Strata 3D[in]

A 3-D authoring environment.

Strata 3D[in]
  • Strata 3D[in]
  • Strata 3D[in]
  • Strata 3D[in]
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Full-featured modelling workflow, roundtrip editing, advanced rendering and HDRI support, 3-D export to Web and PDF in Live 3D, strong Photoshop integration

Cons

  • Quite expensive, some controls could be streamlined, modelling tools slightly basic

Bottom Line

3D[in] is an expensive 3-D authoring environment that slots neatly into Photoshop Extended CS3’s 3-D features.

Would you buy this?

Note: pricing for this product is in US$.

Strata’s 3D[in] plug-ins, Design 3D[in], Foto 3D[in] and Live 3D[in], slot neatly into Photoshop Extended CS3’s 3-D features. We’ll concentrate here on Design 3D[in], which offers a well-featured 3-D authoring environment with transformation and modelling functions, including tools for creating primitive objects.

You can also create a new 3-D object from a selected 2D image within Photoshop, then use Lathe and Extrude tools to build it.

Model[in] Edit can be used to change or finetune the 3-D object, while Match[in] is used to correctly place and scale the 3-D object in a 2-D document, in a procedure that resembles Photoshop’s Vanishing Point process. The final stage, Render[in], generates photo-real images of the object for integration into a Photoshop project. Any of the resulting rendered layers are fully editable.

Design[in]’s subtools offer impressive roundtrip capability: you can send a 3-D model from Photoshop to Design 3D[in], add textures and send the model back. You can continue the texture editing/modelling process, or close and render it. An ‘Un-Plug’ button flips you out of the plug-in.

This integration sets Strata’s tools above the rest of the applications on test, with only Daz 3D Bridge coming close. However, in comparison that plug-in’s 3-D modelling is limited.

The other Strata plug-ins also work well with Photoshop. Foto 3D[in] builds 3D models from a series of related 2D images, piecing together the images and producing a texture map of the entire surface, as well as generating an underlying 3D mesh. Live 3D[in] is a finishing tool, used for converting Photoshop files with 3D layers into Web pages and PDF documents with interactive content.

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