application Support/CorastarInc./Strata Design 3D CX 7/.

Inside this folder you will find the Resource Libraries folder, where custom resources are stored. You can create custom folders for your own resources, for example "My Textures," which will appear in the Resources palette when you relaunch Design 3D CX. To create a custom folder, simply create a new folder and place it inside the appropriate Resource folder. You can then save custom resources to your new folder.

Because this is a little hard to find, we have added a command: Edit menu > Show Resource Folder in Finder.

This command can help you locate your custom resources, expecially in Mac OS 10.7 (Lion), where the user library folder is hidden

Default resources that ship with Design 3D CX 7 reside inside the application package, and altering or moving them is not recommended.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-05-01 11:41


CX 7 - PPC compatibility - Can I run version 7 on a PowerPC?

No, Strata Design 3D CX 7 for Mac will run only on Intel based Mac systems.

Support for PowerPC systems has been discontinued.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-11-29 12:36


CX 7 - Requirements - What are the system requirements for version 7?

The System Requirements for Design 3D CX 7 on Mac OS are:

• Intel processor(s)

• Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later.

• Memory: 2 GB of RAM (more highly recommended).

• Hard drive: 1.7 GB of free disk space for full installation.

• Display: 1,024 x 768 resolution or better.

We do not make hardware recommendations, however here are some general guidelines:

-The more processors you have available, the faster the rendering speed will be. So two, four or more CPUs will help more than anything. Design 3D CX 7 supports up to 24 tasks; a 12-core machine that is capable of hyperthreading equals 24 "tasks."

-Strata is a 32-bit application and can make use of 4 GB of RAM; a system with at least 4 GB of RAM is recommended.

-Remember, it's important to model efficiently and use appropriate render settings.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-11-29 12:37


CX 7 - Clean install - How do I uninstall version 7 to do a clean install, or to install it on another computer?

To uninstall Strata Design 3D CX 7 on a Mac:

1. Delete the Strata Design 3D CX 7 application from the Applications folder.

2. Delete the preferences file.

For pre-Lion Mac OS (pre-10.7):

(System wide) /Library/Preferences/com.corastar.stratadesign3dcx.plist

(User) ~/Library/Preferences/com.corastar.stratadesign3dcx.plist

For Lion users (Mac OS 10.7 and later):

(User) ~/Library/Preferences/com.corastar.stratadesign3dcx.plist

3. If not reinstalling CX 7 on this computer, delete the Application Support file (contains any custom resource, etc. that you may have saved here.  

NOTE: If you're moving to another computer, or want to save your custom resources, you should save and transfer any custom items from this folder to the new computer.

(User) ~/Library/Application Support/Corastar Inc./Strata Design 3D CX 7

These three steps remove the important components of the software from your computer.

You can re-install the software either from the disc image you downloaded or the USB you received. Make sure you check the updates page at Support.Strata.com and run any needed updates.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-11-29 12:38


Multiple processors - Does Design 3D take advantage of multiple processors?

Yes, it does. The more processors you have available, the faster your rendering speed will be. So two, four or more CPUs will help more than anything.

Design 3D CX 7 supports up to 24 "tasks;" a 12-core machine that is capable of hyperthreading equals 24 tasks. 

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-11-29 12:39


Updating - I just updated to the latest version, now I'm getting the message "Lua: error in script," and the software won't run.

The error " Lua: error in script" usually means that something that was supposed to be removed, was not removeable during the update.

First, run the permissions repair from the Disk Utility (Mac only), and/or any other system maintenance. This should fix any permissions issues, and allow the uninstall and reinstall to work properly.

If you are a Mac user, you should drag the Strata Design 3D CX folder to the trash. It is located in the Applications folder.

If you are on Windows, uninstall Design 3D CX. Then re-install Design 3D CX and then run the updater again. This should give you a fresh clean install, and it should work properly.

If this doesn't resolve your issue, please let us know. You can contact technical support directly by emailing us at support (at) strata (dot) com. Please include information on your software version, operating system and configuration.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-11-22 00:47


Crashing - The color picker is crashing in Design 3D CX on Mac OS X systems older than 10.6.3.

Having SketchUp installed, and creating a custom color in SketchUp, will cause many 3D applications to crash or show an error when accessing the color picker.

If you add a custom SketchUp color to the color well, Design 3D CX will crash when the color options are accessed later.

If you are running a Mac OS X version earlier than 10.6.3, the solution is to not use the favorites feature of the OS color picker to store custom Sketchup colors.

This issue was resolved by Apple in Mac OS X 10.6.3.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-14 00:10


CX 7 - Operating Systems - Will Design 3D CX 7 run on Mac OS 10.8 and 10.9? I have to keep entering my serial number.

Yes, Design 3D CX 7 will run on Mountain Lion (Mac OS 10.8.x) and Mavericks (OS 10.9.x).

However, if you have CX v7.0.4 or earlier, the serial number will not be retained when you quit and then relaunch the software. The solution is to update to version 7.0.7.

Apple changed some things in Mountain Lion (Mac OS 10.8.x) having to do with our ability to write the serial number to the hard drive.  We have released an update to the software that fixes this issue, along with many other fixes and minor enhancements.

The CX 7.0.7 update can be found on our free updates page: http://www.strata.com/support/free_updates/

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-04-17 10:59


CX 7 - Mountain Lion - I'm having trouble installing, and I'm getting strange errors.

Mountain Lion (10.8.x) has added a feature called GateKeeper. Gatekeeper is a new mechanism to protect against malware. By default, it will block installation packages if they are not signed with a Developer ID certificate. Strata software installers are not signed at this time, although the process is underway.

You could get errors like : "xxxxx.pkg can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer. Your security preferences allow installation of only apps from the Mac App Store and identified developers." Or, "xxxxx.mpkg is damaged and can't be opened. You should eject the disk image."

All you need to do is temporarily change the settings for the Gatekeeper, while you install the software. The settings are located in the Security & Privacy section of the System Preferences.

The default setting is "Mac App Store and identified developers."  Change the setting to "Anywhere," then install the software. You can change it back afterwards if you wish.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-06 13:13


CX 7.5 - What are the system requirements for Design 3D CX 7.5?

Here are the system requirements for Design 3D CX 7.5 on Macintosh:
• Intel processor(s).
• Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, including 10.7.5 (Lion), 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) and 10.9 (Mavericks).
• Memory: 2 GB of RAM (more highly recommended).
• Hard drive: 1.7 GB of free disk space for full installation.
• Display: 1,024 x 768 resolution or better.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-06 13:06


Is Design 3D compatible with macOS Catalina?

No, Design 3D CX 8 for Mac and earlier Mac versions are not compatible with macOS Catalina?

 

As you may know, we don’t pre-announce upgrades, but we realize this is an issue of concern for many users – especially users who update right away to the latest macOS when it comes out – so we want you to know our team is working hard in development.

 

macOS Catalina & Design 3D CX 8

As you may have heard, macOS Catalina is now available. If you haven't heard, apps with any 32-bit code won't run. Design 3D CX 8 for Mac still has some 32-bit UI code (the important parts are 64-bit), and this means it won't run on Catalina. We are working hard on our update to eliminate the remaining 32-bit code, but it's not ready yet.

So, what should you do? Here are some thoughts from prominent publications and sites:

Waiting is often a good choice, but if you're not in a position to wait on this OS update, here are some additional options:

If you're open to running Windows software (Design 3D CX is fully 64-bit on Windows) you may want to consider this option – Strata is extending a special offer on our "CrossGrade" Windows license (saving nearly $550 off a regular new license). Why would you want to do this?

  • You get a completely separate Design 3D license for just $49.00
  • The Mac license will still be eligible for an upgrade
  • A world of Windows software opens up to you

You don't have to buy a new Windows PC in order to run this new license (though there are some very good PCs at amazingly low prices). You can also run Windows on your Mac – either within a virtual machine (Parallels is a great option) or in dual-boot (using Boot Camp).

Click here to get the PC CrossGrade for just $49.00 or go to https://www.strata.com/cx-crossgrade, click on the "1 Seat, $395 option and be sure to input coupon code STRATAPRO8 at checkout.

 

We certainly appreciate your support as part of the Strata family – regardless of how many years you've been with us.

Thanks,

Ken Bringhurst, President

PS: This "CrossGrade" requires an existing Design 3D Mac license. The offer is being extended for two weeks. If you have any questions, reach out to support@strata.com.

PSS: This is the only information available at this time.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2019-12-07 00:26


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Modeling

Skin tool - When I am skinning something, parts of the object twist.

The best way to create a skin object is to make sure all of the ribs (2D objects) to be skinned have the same number of points, and that they are all corresponding to each other.

This means that the start point of one rib is in the same location as the start point of the next, etc. Often, duplicating the first rib and then resizing or reshaping it to create the second rib will yield smooth results.

For more information about using the Skin tool, see Chapter 5 in the User Guide, which is located in the Help menu.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-13 20:00


Bezier curves - Is there any way to join two Bezier curves into one?

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-11-01 12:25


Replicate - How can I replicate an object along a curved path (like beads along a string)?

Strata does not have the ability to replicate an object along a path.

However, one of our users has written a script which you can download free from the StrataCafe to do this. Once you've downloaded and decompressed the script open it in a text editor. There are instructions on how to install and use it at the top of the script.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-11-22 00:37


Joint/Break Joint tools - I'm having trouble changing Joint to Break Joint, how do I do this?

To break a joint you use the Joint Tool and press the Option/Alt key, dragging from the child object whose joint you want to break to the parent object it is joined to.


The Joint Tool and Break Joint Tool are discussed in the User Guide in Chapter 7.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-13 19:57


Snap tool - Where is the Snap tool located in Design 3D CX 6 and 7?

The Snap-To tool (as it's now called) can be found in the fly out menu under the Move Tool at the top of the main Tool palette. For more information about this tool, see Chapters 2 and 3 in the User Guide.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-13 19:56


Bezier curves - I'm a new user. Where can I find some basic information about working with Bezier curves?

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-01-13 19:55


Double helix - How can I make a double helix, like the DNA model? What tools would I work with?

There are several different methods you could use to model a double helix. Take a look at these StrataCafe forum discussions on making a double helix:

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8409

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7965&SearchTerms=helix

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8415&SearchTerms=helix

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=6831&SearchTerms=helix

 http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=4641&SearchTerms=helix

Another way is to find an existing model and use it; it's a popular object to model.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-13 19:59


Modeling tentacles - How would I go about modeling 3D tentacles made out of multiple pieces of metal?

There are always different ways to go about modeling a particular object. Take a look at this helpful thread on the StrataCafe:

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8444&SearchTerms=tentacles

If you are not familiar with Strata's poly editing and SDS (subdivision surface modeling), you may want to take a look at the Art & Science of Design 3D that you may have received with your Strata 3D CX 6 or 7 purchase. That will help you through learn to use the modeling tools.

The Art & Science of Design 3D is also available through Strata's online store:

https://store.strata.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=3

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-13 19:58


Modeling view - Sometimes my view of the model gets all messed up, and part of it is cut off.

You're encountering the clipping plane, which is just the "front" of the 3D modeling space.

To readjust your view, select the View Move tool and click and drag one of the corner handles down. This will back up your view so that all of your model is in the view.

You could also use Fit Views to All, Fit Views to Selection, Fit Views to Active Grid or Reset View from the Windows menu to reset your view. 

Reset Views does not change the position of the view, however it will clean up any corruption to the modeling view that may have occurred while zooming or adjust the view position and/or rotation.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-11-05 10:19


Editing objects - Can I edit a primitive object?

Primitives cannot be edited, although they can be moved, rotated and scaled.

However, you can Convert a primitive object to a polygon mesh object, and then you can edit it to your heart's content.

To do this, select the primitive, then choose Convert from the Modeling menu. Or you can use the Convert shortcut button on the far left of the Button bar, at the top left of your screen. In the dialog which opens, select the type of geometry you want to Convert to. 

To edit a polygon mesh or a bezier object, select Edit Object from the Modeling menu, or click the "Edit" button at the top of the Tool palette.

This opens the Edit mode, with new editing tools taking the place of the regular tool palette. When you are finished editing your object, click the Edit button again to return to your regular modeling session/window. 

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-13 20:03


Text - How can I model text? I need more control than the Text tool offers.

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-11-22 00:05


Recenter - Is there a keyboard shortcut to Recenter an object after I ungroup it?

There is not a pre-defined keyboard shortcut for Recenter Origin (also available in the Modeling menu). However, there is a Recenter button in the Button Bar, directly above the modeling window.

You could also define a hotkey for Recenter. You can create your own hotkeys for many of the commands and functions of Design 3D CX 7, using the Keyboard Shortcuts command in the Edit menu. Some users set the Recenter hotkey to Command or Control-2.

For more information see Chapter 23 - Keyboard Shortcuts in the User Guide. 

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-11-17 22:45


New windows - When I double-click an object, why does it always pop up in a little window? Can I change this?

Double-clicking an object can open a Shape window, a Group window, the Convert dialog (if it's a primitive object) or an Edit mode window. It depends on the type of object you have selected when you double-click it.

The smaller window size is designed to be visually different in order to alert you that you are not in the Modeling window any longer.

There is no way to change the default window size. However, you can use the Maximize window button to quickly make the window larger.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-13 19:59


Centering a circle - I'm trying to draw a circle at the center of the grid, but it's not working precisely.

The center of the Modeling Window is not necessarily the center of the model. You need to draw the circle from the intersection of the grid lines.

You can draw the circle from its center by pressing the Option or Alt key. Pressing the Shift key will constrain the oval to a circle.

Turn on the Snap to Grid option in the Edit Menu, and then place the pointer at the center point of the model, the intersection of the blue and red grid lines. With Shift-Option keys pressed, drag out the circle from its center.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-11-22 00:33


Nested nodes - I'm having trouble with a texture on an object doing unexpected things. Could this be caused by a nested node?

Yes, nested nodes can cause problems.

Nested nodes are acquired when you work on an object when it is part of a group or shape, and then ungroup it.

Transformations and texture applications that were applied to the group are retained in the nested node. Strata is usually pretty good at clearing transformation-only nested nodes, but a nested node has to be retained to retain the texture application.

It's better to not apply textures to shapes or groups and then ungroup them. Transformation nodes alone should clear okay when you ungroup, but texture applications will require the nested node.

There is a thread on the StrataCafe that discusses nested nodes:

http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8504

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-13 20:01


Text - How can I use non-English characters in the Text tool?

In order to use non-English characters in the Text tool in Design 3D CX 7, you must first install the needed fonts for a particular language onto your computer. This will make them available for the Text tool. 

Every language has its own fonts to handle special characters such as umlauts and many others. Some fonts can be downloaded free from the internet.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-11-16 20:07


How can I quickly get some human figures into a scene?

We don't sell any human figures in the Strata store, however there are some other options.

-There are a few (free) human shapes available on the StrataCafe.com:
http://www.stratacafe.com/models.asp?cat=40

-Some of our designers use figures from Poser (software).

-Some designers simply use 2D humans, faced towards the camera, to add to their architectural or exhibit renderings. Here's one example:
http://www.stratacafe.com/image.asp?galcat=2&imageID=31366

-If you post this question to the StrataCafe.com Design 3D forum, you could likely get some more specific help:
http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=1

-Here is a thread on the Cafe about human figures:
http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8480&SearchTerms=human,figures

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-09-06 10:41


Efficient modeling - I keep getting out of memory errors, and some crashes on my larger models.

The most common causes of frequent crashes and 'out of memory' errors are not having enough RAM, unneeded complexity in your model, and unnecessarily high render settings. There are several things you can do to avoid these problems.

1. Simplify your model by using primitives whenever possible. Reduce any unneeded complexity of Subdivision meshes, Boolean objects, Deformation lattices, Extruded objects, etc. Remove any objects that will not show in your final rendering, especially in files imported from other software applications.

2. Make sure you have made use of Shapes for repeating objects in your model.

3. Make sure the image maps in your textures are not higher resolution than is needed. In some cases, such as imported files, you can downsample the image maps substantially without seeing any degradation in image quality or in your final rendering.

4. Make sure to use appropriate render settings. You can check the Art and Science of Strata 3D and the User Guide for more information about render settings. In addition, the StrataCafe forums are a good source of information.

5. Do not copy and paste large images or models; this ties up memory in the clipboard. You can clear the clipboard's memory by copying a simple cube or sphere.

6. Make sure you have enough RAM. You may get an Out of Memory error if your rendering requires more memory then your computer has. Memory allocation is handled automatically by the program. It will request as much as it needs from the OS until there is no more to be given, and then you get the error message.

NOTE: Design 3D is a 32-bit program which limits the amount of RAM it can address to 4GB regardless of how much there may be in the computer. Subtracting system overhead gives a useable amount in the neighborhood of 3.5GB that the program can actually make use of.

7. You may want to consider upgrading your computer. The more processors you have available, the faster the rendering speed will be. So two, four or more CPUs will help more than anything. Design 3D CX 7 supports up to 24 "tasks;" a 12-core machine that is capable of hyperthreading equals 24 tasks.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-12-16 10:54


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » PC/Windows

CX 7 - 64-bit - Does Design 3D v7 run with 64-bit Windows?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2018-11-08 01:41


I'm trying to install Strata 3D CX on Windows 7 or 10. When the installer finishes, I get an error that says the program has been installed improperly.

Design 3D CX 6 and 7 are fully compatible with both Vista and Windows 7. Are you logged onto the computer with an administrator's account?

Even if you are logged on with an admin account, try running the installer with the Run as Administrator option. You may also need to use this option when you launch the program for the first time, as that is when it writes its registry entries to register itself with the OS.

On Windows, being an administrator doesn’t necessarily mean you have all possible administrator privileges.

After installing the software, you may need to right-click on the executable file (Strata Design 3D CX 7.exe file) and select “Run as Administrator.” You usually only need to do this the first time you run the application. The .exe file is typically found in Local Disk C:\Program Files (x86)\Strata\Strata Design 3D CX 7\

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2018-11-08 01:47


Crashing in Vista - When I render anything my CPU usage hits the roof even with Raytracing, and Soft Shadows crashes my machine. I'm running Vista Ultimate on a 64 bit PC, 4Gb Ram and an Intel Duo core CPU at 2 x 266Ghz.

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2018-11-08 01:46


Interface flickering - I'm having some flickering and strange redraws in the modeling window.

This sounds like a problem with your video card drivers.

To correct the problem, go to the card manufacturer's website and download the latest set of drivers to your Desktop.

Restart your computer in Safe Mode and use the Device Manager to remove all video card drivers you find. Restart back into Normal Mode but DO NOT let Windows install any drivers during startup, or it will just replace the older versions you just removed.

Once the computer has finished booting up, run the installer you previously downloaded, then Restart one more time and give Strata another try. You may also need to turn off any OpenGL Acceleration settings in the card's drivers.

If the latest drivers version does not fix the problem, try the same procedure using an older version of the drivers.

Also check the video card driver's settings. Most video cards have an OpenGL or hardware acceleration setting somewhere and it is usually set to a higher speed for game playing. Strata doesn't like the acceleration so look for that setting and set it to normal or something lower than default value.

If you have the nVidia GT type video cards you'll want the latest version of the drivers, 91.31 as of December 2010, and you'll want to turn off OpenGL Threading.

There is a thread on this topic on the StrataCafe Forums with some screen captures showing where the settings are in the drivers and what you want to set them to. Check here.

Some laptops with integrated video chips require all hardware acceleration to be turned off. Right-click on the Desktop and choose the Properties command. Go to the Settings tab, click the Advanced button then go to the Troubleshoot tab and set Hardware Acceleration all the way off.

There has been in the past a problem with nVidia's drivers and dual-core processors. We believe this issue has been resolved by nVidia, but it is something to be aware of depending on what computer system and drivers you have.

There is thread about this on the Cafe Forums along with instructions for modifying your registry to work around the problem until nVidia fixes their drivers. Check here.

If the procedure above doesn't fix the problem then the issue may be a conflict between your video card drivers and your printer drivers, although this is rare. First check for new versions of the driver for your Default Printer.

If that doesn't help and you are using an inkjet printer try setting your Default Printer to a laser printer. If it is a laser, try an inkjet. If neither of those clears the problem set the Default Printer to a pdf printer. If you have two video cards, then there may also be a conflict between the two video card's drivers. If none of the above helps, try removing one of the cards and its associated drivers.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-01-11 19:00


CX 7 - Installing - During installation, Design 3D keeps telling me I need to log in as an administrator. I have an administrator account.

On Windows, being an administrator doesn’t necessarily mean you have all possible administrator privileges.

After installing the software, you may need to right-click on the executable file (Strata Design 3D CX 7.exe file) and select “Run as Administrator.”

You usually only need to do this the first time you run the application. The .exe file is typically found in Local Disk C:\Program Files (x86)\Strata\Strata Design 3D CX 7\

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-01-11 18:52


CX 7.6 - Requirements - What are the Windows/PC system requirements?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2018-11-08 01:45


CX 7 - Special characters - How can I use non-English characters in the Text tool on a PC?

In order to use non-English characters in the Text tool in Design 3D CX 7, you must first install the needed fonts for a particular language onto your PC. This will make them available for the Text tool. 

Every language has its fonts installed on the PC.  Some fonts such as MS UI Gothic, Batang and Arial Unicode MS can be downloaded free from the internet and easily intalled on Windows. Just navigate to folder options through control panel_Appereance and Personalization.

You can also  bring Polish fonts from one Polish computer  to another English computer or vice versa. 

This works with Slovak, Czech, Polish, Swedish, French or any font from a European or Eastern European language.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-01-11 18:58


CX 7 - nVidia cards - I have an nVidia graphics card, and I'm seeing some strange things in the modeling window display.

Strata Design 3D CX utilizes the 3D graphics card in your computer for drawing the modeling windows. This can include, but is not limited to the movement of objects and displaying textures in the various windows.

It is also used for other functions in the program. It is usually a good idea to keep your graphics drivers up-to-date.

Strata Design 3D CX users with nVidia graphics cards are strongly encouraged to set your Display Preferences to Millions of Colors (32 bit) for the best possible user experience.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-01-11 19:01


CX 7 - Vista - I can't read the UI text in the Design 3D dialogs.

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2018-11-08 01:50


CX 7 - Memory errors - I am getting 'out of memory' errors, what can I do?

You might want to consider upgrading to Design 3D CX 8 for PC (64-bit) to avoid getting 'out of memory' alerts and/or adding more memory for your computer. 

 

Note:  Window 10 is required to run "Strata Design 3D CX 8 for PC."

 

CX 7.6 or earlier info:

 

Maximizing memory

The platforms and operating systems that Strata Design 3D CX 7.x supports have different memory characteristics and limitations.

In particular, the process limit is the maximum amount of virtual memory a single process (application) can address. On 32-bit systems this is the most important factor limiting data set size.

The process limit must be large enough for Strata to store all the data it is to process, plus the Strata executable itself and other states. Where possible, choose an operating system that maximizes this number, i.e. a 64-bit operating system. The following is a list of Strata supported operating systems and their process limits.

Operating system

Process Limit

32-bit Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 (default) - 2 GB

32-bit Windows XP with 3GB switch, or 32-bit Windows Vista / Windows 7 with IncreaseUserVa set (see below)  - 3 GB

64-bit Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Mac OS X running 32-bit Strata Design 3D CX 7 - ? 4 GB

Optionally set the 3GB switch on 32-bit Windows XP SP2 or later

Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later can allocate 3 GB instead of the default 2GB to processes if you set an appropriate switch in the boot.ini file of the system. This procedure is detailed at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124810.aspx.

This gives an extra 1 GB of virtual memory to Strata, not contiguous with the rest of the memory. This enables you to store more data but not anything requiring contiguous space such as very large image buffers. This is mostly beneficial if you have enough RAM (e.g. 3 or 4 GB) to use it.

Setting the 3GB switch on 32-bit Windows Vista™ or Windows 7

To enable the 3GB switch on 32-bit Windows Vista™ or Windows 7:

  1. Right-click Command Prompt in the Accessories program group of the Start menu. Click Run as Administrator. 
  2. At the command prompt, enter "bcdedit /set IncreaseUserVa 3072" 
  3. Restart the computer. 

To disable the 3GB switch on 32-bit Windows Vista™ or Windows 7:

  1. Right-click on Command Prompt in the Accessories program group of the Start menu. Click Run as Administrator.
  2. At the command prompt, enter "bcdedit /deletevalue IncreaseUserVa"
  3. Restart the computer.

For more information on the 3GB switch, refer to the following Microsoft MSDN article:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff556232.aspx

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2018-11-08 01:55


Updating - I just updated to the latest version, now I'm getting the message "Lua: error in script," and the software won't run.

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2018-11-08 01:57


Is Strata releasing Design 3D CX 8 for Windows?

Yes, Strata Design 3D CX 8 for PC (64-bit, Windows 10 required) has been released. It is available for purchase on the Strata Store.

 


Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2018-11-08 01:58


CX 8 - Requirements - What are the Windows/PC system requirements?

