Wow... I just stumbled across this cool mac graphics newsgroup.
I didn't know there were so many other StrataStudio Users.
Anyway, some things in StrataStudio Pro, v1.1a, really suck rocks :-(
I'm using it on a PM 8100/80 and the frames get dumped to a
A few weeks ago, after working on a project and discovering some of the
really annoying stuff,
I sent them a fax with some suggestions/bug reports.
I'm appending the text below and I'd like to get any additional suggestions
and bug reports or changes to my original suggestions from other users here.
I'll compile a list with everything on it, and that list will go
I didn't get any answer to my questions at the beginning of the fax
from them so far (Are they responsive and nice to deal with in general?).
Maybe someone around here knows:
- Do they have email connectivity
- Do some of the engineers hang out in some newsgroups?
- Do they have an ftp-server?
- Are there any bugs fixed in StrataStudio Pro 1.5?
I kinda know about the new features now, definitely not worth
the 99$ upgrade fee :-(
Email me or post here to discuss.
Original text follows:
I?ve now been working with your products StrataStudio Pro and StrataVirtual 3D
for some time and I?d like to report a few bugs and make some suggestions about
features that I think are important as well as some user-interface details wich
were sometimes very annoying. Please keep us informed about what?s going on
regarding the reported problems.
First, do you have some sort of email-connectivity?
I would like to continue to keep in touch with you by electronic mail instead of fax.
Unfortunately, there was no email-address in the manuals. I would prefer an Internet-
reachable email address. Also, do you have an anonymous ftp-server for upgrades over
the Internet etc?
An ftp-server and email would make dealing with you much easier for customers overseas.
We like to deal with our suppliers directly instead of the local distributors because they
often don?t have a clue. We also like to have closer contact with the actual developers of
a product wich is hardly possible when dealing with distributors.
I?ve read in an ad that version 1.5 is now out. Can you send us information regarding the
differences to v1.1:
D Wich new features are included
D Wich bugs are fixed...
1.) When I prepare a suspended rendering and execute it later on, the camera view seems to
have changed dramatically. All the objects are much smaller, the camera seems to either
use a wide angle lens or have a different position in the model space.
When I render the animation directly, i.e. without using suspended rendering it works just
The camera view is 288x216 pixels wide. I set the final size to 768x576 pixels in the
rendering dialog and save the job using "Render later...". It seems like the window is
resized when executing a suspended rendering instead of scaling the view. As mentioned it
does work when rendering directly from the camera window. This one is very annoying with
our current project as we can?t use suspended rendering and have to do a lot of hand-
holding to get all the pictures out.
It?s broken and completely unusable for longer animations in it?s current state. We need a
bug-fix update (free of charge of course) for this particular bug.
2.) When moving the origin point of a camera object to e.g. the center of the object it?s
viewing (pointing at) and using the view rotate tools in the camera window, the camera
object actually moves back in 3d-space! It should just move on a constant distance from
it?s origin point and the object in view. This is absolutely confusing. I need to fine-
tune the cam view very precisely to get exactly the viewpoint I want. I can?t make small
changes in the camera window, instead I have to rotate the camera object in some other
view wich results in a tilted image in the cam window wich I have to rotate again at the
corner handles to get it straight. Very annoying. More on cam view headaches in the
3.) It sometimes freezes the machine alot when exporting QT movies. This caused us to
loose 200 frames at one point because the QT file could not be recovered. It also ended up
in MacsBug one time when a PICS was full and a new one had to be specified (after clicking
OK in the notification alert before the Standard File Dialog came up). More on animation
export headaches in the suggestions below.
1.) We absolutely need another export option when exporting animations: Numbered PICT
files. We?re going to broadcast video with the frames and couldn?t care less about QT
movies. Numbedred PICTs are a reliable way and a requirement for our editing system.