Here are the system requirements for Design 3D CX 8 on Windows/PC:

  • OS: Windows 10 or later (64-bit)
  • 64-bit (x64) processor
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM (more is highly recommended)
  • Hard Disk Space: 5 GB of available hard-disk space for install
  • Display: 1152 × 864 capable display (more recommended)
  • 3D graphics card with the latest driver updates (cards with more VRAM typically work better)

Author: Kevin
Last update: 2018-11-08 01:58


Strata Live 3D CX (discontinued) » NOTE: Live 3D CX Discontinued

Is Live 3D CX still available?

Strata no longer offers Live 3D CX.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-08-22 00:05


Strata Live 3D CX (discontinued) » General Information

Flash - Can I embed 3D inside Flash using Live 3D?

Possibly - this is a legacy feature (no longer supported) and may not work properly with later versions of Flash.

This technique is called FLASH+3D. Using a combination of CSS, Javascript, and DHTML, you can make the 3D model appear to be inside a Flash presentation.

You can control the 3D model from Flash the same way you control DHTML/Javascript from Flash. Using CSS/DHTML/Javascript, you can make the 3D model come and go as needed.

For more information, see Working with Flash in Chapter 4 of the User Guide. The User Guide is located in the Help menu of Live 3D CX.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-10-27 00:24


Can I embed 3D inside PowerPoint?

PowerPoint embedding is a legacy feature which may not be supported by later versions of the PowerPoint application.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-10-27 00:24


Can I link to other pages from inside the 3D tour?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author:
Last update: 2010-10-15 00:56


What are the minimum requirements for the Live 3D applet?

Strata Live 3D's viewing platform, called Meson, allows the viewing of 2D and 3D visual content within an ordinary web browser. The applet has been designed to be compatible across the widest range of platforms:

  • Java 1.1 or later (including ancient Java versions from Microsoft, Netscape, and Sun)
  • Internet Explorer 4+, Netscape 4.7+, Safari, Opera, Mozilla/Firefox
  • Windows 98+, Mac OS 9+, Linux, Solaris

If you or your client don't have Java installed (which is rare), you can go to Java.com to get it. 

Other requirements depend on the 3D model. For models created by Strata Live 3D, we generally design assuming at least this configuration:

  • 64MB available RAM memory
  • 400x400 applet size
  • 16-bit high-color display

Higher bandwidth, and a 24-bit true color display will, of course, result in a better user experience. Users with faster internet access will get higher levels of texture detail more quickly, but the "streaming" nature of wavelet compressed textures allows all users to start interacting with the 3D model shortly after the applet loads.

The applet automatically adjusts rendering quality, based on achieved update rate. This is controlled by a minimum frames-per-second parameter, which defaults to 5. If the update rate drops to less than 5 frames/second for several frames, several rendering techniques are automatically disabled (linear filtering, mip-mapping, edge-antialiasing, etc.). For a given application, this minimum update rate can be changed to any number, or even to 0, meaning that the best appearance should be achieved no matter what. Also, textures which are set to use blur mipmapping are filtered regardless of update rate, to avoid moiré patterns.

Achieved update rate for interactive 3D depends largely on four factors: processor speed, video card speed, applet display area, and polygon count. Although the applet does not use hardware acceleration of 3D, better video cards can transfer data from memory to the screen much faster, resulting in a better update rate. We have seen some on-the-motherboard graphics chips underperform a decent ATI or NVidia card by a factor of up to 3. Polygon count starts to become important if the 3D model uses specular lighting effects, particularly if there are several lights.

Rich media applications which use a combination of Flash and 3D will obviously require better processors, to maintain good update rates.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-10-27 00:30


Windows Internet Explorer warnings

When using some Windows operating systems and Internet Explorer to view 3D content created in Live 3D, you may get a security warning: a yellow Information Bar may appear at the top of the browser window that says:

"To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has restricted this file from showing active content that could access your computer. Click here for options..."

You have to click the bar, choose "Allow Blocked Content..." and then click "Yes" to the security warning.

This behavior can be disabled in the Internet Explorer Tools menu. For more information, see Microsoft Knowlege base article 883255

Author:
Last update: 2010-10-15 22:59


Summary of Strata Live 3D, Strata Live 3D PDF and Web 3D Features

Strata Live 3D Capabilities

  • Reads VRML and K3D format files
  • Automatically extracts geometry, appearance, and animation
  • Edit hierarchy and object names
  • Copy/Paste sections of the hierarchy
  • Copy/Paste parts between different models
  • Scale, rotate, and move mesh data
  • Adjust positions, orientation, and pivot points of objects
  • Insert flexible wires, cables, straps and sheets, using dynamic Elliptical Hermite Lofts
  • Adjust scene lighting and orientation
  • Create new range-of-motion animations
  • Create material swaps (for texture or color changes)
  • Create color curve animations
  • Create object and material fade animations
  • Edit material properties: color, texture, lighting
  • Edit mesh smoothing groups
  • Set up initial object position, zoom and rotate limits, etc.
  • Graphically create animation scripts moving multiple parts, camera view, scene orientation, and lighting
  • Easily specify conditional relationships between scripts, to create robust simulations
  • Automatically select texture and geometry compression parameters
  • Preview web compression and streaming prior to export
  • Handles models with hundreds of megabytes of texture
  • Handles models with millions of polygons
  • Optimizer automatically reduces polygon count, under user control
  • Optimizer automatically eliminates unneeded hierarchy
  • Easily edit underlying XML representation of Master Model
  • Create and Edit meta-data associated with the model
  • Export animated models to plug-in-free Web 3D
  • Export animated models to plug-in-free 3D PDF
  • Available for both Windows & Mac

3D PDF Capabilities

  • 3D PDF requires no special plug-ins: works in Adobe Reader 7 or later
  • Generate 3D PDF directly from Strata Live 3D, no Acrobat required
  • Edit generated 3D PDFs using Illustrator or Acrobat
  • Insert animated 3D models in any PDF using Acrobat Pro 
  • Automatically includes all animation behavior: no Javascripting required
  • Automatically includes Strata Live 3D's easy-to-use interactive Toolbar
  • Automatically includes unique "Measure" feature
  • Automatically compresses all textures to ensure best performance on all hardware
  • Uses Strata Live 3D optimization to produce far smaller PDF files (typically 50-70% smaller than other tools)
  • Most robust U3D compressor in the industry -- easily handles models that crash other tools
  • Only solution that supports enhanced, dynamic lighting models not found in U3D
  • Only solution that supports real-time texture and color swaps
  • Available for both Windows & Mac

Web Capabilities

  • Strata Live 3D Web viewer requires no special plug-ins: relies on Java 1.1 (circa 1997) or later
  • Strata Live 3D Web "Just works" on more than 90% of computers (Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, etc...)
  • Strata Live 3D Web is the dominant 3D viewer used by major product companies
  • Uses sophisticated Meson Platform for rich 2D interfaces and dynamic 3D scenes
  • Comprehensive optimization produces the smallest files in the industry
  • All HTML generated completely automatically
  • Web viewer 2D capabilities:
    • Alpha channel compositing of an arbitrary numbers of layers
    • Smooth animation of any attribute (such as alpha, or position)
    • Hot areas, including pickable pixels, and rectangular areas
    • Mouse cursor control
    • Context (right click) menu
    • Unicode support for multi-lingual applications
    • Anti-aliasing text engine with CSS-like font control, drop shadow generation, and internationalized word-wrapping capability
    • Multi-state images and text (for mouse-over or push-button effects, for example)
    • Separate images for color/alpha information (for example, to use a JPEG image for color, and a grayscale GIF for the alpha channel)
    • Image tiling (primarily for repeating backgrounds)
    • Rotation, scale, skew, bilinear-filtering, and oversampling of any 2D element, including rendered text or even the rendered 3D scene
    • Wavelet-streaming encoded images
  • Web viewer 3D capabilities:
    • Dedkov compression produces the smallest 3D models across the largest range of model types (from photo-real high-texture models, to untextured scanned models)
    • JPEG, GIF, and Wavelet-streaming textures
    • Dynamic textures can be generated by a Meson program: 
      • To embed 3D scenes onto texture in 3D scenes (for example, to show a moving scene on a camcorder model's view screen)
      • To use rendered text in the 3D scene (for example, to simulate the menu system of a mobile phone)
    • Real-time, dynamically generated shadows
    • Perspective-correct bi-linear filtered textures of unlimited dimensions
    • Mip-map style continuous texture anti-aliasing 
    • 32-bit ARGB, 16- and 12-bit YCrCb, and 8-bit Y (constant CrCb) texture pixel formats, with optional error-diffusion dither
    • Photoshop-compatible color curves applied to texture images in real time
    • Real-time edge anti-aliasing
    • Stable-scene 256x oversample progressive anti-aliasing
    • Perspective-correct Phong shader with no performance penalty
    •  Specular highlights and chrome shading model (to convey shininess without the need for cumbersome reflection maps)
    • Dynamically-generated flexible objects (elliptical hermite lofts), for modeling wires, ribbon cables, straps, paper, etc.
    • Illustration rendering mode automatically turns 3D models into "sketches." Support for both line drawing over realistic shading, and line drawing over flat color.
  • Reuse the animated master model in 3D PDF, and on the Web. 

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-10-25 23:04


Models - Where can I get models to use in Live 3D?

There are many sources of 3D models, including free models on the internet. You can also build the 3D model yourself, purchase models, or contract with an independent modeler.

Building 3D Content Yourself
If you are modeling organic shapes, Strata Foto 3D CX 2 is a good choice for capturing the textured 3D geometry. Anyone with a good digital camera, the right software, and a willingness to spend some time can create excellent 3D models.

The process involves taking several high-quality photographs of the object, masking out the background, and then importing the images into Foto 3D to create the 3D geometry and texture. In some cases, the 3D geometry may need to be fine-tuned in a 3D application like Strata Design 3D CX to improve the overall look.

For man-made shapes, your best bet is a 3D modeling tool like Design 3D CX. You can place a picture in the model, trace the basic shape, and then applying extrusions, lathes, and other operations to bring the 2D picture into 3D.

Buy 3D Retail
A surprising number of real physical products have already been modeled, and care available for purchase. If the model is not available in VRML2 (VRML97), Alias Studio, or K3D, you may need to use another application to convert it to a file format that Live 3D can read.

Contract for 3D Modeling Services
Many 3D artists will contract to create models. If you contract with someone, you should require that they deliver you a complete, working 3D tour created using Strata Live 3D CX, not just the VRML97 files. That way you will know that the 3D model was created using appropriate web modeling techniques (textures use standard formats, polygon count is reasonable, etc.).

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-10-26 22:48


Live 3D is crashing when I import my high-polygon model.

You may need to simplify the model before bringing it into Live 3D. 

Getting an attractive and responsive 3D web object or PDF export requires a good balance between speed and quality, and each project will be different. There are several things you can do to prepare a model for export into Live 3D CX.

If your model was created for some other purpose – such as manufacturing, high resolution illustration, or movie special effects – you’ll find that there will likely be extra polygons, objects and high resolution texture maps that aren’t necessary for your Live 3D presentation.

If possible, you’ll want to clean up or remove some of these objects prior to exporting the model for use in Live 3D. Some of the issues of concern include:

  • Small Details (nuts, bolts, etc.)
  • Hidden & Unused Details (internal machinery, components, etc.)
  • Fine Details (high polygon count representation of surfaces.
  • High Resolution Textures (images that are meant for very close examination in the original model but may not see such scrutiny in your Live 3D presentation)

Once you take these steps and bring your 3D model into Live 3D, you'll want to take advantage of the Level of Detail and other Live 3D features to further optimize your model. For more information, see Section 4.1 in the User Guide: Making Efficient Models. 

If your model is still crashing after taking these steps, please contact technical support at support@strata.com. They'll most likely need to see your model.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-14 23:46


How do I prepare my 3D model for the web or pdf?

Getting an attractive and responsive 3D web object or PDF export requires a good balance between speed and quality, and each project will be different. There are several things you can do to prepare a model for export into Live 3D CX.

If your model was created for some other purpose – such as manufacturing, high resolution illustration, or movie special effects – you’ll find that there will likely be extra polygons, objects and high resolution texture maps that aren’t necessary for your Live 3D presentation.

If possible, you’ll want to clean up or remove some of these objects prior to exporting the model for use in Live 3D. Some of the issues of concern include:

  • Small Details (nuts, bolts, etc.)
  • Hidden & Unused Details (internal machinery, components, etc.)
  • Fine Details (high polygon count representation of surfaces.
  • High Resolution Textures (images that are meant for very close examination in the original model but may not see such scrutiny in your Live 3D presentation)

Once you take these steps and bring your 3D model into Live 3D, you'll want to take advantage of the Level of Detail and other Live 3D features to further optimize your model. For more information, see Section 4.1 in the User Guide: Making Efficient Models. 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-22 22:49


My client can't view the Live 3D model on my website.

Java is is already running on 90+ percent of computers, so it will work on almost any machine, and any browser.  

Occasionally, you may encounter an error message, stating that Java is not installed. Here are some things your client should check:

- Is Java installed on his computer? If not, he can go to Java.com for a free Java download.

- Is JavaScript enabled in his browser? The location of these settings varies by browser.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-29 00:53


Are the optional plug-ins compatible with Photoshop CS6?

No, at this time (May 2012) the optional Photoshop plug-ins which ship with Live 3D are not compatible with PS CS6.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-05-01 00:18


Strata Live 3D CX (discontinued) » Lights and Textures

What is the effect of surface normals and smoothing groups?

This article explains how Strata Live 3D CX uses smoothing groups to compute vertex normals. If you are having issues with the way your models are lit in Strata Live 3D, particularly if you notice differences when the model is published to the web, you should read this article.

For models which use Phong shading, the shade of the surface color or texture, and the behavior of specular highlights, are all controlled by vertex normals. A vertex normal is a 3D vector which indicates the direction the surface is facing at that vertex. 

In Strata Live 3D, as in almost all 3D modeling programs, the vertex normals are computed by averaging the surface direction of triangles touching that vertex.  This leads to smooth shading across the transition from one triangle to another, making a fundamentally polygonal object look round.

In some cases, you do not want adjacent faces to have smooth shading. Suppose you have modeled a cube. Averaging face normals to compute vertex normals leads to strange lighting effects, since the boundary between triangles actually shoud be a sharp edge in this case. 

In Strata Live 3D this is handle by smoothing groups. Each face of the box can be placed into a different smoothing group, and when vertex normals are computed, a single vertex will end up with multiple normals, depending upon which face is being shaded.

These smoothing groups can be computed five different ways:

1) If you use 3ds max, and the Kaon export script (use the Help > Extras menu item), then the smoothing groups used by 3ds max are used directly by Kaon's software. The only catch is that we only support 24 smoothing group bits, not 32, so you need to make sure you only use the bottom 24 smoothing groups.

2) If you use a 3D program that exports normals into the VRML file, Strata Live 3D will look at those normals and compute smoothing groups which match those normals as closely as possible at import time. Note that many 3D programs have a checkbox in the exporter to choose whether normals are exported: make sure you turn it on!

3) If you use a 3D program that does not export normals (such as Lightwave), Strata Live 3D will look at the topology of the mesh. If two faces share a vertex (the vertex is "welded"), then they will be placed in the same smoothing group. If two faces share a vertex location but use different vertices (the vertices are "split"), then the faces will be placed into different smoothing groups.

4) After import, you can assign new smoothing groups to any object by right-clicking it in the hierarchy and choosing the Object Smoothing item from the menu.  This item allows you to compute smoothing groups based on the angle between faces.

5) When you use the Generate LOD feature of Strata Live 3D to reduce polygon count, you can also generate new smoothing groups as part of that operation.

Suppose you have a cube with a finely rounded edge. In this case, a single smoothing group leads to attractive lighting effects. But suppose you need to eliminate this fine edge while generating LOD to reduce triangle count.

After decimation, it is better to have the adjacent faces in different smoothing groups. By using the smoothing group recomputation feature of the Generate LOD panel, you can make this correct at the same time you decimate the mesh.

Although it is rare, sometimes after compressing your model for the web, the lighting will change. This can happen because one step of web compression is welding. Vertices which are very close spatially are automatically welded together, to save space during compression.

If the smoothing groups are correct, this will have no impact on the visual appearance. But if the smoothing groups do not accurately describe the way lighting should be after welding, then edges that were sharp can become smooth.

To correct this, right-click the problem object in the object hieararchy, and choose Generate LOD.  Move the slider slightly to the right, and do a decimation.  Generating LOD also welds vertices, as well as giving you the opportunity to compute new smoothing groups.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-15 22:54


How should I light my Live 3D model in Design 3D?

You need to use directional lights in your Design 3D CX model to get even lighting; directional lights are the only ones that transfer with the model. Put enough lights in your scene to make your object look good, from every angle.

Then export the file to Live 3D CX using Render Live 3D CX from the Render menu. Make sure to enable the Global Lights option in the Render Live 3D dialog.

Once in Live 3D CX, there are several ways to add lights and adjust the scene lighting, if needed. For more information, see Chapter 4, Section 4.3 in the User Guide. The User Guide is located in the Help Menu of Live 3D CX.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-28 23:45


Strata Live 3D CX (discontinued) » Live 3D PDFs

Can I embed 3D in a PDF?

Yes. Strata Live 3D directly exports to the U3D format supported in Adobe Reader, and also writes the necessary JavaScript to retain all the animation and appearance attributes you set up in Strata Live 3D. There are three ways to use the PDF export:

  1. Export directly to a PDF file which you can use and share immediately. This PDF will contain just your 3D model, animation controls, and a toolbar.
  2. If you are an Adobe Illustrator user, you can modify that PDF to add more content (text, graphics, etc.).
  3. If you are an Adobe Acrobat Professional user, you can follow some simple instructions (generated when you do the export) to put your 3D model, animation controls, and our easy-to-use toolbar into any PDF.

Author:
Last update: 2010-10-15 21:55


Hidden control keys in 3D PDFs

There are some built-in debugging features that Strata Live 3D CX puts into every Strata Live 3D PDF.

To avoid end-users of the PDF from accidentally enabling these features, they are protected by a simple password: 777. To access these functions, open a 3D PDF using Adobe Reader, click in the 3D area of the page, and type 777. Now you can type other keys to trigger different actions:

W - Switch to Wireframe rendering mode and back.

I - Switch to Illustration rendering mode and back.

S - Switch to Solid and Illustration rendering mode and back.

C - Display contents. This displays some information about the model: the version of Strata Live 3D U3D Exporter, version of Adobe runtime, object count, polygon count, texture count and texture size.

L - Avoid zoom-in Limits (useful if you want to zoom-in closer than is allowed by default).

B - Starts/stops Benchmarking mode in which model starts rotating. When you stop benchmarking, you will be shown an average FPS (frames per second) for your model.

F - Displays FPS. To measure FPS precisely use this in Benchmarking mode. Press B, wait 5 seconds, and then press F.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-16 23:31


What is the difference between Live 3D CX and Live 3D PDF?

Strata Live 3D PDF is a small application that ships with the full-featured Live 3D CX software, which provides a quick way to add 3D content to PDF documents. Live 3D PDF was designed to allow users to easily integrate 3D content into electronic brochures, sales sheets, technical manuals, etc. 

The basic Live 3D PDF workflow can be summed up in a few simple steps:

  1. Open a PDF document
  2. Import 3D content
  3. Edit UI placement where necessary
  4. Save out your new Strata 3DPDF

You can import existing 3D content, or .xmm files using Live 3D PDF. The .xmm format is the native file format for the full featured Live 3D CX application.

For more information about how to use the software, see the Live 3D PDF User Guide, which is located in the Help menu. 

For complex projects, you will want to use the full Strata Live 3D CX application. Once you have optimized and fine-tuned your 3D model, you can use Live 3D PDF to place it in a new or existing PDF document.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-11-04 18:59


Benefits of Strata Live 3D's U3D encoder

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-10-15 01:39


How can I change the default from inches to cm in my PDF?

The default unit measurement in 3D PDFs created with Live 3D PDF depends on the default language you have set. With English language, it defaults to inches.

To change the default units in a 3D PDF using Strata Live 3D PDF, follow this procedure:

1. Open the PDF in Strata LIve 3D PDF

2. Edit > Advanced > Run-time JavaScript

3. Add this line at the very end of the code MEASUREMENT_UNIT="centimeter";

4. Save your PDF

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-16 00:53


Can I make a PDF using Live 3D CX?

Yes, you can use either the main Live 3D CX application, or "Live 3D PDF," which is a small utility application that provides a quick way to add 3D content to PDF documents.

You can use the Export > PDF option in Live 3D CX to create a PDF with 3D content. 

This export option creates a PDF file with an embedded 3D model which Adobe Reader can display. You are able to choose from a selection of PDF templates for your design.

After you’ve exported your 3D PDF file, you can open the PDF in Adobe Illustrator to add design elements. 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-11-04 18:58


Can I use Live 3D CX to create a PDF out of a model with transparent parts?

Browsers handle Live 3D files better than Adobe Reader does.

Adobe's handling of 3D, and transparency in particular, is quite limited. Adobe Reader does not correctly sort translucent triangles back-to-front when rendering. This is a known problem in Reader since version 7.0, which Adobe has not fixed.

So, you will not be able to produce a PDF with transparency/translucency that will look as good as it does in a browser window.

Here are a couple of things that you can try when preparing a 3D model for PDF output:

- Avoid having meshes in your model that are too close together, this can interfere with the way the way it renders, especially in a PDF.

- Try to design the model so that transparent surfaces can never overlap visually.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-11-04 18:58


Is there a way to edit the context menu on a Strata 3d pdf? I want to remove the 'About Strata' entry.

Yes, you can do that. In Live 3D PDF go to Edit > Advanced > Runtime Java Script.

Find this line:

runtime.addCustomMenuItem("About Strata...","About Strata...","default",false);

and comment that line out by adding // to the start of the line. This should remove the "About Strata" entry from the context menu.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-11-07 22:39


STRATA FOTO 3D CX » General

Object Size - What size objects can Foto 3D model?

Theoretically, there is no limit to the size of objects that can be captured with Foto 3D CX 2. The most efficient way to capture an object is with a calibration mat.

However, if an object is too large for a mat, you can use the Marker system. While there is no size limit, you do need to be able to get photographs from all the way around the object from 10 to 20 directions.

In the User Guide, see "Chapter 7 - Using Markers" for an explanation of how to create a 3D model from photographs without using a calibration mat. The User Guide is located in the Help menu.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-15 20:13


Transparent/Reflective Surfaces - How does Foto 3D handle highly transparent or reflective objects?

When you look at a transparent object what you mainly see is a distorted image of the background that changes from one direction to another, not the object itself.

Although Foto 3D can capture the geometry of the object if the masks are accurate enough, the surface texture generated from lots of images tends to be blurred and confused.

This is something Foto 3D shares with all 3D modeling packages. Advanced users can edit the textures to improve the results but the model may still look lifeless compared to the original unless the rendering can show the effects of transparency.

Although highly reflective objects similarly reflect the background, the results tend to be much more acceptable, and if an environment map is added so that the reflections change with the direction the object is viewed from, then the objects will look convincingly reflective.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-15 20:18


Calibration Mat - How can I create different size Foto 3D calibration mats?

Foto 3D will print mats up to the size of the page in the printer. If you have access to an A3 printer for example, you can print a larger mat. Foto 3D will also print larger mats across a number of pages which can then be glued together. Make sure the resulting mat is flat and accurately produced.

You can print the mat from within Foto 3D, or you can find the Calibration Mat.pdf file (located in the application folder) and print from that. 

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-15 20:19


Holes or Indentations - Can Foto 3D CX 2 handle objects with holes or indentations?

Yes. Although Foto 3D creates its geometry from the silhouettes of objects, there is a way to mask holes in an object. See pages 41, 95 and 96 in the User Guide. 

In some cases, however, you may need to export and edit the geometry in a 3rd party modelling application such as Design 3D.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-03-23 16:09


Cameras - What cameras can I use with Foto 3D ?

Foto 3D accepts images as JPEG, PNG, TIFF or BMP files. These can be downloaded from digital cameras or scanned in from prints. For good results the object needs to be 300 pixels across or more, so a camera with at least 1M pixels is recommended.

Foto 3D will automatically correct lens distortion for common consumer cameras. You can also calibrate the camera lens from photos using the lens calibration wizard. Some cheap cameras (particularly those on mobile phones) may have lenses that produce sufficiently distorted images to affect the shape of the geometry.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-05-01 00:13


Foto 3D Models - Do I have to pay to use the models?

No. You are free to use the models generated by Foto 3D for whatever purpose you want without charge. Similarly, if you have upgraded to 3DSOM Pro you can put the Java Viewer or Shockwave Viewer on your website freely.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-03-23 16:12


Changing Texture - If I create a wire mesh from Strata Foto 3D, what would be the easiest way to apply a new artwork to it in Design 3D CX?

Foto 3D is designed to generate textured geometry in one quick operation. Using it for geometry generation only, and then replacing the texture in Design, is a bit awkward, but it can be done.

You can simply delete the texture in Design 3D. However, because of the way Foto 3D creates the geometry and the image map, you will need to redefine the UV mapping before you will be able to apply new textures (and not get an unexpected result.)

The way to do this is to bring the model from Foto into Design as a vrml file, then Export it as an Obj file. This should strip out the UV mapping.

Then you can bring the model back into Design 3D to redefine the UV mapping using the UV tools in Design 3D CX 7. Any texture maps you then apply will have correct UV mapping, and will behave as you expect.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-15 20:34


Mesh Density - What is the level of precision Foto 3D can produce, how dense is the mesh that is created?

Foto 3D CX 2 can create meshes with up to 20,000 triangles, which is enough for a very detailed model.

You can control the density of the mesh in the Wireframe Generation wizard. This is explained in the User Guide, which is located in the Help menu. See section 6.4 on page 67. 

In some situations you will want a lower polygon count, while other projects will require more detail.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-15 20:45


How can I control the scale of the 3D object I capture?

You can set the scale of a Foto 3D object through the File Menu > Settings dialog > Mat Scale Settings function:

Mat Scale Settings

This setting affects the scale of the exported object. Foto 3D CX exports model in VRML in meter units or in 3DS in mm units. By entering the length of a "mat unit" the exported model will be accurately scaled.

To obtain the actual length of the mat unit, simply measure the mat unit marker printed on the physical calibration mat. This is also the radius of the thin outer circle printed around the dots - you can measure the diameter of this circle and then halve your measurement.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-11-16 18:10


Humans - Is it possible to capture a human head or body with Foto 3D?

There is no technical reason you can't capture the human form or a human head using Foto 3D. However the practical problem is getting the subject to hold still enough to get good photographs. Movement will confuse the software, and result in bad geometry.

Also, humans have lots of concave areas like eye sockets and ears that are difficult if not impossible to capture using the silhouette method that Foto 3D uses.

It is possible to model parts of a Foto 3D object in a 3D modeling application such as Strata Design 3D CX. See section 9.8 in the Foto 3D User Guide for more information. The User Guide is located in the Help Menu.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-27 13:48


Photoshop Plug-ins - Are the Foto plug-ins compatible with PS CS6?

No, at the current time (May 2012) the optional plug-ins that ship with Foto 3D CX 2.x are not compatible with Photoshop CS6.

Remember, you don't need any version of Adobe® Photoshop® to use Foto 3D CX. You can use all of the features in Foto 3D without Photoshop.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-05-01 00:14


What file formats does Foto 3D import/export?

Foto 3D imports several image file formats (photos) - .jpg, .ppm, .bmp, .png and .tif. It does not open 3D file formats.

Foto 3D CX exports as .wrl (VRML) compressed VRML (.wrz), Studio Max object (.3ds) and Collada (.dae).

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-08-06 19:54


What file formats does Foto 3D import/export?

Foto 3D imports several image file formats (photos) - .jpg, .ppm, .bmp, .png and .tif. It does not open 3D file formats.

Foto 3D CX exports as .wrl (VRML) compressed VRML (.wrz), Studio Max object (.3ds) and Collada (.dae).

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-08-06 19:54


STRATA 3D UNIVERSITY

What is the Strata 3D University?

The Strata 3D University at Strata3DUniversity.com is a tutorial website with learning resources for Strata software products.

Whether you're an existing Strata Design 3D user, or new to 3D entirely, the Strata 3D University will help you unlock your 3D design potential.

Strata 3D University tutorials begin with the basics and progress through stunning realism, covering the gamut of 3D topics. For Design 3D CX owners and trial downloaders, this ongoing learning resource will lead you down the path to becoming a 3D design professional.

The website has more than 600 tutorials, with more than 1,300 individual videos, and more are being added weekly (or more often). A few of the tutorials are free, most require a subscription. The subscription is $14.95/month - a very good value. The first two weeks is only $.99, and you can cancel at ANY time.

There are prepaid 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions available here.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-12-03 10:26


Subscription receipts - I'm not getting my University receipts.

You should be getting a monthly email receipt from PayPal. It is possible that the receipts are going into your junk/spam folder.

The best suggestions would be to:

a) check your junk/spam folder locally

b) check your online junk/spam folder (many mail services screen and trap spam on the server, and this e-mail can be viewed through your online webmail service).

The e-mail receipt will come from service@paypal.com

If the address NEEDS to be whitelisted, it's likely that it's in one of those two places. If you have your mail server set to delete flagged mail immediately, you may never see the email. In this case whitelisting the address will help.

If for some reason it does not make it to your host server, there is very little that we can do to troubleshoot or correct the issue.

If this is the case - please e-mail sales@strata.com and we can provide you with a copy of the receipt.

Please include the following:

-your University user name

-the email address that you signed up with

-the date of the transaction.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-11-01 10:19


Subscribing - How do I subscribe to the Strata 3D University?

To subscribe to the Strata 3D University, go to Strata3DUniversity.com and click on the "Sign Up Now" button. It will take you to this page:

https://www.strata3duniversity.com/?pagename=Subscribe 

-On the first page of the registration process, you can select the subscription plan, create your user name and password, and enter a contact email address. 

-Once you have completed the first page, your account has been created and you will be sent an email containing a verification code.

-You need to enter the verification code on the Strata3DUniversity form; and finish the subscription process within 30 minutes. If you can't do this within 30 minutes, you will need to start the process over again.

-When your account is verified, you will be asked for your payment information.

-When you are finished, enjoy!

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-04-12 19:07


Canceling - How do I cancel my University subscription?

To cancel your subscription to the Strata3D University, please follow these steps:

- Log-in to your account on Strata3duniversity.com

- On the right side of the webpage, click “Subscription.”

- This will give you access to your account. You can complete the cancellation process there. This has to be done by the user. We cannot access your account, so we cannot cancel your subscription for you.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-29 19:44


Verification code - I'm trying to subscribe, but I did not get the verification code.

Subscribing to the University takes four steps. Once you fill out your user name and account details, you will be on the second step - Email Verification. An email will be sent to the email address you provided, which will contain a verification code.

Once you see the field to enter the verification code, you need to enter the code and finish the process within 30 minutes. If you don't, you'll need to start over.

Before you try again, you need to make sure you are going to be able to find the email. A good way to do that would be to find the first email.

Here are some instructions:

a) check junk folder locally

b) check online junk folder (many mail services screen and trap spam on the server, and this email can be viewed through their online webmail service).

If the address NEEDS to be whitelisted, it's likely that it's in one of those two places.

There are two ways you’ll never see the email:

a) you have your mail server set to delete flagged email immediately

b) the email has disappeared into the ether

If it's a), then whitelisting the address will help.

If it's b), there's very little we can do to troubleshoot or correct the issue.

The email is plain text and the address hasn't been used for anything else (to cause it to be flagged as a spam address).

Please add this e-mail address to your whitelist:

university@strata.com

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-01-07 10:02


Payment method - How do I update my payment information?

To change your credit card information, or otherwise update your University payment information, you'll need to log on to your account, and then select "Update Payment Information."

- Log-in to your account on Strata3duniversity.com

- On the right side of the webpage, click “Subscription.”

- This will give you access to your account. You can complete the process there.

This has to be done by the you, the user. We cannot access your account.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-29 20:03


Accessing the tutorials - I subscribed to the University, but I still can't access all the tutorials.

If you have completed the subscription process as described below but still can't access the paid tutorials, try resetting your password. 

To do this, click on the Lost your password? link at the lower right of the University home page. You will be guided through resetting your password.

If you have any questions, please contact sales@strata.com.

Subscribing to the University

To subscribe to the Strata 3D University, go to Strata3DUniversity.com and click on the "Sign Up Now" button. It will take you to this page:

https://www.strata3duniversity.com/?pagename=Subscribe 

-On the first page of the registration process, select the subscription plan, create your user name and password, and enter a contact email address. 

-Once you have completed the first page, your account has been created and you will be sent an email containing a verification code.

-You need to enter the verification code on the Strata3DUniversity form; and finish the subscription process within 30 minutes. If you can't do this within 30 minutes, you will need to start the process over again.

-When your account is verified, you will be asked for your payment information.

-When you are finished, enjoy!

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-09-14 18:00


iPad - Can I watch the University tutorials on an iPad?

Yes, as of November 27, 2012 almost every tutorial video on the Strata 3D University is iPad and iPhone compatible. You should no longer need to use the iSwifter Flash Web Browser.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-05-07 10:24


Prepaid subscriptions - Can I pay in advance for a University subscription?

Yes, you can purchase a prepaid University subscription through the Strata web store. There are 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions available here.

Prepaid subscriptions are ideal for users who need to submit budget requests in advance, and are available at a discount over the cost of a regular monthly subscription.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-04-10 19:54


University emails - I'm getting emails from the University, how do I stop them?

By default, subscribers receive a weekly summary of new posts from Strata 3D University. You can easily change this setting, if you do not want to receive the emails.

1. To find this setting, hover your mouse over the small white "Strata 3D University" link at the very top left of your browser window, next to the Wordpress icon.

2. Select Dashboard from the menu which appears.

3. Once in the Dashboard, select Subscribe2.

4. You will see one entry: "Receive periodic summaries of new posts?" Select No.

5. Click Update Preferences.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-08-19 14:08


Strata Enfold 3D CX (discontinued) » NOTE: Enfold 3D CX Discontinued

Is Enfold 3D CX still available?

Strata Enfold 3D has been reabsorbed into the powerful Esko Studio. Strata has discontinued sales of Enfold 3D as our licensing agreement for this product has reached its conclusion.

For users still looking to add 3D plug-ins to Adobe Illustrator, we recommend checking out Esko Studio for Boxes, part of the Studio line of plug-ins. Users of Esko Studio will still be able to import their projects into Strata Design 3D CX for further design work.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-08-22 00:12


Strata Enfold 3D CX (discontinued) » General

Does Enfold export to 3D pdf files like Esko Graphics Studio?

Strata Enfold 3D CX does not directly export to a 3D PDF, but is a way to accomplish this with Strata software:

- You can open the Enfold file in Strata Design 3D CX and then export to an XMM file, using Render > Render to Live 3D. Then open the .xmm file in Strata Live 3D CX 2 or Strata Live 3D PDF, and create a 3D PDF from there.

- You can create PDF and web presentations using the Live 3D plug-ins which ship with Live 3D and are installed into Photoshop CS4 or CS5 Extended.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-15 19:49


Thickness - Is there a way to add thickness to a carton using Enfold 3D?

Unfortunately, Enfold 3D does not currently support a thickness function.

You can export the 3D model from Enfold 3D and bring it into Strata Design 3D CX where you can add elements to mimic thickness. However, it can't be done directly in Illustrator with Enfold 3D.

Enfold 3D is developed by our partner EskoArtwork. They do offer products that allow you to set the thickness of the material. These higher end products are predictably more expensive - but excellent for some of these types of functions.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-15 19:56


Color Shift - When I import a U3D file into Strata Design 3D CX 6.0 from Enfold the colors look inverted.

This is a known issue on PowerPC Macs that has been fixed in the free Design 3D CX 6.1 updater, available here:
http://www.strata.com/support/free_updates/

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-15 19:57


3D PDFs - Can I export a 3D animation to a PDF viewable by all? I don't have Acrobat Professional.

No, only Acrobat Professional Extended supports 3D and will recognize the U3D file format.

The other way to create a 3D PDF is to import the U3D file into Strata Design 3D CX. Then export to Strata Live 3D's XMM file format.

You can then use Live 3D's 3D PDF functionality to create a PDF with 3D embedded in it.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-12-15 20:04


Why do I keep getting "Gap" error warnings when I try to fold up my design?

There are several things that will prompt a gap error while working in Enfold 3D:

- First make sure that your template is constructed properly. All of the exterior lines should be Cut lines. Check to make sure that Cut lines and Fold lines are defined correctly.

- Make sure that you have selected all of the appropriate lines before you try to fold up the box. If you don't have all of the cut and fold lines selected when you click the Fold button in the 3D Make palette, Enfold will be unable to find the box faces, and will show an error message.

- If you are still seeing gap errors, you have unacceptable gaps in the cut or fold lines. Correcting these gaps is covered in the User Guide.

The User Guide is located in Illustrator's Help menu > Strata Enfold 3D CX. See the section "Check the die and remove inaccuracies." Enfold can correct for some gaps, while others will need to be corrected.

You can use the Trim and Extend tool to manually correct some gaps. You may also need to adjust the Automatic Correction values in the Fold Selection window.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-07-13 20:30


Will Enfold 3D CX work with Adobe Illustrator CS5, 5.1 or 5.5?

Yes, Enfold does work in Adobe Illustrator CS 5 and CS 5.1 (5.1 is part of the CS 5.5 Suite). Enfold 3D CX is an Illustrator plug-in.

An updated installer version (Enfold 3D CX 1.0.572) has been posted. It can be found in the Free Updates section of Strata.com Support pages:

http://www.strata.com/support/free_updates/

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-11-15 19:08


Where can I find tutorials and other learning resources for Strata Enfold 3D CX?

There are several good tutorials available for Enfold 3D CX:

- There is a good basic tutorial in the Enfold 3D CX User Guide. This is available from within Illustrator. Go to the Help menu > Strata Enfold 3D CX > User Guide. There is a section called "Creating a Basic Box," that's a good place to start.

- There is an Enfold 3D CX tutorial in the November 2010 issue of the Adobe Edge newsletter.

This tutorial shows you how to create a folded package design in Enfold 3D, and then export it as a U3D file and create high quality image presentations directly in Photoshop. Source files are included, and this tutorial requires Photoshop CS4 or CS5 Extended (only Photoshop Extended includes 3D layers.) The tutorial is located here.

- There are some additional tutorial videos on the Strata website here.  Look for “Strata Enfold 3D CX: Unique Print Invitation,” and "Strata Enfold 3D CX: Carton and Point-of-Sale Design." 

- Don't forget to check the Enfold forum on the StrataCafe, Strata's user community site.

- If you want more formal classes, contact Strata for referral to certified Strata trainers, who are available for online or in-person training.

 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-10-04 18:00


The line type name (Cut or Crease) isn't showing in Illustrator's Color palette under the color slider.

First, make sure you have "line" as the forward indicator in the Color palette. If not you need to click on the line indicator side of the fill/line controller in the upper left of the dialog.

Secondly, once the Color palette is properly setup Illustrator should display the line type name just below the color slider. However, the name will only appear if you have _only_ one type of line selected.

For example, if you have only crease lines selected the word Crease should appear below the slider. However, if you have a crease line and a cut line selected simultaneously the line indicator in the left side will show little question marks (?) in the corners of the controller.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-15 20:11


I'm having trouble getting my complex project to fold. It's got many segments and fold lines, and the Fold button never becomes active.

You may find many lines that have not been assigned to be Crease or Cut lines that should be, or you may be selecting elements in your design that aren't meant to be part of the folded project (such as surface design elements like a photo, or a notation element such as a dimension call-out).

The Fold button only becomes active when you have _only_ Cut and Crease lines selected.

There are a several ways to tell if a selected line is assigned to either Cut or Crease:

- First is the color of the line. Lines assigned to be Crease lines will display in red. Lines assigned to Cut will display in black - of course, black is the default line color in Illustrator, so that may not be too helpful.

- The second method is to select the line, then look at the Enfold 3D Make palette. If it is either a Cut or Crease line the indicator in that palette will get a highlighted border around the color swatch (around the red square next to the word "Crease" for example).

- The third way to tell is use the Illustrator Color palette. With the line portion of the controller in the Color palette forward, the name of the line type will appear below the color slider (Cut or Crease) if it has been assigned to one of these Enfold line types. 

Sometimes in a very complex design with many small segments it's possible to have a line that hasn't been assigned to either Cut or Crease. One tool you can use to make sure that each of the many line segments is correctly assigned is the "Select All Cuts and Creases" button located to the left of the Check button in the Enfold 3D Make palette. What this does is show you (by virtue of not being selected) which lines are not currently assigned. Click the button, zoom in on the lines and pan around. 

You can quickly check your design using the Select > All command (found in the Select menu). First, make sure you hide or remove any lines that aren't meant to be part of the folded design (such as art or dimensions). When you've successfully assigned all of your lines the Fold button will become active.

Some projects will contain many segments that are very, very small. If you have trouble finding them all, you can use the "Select All Cuts and Creases" button, then drag the selection off of the art board area. Then do a drag-select on the art board so that you can see where the small elements are that are still unassigned.

Once you see where the unassigned elements are, do an undo (to move the assigned elements back into place on the art board), and then go in and assign the proper line type to the unassigned elements.

There are other strategies you can pursue to make sure you've successfully assigned all of the lines in your design, but the above provides a few techniques you can easily use.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-15 20:08


Is there a way to control the lighting or perspective/view in Enfold 3D CX?

No, the Enfold does not support lighting, or changing the perspective or view.

However, if you export as a U3D file to Strata Design 3D, you can add lights, play with the textures, add backgrounds, etc. and then render a final beauty shot. That's what many of our users do.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-12-15 19:58


Trapping - Can Enfold 3D handle trapping, and work with Esko's trapping program?

Since Enfold 3D is an Illustrator plug-in, all the functionality of Illustrator is available to you.

The Strata Enfold 3D plug-in and the EskoArtwork PowerTrapper or InstantTrapper, or trap-X (the previous name) can work next to each other without any problem.

The trapping created in Adobe Illustrator files will also show in Enfold 3D window. As the trapping made by the EskoArtwork PowerTrapper is created on a separate layer, you can even choose to add the trapping to an exported u3d or tiff.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-12-15 20:01


Can I use more than one object in Enfold? For example, a pocket to be glued on to the main design.

No, Enfold 3D is limited to one continuous folded object per document.

However, you can design multiple elements that can be combined in Strata Design 3D CX. To do this you would create the individual Adobe Illustrator projects, and fold the designs with Enfold 3D.

Then use the export feature in the Enfold 3D View palette to save out U3D files; and then import these 3D models into Design 3D.

In Design 3D you would assemble them into the correct positions. From there you can create presentation renderings, etc.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-11-15 18:57


I have a .box file that works great with a particularly sized layout. Can I scale or expand this same box file to work with larger layouts?

Yes, you should be able to re-use a .box file. This is explained in the User Guide, in the next to the last section, "Re-using or modifying a Strata Enfold 3D CX Box file."

The User Guide is located in Adobe Illustrator Help menu > Strata Enfold 3D CX > User Guide.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-01-13 22:17


Is Enfold compatible with Adobe Illustrator CS6?

Unfortunately, Enfold 3D Cx is not compatible with Illustrator CS6. For now you'll need to continue to use Enfold 3D with AI CS4 or CS5.

We may offer an upgrade in the future, but for now this is not something you should rely on for your planning.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-05-01 00:05


Can I use an ARD (.ard) file in Enfold?

The .ard format is the native file format for Esko's ArtiosCAD application, and .box is the Enfold 3D native file format. 

You can import an .ard file into Enfold by simply renaming the file with the .box extension. For example, File.ard would become File.box. Then import the .box file using the Place a box file" option in the 3D View palette in Illustrator. 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-06-05 23:18


Is Enfold compatible with Mavericks (Mac OS 10.9.x)?

Yes, Strata Enfold 3D CX will run on the Mavericks operating system. Even though we are no longer selling Enfold, we still work with Esko to maintain the licensing database for those customers who have already purchased Enfold.

-You will need to use an updated version of the Esko Local License Manager. You can download the new license manager here.

-You will also need to use the License Manager to activate or deactivate Enfold - in Mac OS 10.9, you cannot manage your license from within Illustrator.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-02-27 09:29


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Photoshop

PS Plug-ins - When using "Send to Photoshop" I get an alert: "Version mismatch while communicating 3D model data..."

You may have multiple Strata 3D CX plug-in versions installed. An older version is likely being called to handle the data transfer.

To correct this issue, remove any older version of the plug-ins.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2014-06-10 16:38


PS Plug-ins - I installed Strata 3D CX 6, but it doesn't work with PS CS4, and I get an error message trying to send a 3D model to Photoshop.

You may be having a conflict with another set of Strata's Photoshop plug-ins. You either have two different sets in the Photoshop Plug-ins folder, or an older set.

Go to the Photoshop Plug-ins folder and make sure that you have an alias that points to the "Strata D3D CX 3D[in] Plug-ins" folder in your Strata Design 3D CX 6 folder.

If you see another alias similar to this pointing to a folder in Strata 3D CX 5.x, you'll want to remove this alias.

The plug-ins might also be in a folder named "Strata" within the Ps plugins folder. If you have this folder, remove from it the following files: StrataImport.plugin, StrataModeler.plugin, StrataRender.plugin, StrataViewMatch.plugin.

If that "Strata" folder only contains the four files I mentioned, then you can delete it as well.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2014-06-10 16:56


PS Plug-ins - When I try to 'Send Model to Photoshop' I get an Error 8800 alert. I'm on Windows 7 and Photoshop 64-bit CS4 Extended.

The problem is most likely that you are using the 64-bit version of Photoshop CS4 Extended. Strata Design 3D CX 6/7 and the PS Plug-ins are 32-bit.

If you install the Photoshop CS4, CS 5 or CS5.x Extended 32-bit version and then try the Send Model to Photoshop option, it should work for you.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 16:59


CS 5.x compatibility - Does Design 3D CX 6 and 7 work with Photoshop CS5 or CS5.x?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 17:00


PS Plug-ins - In Design 3D CX 6, my renderings are opening in Photoshop with a black background. They used to be transparent.

The render dialog has been upgraded and updated, starting in version 6, and it has some new controls.

Just make sure to check Render Alpha Channel AND Exclude Background when you render your image to get a transparent background.

 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 17:10


PS Plug-ins - I went from CS4 to CS5, now I can't see my Strata plug-ins in Photoshop.

You just need to install the Design 3D CX plug-ins into your new Photoshop CS5 or CS5.x. 

To do this, first find the plug-in installer. For Design 3D CX 7 on the Mac OS, the installers are located here:

(Your user account)/Library/Application Support/Corastar Inc./Strata Design 3D CX 7/Optional Installers. The installer is named "Ps Plug-ins for D3D CX 7."

If you're running Windows, or Design 3D CX v6 or earlier, the Optional Installers folder is located in the Design 3D CX application folder.

Open and run the installer. It will ask you to locate the Photoshop plug-ins folder. Select your Photoshop plug-ins folder, and install the plug-ins there. You will need to restart Photoshop to see the plug-ins.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 17:01


PS Plug-ins - I have Photoshop CS4 and 5. In CS5 32-bit mode, I get an error when I select "Send Model to Photoshop," saying PS doesn't have enough RAM.

- Do you still have Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended on your computer? If so, then make sure you don't have the plug-ins installed in the CS4 Plug-ins folder - you only want to have them in PS CS5 Extended's Plug-ins folder.

- With the Design 3D CX plug-ins set up in PS CS5 Extended, open Photoshop CS5 and create a new empty document. Go to Filters > Strata Design 3D CX > Model New.

This will open Design 3D CX and transfer some data. In Design 3D CX, place an object in the scene and apply a texture, then click the "Send Model to Photoshop" button in the button bar or select the command in the File menu. This will send the object back to Photoshop.

This process helps establish the connection between PS CS5 and Design 3D CX.

- You may also need to shut down Design 3D CX and Photoshop, and then restart your machine.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 17:02


CX 7/7.5 - Do I need Photoshop to use Design 3D? Which version of PS, and how does it work?

No, Strata Design 3D CX is a stand-alone all-purpose 3D application. You don't need any version of Adobe® Photoshop® to use it. You can use all of the modeling, animation, texturing and rendering features in Design 3D without Photoshop.

Some features in Design 3D work with any version of Photoshop. These take advantage of 2D Photoshop files:

- Link to Layered Photoshop Document in the Image Texture dialog allows you to use a linked PS file as an image map. Changes made in the PS file are automatically used in the Design 3D texture.

- Render to (Photoshop) Layers - this outputs your rendering in PS layers for easy post-production work.

- Image maps created in any version of Photoshop and saved (as TIFF, JPEG, PSD, etc.) can be loaded into the texture channels as image maps for creating textures.

- Import Illustrator (.ai) PDF compatible or EPS v8 file for use with several modeling tools, like Extrude, Lathe, PathExtrude, Skin and etc.

- Photoshop CS6 Extended allows you to import 3D objects in a wide range of formats including OBJ, Collada DAE, etc. Design 3D CX supports importing and exporting to OBJ, Collada and other 3D formats.

Photoshop Plug-ins - Discontinued in v7.5

Design 3D CX 7 shipped with several optional Photoshop plug-ins. These plug-ins have been discontinued in version 7.5.

 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 17:13


Learning resources - Where can I learn how to use the Photoshop plug-ins?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 16:25


Troubleshooting - Is there any information about troubleshooting the Photoshop plug-ins?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 16:47


PS Plug-ins - In PS CS5, when I try to transfer a model the 64-bit version of Photoshop opens.

Try opening PS CS5 (32-bit) and with a new document open, go to Filter menu > Strata Design 3D CX > Model New.

In Design 3D, put an object such as a sphere into the resulting document, and then choose Send Model to Photoshop. This should help set the correct Photoshop version to be used with the Strata PS plug-ins.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 17:06


CX 7 - Do the Photoshop plug-ins work with Photoshop CS 6?

Design 3D CX 7 and earlier versions came with several Photoshop plug-ins. These are optional plug-ins, and can be installed when you first run the Design 3D CX installer, or later if you wish. These plug-ins have been discontinued in Design 3D CX 7.5.

The Photoshop plug-ins that ship with Design 3D CX 7 are not compatible with Photoshop CS6: this includes Match, Model New, Model Edit and Render.  