They?re also safer when a crash occurs. The frames that are already rendered aren?t
affected. Not so with PICS and QT, we lost lots of frames with both of them. And PICS has
the 16MB file limit wich leads to the next suggestion:
2.) Make the program create a new PICS file automatically if the old one approaches the
16MB limit. It utterly useless if I start a rendering job in the evening and when I return
in the morning the system has stopped after x frames and sits there waiting for me to
confirm the fact and set a new filename. Make it create numbered PICS files in sequence
automatically. (Can't use batch-processing because of the error noted above)
3.) Generally better support for batch output (suspended renderings), e.g. make it create
subdirectories automatically for each job containing all the related files. This is
especially important with numbered PICTs to avoid clutter and name-clashes.
4.) Support for Illustrator 5 files.
5.) Allow even more softening (i.e. spline tension) on animation keypoints. This is very
important because now it?s difficult to make a smooth-flowing animation, especially when
keypoints get inserted between two existing keypoints.
6.) The interface in general is too slow and confusing; One example are the useless zoom
rects when invoking the view manipulation tools. Make it splash those view boxes and
handles on the screen in an instant. But I?d much prefer if you?d get rid of those
The view manipulation should be much more like in Infini-D. Like cam movement buttons in
the cam view for move up down left right, zoom in out, rotate (pan tilt) all axes. This is
very important for fine-tuning the cam-view as mentioned, especially if the view-rotation
is broken like described above. The camera is confusing in general like when I set focal
lenght / scale in the dialog and everything gets messed up when using the magnifier.
either get rid of the hidden interdependencies or disable some tools with cam views so
they won?t happen.
7.) Mentioned buttons would also be good in the other views, i.e. modeling views, again
like in Infini-D. This way you could really get rid of the imprecise and confusing
viewplanes and their manipulator tools. I really hate them because it?s difficult to make
fine changes etc. Again, buttons like move up down left right, zoom in out, no rotation
here of course. Also, remove the locking on a common center in the modeling views. It?s
pretty useless that they focus on the same center in 3d-space. Make it like in Infini-D
where each view can be moved and zoomed independently. If I want them to focus a common
center, I?ll arange it that way.
8.) Save screen real estate and dump the cheesy unprofessional distracting 3d-look.
There?s just too many useless clutter everywhere. The timeline window is a good example of
this. Remove the clutter near the top of the window:
There?s this unnecessary 3d-look to the buttons (at the top left) instead of tiny b/w
buttons wich save space, are less confusing and get the job done better. Same thing with
the keypoints, the sliders, scale etc. It?s just very unprofessional and annoys us every
time. Don?t use two time-scales (time and frames). Use one and let me choose what to
display on it (most of the time frames. Move the objects in the list tighter together
vertically. Don?t use as much space for each one. Not everyone has 21 monitors and even
when they do they?d rather like to see more of the model space.
The same with the 3d-switch in modeling views wich allows to choose between ortho,
normal and wide-angle that one has to drag between positions. This whole 3d-thingy may
look cool but I?d much prefer simple small buttons to click on. Just use the standard Mac
interface and don?t waste space! Make all the controls tight and fast. It?s just very
distracting and unpofessional otherwise.
Also, the dialogs (e.g. animation extensions) with delicate & nice anti-aliased
artwork may again look way cool but it?s distracting. We wan?t an animation system and not
9.) Very important: Allow to zoom out (i.e. use the minus button) in the timeline window,
multiple times, when in normal view. We never use the zoom in button but always need to
zoom out to see more events on less space. Too bad it?s not possible now.
10.) Allow reordering of objects in the timeline window. We?d like to have related
objects together in the list.
11.) Minor point. Don?t jump to the selected object in the list in the timeline window
when moving the time slider and releasing it. Often I want to drag the slider to a certain
mark on another track and whenever I release the slider the view jumps back to the
12.) I?d like a better extrude dialog with regard to bevels. The profiles aren?t of much
use to me. Take a look at Infini-Ds bevel option when extruding. It allows to drag a
corner point to change the bevel shape directly.
13.) Make the cam views available under the popup-menus in the modeling windows. I don?t
want to switch between a zillion of windows. I?d like to work exclusively with one window
template I use all the time.
14.) Again, user
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