Remember, you don't need any version of Adobe® Photoshop® to use Design 3D CX. You can use all of the modeling, animation, texturing and rendering features in Design 3D without Photoshop.

Some of the Adobe connection features in Design 3D work with any version of Photoshop. These take advantage of 2D Photoshop files:

- Link to Layered Photoshop Document in the Image Texture dialog allows you to use a linked PS file as an image map. Changes made in the PS file are automatically used in the Design 3D texture.

- Render to (Photoshop) Layers - this outputs your rendering in PS layers for easy post-production work.

- Image maps created in any version of Photoshop and saved (as TIFF, JPEG, PSD, etc.) can be loaded into the texture channels as image maps for creating textures.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 17:12


CX 7.5 - Do any Photoshop plug-ins come with Design 3D CX 7.5?

No, the Photoshop plug-ins have been discontinued as of Design 3D CX 7.5. These optional plug-ins are not compatible with Photoshop CS 6 and later due to significant changes made by Adobe, and the decision was made to discontinue them.

There are several features in Design 3D CX (including v7.5) that work with any version of Photoshop and do not require any special plug-ins. These take advantage of 2D Photoshop files:

- Link to Layered Photoshop Document in the Image Texture dialog allows you to use a linked PS file as an image map. Changes made in the PS file are automatically used in the Design 3D texture.

- Render to (Photoshop) Layers - this outputs your rendering in PS layers for easy post-production work.

- Image maps created in any version of Photoshop and saved (as TIFF, JPEG, PSD, etc.) can be loaded into the texture channels as image maps for creating textures.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-10 17:14


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Rendering

Increasing DPI - How do I increase the megabyte size of my renderings, larger than 72MB?

You are confusing MB (megabytes) with dpi (dots per inch). The size of your renderings in MB is determined by the horizontal and vertical dimensions and the resolution in pixels per inch.

In the Render dialog you can specify the dimensions in the middle of the dialog, on the right side. To change the dpi to something other than the default of 72 you need to first change the Units to something other than pixels. Once you've done that the dpi field is made active so you can change it as well.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-11-29 23:12


Changing DPI - In the Render dialog, I can't change my dpi from 72 to 300. I clicked in the field but I it won't change.

In the Render dialog change your Units to inches, which converts the pixel dimensions to inches.

You can then change the dpi to 300 dpi.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-14 19:41


Alpha channel - How do I render a scene without the background showing in the render?

When you are ready to render an image, select Render > Render Image from the main menu at the top of the screen. This opens the Render Image dialog.

In the Render Image dialog, check (enable) the Render Alpha Channel option. This will render only your object(s), with an alpha channel. An alpha channel is a single 8-bit (grayscale) channel in a color image used to store transparency data. The alpha channel makes it easy for you to place renderings into image and animation composition applications.

You may also want to check (enable) the Exclude Background option. See Chapter 18 - The Render Image Dialog > Alpha Channel and Background Settings, on page 353 in the User Guide. The User Guide is available in the Help menu.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-13 20:09


RenderPro - I own RenderPro 5.5. It will not work with version 6. What can I do to get this back in my work flow?

There are no plans at this time to release RenderPro for CX 6 or 7. There has been less and less demand for RenderPro as Design 3D's rendering speed has increased, and computers have gotten more powerful.


You may be interested in checking out the benchmarks page on the StrataCafe: http://www.stratacafe.com/benchmarks.asp This page allows users to post their rendering speeds on different machines, with different versions of Design 3D; all with the same model and render settings.

Remember, you can render in the background, and use the Rendering Queue for multiple renders. For more information see the User Guide, which is located in the Help menu.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-16 00:04


Memory errors/crashes - When I try to render an image, I get an "Out of Memory" error or crash.

The most common causes of frequent crashes and 'out of memory' errors are not having enough RAM, unneeded complexity in your model, and unnecessarily high render settings. There are several things you can do to avoid these problems.

1. Simplify your model by using primitives whenever possible. Reduce any unneeded complexity of Subdivision meshes, Boolean objects, Deformation lattices, Extruded objects, etc. Remove any objects that will not show in your final rendering, especially in files imported from other software applications.

2. Make sure you have made use of Shapes for repeating objects in your model.

3. Make sure the image maps in your textures are not higher resolution than is needed. In some cases, such as imported files, you can downsample the image maps substantially without seeing any degradation in image quality or in your final rendering.

4. Make sure to use appropriate render settings. You can check the Art and Science of Strata 3D and the User Guide for more information about render settings. In addition, the StrataCafe forums are a good source of information.

5. Do not copy and paste large images or models; this ties up memory in the clipboard. You can clear the clipboard's memory by copying a simple cube or sphere.

6. Make sure you have enough RAM. You may get an Out of Memory error if your rendering requires more memory then your computer has. Memory allocation is handled automatically by the program. It will request as much as it needs from the OS until there is no more to be given, and then you get the error message.

NOTE: Design 3D is a 32-bit program which limits the amount of RAM it can address to 4GB regardless of how much there may be in the computer. Subtracting system overhead gives a useable amount in the neighborhood of 3.5GB that the program can actually make use of.

7. You may want to consider upgrading your computer. The more processors you have available, the faster the rendering speed will be. So two, four or more CPUs will help more than anything. Design 3D CX 7 supports up to 24 "tasks;" a 12-core machine that is capable of hyperthreading equals 24 tasks.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-06-14 12:03


Toon - I'm trying to render a model for an instruction sheet, using the Flat Toon setting. The results are not what I'm looking for.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-01-29 15:53


Memory errors - I'm using Render to Layers at a high resolution, and I keep getting out of memory errors. What's going on?

When you Render to Layers, every layer is stored in memory (RAM). Rendering multiple layers at a very high resolution is simply a very memory-intensive process, so don't use a higher resolution than you need, and only render the layers that you know you will use.

You might also disable the "Full Composite" option or some of the other channel in the Render to Layers dialog; or otherwise experiment with ways to reduce your memory usage.

If necessary, you can render the layers separately.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-13 20:10


CX 7/7.5 - Hardware recommendations - I'm thinking about buying a new computer to speed up my renderings. Do you have any suggestions?

We do not make hardware recommendations, however here are some general guidelines:

-The more processors you have available, the faster the rendering speed will be. So two, four or more CPUs will help more than anything. Design 3D CX 7 supports up to 24 tasks; a 12-core machine that is capable of hyperthreading equals 24 "tasks."

-Strata is a 32-bit application and can make use of 4 GB of RAM; a system with at least 4 GB of RAM is recommended.

-Remember, it's important to model efficiently and use appropriate render settings.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-21 16:09


CX 7/7.5 - Settings changes - Why does my v6 model render differently in v7?

Substantial improvements and enhancements were made in the Design 3D CX 7 renderer which may result in the need to adjust some render settings on older files. 

-The Detail settings used in 6.x may not be adequate for 7.. Renderings in version 7. works better with smaller/tighter detail settings such as 1x7 or 2x2.

-Adaptive sampling for GI is another important change, which can be easily overlooked. The raydiosity render engine now uses Adaptive sampling for samples which are likely to fall in shadow regions. This can speed things up quite a bit, but if not set carefully can result in GI artifacts, blotchiness, etc. This will be most detectable in darker regions, especially in interior scene.

When a file is opened from 6.x, look in the Shadow channel. The Adaptive sampling value there governs both GI and raytraced soft shadows. Each scene is going to tolerate this value to varying degrees.

Start with a value of 1.0. You'll note that the new Raydiosity renderer preset sliders automatically adjust this value. The 'Better' middle values set it to .35.

-Blurry reflections and blurry transparency - the Adaptive Sampling parameter in the Details dialog primarily governs the new blurry reflections/transparency system. You can adjust this up or down, higher values let the renderer throw out more rays which will give you faster renderings, but at the expense of blurry reflection fidelity.

Lower values approaching zero create more accurate reflections but will be somewhat slower. However, the new blurry reflection code overall is faster and more physically accurate than the 6.0. The blurry reflections are going to take some getting used to, primarily because the range of blurriness was completely remapped.

On page 21 of the Texture PDF of the Art & Science of Design 3D 7, you'll find a bluriness conversion chart which is a general guide. For instance, if you change a 6.2 material from Conical to Smooth, the Smoothness value will need to be adjusted. Use the chart to convert. You'll find that you'll be using values much lower than would have been used in 6.2.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-21 16:09


CX 7/7.5 - Adaptive sampling - What are the new Adaptive sampling render options?

Adaptive Sampling allows the renderer to cut down the number of samples being used for both GI, light cast shadows and blurry reflections.

If this value is set too high you'll notice noise or grunge appearing. The renderer attempts to cut down samples in darker regions where they may not be noticed, but this will vary from scene to scene.

To control the affect this has on GI, look at the Shadow channel in the Render Dialog. This channel controls raytraced shadowing for spot and point lights. However, the Adaptive Sampling variable also ties into GI shadow areas.

It is recommended that this value stay below 1.0%. Often values below 0.5% will ensure that surface artifacts don't show up. You'll note that the Raydiosity renderer presets set this value to 0.35% for the Better range.

For scenes opened up from 6.2 files or earlier, this value is likely to be set at 2.0. This may be too high (depending on the scene). So just watch for unusually blotchiness in a scene compared to the 6.0 version which had uniform sampling.

There is also a new Adaptive Surface Sampling setting available in the Details channel of the Render Image dialog. It affects global illumination sampling (Raydiosity), blurry reflections and blurry transparency sampling.

It applies to surfaces; and detects when new samples no longer help to refine the image, then stops the sampling at that point. Setting the threshold to 0% causes all of the samples to be taken.

A low setting (2%) ensures that all needed samples are made, but may slow rendering. A higher setting (5-9%) can speed up the rendering substantially. Objects or models lit with global illumination may require a lower setting to produce acceptable quality.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-21 16:08


CX 7/7.5 - Detail settings - Have the recommended Details render settings changed?

Yes, the way the renderer handles the Detail values has changed in some ways. Detail values that were used in 6.2 may not work as well in v7.

Values recommended for v7 would cause very slow rendering in v6, such as a block size of 1 or 2.

However, those are now the best settings to use in 7. Some of the most common and efficient block settings are:

• block size 1, threshold 7 (1x7)

• block size 2, threshold 2 (2x2)

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-10-21 16:10


Letters missing - I often lose letters from 2D graphics when rendering.

You most likely need to lower the Pixel Detail Block Size. This is found in the Detail settings drawer in the Render dialog. Lower this setting until you no longer see small details dropping out. This may require you to go all the way down to 1.

The renderer starts with large blocks of pixels which are refined smaller and smaller during the rendering process. The refinement continues on every block until the maximum block size is reached. At that point, the Block/volume subdivision limit setting decides which blocks to refine smaller. A setting of four in this field means a four-pixel by four-pixel block.

A block size that is too large may result in missing letters in text, or single-pixel lines in surface textures not displaying correctly. These issues can be especially noticeable in animations.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-01-13 20:11


test

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Yasir Nawaz
Last update: 2020-09-23 13:18


Strata Enfold 3D CX (discontinued) » Image Map Resolution

Workaround - Why is Enfold's output low resolution? Is there a way around this?

The U3D file format has some odd issues that allow only a map of 1024 x 1024 to be applied to any one mesh.

We had a test version of Enfold 3D that supported higher resolution U3D file output but it caused the polygon mesh to be broken into separate pieces. We made the decision that it would be better to have the connected and complete mesh output and deal with the lower res texture map on the back end.

Here's how you do that:

Open the U3D file in Strata Design 3D 6 or 7 (yes, you'll need v6 or higher for the U3D file format support).

Locate the texture for your Enfold model file and open it. Click on the thumbnail for the Diffuse Color map to open the Image Map dialog. From the View Scale pop-up menu select 100% (the view scale effects the resolution that the map gets copied at onto the clipboard).

Now copy that image. Go to Photoshop and create a new document. Paste the color map into the new document (you'll notice that the image is squished and has a black boarder on one side. This is compensated for in the UV mapping of the mesh).

Now go to the Image menu and select Image Size. Increase the resolution of the image to a size you feel will support the renderings you intend to create. You now have a high resolution, blurry texture map. Now we fix it.

Open your original package design in Illustrator. Hide everything except the art you want applied to the box and choose "All" from the "Select" menu and copy. Now go back to Photoshop and paste the art into the Ps document your created earlier. If you want to be able to edit the art and retain the ability to size it up to even higher resolution choose "Smart Object" from the dialog asking you how you want to paste it in.

When you paste the art in you are automatically put into Transform mode for the art. Now scale the art to match the fuzzy placeholder art underneath. Now add black and cover where need be to make the new art look like the old art. Now you can do Select All and a Copy Merged to paste this higher res map back into your Enfold project in Design 3D - or you can save the Photoshop document and use it for a source to link to the surface of your Enfold model via the texture linking feature in Design 3D.

It's a little complicated - but we've used this technique many times and don't find it to be too difficult. In the future we hope to resolve this in a more automated way.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-15 23:35


Tiff Export - I want to export a high res image from Enfold, but the tiff looks bitmapped no matter what I do.

Tiff image export (accessed from the Export command from the Enfold 3D View palette menu) has a limit of 1024 x 1024 pixels on the size of the "image map" wrapped around the 3D object. The reason for the limit has to do with the internal data structure and the U3D file format.

For now this limit can only be overcome by exporting the actual 3D file and increasing the resolution of the image map (as outlined below). This improved 3D file can then be used to create a new presentation image, animation or Live 3D presentation.

Creating High Resolution Presentation Images with Photoshop CS4 or CS5 Extended

Open the U3D file in Photoshop CS4 Extended or CS5 Extended (only the Extended versions support 3D layers). In the Layers panel of Photoshop you'll see your 3D object along with a list of textures applied to the surface. The one you'll want to double-click on to open will have the name "texture1_0". Once you double click on this texture name a new Photoshop document will open displaying the texture map.

Now increase the resolution of this texture map by going to the Image menu and selecting Image Size. Increase the resolution of the image to a size you feel will support the renderings you intend to create (often increasing the size to 200% is sufficient). You now have a high resolution but blurry texture map. We'll now we fix the blurry issue.

Open your original design in Illustrator. Hide everything except the art you want applied to the folded project and choose "All" from the "Select" menu - then copy that selected art. Now go back to Photoshop and paste the art into the Ps texture map document. If you want to be able to edit the art and retain the ability to size it up later to even higher resolution choose "Smart Object" from the dialog asking you how you want to paste it in - otherwise choose "Pixels".

When you paste the art in you are automatically put into Transform mode for the art. Now scale the art to match the fuzzy placeholder art underneath.

After you scale the art and hit the Return (or Enter) key you may need to add a layer underneath the hi-res art to cover the previous fuzzy art. Now just close the texture1_0 document. You'll be asked if you want to save - say Yes. Now when you look at your 3D layer in Photoshop the object will display this higher resolution map.

Note: You may see some problems when viewing your 3D object in Photoshop that will look like white dots or triangles showing up across the surface. The cause of this can be attributed to the fact that Enfold 3D exports and "inside" mesh (which is white) and an "outside" mesh (which has the texture map applied to it).

You can hide the inside mesh using Photoshop's 3D panel. You can access this from the Window menu. In the 3D panel choose the left-most to button to set the palette's contents to Scene. You'll see a list containing two objects with names that start with "ModelResource". Hide the second object with that name in the list. You'll note the white inside mesh will disappear and the problems will go away.

Creating High Resolution Presentation Images with Strata Design 3D CX 6 or 7

Open the U3D file in Strata Design 3D 6 or 7. Locate the texture for your Enfold model file and open it (textures can be found using the Texture tab of the Resource palette).

In the "Image Texture" dialog, click on the thumbnail for the Diffuse Color map to open the Image Map dialog. From the View Scale pop-up menu select 100% (the view scale effects the resolution that the map gets copied at onto the clipboard). Now copy that image. Go to Photoshop and create a new document. Paste the color map into the new document (you'll notice that the image is squished and has a black boarder on one side. This is compensated for in the UV mapping of the mesh).

Now go to the Image menu and select Image Size. Increase the resolution of the image to a size you feel will support the renderings you intend to create (often increasing the size to 200% is sufficient). You now have a high resolution but blurry texture map. We'll now we fix the blurry issue.

Open your original design in Illustrator. Hide everything except the art you want applied to the folded project and choose "All" from the "Select" menu - then copy that selected art. Now go back to Photoshop and paste the art into the Ps document your created earlier.

If you want to be able to edit the art and retain the ability to size it up later to even higher resolution choose "Smart Object" from the dialog asking you how you want to paste it in - otherwise choose "Pixels".

When you paste the art in you are automatically put into Transform mode for the art. Now scale the art to match the fuzzy placeholder art underneath. After you scale the art and hit the Return (or Enter) key you may need to add a layer underneath the hi-res art to cover the previous fuzzy art.

Now choose Select All and then use the Copy Merged command from the Edit menu. Go back to Design 3D to paste this higher res map back into your Image Map dialog for the Diffuse Color channel of your texture. Alternatively, you can save the Photoshop document and use it for a source to link to the surface of your Design 3D model via the texture linking feature. Linking will allow you to res-up the Photoshop document if need be in the future. This works particularly well if you choose to paste the Illustrator artwork into your Photoshop document as a "Smart Object".

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-12-15 23:37


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » ScriptFX/Lua

Modifying ScriptFX - I'm using the "Back" easing function Smooth Motion ScriptFX, but the motion doesn't overshoot the final position as much as I'd like.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-13 20:07


Lua Scripting - I understand Design 3D CX has powerful Lua scripting capability. Where can I find more information?

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-14 19:44


Installing Scripts - I downloaded a Lua Script from the StrataCafe. How do I get it to show up in Design 3D CX?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-12-14 19:49


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Textures

Animating - How can I replace a texture on an object during an animation, then change back again?

One way would be to place both textures on the object, with the one you want visible at the start and finish on top. You can order your textures in the Textures & FX panel of the Object Properties palette.

Now you can animate its visibility with the Stencil Channel control to let the other show through at the mid section of the animation. For more information see Texture Channel Controls in Chapter 9 of the User Guide.

You can also animate any of the attributes of a texture, using the Edit At controls at the top right of the Texture dialog. For more information see Animating Textures in Chapter 8 of the User Guide.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-02-12 17:21


CX 6 - How do you get custom textures to appear in the Resources Palette?

Inside the Strata Design 3D CX folder on your hard drive there is a Resources folder. Inside it is a Textures folder.

Placing your new textures there will allow Strata to find and load them at startup so they show up in the Resources Palette. If you create a new folder inside the Textures folder, then place your textures in it, they will show up under a Tab with the same name as the folder.

For more information about managing texture resources, see Chapter 8 - Texture Basics in the User Guide.  

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-05 20:33


Linking to PS Files - Is there a way to change the Image Map default setting from "Embed" to "Link to File"?

No, once it's embedded, the link to the external file is broken. You need to reload the original file from scratch and select Link to File.

The Embed and Link to File options are located in the Linkage Status control, in the Photoshop Document Linking section of the Image Texture dialog. They are also available in the Image map dialog, where you load image maps into a texture. 

For more information see Chapter 9 - Using Image Textures in the User Guide. 

 

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-02-12 17:25


Bottle labels - I want to bring in an oval Photoshop label art and wrap it onto a bottle ... but I need the area outside of the label to be transparent.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-13 20:16


Deleting - Is there a way to easily delete all the textures from all the objects in a model? I have a complex object that I imported from a VRML file.

There is no simple way to do this from within Strata. However, textures can easily be stripped from the VRML file before importing to Strata.

One of our beta testers has written a tutorial on how to edit the VRML file so that only one material is assigned to all objects in the model. It would be easy to modify the script to remove all materials; or use it as is and then delete just the one texture once the model has been imported.

 http://www.jeanprobert.com/tutorials/VRML.html

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-02-12 17:36


CX 7/7.5 - Normal maps - What is a Normal map? Where do I get one, and how do I use it?

Design 3D CX now supports normal maps as well as bump maps, starting with v7. Normal mapping uses color information, and is more sophisticated and powerful than bump mapping. 

To use a normal map, open the Image Texture dialog. Import the normal map into the Bump/Normal channel, then enable "Use Image as Normal Map" in the channel's drawer settiings. For more information see Chapter 9 in the User Guide.

With normal maps, you'll notice that you don't need to set very high values compared to bump maps. Where you may use 100-200% for a bump map, you may find that a normal map setting of 25-50% works well.

You can use your own normal map, or generate one using the Generate Map button in the Image Map dialog. There are also several third party applications and Photoshop plug-ins available for transforming regular image maps into normal maps.

There is a helpful discussion about normal maps; and third-party creation plug-ins and applications on the StrataCafe.com. It is located here.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-21 16:23


CX 7/7.5 - Custom textures - How do I get my custom textures to show up in the Resource palette?

Due to changes in the Mac OS beginning with the 10.7 (Lion) operating system, the location of custom and default resources has changed from previous versions of Design 3D CX. 

Custom resources include resource libraries (textures, shapes, etc.); render and texture previews; render settings, model templates, keyboard shortcuts and scripts.

Mac OS 10.5.8 and higher:

User-specific: (Your user account)/Library/Application Support/Corastar Inc./Strata Design 3D CX 7/.

Inside this folder you will find the Resource Libraries folder, where custom resources are stored. You can create custom folders for your own resources, for example "My Textures," which will appear in the Resources palette when you relaunch Design 3D CX.

To create a custom folder, simply create a new folder and place it inside the appropriate Resource folder. You can then save custom resources to your new folder.

Because this is a little hard to find, we have added a command: Edit menu > Show Resource Folder in Finder.

This command can help you locate your custom resources, expecially in Mac OS 10.7 (Lion) and later, where the user library folder is hidden.

Default resources that ship with Design 3D CX 7 reside inside the application package, and altering or moving them is not recommended.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-01 11:50


CX 7/7.5 - Anisotropy - How do I use the Anisotropy texture channel?

“Anisotropy” in 3D rendering means that a surface reflects differently from different angles. For example, some metals have a distinct small grain or “brushed” surface. 

The Anisotropy channel adds the ability to get subtle, realistic anisotropic effects such as brushed metal surfaces.

To use this feature, use the Anisotropy channel slider and image map field. Then decide whether to enable the new Anisotropy checkboxes in the other channels, depending on the needs of your project. You can use UV mapping to control the strand direction in anisotropic textures.

For more information see Chapter 9 - Using Image Textures in the User Guide, the new tutorials on the Strata3DUniversity.com, and the StrataCafe.com Design 3D CX forum.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-21 16:21


CX 7/7.5 - Anisotropic metal - How do I set up an anisotropic metal texture?

Setting Up a Basic Anisotropic Metal

Remember that in general, metals reflect 100% of their light through the Reflectivity channel because they're uniformly reflective. Here are some quick tips for setting up a basic anisotropic metal texture:

- Set the Diffuse Color channel to black. This essentially turns off the Diffuse and Ambient channels, and eliminates any work in the Diffuse and Ambient channels.

- Set the Specular Color to about 80% gray (a light gray).

- Set Reflectivity to 100% with no interpolator.

- Turn on Blurred Reflections and Anisotropic Reflections in the Reflectivity channel.

- Set the Anisotropy channel to about 97% - not quite 100%.

- Load an anisotropy map in the Anisotropy channel. You can use the Generate Maps pop-up in the Image Map dialog to select a pre-made map. You can also generate your own anisotropic map, or use UV direction to guide anisotropy.

If you use an anisotropic map make sure it's applied (mapped) correctly. If you don't use an image map, anisotropy uses the U direction of the UV map to determine strand/grain direction, making reflections bend up along the V direction.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-21 16:25


CX 7/7.5 - Normal map - My normal map looks very washed out, and the texture is not rendering correctly.

Occasionally, normal maps created or exported from Adobe Photoshop will have gamma values that are much too high - 2.2 in some cases. A gamma value of 1.0 is usually a good setting for normal maps.

With a little practice, you will be able to tell by looking at the normal map if this has occurred - it will be noticeably lighter and paler in color than usual.

The solution is to access the map's Adjustments dialog by clicking on the "Adjust..." button in the Image Map dialog. In the Adustments dialog, change the value in the Gamma field to 1.0, and exit the dialog. Your object should render as expected.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-21 16:18


Reflections - I can't figure out how to get reflections on my rendered object.

Having good reflections adds more realism to a rendering than almost anything else - so this is a good thing to master. 

It's important to understand that you must first have a reflective texture applied to the object, and second, you must have something in your model to provide reflections. There are several ways to provide reflections:

- Insert other objects into the scene.

- Place a "Reflective" background in your model using the Environment palette.

- Light your scene with an interesting Lightdome. Make sure to enable the Reflected checkbox in the "Use Lightdome for Background" section  Environment palette. 

- Add an embedded reflection to the object's texture, using the Embedded Reflection channel in the Image Texture dialog. 

Of course the texture on your object must be at least somewhat reflective. Use the Reflectivity channel in the Image Texture dialog to control how reflective your texture is. For more information, see the User Guide, which is located in the Help menu.

Also see the many discussions and examples on the forum and gallery sections of the StrataCafe.com.  

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-20 22:26


CX 7/7.5 - Glass - How do I set up a decent glass texture?

Follow these steps from Chris Tyler's Art & Science of Strata Design 3D to create a glass material which properly coordinates reflection, transparency (opacity) and refraction channels.

Create a new material then follow these steps:

1. Set the Diffuse/Ambient amount to 0. A lock on these two channels causes them to act as a single variable.

2. Set the Opacity interpolator to Fresnel.

3. Set the secondary Opacity value to 0. This tells the material to be mostly transparent ‘face on’ (incidence zero).

4. Leave the primary Opacity value at 100. When an interpolator is turned on, this value governs what happens toward the edge. This causes the surface to become less transparent (more opaque) at the edge where the material will be most reflective.

The more light reflecting at the edge can’t be available to transmit through the object.

5. While holding the Option(Alt) key, move the Reflectivity slider to 100. The option key will cause the channel’s secondary parameter to auto-configure to zero. This reduces the number of clicks necessary to set up the channel.

6. Disable the ‘Blurred Reflections’ option in the Reflectivity channel. This was turned on automatically by the Option(Alt) key modifier in the previous step. It’s not really necessary to have blurry reflections for glass.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-10-21 16:19


Strata Enfold 3D CX (discontinued) » Installation and Registration

Install error - I downloaded a trial version of Enfold, then removed it. Now when I try to install it, I get this message: “You cannot install Strata Enfold 3D CX on this volume. A newer version of this software already exists on this volume.”

You will need to remove the Enfold program folder and a couple of other files and folders, and then reinstall Enfold. The files you need to remove are:

For Macintosh Users:

/Applications/Adobe Illustrator (CS3, CS4 & CS5.x) ->EskoArtwork

/Applications/Adobe Illustrator (CS3, CS4 & CS5.x)/Plug-ins ->EskoArtwork and Strata

NOTE: In older versions of Strata Enfold 3D CX, the folders are named "Esko-Graphics" rather than "EskoArtwork."

 

/Applications folder:

Strata Enfold 3D CX program folder

 

/Library/Receipts:
Enfold 3D CX Sample Files.pkg

Strata Enfold 3D CX.pkg

Essential Files.pkg or Licensing.pkg If you find one or both of these files, remove them.

NOTE: Older versions of Strata Enfold 3D CX also installed a receipt called "Essential Files.pkg". You should remove this receipt if it is present.

For Windows Users:
Run the Uninstaller Control Panel to remove the program.


Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2013-01-09 11:36


I downloaded the Enfold trial, but I don't know how to install and activate it.

Installing Strata Enfold 3D CX on Windows

To install software for Windows, Double click on Strata Enfold 3D CX.exe.
Select your language.

Click the appropriate link and follow the instructions on the screen. Make sure Illustrator is not running during the installation of the plug-in(s).

Installing Strata Enfold 3D CX on Mac

The disk image contains an installation package for Mac: To install it, double click the package and follow the instructions on screen. Make sure that Illustrator is not running during the installation.

 

Trials and Licenses 

This software is protected against unauthorized use. You can try the software for free for 30 days. If you want to use the software after that, you need to purchase and activate a license. To purchase a license, please visit http://store.strata.com.


The EskoArtwork Plug-ins window is where you can start the free 30 day trial or activate a purchased license. If this window does not pop up automatically when starting Illustrator, please select Help > Strata Enfold 3D CX > Trial and Licenses from the Illustrator menu.

There is also a more advanced tool to manage your licenses and trials: the EskoArtwork Local License Manager. This application is installed in your Applications folder (Mac) or see Start > Programs > Esko > Local License Manager (Windows).

Online Help

For online help on the Strata Enfold 3D CX plug-in, select Help > Strata Enfold 3D CX > User Guide from the Illustrator menu.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-10-30 12:02


License - Can I use Enfold on more than one machine? I purchased Enfold recently and would like to use it on my computer at work, and on my laptop when I travel.

The Enfold plug-in can be registered on only one computer at a time. Use the EskoArtwork Local License Manager program to deactivate the license on your original machine and then activate it on your laptop.

 

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-02-03 14:52


Transferring License - I need to install Strata Enfold on a new computer. How do I transfer the license over?

You need to deactivate the Enfold license on the old computer, and then install Enfold and activate it on the new computer.

You can deactivate the old computer using the "EskoArtwork Local License Manager" program that is installed in your Application folder. You can also access this license manager in Illustrator: go to the Help menu > Strata Enfold 3D CX > Trial and Licenses. In the "EskoArtwork Plug-ins" dialog that opens, click on the "EskoArtwork License Manager" button in the lower left corner. 

 

 

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-02-03 14:53


Activation - I downloaded and installed the trial for Enfold, but the menu items and tools are not available in Illustrator.

Have you Activated your copy of the Enfold software? You must activate the software before it can be used. Go to Illustrator's Help > Strata Enfold 3D CX > Trial and Licenses menu command and click the Activate command then follow the onscreen instructions to activate the program.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-10-30 12:03


Confirmation Email - I installed Enfold, and registered with Esko, but I haven't received my confirmation email to activate the software.

First check your spam/junk mailboxes to make sure that the email didn't get trapped there. If you work for a corporation, the email may also be caught by your company spam filters or firewall - check with your IT department.

If you still can't locate the activation email, you can have it resent by following these steps:

- Go the Software Licensing pages of the Esko website, where you created your account:

http://www.esko.com/en/services/licensing/login

- Go to "Login" and proceed. You can log-in using your account name and password, even if it hasn't been confirmed.

- When logging in, Esko notices that the account isn't confirmed yet and the first lines of text also tell you this.

It also informs you that the initial email can be resent.

- A new email will then be resent. It's called "Activate your EskoArtwork account!" and is sent by "EskoArtwork [noreply@esko.com ]"

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-12-18 14:22


Activating a trial - I used the Enfold trial, but then purchased the software. How do I activate it, and enter the serial number?

Once you have installed the trial version of Enfold, you do not need to install it again. You just need to activate your license with the serial number Strata provided when you made your purchase.

You will need to open Illustrator, and then go to the Help menu > Strata Enfold 3D CX > Trials and Licenses. This will open the EskoArtwork Plug-ins dialog. Click "EskoArtwork License Manager" in the lower left corner.

That will give you a window where you can "Activate" your license. Select the trial version, and then click Activate. This takes you to Esko's website where you can register the serial number ("product key").

You will need the email and password you originally used to activate the trial version to complete this process on Esko's website.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-02 20:07


Uninstalling - I uninstalled the trial version, and then installed the Enfold I purchased. It's not working.

You don't need to uninstall the trial version, you just need to activate it with your purchased serial number. When you purchase Enfold, Strata provides a download link for an Enfold installer - use this to make a backup copy of the installer.

NOTE: Enfold 3D CX is not  compatible with Adobe Illustrator CS6.

However, if you have tried to uninstall Enfold, you must remove ALL of the files listed below. Removing only some of them will result in installation and application errors.

You will need to remove the Enfold program folder and a couple of other files and folders, and then reinstall Enfold. The files you need to remove are:

For Macintosh Users:

/Applications/Adobe Illustrator (CS3, CS4 & CS5.x) ->EskoArtwork

/Applications/Adobe Illustrator (CS3, CS4 & CS5.x)/Plug-ins ->EskoArtwork and Strata

NOTE: In older versions of Strata Enfold 3D CX, the folders are named "Esko-Graphics" rather than "EskoArtwork."

 

/Applications folder:
Strata Enfold 3D CX program folder

Esko Local License Manager

/Library/Receipts:
Enfold 3D CX Sample Files.pkg

Esko Local License Manager.pkg

Strata Enfold 3D CX.pkg

Licensing.pkg

Essential Files.pkg if present

 

NOTE: Older versions of Strata Enfold 3D CX installed a receipt called "Essential Files.pkg". You should also remove this receipt if it is present.

If you have installed other Esko software trials, you may need to remove the .pkg files relating to those products.

 

For Windows Users:
Run the Uninstaller Control Panel to remove the program.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-11-07 10:14


Remote Desktop - Can I use Remote Desktop to access an off-line machine and activate Enfold 3D CX?

No, the Enfold licensing model does not support using Remote Desktop to access your off-line machine.

In practice this means that if you activate your license using Remote Desktop, the EskoArtwork Local License Manager) will show that you have a license, but you cannot use a license remotely. 

You will need to start up Illustrator locally. This restriction allows technical managers to install and control licenses remotely but the use is restricted to the local users.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-02 20:42


New OS - Will my activation still work if I install a new OS?

Yes. However, before you install a new operating system on either Mac or Windows, you need to deactivate your Enfold license. Once the new OS is installed, and Enfold is re-installed, you can go ahead and reactivate your Enfold license.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-02 20:23


New OS - I'm upgrading from Mac OS 10.5 to 10.6, will Enfold still work?

When upgrading your system software, such as from Leopard (10.5.x) to Snow Leopard (10.6.x) it is possible that your Enfold 3D CX license will stop working because of a security check.

To prevent you this from happening we advise that you deactivate the Enfold 3D CX license before upgrading. After the upgrade you can simply re-activate the software license.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-02 20:40


I upgraded to Adobe CS 5.5, and now my Enfold plug-in does not appear in Illustrator.

If you previously installed Adobe Illustrator CS4 or CS5, and then you install Adobe CS 5.5 (or Adobe Illustrator CS 5.1) your "old" illustrator is not updated. Instead a new Illustrator application is installed. This is why the Enfold plug-ins do not appear.

The old (pre- July 2011) Enfold installer does not recognize the newer Illustrator, so you will need to download and install the latest version of Enfold.  

The new Enfold installer has been updated to recognize AI 5.1, which is part of the Adobe CS 5.5 upgrade. This AI version is also identified as 15.1.0 in the Illustrator > About Illustrator screen. The new Enfold installer is located on our Strata Support Free Updates page:

http://www.strata.com/support/free_updates/

You will need to:

-Close Illustrator.

-Download and install the new Enfold update.

-Reopen Illustrator. The Enfold plug-ins will now be available in AI v5.1.

You do not need to deactivate your license - the update will not affect a purchased license or a trial activation.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-02 20:48


Lion - Will Enfold 3D CX install on Lion (Mac OS 10.7.x)?

Yes, a new Lion compatible installer has been posted on the Free Updates page, as of November 30, 2011:

http://www.strata.com/support/free_updates/

The Strata Enfold 3D 1.0.571_i3 for Mac adds compatibility with Mac OS 10.7.x (Lion.) It includes compatibility with Illustrator 5.1, which is part of the Adobe CS 5.5 Creative Suite.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-02 20:43


Account and password - I lost my Esko account password, how do I get it back?

In order to activate a trial or permanent Enfold license, you need to set up an account with Esko Artwork, Strata's technology partner for Enfold.

To set up and manage your account, and retrieve a lost password, go to this site:

http://www.esko.com/en/services/licensing/login

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-10-13 18:46


Install fails - I downloaded the Enfold installer, but it's not working.

If you are having trouble installing the trial or purchased version of Strata Enfold 3D CX, there are some things you should check before contacting Strata technical support:

-Make sure you have the latest Enfold installer. If your purchased Enfold several months or years ago, and are using a newer OS or new Illustrator version, the installer you have may not be current. The current installer has been updated for Mac OS 10.7.x (Lion), Illustrator 5, and Illustrator 5.1 (part of the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5).

If you're not sure which installer you have, find the installer (an .exe or .dmg file) and check the Get Info (Mac) or Properties (Win). This should show you the installer version, its size, and the date it was created.

You can find the latest installer on our free updates page:

http://www.strata.com/support/free_updates/

 -You may have gotten an incomplete download. An incomplete download of an installer can return strange error messages, or just fail to run. The installer sizes are listed on the Free Updates page (see above). Checking the installer size is a good way to tell if you got the whole download.

-If you are running any other Esko products, this can sometimes cause conflicts. If this is the case, please contact Strata technical support.

-You may also have gotten a partial install. Although rare, it is possible, and can cause strange error messages or alerts. In this case you should remove any files or folders that may have been installed.

NOTE: ALL Enfold and Esko files need to be removed, or the reinstall WILL fail. Once you have found and removed these files, go ahead and reinstall Enfold 3D.

The files you need to remove are:

For Macintosh Users:

/Applications/Adobe Illustrator CS4 (& CS3) ->EskoArtwork

/Applications/Adobe Illustrator CS4 (& CS3)/Plug-ins ->EskoArtwork and Strata

NOTE: In older versions of Strata Enfold 3D CX, the folders are named "Esko-Graphics" rather than "EskoArtwork."

 

/Applications folder:
Strata Enfold 3D CX program folder

 

/Library/Receipts:
Enfold 3D CX Sample Files.pkg

Strata Enfold 3D CX.pkg

Essential Files.pkg or Licensing.pkg If you find one or both of these files, remove them.

NOTE: Older versions of Strata Enfold 3D CX installed a receipt called "Essential Files.pkg". You should also remove this receipt if it is present.

For Windows Users:
Run the Uninstaller Control Panel to remove the program.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-13 18:54


Requirements - What are the system requirements for Enfold 3D CX?

Minimum system requirements for Strata Enfold 3D CX (v1.x)

Macintosh

Power PC (G4, G5) or Intel Processor

Mac OSX 10.3.9 or higher

1 GB RAM or more recommended

100 MB of available hard-disk space for install

Adobe Illustrator CS3, CS4 CS 5 and 5.1 (part of the Adobe 5.5 Creative Suite)

 

Windows

Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Vista or Windows 7

NOTE: Enfold is not supported on Windows 7 Home Basic or Home Premium. 

1 GB RAM or more recommended

100 MB of available hard-disk space for install

Adobe Illustrator CS3, CS4 CS 5 and 5.1 (part of the Adobe 5.5 Creative Suite)

 

The Windows/PC requirements for Strata Enfold 3D CX are the same as the requirements for EskoArtworks Studio and DeskPack products. (Esko is Strata's technology partner for Enfold). You can find a more detailed listing of requirements here:

http://www.esko.com/en/SystemRequirements/Studio/10_0  

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-24 18:03


Is Enfold compatible with Mavericks (Mac OS 10.9.x)?

Yes, Strata Enfold 3D CX will run on the Mavericks operating system. Even though we are no longer selling Enfold, we still work with Esko to maintain the licensing database for those customers who have already purchased Enfold.

-You will need to use an updated version of the Esko Local License Manager. You can download the new license manager here.

-You will also need to use the License Manager to activate or deactivate Enfold - in Mac OS 10.9, you cannot manage your license from within Illustrator.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-06-03 14:25


Strata Enfold 3D CX (discontinued) » U3D File Format

Export Texture Problems - I'm seeing some texture problems in the U3D file when I open it in Design 3D CX. Is this caused by overlapping meshes?

When you Export from Enfold in the U3D file format, an inner and outer mesh is created. Because the inner and outer mesh are created in exactly the same place, you may occasionally get texture anomolies.

For some projects, it will be appropriate to delete the inner mesh. You can check this by hiding the inner mesh, and then rendering. You can find, select, hide or delete the inner and outer meshes in the Project window.

For other projects, you may want to adjust the size of the inner mesh so that it does not conflict with the outer mesh.

To do this, open the open the model in Design 3D. Next, with the Project Window open, select the object and open up its Base Properties.

You will see the "inside" and "outside" mesh entries. Now select the mesh named "inside".

Bring up the Transform tab of the Object Properties palette. Click on the Scale tool icon radio button. You can now enter smaller numbers in each of the x, y and z fields to scale the mesh down.

If you need to further fine tune the mesh, you can use the Edit button on the top of the Tool palette to take the mesh into Edit mode, where you can edit individual polygons or groups of polygons.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2011-12-15 23:15


Design 3D Import - Which version of Strata 3D CX is required to be able to import U3D files?

You need Design 3D CX version 6 or later to import U3D files.

U3D file format support was added in Design 3D version 6 because of the release of Enfold 3D CX in 2009.

You can download a trial version of Design 3D CX on our website. This will allow you to test the Enfold > Design 3D workflow.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-15 23:11


Strata Live 3D CX (discontinued) » StrataLive3D.Com

What is StrataLive3D.Com?

The StrataLive3D.com website makes it easy to publish interactive 3D content to the web, using Strata Live 3D CX 2.

Just like YouTube, your 3D project is published to StrataLive3D.com and from there, can be easily shared or embedded on other websites, blogs, and forums using an embed code. Or, you can use the service to privately show 3D content to clients or friends. 

Once you purchase and install Live 3D CX 2, just create a free account on the website, and then use the Export > Direct to Web command from within Live 3D CX 2 to upload your content. 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-26 22:52


How do I start uploading content to StrataLive3D.com?

There are two simple steps needed before you can start uploading content to StrataLive3D.com.

First create an account at StrataLive3D.com (You will need to register your serial number with Strata first).

Next, upload your Live 3D project from within the Live 3D CX 2 application, using Export > Direct to Web.

Now you are ready to edit the display settings, if needed.

You now have 3D content on the web. You're also set up for placing as many additional models into your account as you would like. Just use the Direct to Web command in your Live 3D application and your 3D model will automatically be added to your account on the website.

Step by step instructions:

Step 1 - Create an account at StrataLive3D.com

StrataLive3D.com uses the same log-on email and password as Strata's registration database.

If you have already registered your Live 3D serial number at http:// register.strata.com, you can use that log-in (your email address) and password, and StrataLive3D.com will recognize you the first time you log on. An account will be created automatically on StrataLive3D.com.

If you have not yet registered your serial number, you will not be able to log in to StrataLive3D.com. Instead, you will be prompted to go to Strata's registrations site, http:// register.strata.com. There you will need to create an account (if you haven't already) and then register your new Live 3D CX 2 serial number.

Once you register your serial number, you will be able to log on to StrataLive3D.com, using the same email and password.

Step 2 - Upload Your Content

You can upload your content to StrataLive3D.com from within the Strata Live 3D CX 2 application. Just select Direct to Web from the Export menu, and your project will be uploaded to the website. You may need to be log on to StrataLive3D.com to use the Direct to Web command successfully.

Make sure you complete Step 1 (create your account) first. You will see a "Successful Upload" message in orange on the left side of the StrataLive3D.com page when your content is successfully uploaded.

Step 3 - Edit Your Live 3D CX 2 Content

Once you have uploaded content to StrataLive3D.com, you have several options for managing your content. You can delete content, preview your 3D objects, edit your default settings, change the privacy setting, embed etc. Click the "Edit online Live 3D assets" link on the left side of the website to view or edit your Live 3D objects.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-16 23:33


Is there a size limit for uploads to StrataLive3D.com?

Yes, the limit is 10 MB per 3D object. If you encounter a "Type 2" error message when attempting to upload a 3D project, it is likely that your file is too large. Try reducing the size, and try the upload again. If you still encounter an error, please contact support@strata.com. 

You will want to keep your models as small as you can to reduce load times. You can use the optimization and compression features of Live 3D CX 2 to reduce unnecessary complexity, and otherwise prepare your model for the web.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-26 23:29


How should I prepare my 3D project for the web?

Getting an attractive and responsive 3D web object requires a good balance between speed and quality, and each project will be different. There are several things you can do to prepare a model for export into Live 3D CX.

If your model was created for some other purpose – such as manufacturing, high resolution illustration, or movie special effects – you’ll find that there will likely be extra polygons, objects and high resolution texture maps that aren’t necessary for your Live 3D presentation.

If possible, you’ll want to clean up or remove some of these objects prior to exporting the model for use in Live 3D. Some of the issues of concern include:

  • Small Details (nuts, bolts, etc.)
  • Hidden & Unused Details (internal machinery, components, etc.)
  • Fine Details (high polygon count representation of surfaces.
  • High Resolution Textures (images that are meant for very close examination in the original model but may not see such scrutiny in your Live 3D presentation)

Once you take these steps and bring your 3D model into Live 3D, you'll want to take advantage of the Level of Detail and other Live 3D features to further optimize your model. For more information, see Section 4.1 in the User Guide: Making Efficient Models. 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-26 23:30


How do I embed my 3D object into a website?

StrataLive3D.com lets you easily embed your 3D content into your own website, a client's website, or anywhere else content can be used. This works much like a YouTube video.

Once you get your 3D content uploaded to StrataLive3D.com, it's simple to generate an embed code:

1. Click on "Edit Online Live 3D Assets" on the left side of StrataLive3D.com.

2. Find the object you want to embed, then click on the "Embed"  button below the object preview. This will generate the html code that allows you to embed your Live 3D object into a website.

3. Follow the instructions; copy and paste the displayed code into an html section of a website.

 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-27 00:23


Strata Live 3D CX (discontinued) » Tutorials

Getting Started with Strata Live 3D - Part 1

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author:
Last update: 2010-10-11 23:12


Getting Started with Strata Live 3D - Part 2

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author:
Last update: 2010-10-11 23:12


Getting Started with Strata Live 3D - Part 3

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author:
Last update: 2010-10-11 23:14


How do I add pop-up text notes?

Interactive product tours often can be enhanced by adding text information to the 3D model, to highlight key features, or explain how something works. Here's how to add text information to your 3D model:

  1. Use the Panels > Log menu item to ensure the Log panel is showing, and select the Progress Messages button at the top of that panel.
  2. Hold down the Shift key and click on the 3D model where you want the mouse-over area to be centered
  3. In the log panel, the ID of the object you clicked on, and the 3D location you selected, will be printed. Write these down.
  4. Use the Edit > XML menu item to show the Master Model as XML
  5. Go to the end of the text buffer, and add a section for Triggers if there is not already one there. Put it immediately after the line reading </scripts>, so it reads:
6.           </scripts>
7.           <triggers>
8.           </triggers>
9.           <bookmarks>
  1. Now add a Trigger element into the Triggers section you just created. It should look something like this:
11.       </scripts>
12.       <triggers>
13.           <trigger desc="Text you want to\nhave pop up"
14.                    id="trigger1" object="CUBE_1"
15.                    radius="5" x="1.23" y="4.56" z="7.89" >
16.           </trigger>
17.       </triggers>
18.       <bookmarks>

The desc attribute should be set to the text you want to have appear. Note that \n can be used to force a line break. The id attribute can be anything you choose, just make sure each trigger has a different one. The object should be set to the ID you wrote down from the Log panel. The radius attribute is the size of the sensitive area in native model units. The x, y, and z attributes give the location of the center of the hot area, relative to the object. These are the numbers you wrote down from the Log panel.

When you export this model using the Export > Web > Examing menu item (or the walk-through menu item), the exporter will write extra code into the generated HTML page to create the hotspot.

The appearance of text popups is controlled by the user interface template, such as annArbor.jar. You can open this file using WinZIP, and edit the Meson code in the template.txt file to change attributes such as text buffer color, or font style.

Author:
Last update: 2010-10-27 00:48


How do I change the applet dimensions?

When you export a web tour from Strata Live 3D, using the Export > Web Tour menu item, several items are placed in the directory with the 3D model .JAR file. 

One of these is a .HTML file, which includes an APPLET tag. To change the dimensions of the viewing window, just open the HTML file with a text editor like Notepad or Wordpad (not Microsoft Word).

Find the APPLET tag, and change the width= and height= parameters to whatever size you want.

Note that the larger the viewing window, the lower the interactive update rate will be.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2006-04-26 12:26


How do I use alpha channels in textures?

Strata Live 3D CX and the Meson platform support using per-pixel alpha transparency in textures. This can be useful, for example, for creating ventiliation grills without using excessive geometry. These are the steps to follow:

1. Use PNG files with transparency for the texture. PNG is the only file format supported by Live 3D that will read in the alpha transparency information.

2. Open or Import the model into Strata Live 3D. Use the Windows > Materials menu item to open the Materials palette. Find the PNG material, and right click on it. Select Web Settings... from the menu.

3. Select 32 bit ARGB bit depth. This tells the viewer that you want to use Alpha channels, so a full 32 bit color representation is required.

Note that if you are using this for a ventillation grill or other repeating pattern like that, it might be a good idea to set the MIP-map setting to "On with Blur" as well. That forces the MIP-level selector to bias toward the lower resolution texture, which can help reduce Moiré patterns.

Pixel-level alpha channels are in addition to material level alpha (which you can change using the Edit... menu item in the Materials palette, or you can animate with a Sequence). And both of these are in addition to Object-level alpha, which you can expose simply by making an object public (right-click the object in the hierarchy view and use the menu items).

One performance note: Using alpha channels of any kind requires that the scene be sorted every scene, to ensure parts layer correctly. This can slow update rate for very large scenes, so use alpha channels only when needed.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-27 00:50


Are there any tutorials for Live 3D CX 2?

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2013-07-30 16:38


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » UV Editing

CX 7/7.5 - How do I use the new UV mapping features?

There are a number of resources to help you learn how to use the new UV editing features in Design 3D CX v7 and 7.5:

- The User Guide, which is available through the Help menu in Design 3D. See Chapter 11 - UV Editing.

- The StrataCafe's Design 3D CX forum is a good place to look for answers and ask questions about Design 3D CX and other Strata software.

-Several UV mapping tutorials are available at Strata3DUniversity.com. Strata 3D University is a subscription website, however some tutorials are free.

-You can find free tutorials and demonstration videos about all of the new v7.5 features, including UV mapping, here

-Also see the tutorials in the UV Mapping category on Strata3DUniversity.com.

 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-01 12:53


CX 7.x - Once I generate a UV map, how do I export it for texturing?

Either do a screen grab of the UV window, or export the UV window to a bitmap format. Enlarge the UV window as large as it'll go on your monitor and save it as a tiff or jpg. This can then be opened in Photoshop for use as a template.

Once you have your image map(s) worked up, create an image texture in Design3D and import the bitmap image into one of the channels. Then apply that image texture to the object.

If the material is applied directly to a polygon mesh it will be automatically set to UV mapping mode. If it is applied to a group or instance, it will apply in Planar projection mode and will need to be changed to UV mapping mode in the Textures and FX panel of the Object Properties palette.


Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-01 11:55


CX 7.x - Can I edit UVs on objects imported from other applications?

Yes, as long as the imported file contains UV coordinates. With the object selected, choose Edit UV from the Modeling menu to open the UV Edit mode.

If an imported object does not contain UV coordinates, you can create them using Burn UV in Design 3D. For more infomation see Chapter 11 in the User Guide. 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-01 12:52


CX 7.x - Path Extrude - My path extrude object is showing odd UV coordinates.

The path extrude tool can produce strange UV coordinates. You may find that the lathe tool works better for objects that need to be UV mapped.

If you have to use the path extrude tool, make sure the extrusion path is drawn as uniformly as possible. 

You can also correct the UVs on a path extrude object by converting it to a Bezier surface, and then taking the object into an edit session. Now you may want to reduce the complexity level, and convert the object to a polygon mesh.

These steps can help correct the UVs in path extrude objects.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-01 11:53


7.5 - What's new in UV editing in v7.5?

In Design 3D CX 7.5, there are several new features to help with UV editing. These include LCSM unwrapping, cutting seams, pinning points, and other new commands to help you work more effectively and efficiently with UVs. UV unwrapping - LSCM (Least Squares Conformal Maps) is a method of UV mapping which helps minimize texture distortion.

In Design 3D, LSCM is known as Conform and Conform to Mesh. These commands generate UVs that are proportional to the UV geometry to minimize distortion. Conform is available in two ways. You can select Burn UV and use the Conform to Mesh option for the whole mesh; or you can take existing UVs into UV Edit and use the Conform command on selected elements.

Cut UV seams - You can now designate UV seams for your object. UV seams in your mesh are used in the unwrapping process for burning and editing UVs. When you unwrap the object for UV editing, the object will come apart at the designated seams and lay flat for editing.

You will want to designate UV seams before using Burn UV to generate UVs. Use the Toggle UV Seam Edges command in poly edit mode to cut seams. For more information see UV Seams in the Context Commands section of Chapter 6 - Polygonal Mesh Objects.

UV pinning - You can pin selected UV points before unwrapping. Pinning lets you "pin" down parts of your UV map, while the rest of the UVs get adjusted by the Conform command. Use the Toggle Pinned UVs command to pin points in your UV map to particular spots on your mesh, and then run the Conform operation.

New UV edit commands - These new commands help you quickly and easily fine-tune an object's UVs. The Fit to UV, Fit Each to UV, Rotate Connected to U, V, Rotate Connected to Grid, Move to U, V, and Move Center to U, V commands all help you to precisely adjust UV mapping.

For more information see Chapter 11 - UV Editing in the User Guide, and the StrataCafe.com.

Several UV mapping tutorials are available at Strata3DUniversity.com. Strata 3D University is a subscription website, however some tutorials are free.

You can find free tutorials and demonstration videos about the new v7.5 features, including UV mapping, here

Also see the tutorials in the UV Mapping category on Strata3DUniversity.com.

 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-01 12:20


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Vector

Vector for v6 - I just purchased Design 3D CX 6. I already own Strata 3D Vector for v5.x but it's not showing in the Render menu.

You can go to the Free Update and Patches page:http://www.strata.com/support/free_updates/ and get the Vector updater.

When you install the Vector update, you will need to have your original Vector CD or disk image mounted. This allows the updater to verify that you have already purchased the product.

When you restart Design 3D, you should see the Render Vector... option in the Rendering menu. 

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-10-10 20:37


Design 6.1.x update - I installed the Design v6.1.x updater, and then ran the Vector updater for version 6. Now I can't access Render Vector in 6.1.x.

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-13 20:17


Vector edge output - Render Vector is not producing very good edges. How can I get nice clean edges?

When rendering with Vector output, the secret to nice clean edges is 'the larger the better'. 


This means making the object to be rendered in the modeling view larger than the view, if necessary. A single object that fills a fully zoomed modeling window will probably render cleanly. However a larger scene may not.

 

So if you are not getting nice clean edges with Vector, try expanding your modeling window as much as possible, hiding the palettes if need be. Then use "Fit Views to Selection" from the Modeling menu. If you use "Fit Views to Selection" we recommend that you hide all other objects that are not wanted in the output. You can hide objects using the Selection menu.

 

Or, you can use "Fit to All," and then select the Zoom Tool. Zoom in on the center of the scene. It doesn't matter that you cannot see all of the objects in the scene, the Vector render will render everything in the scene that is not hidden.

You might need to try a few renders to make adjustments, such as zooming in more closely. Also, be sure to set the "Detail Level" to High and adjust the Curve Fitting slider as needed.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-01-13 20:17


Design 3D 7.x - is Render Vector available for version 7?

No, it is not. We had to make the decision to discontinue the Strata 3D Vector Plug-in as of August 1st, 2011 due to licensing issues with our technology partner on the product.

It's been a great addition to the product over the years. Rest assured that if you have an existing license to this plug-in it will continue to run in your copy of Design 3D CX 6.2 on Windows XP, Vista and 7 and in Mac OSX versions 10.6.8 and earlier.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-11-01 11:46


ORDERS/DOWNLOADS/INSTALLS » Download/Install

Downloading - I'm having trouble with my software download.

If you try to unzip an incomplete download, it won't work and/or you will give you various error messages.

Here are some download trouble-shooting instructions.

WINDOWS

Windows browsers will give you an option dialog, and one of the choices is "Save As File." This is the recommended setting, because this makes the download permanent so you can back up the installer (the downloaded file). The download may take multiple tries, including at off-peak hours.

MAC

Here is the short version: If you disable the auto-open or auto-extract option in your browser, and then watch the download in the download window, you can see if it stalls.

If the download does stall, you can stop it and then start it again (resume). That way it doesn't have to start over, and you can make sure it's complete.

Note that Windows browsers do not have the auto extract options.

Download troubleshooting for Mac

If you have trouble downloading your new Strata software, please read these instructions and follow the recommendations. Any message or download must pass through multiple internet connections to get from Strata's server to your computer. Sometimes one of these connections will pause or time out, causing the download to stop.

If this happens and you are unable to unzip your download please download the software again, following these instructions:

1. Use Firefox or Safari to download your software.

2. Before starting the download, make these settings in your browser: In Safari, turn OFF the auto-extract preference setting "Open safe files after downloading." In Firefox, turn ON the preference setting "Show the Downloads window when downloading a file," and turn OFF the "Close it when all downloads are finished" option.

3. Start the download again.

4. In the Downloads window, watch the transfer rate and the amount of the file which has been downloaded. If you see the downloaded amount stop increasing, and the transfer rate drop, the download has stalled.

5. If the download stalls, click the button in the download window which pauses the download. Click the button again to resume downloading. Your software download will resume from where it stalled.

Once the download is complete, start the install process by manually decompressing the file and mounting the disk image.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-28 23:25


Error messages - I can't open and install my downloaded software.

If you do not get the full download of your new software, the downloaded installer may not open or you will get different error messages. This can happen when you try to unzip or extract the download in order to install the software.

Strata software downloads can be quite large. The Design 3D CX 7 download is about 1.2 GB, due to the included textures, shapes and other resources. So it is important to make sure the download is complete.

If you try to unzip an incomplete download, it won't work and/or you will give you various error messages.

Here are some download trouble-shooting instructions.

WINDOWS

Windows browsers will give you an option dialog, and one of the choices is "Save As File." This is the recommended setting, because this makes the download permanent so you can back up the installer (the downloaded file). The download may take multiple tries, including at off-peak hours.

MAC

Here is the short version: If you disable the auto-open or auto-extract option in your browser, and then watch the download in the download window, you can see if it stalls.

If the download does stall, you can stop it and then start it again (resume). That way it doesn't have to start over, and you can make sure it's complete.

Note that Windows browsers do not have the auto extract options.

Download troubleshooting for Mac

If you have trouble downloading your new Strata software, please read these instructions and follow the recommendations. Any message or download must pass through multiple internet connections to get from Strata's server to your computer. Sometimes one of these connections will pause or time out, causing the download to stop.

If this happens and you are unable to unzip your download please download the software again, following these instructions:

1. Use Firefox or Safari to download your software.

2. Before starting the download, make these settings in your browser: In Safari, turn OFF the auto-extract preference setting "Open safe files after downloading." In Firefox, turn ON the preference setting "Show the Downloads window when downloading a file," and turn OFF the "Close it when all downloads are finished" option.

3. Start the download again.

4. In the Downloads window, watch the transfer rate and the amount of the file which has been downloaded. If you see the downloaded amount stop increasing, and the transfer rate drop, the download has stalled.

5. If the download stalls, click the button in the download window which pauses the download. Click the button again to resume downloading. Your software download will resume from where it stalled.

Once the download is complete, start the install process by manually decompressing the file and mounting the disk image.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-05-10 17:32


Admin account - The software won't open on Windows, even though I am in an administrative account.

On Windows, being an administrator doesn’t necessarily mean you have all possible administrator privileges.

After installing the software, you may need to right-click on the executable file (the .exe file) and select “Run as Administrator.” You usually only need to do this the first time you run the application. The .exe file is typically found in Local Disk C:\Program Files.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-28 23:24


How do I install HDR Light Studio and the Picture Lights?

 

HDR Light Studio for Strata Design 3D CX 8

_________________________________________________________________

HDR Light Studio for Strata is a plugin application for use with Strata Design 3D CX 8. It is not a standalone application - it requires Design 3D to launch it from the Lights tab of the Environment palette.  

The HDR Light Studio for Strata plug-in application works directly with the Lightdome feature in Design 3D and creates custom, editable high dynamic range images that can light your model, be used for reflections and be visible in your renderings.

Light your shots placing lights and reflections directly onto the 3D view – with a dynamic HDRI map generated on the fly. This revolutionary lighting technique allows 3D artists to light their shots faster and produces stunning final renders.

Revolutionize the lighting process inside Strata Design 3D CX 8.

HDR Light Studio lets you easily create and edit HDRI environment maps in real-time. As you develop your custom HDRI map you see its light, reflection and visible background in real-time with Design 3D's new LiveRay technology.

Click on your 3D model to move the active light to a new location on the HDRI map that will illuminate or be reflected in that part of your 3D model. We call this point and click approach to lighting your shot 'LightPaint'.

HDR Light Studio is much more than a HDRI editor - it's a revolutionary new lighting tool that fits into your existing workflow. It's the fastest way to get your lighting vision out of your head, and onto the screen.

Installation Instructions

Drag and drop the HDRLightStudioStrata.app icon onto the Applications folder icon right in the installer window.  HDR Light Studio for Strata will be copied to the Applications folder.

After installing HDR Light Studio, launch Design 3D CX 8.  In the License Manager click on the 15-day trial button or enter your license number and click the "Activate HDR Light Studio" button.

Be sure to also download the Picture Lights package and install those to take full advantage of HDR Light Studio for Strata.

To download the Picture Lights package click on the download link located in your order email receipt.  

After downloading the "Picture Lights for HDRLS Strata.dmg" file, double-click to open it, read the installation instructions and install the Picture light “hpd” files where instructed.

How to Launch HDR Light Studio for Strata

- Open Design 3D CX 8

- Open a new or existing Strata project

- Optional Step: Load a background as a Lightdome using the "Lightdome" menu

- HDR Light Studio projects are applied to your model's "Lightdome"

- Click on the HDRLS edit button in the lightdome layer in the Environments > Lights panel or click on the Lightdome drawer control on the left side of the Lightdome layer and in the fly out drawer click on the “Edit HDR Light Studio Lighting” button.

- If you don't have a background loaded, Design 3D will create one for you

This will open HDR Light Studio.  Begin adding or editing light sources and watch the Design 3D interactive render update to show your lighting changes on the fly.

For more information about using HDR Light Studio go to the HDR Light Studio Help Menu and select “User Guide”.  You can also find some information in the Design 3D CX 8 User Guide and videos in the Getting Started dialog - both can be found in the Design 3D CX 8 "Help" Menu.

We hope that you find HDR Light Studio to be a valuable tool for lighting your Strata projects.

Purchasing HDR Light Studio for Strata

If you haven’t purchased HDR Light Studio for Strata already, you can do so on the Strata Store.

 

HDR Light Studio for Strata - Picture Light Installation

________________________________________________________________

Picture lights are just what the name sounds like - high dynamic range images of actual light sources. These can include windows, light sources, light diffusers, etc.

Picture Light Installation

Install the Picture Lights into the Warehouse folder. You can do this following these instructions:

  1. Install Design 3D CX 8
  2. Install the HDR Light Studio for Strata plugin application
  3. Run Design 3D CX 8 and either activate or start a trial of HDR Light Studio
  4. Create a New Project for Design 3D CX
  5. From Design 3D's "Environment" palette:
    • Select the "Lights" panel
    • Click the "Lightdome" layer to open the drawer
    • Click on the "Edit HDR Light Studio Lighting" button
    • HDR Light Studio will start up
  6. From HDR Light Studio's "Help" menu choose "Open Warehouse Directory"
    • The "Warehouse" folder will open in your Mac's Finder in it's own window
  7. Click the "Cancel Session" button in the upper right of the HDR Light Studio session
  8. Go to your Mac's Finder to locate the open Warehouse window
  9. Drag the Picture Lights .hdp files into the Warehouse folder window
  10. Restart Design 3D

The next time you run Design 3D CX 8 the Picture Lights will be available in HDR Light Studio for Strata.

Enjoy all the creative freedom you get with Strata and HDR Light Studio!

 

Author: Kevin Condie
Last update: 2015-03-27 18:42


ORDERS/DOWNLOADS/INSTALLS » Mac App Store purchases

Mac App Store - How does the Mac App Store work?

Strata now has software available on the Mac App Store - Design 3D CXi, Design 3D SE and Foto 3D SE.

App Store purchases work a lot like iTunes - you can download software and install it on different computers using your Apple account user name and password. Unlike iTunes, you can buy, download and install full software applications for the Mac. 

-The Mac App Store requires Mac OS v10.6.6 or later.

-You don't need a serial number for your software, Apple keeps track of what you have purchased.

-You can download the software again any time you need to, on the same or different computers.

-Updates to Strata software purchased through the App Store are handled through the App Store. When updates to your purchased software become available you will be able to download them through the App Store.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-28 19:44


App Store billing - I'm having trouble with my App Store purchase.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-28 19:10


Downloads - I purchased Strata software through the App Store, but it won't download.

Occasionally, software downloads from the Mac App Store can get interrupted. Normally the App Store will simply resume the download, but sometimes this does not work as expected.

If you get an interrupted or incomplete download, or have any other problems downloading purchased software, please see this Apple support troubleshooting document:

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3636

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-28 23:13


Downloading - I need to download my purchased software again, how do I do this?

Software purchased through the Mac App Store can be downloaded again any time you need, on the same or different computers.

-Open the Mac App Store by clicking its dock icon.

-Click on the “Purchased” toolbar button in the App Store application after the download has begun.

-You will see a full list of all the software you have purchased, along with the current status of each purchase.

-You may need to delete the application you want to download again. To do this go to navigate to [Your User Name]/Applications, locate the app you want to remove, and drag it to the Trash.

-You can then download the software again. This is the equivalent of uninstalling and reinstalling software purchased through the App Store.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-28 19:32


Updating - There is an update available, but I can't get it installed.

Generally, software updates through the Mac App Store work smoothly, and simply update the application that you already have installed.

However, this process can occasionally get hung up and not work. In this case, you can simply delete the application, and then download the newest version of the software from the App Store.

To do this, navigate to [Your User Name]/Applications, locate the application you want to remove, and drag it to the Trash.

Then go to the Mac App Store and click on Purchases. Find the updated Strata software, and download it again.   

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-28 19:41


ORDERS/DOWNLOADS/INSTALLS » Sales/Orders

Pricing - I have a question about Strata software prices.

If you have any questions about Strata software pricing, multi-user license purchases or academic pricing, please contact our sales department at Sales@strata.com. We will be happy to assist you. 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-02-28 23:09


Orders - I purchased Strata software yesterday, but have not received the download links yet.

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2014-08-22 00:18


Strata 3D - Legacy Versions

Achieving smooth animation - 2002-04-10

Question: I am looking for some answers on how to get smoother animation.

Answer: Select the object that is attached to the animation path, go to the transform tab, make sure you extend the window and select Natural or Spline for a smooth curve. Apparently the jerkiness comes when editing the path, so once you modify it, it will need to be reset. Since I have discovered this my animations are much smoother.

Author:
Last update: 2010-01-06 15:46


Flipping Normals - 2002-04-10

 

Question:

How can I change the direction of the normals?

   
Answer: I was messing about with Strata Pro today, making some simple booleans, and I ran into an old problem some people have noticed in the past.

When I replicated the object at a -1 scale on the x axis (to mirror it) it flipped the normals. In the old Studio Pro Blitz days there was an explicit flip normals command that was deleted in SSP 2.5.3, leaving us with no (apparent) recourse.

Well today, on a lark, I went into the object properties, clicked the Scaling radio button, the percent radio button, locked all the axes and entered -100% in one axis.

Voila' flipped normals.

Author: Bruce Johnson
Last update: 2012-06-04 23:09


Ripples (Making a flag wave) - 2002-04-10

 

 

Question:

I want a nice rolling flag wave. Using stretch, Hull and emboss my flags are still too stiff. Should I use something else like Ripples or should I just keep tweaking away at Hull?

   
Answer: Hull is great for making objects, but it's poor for making animated flags Hull is just a modelling extension... it has nothing to do with animation. What it does allow you to do it build shapes out of multiple bezier splines (which can then be animated) - a useful commodity when making cars, planes, etc. I wouldn't use it for a flag waving.

Make your flag, in it's default state. Definitely use Ripples for the animation - nothing else Strata has at the moment would work better for a flag animation. When you create your ripple, make sure that the wavelength is very long, and the frequency very low (well, depending on the effect you want).

Apply the ripples in a planar fasion and use the texture positioning to move the ripple off of the flag .. but making sure that it extends to cover the bounds of the flag. Voila. Ur done. Apply that in any fasion on top of any textures that you have on the flag and you're done (Make sure to do a BurnUV on the flag textures). Then, to change the magnitude, 'wind' speed, etc. just change the ripple to get the effect you want. Add multiple ripples, and a ripple that has a hugh displacement to get multiple effects that will mimick the random movement of a flag in the wind. If you want to make it look like the flag 'falls' when the 'wind' dies down.... that's when you'd be using the bezier animation.... or if you're really bold...deformation lattices - a very powerful tool for anything.

Author: John Bradley
Last update: 2010-10-08 23:35


Raytracing > Rendering holes in letters - 2002-04-10

Question:

What are the best expert settings for raytracing so that objects like letters will show their holes or beveled attributes?

Answer:Set the tracing block size in the rendering preferences box to 1.

Author: John Bradley
Last update: 2010-01-08 17:09


Stencil Map > Rings of Saturn - 2002-04-11

Question:

How do you correctly apply rings around a planet such as Saturn? I made a flat disc and then removed the center so I have a basic "washer" to go around my planet and I have two different maps that are various pin stripes and a transparency map of the same nature, but no matter which method of applying them via the object properties box I get an unwanted result.

Answer:Your probable problem is that you're modelling the center hole via boolean which is making your mapping hard to do.

Create a 2-D circle of the correct diameter (if you want a hint of depth, extrude it ever so slightly, but remember, compared to the planet, Saturn's rings are infinitesimally thin).

Slap on your circular color map, and the appropriate stencil map (not transparency map, though a wee bit of transparency wouldn't hurt, as close up, the rings are slightly translucent) and et voila, Saturn's rings.

Since the stencil map renders the center of the texture invisible, it doesn't matter if the hole is physically in the object or not.

If you really want your disc to be a ring, not a disc, you can specify the center hole in the 2D filled disc shape via the object properties. (something I keep forgetting)

Then all you need to do is use flat or decal mapping, and it should work out ok. You may have to play with rotating the texture, though.

Author: Bruce Johnson
Last update: 2010-01-12 18:06


Disk Errors on Windows NT - 2002-04-10

Question:

 

I'm running NT and have twice received the "Strata cannot initialize due to a disk error. I went to the FAQ area on the Strata site. It talks about removing the preferences file but I can't seem to locate it on NT. I have to delete all references to it in the registry and reinstall. Is there a simplier solution?

   
Answer: To remove the preferences on Windows machines (both NT and 98) use the Regedit program. Go to the hkey_current_users entry and expand it. Now expand the Software entry. Find the Strata folder and delete it. Now quit the Regedit program. You will have to re-enter the registration information the next time you start SSP but it is not necessary to reinstall it.

About the initialization error message you might want to try defragmenting your hard drive.

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2010-01-08 16:52


Application Memory Size - 2002-04-11

Question:

How much RAM should I allocate for Strata 3D?

Answer:Contrary to most Mac apps, Strata absconds with system memory as it needs more RAM. This is used for rendering. any RAM allocated to SSP is not available for rendering, and tends to cause out of memory errors.

The only reason to increase RAM allocation to SSP is if you have large texturemaps or are doing booleans.

Author: Bruce Johnson
Last update: 2010-01-08 15:56


Raytracing > Flickering and Noise Reduction - 2002-04-10

Question:

I'm noticing that with animations rendered in SSP there is a lot of "noise" resulting in raytraced animations with lots of detail and also in textures (especially procedural) where SSP will render a detail in some frames but not in others. Or will render a small highlight in one frame but not in the next. The result being terrible looking animation with "noise" flickering in the details all over the place.

Answer:This is a common problem. Without seeing your model, it's hard to make a specific recommendation, but I have found the following approaches can work:

First, enable MIP-mapping in both the textures and the Strata preferences.

- - Use compositing. Render the offending textures in a separate pass, at a much higher resolution. For example, a ship's windows can be rendered separately from the ship itself at double or triple the resolution of the ship. The rendering time is not too bad. You then scale down the windows and composite using a luminance-based key.

- - Blur the texture maps. This will reduce the twinkling effect, even if you blur the maps just a bit. Try several levels of blur.

- - Use motion blur in combination with blurred texture maps.

- - If you use the compositing approach, you can try fading out the twinkling textures as the camera moves away from the subject.

- - Use separate texture maps for close and far objects. Use high-detail maps for close passes, and low-detailed, blurred maps for distant objects. This will require rendering some shots in multiple passes, and later editing them together.

Author(s):

Jim Royal

Author: Jim Royal
Last update: 2010-01-06 15:57


Rendering > Texture Shifts - 2002-04-10

Question:

I've been rendering a tedious file which seems to decide to switch the main surface texture on just one object to something like digital tie-dye about three quarters of the way through the rendering. I've tried it on more than one machine. This only happens during a long rendering of an animation. I've checked the file at various frames with still renderings with no problems. Wherefore art this anomaly?

Answer:When textures have shifting or changes in animation renderings it's usually something to do with a movie file. Here is the dilemma: We allow sequential images to be loaded as movie textures, so if you have a number in the texture name (texture001.jpg for example) the application thinks it's a Sequential Image and loads it as such, thus the texture will shift to the next frame.

What we've done to help prevent this: The application will go look for the next image in the sequence (texture002.jpg in our example above) if that image doesn't exist in the directory (folder on mac) of the original texture map then it loads the image as an image and not a movie. So if you have another texture that you've labeled with the number following the first textures, that image will suddenly display on your animation rendering because the images are being swapped just like they are in sequential image movies.

Does this clear that up? This may not be the problem, but at least it will help others to avoid the problem. I would also try converting the image to some other format and then reload it into the texture. Try loading it as a pict.

Actually that reminds me of a problem we found with 16 bit picts where they would come out tie dyed like you said. If your using a pict image change it to 32 bit, tiff or something else, 16 bit picts will have a problem when going from one platform to another and this may be related.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-01-12 20:03


Incised Lettering on Stone - 2002-06-22

 

As an alternative to the method outlined by Chris Hartley in FAQ 15, you can create two sets of text in Illustrator -- regular and bold -- save as outlines, Save as Illustror 5.5, then Open As EPS in Strata Studio Pro or Strata 3D. You can then offset the bold from the regular and skin them together. Make your letters anti-matter and place over your granite tombstone.

Granted, there is a lot of fiddling needed to position the letters correctly for skinning. But, when you are done you can apply one of the corrosion textures to the anti-matter letters, which will be left behind in the Boolean rendering. Looked pretty good when I tried it.
-Francis Drouillard

I have a solution for the fiddling! In illustrator, create your text, convert to outlines, then group the letter forms. Select the group and copy it, then paste it in back (or front, either achieves the same thing - one group sitting directly on top of the other). Now (here comes the funky part), stroke that pasted group and pump up the stroke until you've got the bevel width you're looking for, outline the path (object>path>outline) and you now have your perfectly aligned bevel. You'll have to delete one of the 2 original groups (the outline command extraplolates geometry without eliminating the source path) and may have to use Pathfinder to unite the stroked holes with the expanded letterforms. You may also have to eliminate the rare added bezier node so that your skin operation in strata works smoothly.

I only mention this because many typefaces vary greatly in their bold and book versions (meaning they are not directly expanded copies and will not always align as you might imagine). This method also allows for precise bevels on those one-off typefaces that don't have bold counterparts.
-William Bart

Author: Francis Drouillard, William Bart
Last update: 2010-01-07 19:28


Aura FX > Rendering an Aura behind a glass object - 2002-04-10

Question:

Why doesn't the Aura show on an object placed behind a glass object?

   
Answer: Auras are created after the rendering is done and is only applied to portions of the object not hidden behind other objects.

What you have to do is multi-pass renders using alpha channels and then composite the renders together. There is an example of this technique on the StrataCafe under the name GlassAura. The file names below refer to files in the example.

When it comes time to do the rendering start by hiding your glass object and render everything else. Save the render (glow 2.pct). Now hide everything else and show the glass object only. Render it with an alpha channel and save the render (glass 2.pct). Now open the renders in Photoshop and place them both in one document. Convert the Background layer to a normal layer. Place the layer with the alpha channel on top of the other layer. Convert the alpha channel to a mask and you're done.

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2012-03-16 17:43


Fog > Intersecting light beams - 2002-06-22

 

Question:

I have several spotlights with a fog applied. I'm trying to simulate a smoky haze in a barroom. Where these light beams intersect I'm getting weird "cones" when raytraced. Does anyone remember the fix for this?

   
Answer: Increase the Maximum Transparency Recursion in the Rasytracing Esoterica.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-04-26 17:23


DXF > How to export files

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Jean Probert
Last update: 2010-04-01 16:45


Export > Flash > Flash & S3D

2002-06-22

Question:

Can I export to Flash format from Strata 3D?

   
Answer: Version 3.6 has can output a flash images or animations.

Older versions of Strata (2.5.3 to 3.5) do not support output directly to Flash. There is a work around by going through Swift 3D. Render out in any OpenGL mode saving the output as individual frames then have Swift convert them to .swf. I don't have the details but one user has a couple of web sites at http://www.zuidzijde.nl/classic/Welkom.html and http://www.gerritsmainterieur.nl/.

You can contact him at mailto:info@zuidzijde.nl. His name is Fabrice.

Author: strata Support
Last update: 2012-03-16 17:44


Negative numbers - 2002-04-11

Question:

Why does my extrusion depth always become a negative number?

Answer:The extrusion depth is positive or negative depending on which direction along the extrusion axis you pull the object being extruded.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-01-06 19:57


Startup - 2002-06-22

 

Question:

I am on a G3 with ample disk and ram....cannot start up program, it freezes everytime. What should I be looking for to solve this problem?

Answer:You should look at the OpenGL drivers, and they should be at least version 1.2.1

Also, do not allocate more memory than the sugested size. Strata goes through the modern memory manager to get memory from the unused memory.

You may need to start up with limited extension group as well.

Author: nogero
Last update: 2010-01-05 20:12


3.8.1 updater > 3.8.1 updater error message - 2003-02-06

Question:

I just downloaded the 3.8.1 updater and when I run it I get an error message "11002:2,-15". What's going on and how do I update my Strata program?

   
Answer: Something the updater needs to find has been changed somehow inside the Strata 3D 3.8 folder or there is something in it which the updater does not recognize. If you have added anything to your Resources folder - Textures, Shapes, etc. - move htem to your Desktop and try the updater again. Otherwise trash your current program folder and reinstall from the CD then run the updater.
   

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2012-10-26 11:15


Errors > File Not Found Error - 2002-04-10

If when you try and save a file in 3D you receive a message that says, "Can not save the file ______ because file not found" attempt the following work around (if you have the Norton Utilities):

- Leave the model alone, start Norton Unerease.
- Read the volume, get back your model-file (last modify-date), although it contains nearly 0k.
- Put it back in place where it should be.
- Switch to Strata and save.

A message appears, which will tell you that this file is maybe modified etc. Save anyway.

Author: strata
Last update: 2010-01-05 20:14


Fonts > Fonts not being recognized - 2002-06-22

Both Mac and Windows have limits to the number of fonts they can handle although they will both let you install as many as you want. Try reducing the number of fonts to just those you really need. This will also help speed the OS and reduce its memory requirements.

Author: strata
Last update: 2010-01-05 20:40


Naming Scheme - 2002-04-10

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Tad Trueblood
Last update: 2010-01-08 22:37


DXF > How to export files - 2001-08-20

Question:

I try to make my Strata models as logical as possible using shapes & shape names in the hope that when I import a Stata exported DXF's into another 3D package that the same hiearchy comes through, but it never does.

Answer:Strata's DXF export is not broken, it's been fine all along, we just haven't been using it correctly.

To use Strata to export DXFs which will re-import properly, shapes intact, you have to name your shapes the way it wants you to: LAYER_shapename.

My experiment:

I did a quick test in 3.6. Strata is not melding shapes for me as it used to, but it does not seem to be fixed exactly as I had thought.

I inserted the standard Strata teapot shape into the work space, and exported to DXF. When I imported again, the first level shape was named correctly, but any hierarchy behind that was lost: the parts were melded together into one mesh.

Then I tried another approach. I inserted the teapot into a model scene, and renamed the 3 parts as Strata names DXF objects on import:

LAYER_body
LAYER_handle
LAYER_spout

When I followed this naming convention, Strata exported the the parts as separate entities. So the reason I had been getting good DXF exports recently is that they were coming from another modeling program properly named, or perhaps just that Strata was naming them the way it wanted them named on import, and this carried through at export and at the second import.

THEN- I tried this naming convention in 3.03, and guess what: it works fine in 3.03 as long as the parts are named as above. So DXF export hasn't been broken, we just haven't understood how to use it.

On import, be sure to use group by layer, not color, and this should work. I don't know how groups are handled, but shapes are handled as anticipate when named properly.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-01-07 16:04


Errors > StudioPro 2.x - DXF Import Problems - 2002-06-22

If you are using a version of StudioPro previous to 2.5.x we suggest that you upgrade. Our DXF support is much improved in the current version.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2012-06-04 23:10


StudioPro 2.x - QuickTimeVR - 2002-04-11

How to convert a QT movie into a QTVR Object movie

If you want to convert a QuickTime movie/Image into a QTVR Object/QTVR Panorama file you will need Apple's QuickTimeVR Utility to convert the movie into a QTVR.

Making a QTVR-Ready Movie in SSP

To make a QTVR Object ready movie, open the file that has the object that you want. Open the QuickTime VR Object Camera file on the Strata StudioPro Installer CD located at: Strata StudioPro» 2.1.1 (CD) > Tutorial Ä> Stationary > QuickTime VR Object Camera. Copy the object from the first document and paste it into the QuickTime VR Object Camera document then scale it so it fits inside the box. Render from the Camera. It will produce 684 frames.

QuickTimeVR Size Settings

Here are the QuickTime VR Panorama Size settings. Using these setting will ensure that your images turn out without undesired distortions.

QTVR Reg. size = 1248 x 384 QTVR
Large size = 2496 x 768 15mm lens (focal length).

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-08 16:24


Downloads > Mac download opens in wrong program - 2002-06-22

Something in your computer is telling the program you are using to do the download that .bin files belong to PowerPoint. This can be defined in both the downloading program (your web browser most likely) and at the OS level in the Internet Control Panel.

Let's check the Internet Control Panel first. Open it then click on the Advanced Tab and select File Mapping from the list of icons on the left side of the window. Click the Extension column label to sort the File Extension Mappings list by file extension then look for the .bin entry. It should have StuffIt Expander showing as the Application. If some other program (PowerPoint?) is assigned click the Change button then find Expander from the list of programs you will be given. Close the Internet Control Panel window and save the changes.

In your web browser you will find something similar in its Preferences. In Netscape it is under the Navigator category in the Applications entry. Internet Explorer has it under the Receiving Files section in the File Helpers entry. Scroll through the lists looking for .bin and/or PowerPoint entries until you find where it is assigning them to each other and change the entry so that Expander is used instead.

Note that this definition can happen in either the program or the OS or in both so check each carefully.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-08 16:25


Errors > Disk error when starting - 2002-06-22

If 3D displays a "File not found" error, trash the 3D Preferences file. This is found in the...

System Folder > Preferences > Strata Preferences > 3D Preferences

If the problem continues, delete the preferences and 3D, then reinstall 3D. Make sure that you update to the most recent version you have received or downloaded or you will not be able to access your files.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-08 16:25


Errors > StudioPro 2.x - Disk Error When Starting - 2002-04-10

If StudioPro displays a "File not found" error, trash the StudioPro Preferences file. This is found in the...

System Folder > Preferences > Strata Preferences > StudioPro Preferences

If the problem continues, delete the preferences and StudioPro, then reinstall StudioPro. Make sure that you update to the most recent version you have received or downloaded or you will not be able to access your files.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-08 16:45


Nested Nodes - 2002-04-11

Question:

What is a nested node?

Answer:When you create a group of objects, then rotate, move, scale, add a texture, or add any other infomation to that group, that grouping has information that must be held to show any alteration that was applied to it. When you use the ungroup comand on an object or shape, the information for each object is stored as a nested node.

How to avoid nested nodes

To avoid nested nodes you need to know that when you create a group, then add any other infomation to that group, that new information must be held to show the alteration. Now, when you decide you need to ungroup that grouping, the information must be transferred to each individual object of the group. The nested node is the result of that information being maintained by an object. To avoid this from happening, you can double click on the grouping and a group window will appear that will allow you to manipulate the objects individually. This is where a texture should be applied to avoid nested surface shader information. This also applies to working with shape objects.

How to delete a nested node

If you need to get rid of an existing nested node, open it up in the project window and delete all of the numeric entries. Then, in the Plus Menu (which is in the upper right hand corner of the project window and looks like -+-) select "Delete empty attribute."

How to delete a texture that is a nested node

If you want to remove the influence of a texture that exists as a nested node you need to know the following:

The texture information cannot be removed or deleted without removing the whole nested node. However, you can negate the effect of the texture. In the nested node, you will see a subcategory titled surface shader. Turn down the arrow and find the texture name and edit button. Click the edit button and set the stencil field to 0 percent. (NOTE: if there is a map in the stencil map field, remove it.) This will allow any textures applied to the object to appear through the nested surface shader. (NOTE: Nested surface shaders are always the main texture that will render on the object, regardless of any other textures applied to the object. Thus the suggestion above.)

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-02-12 15:42


Installing StudioPro on Windows - 2002-06-22

Question:

Strata 3D 3.0 won't install where I tell it on Windows systems.

Answer:This is a known problem with the 3.0 installer. The solution is to go ahead and install in the default location then just drag the Strata 3Dpro folder to where you want it. You will have to manually correct the shortcuts in the Start Menu to reflect the new location or just delete the old and create new ones.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-08 16:54


Errors > C0000005 error in Windows - 2002-06-22

Question:

What is a C0000005 error?

Answer:This could be a couple of things.

Do you have an HP printer set as the default printer for Windows? This can cause your problem. Changing the default to some other printer type while running Strata will solve the problem.

Another possibility is the video card drivers and/or OpenGL. You should be using the latest drivers from the video card manufacturer. Also check the chipset being used on the card. Sometimes drivers from the chipset manufacturer will work better than those from the card manufacturer.

After downloading the drivers be sure to remove any drivers currently installed then install the new set.

Be sure to check the video card manufacturer's web site for the latest info and any known problems with OpenGL.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-08 16:54


Problems Rendering in Orthographic perspective - 2002-06-22

If you are trying to render in the orthographic perspective at a DPI (dots per inch) higher than 72dpi a few problems are presented that you may have already noticed. There are two workarounds to this problem. In a Camera Window- Set a camera so it has a 0 to 5 degree focal setting. This will give you orthographic perspective or something close to it. Then move the camera away from the object until you get the view you want and begin a new rendering. In a Modeling Window - Using the View Zoom Tool zoom in very, very close to the center of your desired image. Using one of the fast renderers (listed as RT fast, SL fast) run a test render. You will need to adjust the view with the View Zoom Tool as necessary.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-12 20:17


QTVR Panorama size settings - 2002-06-22

QuickTime VR Panorama Size settings
QTVR Reg. size = 1248 x 384
QTVR Large size = 2496 x 768 15mm lens (focal length)

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-08 17:12


Raytracing does not render details - 2002-04-11

This is caused by having the maximum Tracing Block size too large. To resolve this problem, you must:

1) Select "Render" from the Rendering menu. This will bring up the Render Dialog.

2) Set the Renderer to Raytracing.

3) Click the 'Expert' button to the right of the Render dialog window.

4) Find the Maximum Tracing Block Size and set the variable to '1'. This will allow the small details to be rendered.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-08 17:11


Soft Shadows Fast - 2002-04-10

Question:

Is there a way, like in the project window, to hide an object but to still have its shadow?

Answer:Unfortunately, there's no easy way to do this and get accurate shadows. Even with Shadow Catcher - your object will obscure it's own shadows.

If you want fast soft shadows that you can combine with a rendered scene to give you some great effects - you can do the following...

Make your entire scene (except cameras and lights) into a shape object. Render the scene with raytracing as normal, no shadows on anything. Just full color, full resolution. You can brighten all of the lights in your scene if you want to - since in the following paragraph I'll explain how to create a shadow scene pretty easily - which will be multiplied with this rendering (either in video or in still, photoshop).

Then, make a texture that's 100% diffuse, 100% ambient, white. No reflection, no specular, nothing else. Apply that texture to your scene and render it with raydiosity with the the following settings:

Raydiosity:

Texture Detail: Coarse (only grayscale - no textures)
Oversampling: None (not necessary for a multiply rendering, normally)

Expert Settings:

Collected Light Amplifier - 1.0
Maximum Propagation Samples - 0
Maximum Diffuse Lighting Samples - 0
Maximum Light/Shadow Samples - 128 (your softness of the shadow)
Note on this one - 128 will take half as long to render as setting
this to 255. So it's a direct correlation to your render time.
ONLY set this number to what is necessary.
Cached Sample Front Threshold - 100
Cached Sample Back Threshold - 100
Cached Sample Angular Derivation - 90
Minimum Cache Hits - 255
Maximum Cache Hits - 255

Raytracing Esoterica (through the raydiosity dialogs above)

Maximum Reflectivity Recursion - 0
Maximum Transparency Recursion - 0
Maximum Visible Light Samples - 1
Visible Light Threshold - 8
Maximum Tracing Block Size - 8
Maximum Octree Height - 9
Block/volume subdivision threshold - 20


NOTE: Set the following to get NEAR Raytracing speeds (I'm talking about almost the same rendering time here, WITH soft shadows!!! - but it could lead to artifacts in your scene)

Maximum Tracing Block Size - 12
Maximum Octree Height - 20
Block/volume subdivision threshold - 40


Hopefully this will help you along. Remember, think smart when using these settings. If you have reflective or transparent objects in your scene - set the required numbers to the MINIMUM that will get you by. For example, a transparent refractive sphere would require a Maximum Transparency Recursion of 2. Only 2 surfaces would be passed. If you had two of these in a row, you'd set this to 4. For reflective objects with a shadow rendering, this shouldn't be necessary - keep it at 0.

I guess this information should be good for anyone trying to get soft shadows at near raytracing speeds. In my tests - the settings here resulted in about a 1 second increase over rendering time of simple renderings from Raytracing Good. My test scene is a cube, square, pyramid, cone and cylinder on a ground plane with one light.

Your mileage may vary, but this is a good start to getting some sweet rendering speeds for soft shadows.

Author: Jon Bradley
Last update: 2010-01-08 17:13


Suspended rendering does not appear at correct size - 2002-06-22

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-12 20:08


Loss of Detail in Textures - 2002-04-11

To avoid the loss of detail in your textures, there are two things you can do.

First, make sure you set the Sample to 'Direct'. This is done when you load an image into the texture dialog. After the loaded window appears in the Image Map dialog look at the options below the window. Find Sample and select 'Direct'. For more information check your Reference Manual on pg. R156.

Second, if you are using images that have a resolution setting above 72dpi save it as a TIFF rather than a PICT before loading it into your texture. A PICT file will be reduced to 72dpi, whereas a TIFF file will remain at the dpi setting it was originally set to.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-08 19:17


Raydiosity > Faster Raydiosity Rendering - 2002-04-10

Question:

How can I get faster Raydiosity Rendering?

   
Answer: This set of Raydiosity settings gives soft shadows and minimizes all other features. Start with Raydiosity Best. Under the Expert button in the Render dialog, the Raydiosity Esoterica numbers are as follows (from the top in Mac 3Dpro):
1.0
1
0
128
4
1
90
1
2

 

The Raytracing Esoterica numbers are:
1
6
32
8.0
1
9
1
with no checkboxes checked.

These settings provide soft shadows so long as you've given some radius to your point or spot lights (don't use global lights, they don't make soft shadows). The other features of Raydiosity are minimized.

Reflected light will be suppressed by these settings.

Author: Erik Ela
Last update: 2010-10-09 00:00


Strata 3Dpro 3.8 gets -192 error when run - 2002-11-17

Question:

When I try to run Strata 3Dpro 3.8 in OS X I get an error -192 resources not found. Why is this happening?

Answer:At this time the 3.8 version of Strata 3Dpro has not been localized for any language other than English. You need to set your default system language to English and the Number system to U.S.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-01-08 16:28


I've just installed Strata 3D CX on my Windows computer and when I start the program all I get is a blank, white screen.

This is caused by a problem when OpenGL is initialized on the video card.

We have made changes to CX 5 so it can identify when this happens. All you need to do is to launch the program again, it should start up normally this time. If you have recently changed your video card or updated video card drivers you should delete the StrataOpenGL.log file which can be found inside the folder MyDocuments\Strata 3D CX\.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-02-18 20:40


Does Strata CX 5.0 work on Intel Macs (under Rosetta) or is it Universal Binary?

We have released Strata 3D CX 5.1 which is a Universal Binary. For those users who already have CX 5.0 or 5.0.1 there is a free updater at http://www.strata.com/support_updates.asp.

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2010-01-08 16:47


I am attemting to render an animation in version 4.2 . When it gets to the second frame the program always crashes with the error "Could not complete your request because of a program error." The compression is quicktime- h264.

There is a problem with rendering to the H.264 codec in the Strata 3D  4.x versions of the program. This has been corrected in the latest 5.0 verison.For the 4.x version of CX the solution is to render to a different codec or to numbered series of frames. Then use QuickTime Pro or another video editing program to resave the movie with the H.264 codec.

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2010-01-08 17:20


Installing - I just installed Strata 3D on my Macintosh but when I run it I get only 2 tools in my Extensions Palette. What is going on?

What is happening is that for some reason you do not have permissions to write to the Strata 3D CX program package so the licensing files needed to enable all the extensions are not being written and that prevents them from being loaded.

What you need to do is open the Strata 3D CX program folder and Duplicate the Strata 3D CX program file. When you duplicate something you are given Read & Write permissions to it and its contents. After duplicating the program trash the original then change the name of the duplicate to remove the word "copy".

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-02-03 15:06


Known issue with latest drivers for nVidia 7800GT video card.

For any of the nVidia GT video cards be sure you have the latest drivers, version 91.31 at the time this is being written. Go to the Global Settings tab in the Display Settings and set the option OpenGL Threading to off. There is a thread on the StrataCafe Forums at http://www.stratacafe.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5619 which covers this subject and has a screen shot showing the settings.

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2010-02-03 15:08


My new Strata 3D CX 5.0 uses only 2 of my 4 processors! Version 4.2 with (Renderpro Quad enabling) works fine on my MacQuad.

The Strata 3D CX program by itself can only make use of 2 processors during rendering. The RenderPro Quad updater updates the program so it will use 4 processors or cores. In order to have CX take advantage of all 4 processors you must run the RenderPro Quad updater for your version of CX. If you purchased RP Quad for version 4.2 there is a free updater you can download at our support downloads page.

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2010-01-05 19:58


Memory allocation - How do I control memory size for Design 3D? I am getting 'out of memory' messages.

There is no need or way to control the memory allocation for Strata 3D CX, it is all handled by the operating system now. The OS will give the program as much memory as it needs up to the limits of the system. 

For Design 3D CX v6 and later, you will need a minimum of 2 GB of RAM, and more is highly recommended.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2012-01-12 22:51


Is Strata 3D CX 5 compatible with Windows Vista?

Yes, Strata 3D CX 5 will run under the Microsoft Vista operating system but you must make a change to the program's Properties first.

Because of Vista's increased security features, the installation for CX has to be done differently. It must be installed using the administrator account. Even if your user account has administrator privileges that isn't enough.

Right-click on the installer icon and choose the command 'Run as Administrator.' Then install the software.

You'll also need to run as administrator the first time you run the application, to get the registration information saved properly. Use the Run as Administrator command the first time you launch the program, enter your registration information, then immediately exit the program.

Now you can run it normally with your user account. After installing the program open the Strata 3D CX 5 program folder on your hard drive and Right-click on the program's icon then select the Properties command. In the Properties dialog turn on the option "Disable desktop composition" then click the OK button. CX 5 will now run on Vista.

This process may enable you to run Strata 3D versions as early as 3.6 on Vista. However, these older versions are NOT officially supported by Strata for Vista. 

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2011-05-02 18:11


Illustrator - I am unable to import a single letter from Illustrator CS2. I have tried all the .eps formats.

If you have Design 3D CX (v4.x or later), you do not need to use the .eps format. We have updated the program to read the native .ai format.

Text in Illustrator must be converted to paths before Strata can read it. If the letters have holes in them they must also be converted to Compound Paths.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2011-10-10 23:07


Is Strata 3D CX 5 compatible with Apple's new Leopard OS 10.5 operating system?

Because of changes made to certain controls in the Operating System for Leopard, some of the dialogs in our program which use those controls cause the program to crash. We have reported the problem to Apple but so far they have not fixed it. You can find a list of known problems and workarounds for our software running under Leopard on the StrataCafe by doing a search. Make sure to include the Archived threads.

Strata 3D CX 5.5 is compatible with OS 10.5, Leopard. We will be issuing a free updater for Strata 3D CX 5.0, 5.0.1 and 5.1 versions of the program. Older versions will not be updated.

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2010-01-22 14:40


Will Strata 3D CX V4.x (with any updates) run on Mac OS x 10.5 or later?

CX 4.x will not run under OS 10.5 due to changes made by Apple to how the File Open dialogs work. Users running CX 4.x and earlier versions of the Strata 3D program will have to Upgrade to the latest version of the program, Strata Design 3D CX 6.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-02-18 20:35


Windows - After using Strata 3D CX 5.x for a while the program stops responding or slows down dramatically when working in the Modeling Window.

Are you using an HP all-in-one printer? There is a program for them loaded at startup called hpqtra08.exe which is known to consume 100% of the CPU at times which will prevent Strata from being able to update the Modeling Window as it should.

This in turns causes the OS to report that the program is Not Responding. One solution to the problem is to disable that program while running Strata. Other possible solutions are discussed on different web forums.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-01-12 19:51


I recently upgraded my older G5 powerpc mac to 10.58. I have Strata 5.01. Now it crashes when I try to open any file including importing a texture. Is there any fix?

Because of changes made to certain controls in the Operating System for Leopard, some of the dialogs in our program which use those controls cause the program to crash. We have reported the problem to Apple but so far they have not fixed it. Our latest CX 5.5 version of the program does have code changes which avoid the problem and will run under Leopard.

If you are running the CX 5 version of the program there is a free patch to version 5.1.1 which works around the problem. You must have updated your program to CX 5.1, also a free updater, before the running the patch. Both the 5.1 updater and the 5.1.1 patch can be downloaded from <http://www.strata.com/support_updates.asp>. Versions  of the program earlier than CX 5 will not be fixed for Leopard.

If you do not want to Upgrade to CX 5.5 then you will have to avoid any dialog which allows you to open a file. You can open your model files by double-clicking on them or by dragging them to the Strata 3D program icon and dropping them. The only way to load images for new Textures is by copying them to the Clipboard in Photoshop then pasting them into the Texture dialog.

Author: Brian Lawson
Last update: 2010-01-08 16:57


Application Errors - I am using 5.5 on iMac OS X 10.5.8. When working in Strata 5.5 pieces of my model keep disappearing. Also, I can't model in any view except isometric - all other views seem to be blank.

Have you installed the 5.5.1 updater? It's available here: http://www.strata.com/support/free_updates/

You may also need to do the usual system maintenance: resetting preferences, restarting, repairing permissions, etc.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-02-12 15:10


Snow Leopard - Are there any issues with v5.5 and Snow Leopard?

You will need to make sure you are running at least 5.5.1. While there are no major issues with Design 3D CX 5.5.1 and Snow Leopard, we do recommend that you upgrade to Design 3D CX 6.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-02-12 15:11


Does CX 5.5 take advantage of the processors in the i5 and i7 iMacs ? If so, what kind of rendering boost is obtained?

Strata 3D CX 5.5's rendering engine does support multiprocessors, up to 8 processors. So, it will take advantage of all the processors in the iMacs. The Quad (i5 or i7) will definitely render faster, roughly 1.5 to 2 times as fast.

Also, upgrading to Strata Design 3D CX 6, you could see up to 5X improvement in rendering speed.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-03-24 14:10


STRATA DESIGN 3D SE » General

What's the difference between Design 3D CX, CXi and SE?

Design 3D CX 7 is our flagship product, and it includes all available features.

Design 3D CXi 7 is available only through the Mac App Store. It includes all of the features of Design 3D CX except PDF (AI) and U3D import and the CS4/CS5.x Photoshop 3D plug-ins. CXi does support importing Illustrator EPS v8 files.

Design 3D SE 7 is also available only in the Mac App store, and is a limited version of the software. SE has a lot of the same powerful modeling tools as our other software, but with a limited feature set. Design 3D SE 7 supports importing Illustrator EPS v8 files.

You can find a chart comparing the features of all three products on this page:

http://www.strata.com/products/strata_design_3d_cxi/    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2013-06-14 15:20


Illustrator import - How can I get an .eps file into Design 3D SE?

You will need to save it as an Illustrator 8 EPS file.

How to save to an Illustrator EPS (.eps):

- Select Save or Save As... or Save a Copy...
- In the Format popup menu, select "Illustrator EPS (eps)"

- In the "Version:" popup menu, select "Illustrator 8 EPS" and save the file.

Now you can import the file into Design 3D SE.

There are some advantages to using postscript over the newer PDF (which SE does not support). The biggest reason to use Poscript over PDF is to retain control handles on straight edges: they are removed in the PDF, but are important for some modeling tasks.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-11-27 15:17


Manual - Where is the User Guide for Design 3D SE?

The User Guide is located in the Help menu of all Strata software products.  When you select the User Guide, it will open in a browser window. If you'd like to download the User Guide to your own computer, just choose Save or Save as PDF in your browser menu.  

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-11-27 15:35


Illustrator - How do I get text from Illustrator into Design 3D SE?

To get text as an .eps file from Adobe Illustrator to Design 3D SE, follow these steps:

- Start with a web template in Illustrator - this is recommended, but not required.

-  Convert your text to outline (Type > Create Outlines)

- Export from Illustrator as EPS 8

- Import into Design 3D SE

- Once in Design 3D, you can use the Extude tool to give it depth. You can then add a texture, lighting, backgrounds etc. before your final render.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-11-27 15:40


Can I install Design 3D SE on multiple computers?

Yes, you can install the software on your laptop and desktop computers. All Mac App Store software is tied to your Apple store account, so if you log into the same Apple account on a different machine, you will be able to download it to the second computer (that you own.)

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-11-27 15:45


Where can I find FAQs for Design 3D SE?

Many of the FAQs in the Design 3D CX section of this support section will apply to Design 3D SE. This is because all of the features of SE are included in CX.

This FAQ section is for questions that apply specifically to Design 3D SE.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2012-11-27 15:56


Strata Live 3D CX (discontinued) » Advanced Editing

Can Live 3D be used for walk-through applications?

Yes. Strata Live 3D includes a nice look-and-feel template for basic walk-through navigation.

In addition to other options available, Live 3D can also be used to create walk-through-style web tours for environmental design, interior design, architectural applications and more. When you use the menu command Export > Web > Walk-Through your web tour will be exported with a special Navigation Bar designed for this type of project. 

The following recommendations will help you author web tours with walk-through navigation: 

From the Sequences & Views palette, select the Initial view from the Jump to View menu. Next, click on the Change View Definition button. Set the camera distance to zero, to bring the viewer into the scene. Use the Advanced tab to adjust the exact location of the camera. 

Create scripts which take the viewer to various points of interest. Give each script a camera track, and edit the camera waypoint to move the camera center location to the desired location. The user will then be able to “walk” starting at this place. 

If the model has multiple floors, be sure to create scripts which take the user to each level. The applet will not allow the user to change elevation, by default. 

You may need to edit the HTML to change the walking speed (look for the variable walkSpeed). The walking speed is based on model units, so very large or very small units in the original model may give you unexpected results in the walk-through presentation. See the next section for instructions on editing the HTML file.

Export using Export > Web > Walk-Through

NOTE: There is currently no viewer feature available for collision detection or elevation grid support. This puts the viewer in what’s commonly called in 3D games “God Mode” – with the viewer being able to walk through walls, etc. This has both benefits and drawbacks.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-15 00:23


Technical aspects of optimizing large 3D models for the web

3D models are among the most complex kinds of data to transmit efficiently. A comprehensive web optimization solution requires Decimation, Compression, and Streaming. Failure to address any one of these areas, even in part, can make an otherwise good approach extremely inefficient.

Decimation is a "lossy" process, in which high-resolution data, which is not required in a web application, is removed. Compression is the process of representing a large data set using a smaller data set, by exploiting patterns or other kinds of predictability in the data. 

Streaming is a technique used to send data while the user is looking at the running application, to reduce the perception of delay. These three techniques apply across three domains of technology — Authoring Tools, Formats, and Viewers — as shown in the following chart:

 


Authoring Tools

Formats

Viewers

Decimation of:

  • Polygonal Mesh
  • Hierarchy
  • Objects

Compression of:

  • Hierarchy & Animation
  • Topology
  • Geometry Coordinates
  • Mapping Coordinates
  • Vertex Normals
  • Texture

Compensation through:

  • Decompression
  • Sharpening
  • Normal Reconstruction

Streaming of:

  • Objects

 

Decimation of:

  • Coordinate Tables
  • Coordinate Values
  • Texture

 

Streaming of:

  • Geometry
  • Texture

 

 

 

 

             

As this chart shows, aspects of decimation and streaming apply across technologies, requiring support beyond a single technology. For this reason, and because of the interplay between all these aspects of efficient data transmission, a solution which includes tools, formats, and viewers, all working in harmony, will generally produce the best results.

Each of these aspects of efficient transmission will be explained in the following sections.

Decimation

Decimation is the process of eliminating unneeded information from the 3D model. It is a "lossy" process, which means it must be guided by knowledge about the end-user requirements of the data. This knowledge comes from several sources:

  • Technicial Input
    Technicians select parameters based on their understanding of end-user requirements.
  • Viewing Platform Limitations
    By making the software aware of limitations (such as maximum zoom) of the viewing platform, it can eliminate data which would not be visible to the end-user.
  • Behavioral Analysis
    By making the software aware of the behavior of the 3D model, it can eliminate data which will not be relevant for a given application.

A 3D model is generally represented by a "scene graph," in which a hierarchy of transform nodes tie together various parts. At each of these nodes, there may be geometry. There are many parts of this graph which may be decimated. The next sections discuss each of the candidates.

Mesh Decimation (Polygon Reduction)

Tessellated 3D models often have more triangles in each mesh than are really necessary for a given end-user application. In some cases, such as co-planar polygons, this decimation requires no technician input; but in general, a technician will need to make quality determinations to decide how aggressively the system should remove polygons from the tessellation.

In the Strata Live 3D software system, Strata Live 3D uses a quality-driven approach to decimation. Rather than giving an exact polygon count goal, which is impossible for the technician to know in advance, the software is given an abstract quality metric, and the reducer will eliminate as many polygons as possible without dropping below that quality level. This allows the technician to work on large hierarchies of objects at a time, and then do fine-grained adjustments to the decimation as needed.

Hierarchy Decimation (Merging Nodes and Meshes)

3D scenes graphs often have far more hierarchy than is necessary for an end-user application. For example, an Alias Studio model of an MRI machine which a Strata Live 3D client was using, had about 3000 nodes in its hierarchy, but only about a dozen moving parts. Analogous to automatic "inlining" in a compiler, the Strata Live 3D software will analyze the motion and visibility operations actually used in an application, and identify the levels of hierarchy that are irrelevant to animation. It can then decimate these out of the scene graph, apply the necessary transforms, and merge child node mesh data.

Coordinate Table Decimation (Welding)

Triangular meshes are generally represented using tables of coordinate values (3D positions, vertex normals, and texture mappping coordinates). Often these tables will contain values which are duplicated, or very close to duplicated. This redundant data can be decimated through a "welding" process, in which values which are within a defined threshold are unified. The maximum threshold to use can be determined with knowledge of the resolution limitations of the end-user application. However, placing this value under control of a technician allows the use of a more aggressive weld threshold to further reduce model size.

Coordinate Value Decimation (Quantization)

3D scene graphs generally use floating-point representations for all coordinate data (positions, normals, and mapping coordinates). However, floating point data is extremely difficult to work with in compression, so this data will first be quantized into an integer representation for subsequent compression. Quantization is a kind of decimation, because it effectively decimates the least significant digits of each coordinate value. The choice of the number of bits to use for each integer might be determined through statistical analysis of the dynamic range, and variance, of the sample data. However, again it is best to leave this under technician control, since an algorithm cannot effectively determine which variance is noise, and which is actually important geometry.

Texture Decimation (Cropping, Down-Scaling, Noise Reduction)

For many classes of 3D scenes, the texture data can dwarf 3D geometry. For example, Strata Live 3D's photographic process regularly produces models with a hundred megabytes of texture. This texture data must be aggressively decimated as well. Three approaches are used by Strata Live 3D's Strata Live 3D software to get the number of pixels down to a reasonble level: cropping, down-scaling, and noise reduction.

First, the texture coordinates used by the meshes are analyzed to determine which image pixels are actually mapped to triangles, and unused pixels are cropped out of the image (either by reducing the rectangular boundary of the image, or by replacing these pixels with an average color value).

Next, the images are scaled. By default, Strata Live 3D uses a quality-based approach to scaling images. The image is scaled down as much as possible, without dropping the quality of the image below a threshold (relative to the unscaled original). Using this approach, a largely uniform texture might be scaled down a lot, whereas a highly variable texture will be scaled very little. In addition to this quality-based approach, a technician may choose individual scale factors directly, for more optimal reduction.

Finally, under technician control, the images may be noise-reduced. Noise reduction is a common data pre-conditioning technique used on image data, to ensure the compressed image is as small as possible. For example, in the Save to Web feature of Photoshop, applying a Gaussian blur is an option in the JPEG compression step. Of course, Strata Live 3D uses a more sophisticated noise reducer than simple Gaussian blur

Both noise reduction and scaling can make images look blurry, so it is often desirable to augment these techniques with a post-decompression sharpen filter in the viewer, to re-introduce much of the original clarity of the image.

Object Decimation (Invisible Node Removal)

Object decimation is analogous to dead-code removal in a compiler — by performing static analysis of the potential dynamic nature of a scene graph, the software can determine that some parts will never be visible in the final application. These objects, and texture images used by these objects and no others, can be dropped from the scene.

Compression

After decimating out as much data as possible, the remaining data must be effectively compressed. Strata Live 3D uses a proprietary technique that we call Dedkov compression. Here, we discuss the kinds of data that must be compressed, but we do not get into the details of our proprietary approach.

Hierarchy & Animation Compression

After Decimation, there is usually not much hierarchy left to compress, and animation information is generally fairly small to begin with, so ordinary ZIP-style compression is adequate for this data.

Topology Compression

The topology of the mesh describes how the various 3D coordinates are connected together into triangles.

Geometry Coordinate Compression

The geometry coordinates give the exact 3D location of each vertex in the mesh.

Mapping Coordinate Compression

Mapping coordinates dictate the method by which 2D image maps should be overlaid onto the geometry. As 3D modeling techniques evolve, more and more maps are being applied to geometry (diffuse, bump, displacement, etc.), so any technique should support multiple mapping coordinates per vertex.

Vertex Normal Compression

Vertex normals make up a large part of the data to be transmitted, so special attention is often paid to compressing this data. However, for almost all tessellated models, the vertex normals can be easily calculated by averaging some of the face normals of triangles adjacent to each vertex. Exactly which faces to include in this calculation can be encoded using a technique called "smoothing groups." In some cases, the smoothing groups will be available in the source data, because they were used in the modeling process to drive surface normals to begin with. In other cases, they must be computed by analyzing the normals. Encoding smoothing groups is a far more effective compression technique than any other option for vertex normal compression.

Texture Compression

For many models, texture image data will be many times larger than all other data combined. Thus, any comprehensive solution to compression must focus on texture compression as well. There are two classes of lossy image compression, characterized by the familiar JPEG and GIF approaches. However, these formats are quite outdated, and there are better alternatives for both, as described below.

Lossy Frequency Domain Image Compression

JPEG is the dominant image format which uses lossy frequency domain image compression. In this technique, color information for blocks of pixels is transformed from the amplitude (intensity) domain, into the frequency domain, filters are applied to remove high-frequency changes, and the filtered data is encoded.

A modern technique which works similarly, but produces consistently superior results, is wavelet compression. The JPEG-2000 standard is an example format for wavelet compression. Strata Live 3D's Strata Live 3D software uses a proprietary wavelet-based image compression technique, which is similar to JPEG-2000 but has a much smaller decoder footprint, so it is practical to use in a Java applet.

Paletted Image Compression

For certain kinds of images, such as screen shots, JPEG-style compression requires very large files to produce acceptable quality. For these images, it can be beneficial to use a paletted compression technique instead. In this approach, a palette of colors is built for the image, and each pixel uses a color from this palette. GIF and PNG-indexed are popular formats which uses this technique. Strata Live 3D's Strata Live 3D software uses a proprietary technique which achieves dramatically better compression than these formats for paletted images.

Streaming

After decimation and compression, a hundreds-of-megabytes data set may have been reduced to hundreds-of-kilobytes. While 1000:1 compression is admirable, files spanning hundreds of kilobytes will still take a long time to load over most Internet connections. To reduce the perceived delay, some form of streaming is often desirable.

The exception to this is cases, like PDF, where the usual user paradigm is to download, then view. For formats like that, using a streaming mechanism is pointless, and probably counterproductive, since the streaming algorithms will undoubtedly make it take longer to load the 3D model.

But for web-based applications where streaming makes sense, there are a few variations to consider: streaming objects, geometry, and/or texture. The are examined in the next sections.

Object Streaming (Instancing)

Object-level streaming is an application-specific optimization, which has nothing to do with the decimation, compression, or file formats used to transmit data. A good example of object streaming would be a product catalog that only loaded 3D models selected by the user, instead of loading all the 3D models in the entire catalog and selectively changing visibility of individual models. Clearly, in a case like this, object-level streaming is a requirement. But all that it requires is that each viewable object be stored separately (or at least clearly indexed within a larger file), and that viewer logic be included to download the visibile parts as they are needed.

Geometry Streaming (Progressive Meshes)

A great deal of research has been devoted to streaming geometry data, and it is the primary claimed benefit of the U3D ECMA standard. However, we have elected to omit this kind of streaming from Strata Live 3D solutions for two reasons. First, it is not necessary. After decimation and compression, the geometry component of a model is rarely more than a few tens of kilobytes. For example, with a typical compression rate of 8 bits per triangle, a 50,000 triangle CAD model (which may have been decimated down from 500,000 triangles) will only be 50KBytes. For models created with 3D visualization tools, polygon counts exceeding 20,000 are rare. Adding the complexity of streaming geometry to change the user experience during the first 5 seconds of viewing hardly seems worth the trouble.

However, if geometry streaming had no down side, it might be worth doing anyway. But the downsides, are, in fact, huge. First, progressive meshes cannot be efficiently compressed. In addition to all the data which already needed to be encoded, the rules to migrate the initial, low-resolution mesh, to transform it into the final high-resolution mesh must also be encoded. This vastly increases the entropy of the system, resulting in much lower compression ratios.

Second, unpacking progressive meshes takes a lot of computation. Thus, the user may be seeing a progressively improving visual appearance, but there is no opportunity for the user to interact with the lower resolution data, because the CPU is spending all its time decoding the data and applying the progressive mesh transforms. For large data sets, splitting the CPU cache between unpacking the data, and displaying it on the screen, can lead to serious performance degradation.

Texture Streaming

For photographic-quality models which have been properly decimated and compressed, the amount of data devoted to texture is typically 10 times the data devoted to geometry. In order to provide the best user experience, streaming in progressive resolution in texture is a requirement (except in the download-and-view case, such as in PDF files). And unlike progressive mesh encoding, progressive encoding of images generally has no detrimental effect on overall compressed size. For example, the familiar progressive-JPEG approach will typically yield a file somewhat smaller than an ordinary JPEG encoding. And interlaced GIF files are exactly the same size as non-interlaced GIFs.

The same principle holds true in wavelet encoding, which is the dominant texture encoding method used by Strata Live 3D's software for photographic-quality, textured models. Each "band" of wavelet data progressively increases the resolution, color fidelity, or intensity fidelity of the image. So merely showing this data as it is decoded gives the users a progressively improving quality level, at almost no added cost.

Summary

Many tools, formats, and viewers focus on individual parts of the problem of efficient 3D data transmission, but by only working on one part of the problem, they fail to create useful end-user applications. Large 3D models and scenes require a holistic approach for web optimization, including Decimation, Compression, and Streaming. By addressing all these technology needs, Strata Live 3D and the Meson viewing platform, together provide a comprehensive solution to make high-fidelity 3D feasible in a web environment.

Author:
Last update: 2010-10-27 00:28


I can't unzip the .xmm file on Windows.

The native file format for Live 3D CX is .xmm, or Master Model. The .xmm file is actually a ZIP-style file archive, with a different extension (.xmm vs .zip.)

To access this content, unzip it to a folder on your machine, and then just open the main HTML file, typically named index.html.

If you do this, and see an essentially blank page, with a small icon where the Strata Live 3D content is supposed to be, you are probably running into a security feature of Windows. Using your file explorer, right-click the HTML file, and choose Properties. At the bottom, you may see a message that says:

This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer.

Click the Unblock button, then OK. This will allow the content to run on your computer.

Author:
Last update: 2010-10-22 23:19


Toolbar design guidelines

This entry is in revision and can not be displayed.

Author:
Last update: 2010-10-15 23:22


RGB Texture Files - I can't import a vrml model that has RGB texture maps, I get the error "java.lang.NullPointerException".

Live 3D CX does not understand .rgb files, you have to use .jpeg which means that you need to modify the WRL file to point to the jpeg version. Open the .wrl file in any text editor - do not use a word processor, use a text editor program - and find the section of code at the end of the file which looks like this:

 Example source: 

appearance Appearance
{
material USE lambert2_0
texture ImageTexture
{
url "untitled_file2.rgb"
repeatS TRUE
repeatT TRUE
}
textureTransform TextureTransform
{
rotation 0.000000
scale 1.000000 1.000000
translation 0.000000 0.000000
}
}

change the line which reads

url "untitled_file2.rgb"

to read

'url "Picture 2.jpeg"'

and the image map will be read into the program.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-10-15 21:54


Blackboard File - I'm trying learn the Meson language and I am unable to run the "blackboard" as described in the manual.

The Blackboard system is no longer shipped as part of Live 3D. However, you can get access to it directly from Kaon (Kaon is our technology partner for Live 3D).

Go to:
http://portals.v-central.com

Log in using:
user: demo
pass: demo

Download the installer for the platform you're working on (Windows or Mac). You'll find the Blackboard in the installed folder.

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-10-15 00:59


Shadows - Is it possible to adjust the shadow in the webtour so that there is no space between the object and shadow/ground?

Yes, it is possible to do this.

You will need to edit the HTML code generated to change the shadow settings. In the "customizeUI" area:

customizeUI={
Shadow.Shadow_3d.alpha=0.0;
Shadow.Shadow_3d.width=Shadow.Shadow_3d.height=96;
Shadow.Shadow_3d.below=0.001;
uiDone();

The first setting indicates the transparency, the second is the resolution/blurriness, and the third is the distance from the model.

If any of these are not included in the HTML file that Live 3D saved, then defaults are being used. You can add any of these lines in the appropriate place and add your custom settings.

For more information, see Chapter 4, Section 4.8 of the User Guide, Modifying the Drop Shadow. The User Guide is available in the Help menu of Live 3D CX.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-25 23:11


Custom Nav Bars - Can I remove the Measure button from my nav bar?

Yes, you can.

There is a section in the manual that describes editing or creating your own navigation bars. See Chapter 5, "Creating Custom Navigation Bars".

If you're starting with an existing bar you should simply be able to remove the instructions on placing the Measure button and label.

In the ToolLabel section:

ToolLabel<<
.Reset.label={l10n("reset")}
.Reset.x=249
.Measure.label={l10n("measure")}
.Measure.x=196
.Measure.available={!panLocked}
.Move.label={l10n("move")}
.Move.x=52
.Turn.label={l10n("turn")}
.Turn.x=0
.Turn.available={!panLocked}
.Zoom.label={l10n("zoom")}
.Zoom.x=116
.Zoom.width=69
>>

Remove all .Measure instances.

You can also remove this "area" tag later on in the template text file:

Area.Measure.state={Scene.3d.mode==_MEASURE?(Area.Measure.hover?"selon":"on"):Area.Measure.hover?"seloff":"off"}

You can remove all the functioning elements of the Measure button from minimalist.jar without any adverse effects. Obviously, you will need to remove that part of the buttonbar graphic and build the rest of the bar normally to remove the button entirely.

Author: Strata Software
Last update: 2010-10-22 22:14


Can I change the default language setting for 3D objects?

Yes, you can. The language setting will default to the browser language of the viewer of your 3D web object. The viewer can change it manually by right-clicking. 

You can override the default language setting by adding a line to the HTML setting Meson.language="en" (or whatever language you would like) prior to it reading the UI JAR file.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-16 01:01


Can I edit the HTML file exported by Live 3D?

Yes, you can. If you are experienced with HTML, you may want to do some editing of the HTML file generated by Live 3D when it exports web tours. There are several things you can edit, including the default language, the color of the background, etc. 

This is an advanced capability, so make sure you have some HTML experience.

For more details on this process, see Editing the HTML File in Chapter 4, Section 4.8: Export and Editing Options in the User Guide. The User Guide is located in the Help menu of Live 3D. 

There is also some useful information on the StrataCafe.com Live 3D CX forum. 

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-22 23:52


Is it possible to interactively change part of a Live 3D web object?

Yes, it is possible. There is a thread on this subject on the StrataCafe Live 3D forum here

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-22 23:59


How do I add an image background to a Live 3D model for the web?

You can add an image background to a Live 3D model for the web by adding a few lines to the meson code:

Applet.Primary.fill="FFFFFF"; /* Background color goes here */

 

Applet.Primary.image="stratalive_400.gif"; keepDisplayImage=true;

 

For more information, see the Meson User Manual. From the Live 3D CX main menu select Help > Meson Language Manual.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2010-10-26 19:50


Strata Enfold 3D CX (discontinued) » Distributing Artwork

Corners - How can I distribute artwork around a corner?

You cannot use the Distribute Selection command in the Enfold 3D View panel to distribute artwork across panels that are not coplanar. However, there is a way to distribute art around corners in your packaging design.

This process is described in detail in an FAQ in the Enfold documentation. To access this FAQ, go to the Help menu in Illustrator, and choose Strata Enfold 3D CX > User Guide.

In the menu on the left side, find the FAQ section and choose "How can I distribute around a corner?"

Author: Strata Support
Last update: 2010-02-17 20:07


Overlap Error - I'm trying to distribute a logo, but I keep getting an error: "There is no overlap between the selected objects and the selected panel."

When distributing artwork for the first time, you will need to select the graphics that you want to distribute in the 2D view AND the source panel in the Enfold 3D View window.

The 'no overlap' error message indicates that you selected a panel in the Enfold 3D View, but in the 2D view there is no overlap between the selected panel and the selected art.

For more information, see the FAQ section of the Enfold User Guide, which is located in Illustrator in the Help Menu > Strata Enfold 3D CX > User Guide.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-15 19:20


Large Graphics - I used the Distribute command, but it looks wrong in the 3D View palette.

This can happen when the graphic that you want to distribute is too large to display properly. You may want to create clipping masks, using the standard Illustrator tools.

For more information about how to do this, see the FAQ section of the Enfold User Guide. You can access the User Guide in Illustrator by selecting Help > Strata Enfold 3D CX > User Guide. The FAQ section is at the bottom of the menu.

Author: Julie Applegate
Last update: 2011-12-15 19:18


STRATA DESIGN 3D CX » Lighting » HDR Light Studio for Strata - Plugin Version

HDR Light Studio 4 (standalone version from Lightmap Limited) - does it work with Design 3D CX 8?

To take full advantage of the new Design 3D CX 8 HDR Light Studio connection feature you must have the “HDR Light Studio for Strata” plugin version.  Without the Strata plugin version of HDRLS, you won’t have the benefit of setting up your lightdome lighting interactively within your Strata projects.

That said, you can load HDRI images created and saved using HDR Light Studio 4 (standalone version from Lightmap Limited) into a background in Design 3D CX 8 and then use that background for your Lightdome lighting.  However, this method is not interactive and setting up project specific lighting cannot be quickly and easily fine tuned this way.

This plugin was jointly developed by the engineering teams at Strata and Lightmap. We believe you’ll find the implementation of the LightPaint feature and the Strata interface to be a tremendous boost to your creative workflow.


Author: Kevin Condie
Last update: 2015-04-14 17:22