StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

Post by Marc Liyana » Sat, 10 Dec 1994 07:40:58



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
Betacam deck.

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
to Strata...

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.

Thanks

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...

The bugs:

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
fine.
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
suggestions below.

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.

The suggestions:

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
entirely.
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
a toy.

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
selected object.

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
...

read more »

 
 
 

StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

Post by Austin Wallend » Tue, 13 Dec 1994 04:01:18


: 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 :-(

How about this one: when working with flex-objects in an animation, if
you make a change to any of the ribs, it renumbers it "FlexObject #1" but
ONLY AT THAT FRAME!  if it was #7 before, it's gonna switch places with
number 1 between the next point.  Actually, I think it becomes #1 and
bumps everything else down a # so everything changes.

I was trying to make a tunnel that undulates, but is otherwise static.  
All I was changing was scale in the Transform... dialog.  Imagine my
surprise when I saw the animation paths!?!  I'm bitter.... Is there
anyway to rename objects?  ideally, that would solve this problem.

austin

 
 
 

StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

Post by John Tiern » Tue, 13 Dec 1994 11:47:55



> Wow... I just stumbled across this cool mac graphics newsgroup.
> I didn't know there were so many other StrataStudio Users.

    [ list of bugs and suggestions deleted ]

I agree with all of you complaints. A few have been dealt with in 1.5.1
but not enough of them, IMHO.

You might be interested in a brand new mailing list that is just forming.

the body of the message.

John R. Tierney__________________

 
 
 

StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

Post by ShockWave Productio » Wed, 14 Dec 1994 00:18:09


    * Assorted bugs and problems removed *

    I have one major request for StudioPro.  Motion Blur.  It's
perhaps the most important part of a very smooth animation.  I worked
on Lightwave 3D for a little while, produced one animation using
low settings and half resolution, and the motion blur made it work.
Made the animation seem smooth and professional.  It makes the
rendering very forgiving and very realistic.  If there's ONE THING
I would want to see included in V2.0 of StudioPro, this would be it.

    - Dan Foucher
      Shockwave Productions
      Video Production/Special FX

 
 
 

StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

Post by Edwin Go » Wed, 14 Dec 1994 06:26:24


Marc Liyanage (c...@inter.interzone.ch) wrote:

*Much stuff snipped, assume I agree with it...*

> - Do they have an ftp-server?

No, but I'm in the process of trying to set up something here on Netcom.

> The bugs:
>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.

While I haven't had it freeze on me, I have had it output bad frames, which
meanting going back and re-rendering that section and using premire to splice
everything back together. Very annoying.

Bugs I have noticed include:

Clipping of boolean objects, and MetaBall objects. One or more edges of the
object donUt render, they are just sliced off, and in 2-d space, not in 3D.

Metaballs at certain sizes get holes in them. These holes look almosts exactly
like the surface decay that you get on soap bubbles, so it might be nice to
keep
it as an option ;-)

>The suggestions:
> 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.

It would be really nice to be able to send something off to render and still
makes
changes on the original file. I know I could do a save as, but it would still
be
nice.

>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 ITd much
prefer
>if youTd get rid of those  entirely.
>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
>wonTt 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 itTs 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. ItTs  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, ITll arange it that way.

This I don't agree with. Maybe it's just me, but I find Strata's method much
easer to deal with. Infini-D's method has never struck me as very precise
either. Maybe if you had the option of flying your camera around infini-D
style
that would be okay, but don't take away my viewports (do however allow me
the option of setting their point of rotation). I will give you the
inconsistancies
in the dependancies between magnification, camera location, and focal length
setting. I generally donUt use the magnifier in a camera window to avoid this.

>8.) Save screen real estate and dump the cheesy unprofessional distracting
>3d-look.  ThereTs just too many useless clutter everywhere. The timeline
>window is a good example of  this. Remove the clutter near the top of the
>window: ThereTs 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. ItTs
>just very unprofessional and annoys us every  time. DonTt 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. DonTt use as much space for each one. Not everyone has 21R
>monitors and even  when they do theyTd rather like to see more of the model
>space.

I agree about the cluttered look of the animation palette. Even on my 21S
monitor itUs a huge, hulking thing that I need to have open, but keep tucked
off
the bottom of the screen. The button bar at the top of the screen also seems
much larger than it needs to be.

IUm not really offended by the appearance of the Strata interface. I think
itUs
actually very much in keeping with the Apple guidelines. I certainly donUt
want
to see it compacted into an unusable mess like the Playmation interface, which
tried to cram far to much function into far too little space. Remember,
cryptic
is bad.

>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 ITd much prefer simple small buttons to
>click on. Just use the standard Mac  interface and donTt waste space! Make
all
>the controls tight and fast. ItTs 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 itTs distracting. We wanTt an animation
>system and not  a toy.

Cool looking is not bad. I want my 3-d system to look nice. Since I make my
living doing a pretty, but non-essential function, I never say that something
should be removed becasue the production values are to high. Many people IUve
introduced to Strata like the little illustrations in the dialogs. The Plane
in the
align to path dialog always gets a good comment. If anything I would like more
visual information in the dialogs, not less.

>10.) Allow reordering of objects in the timeline window. WeTd like to have
>related  objects together in the list.

And let us name any object, not just shapes. Many times I want to name the
Parts of a shape.

>12.) ITd like a better extrude dialog with regard to bevels. The profiles
arenTt
>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.

I often have trouble geeting the results that I want out of extrude also. It
does
seem that it could use some work.

>13.) Make the cam views available under the popup-menus in the modeling
>windows. I donTt  want to switch between a zillion of windows. ITd like to
work
>exclusively with one window  template I use all the time.

For sure.

>14.) Again, user interface. Use the small standard mac handles for selected
>objects  instead of those huge white boxes. Use something like 2x2 or 3x3
>pixel dots like the other  programs.

I think this emphasis is important, since Strata uses the handles specifically
for
constrained movement. (I wish Infini-D had constraints like this!)

 >Some advanced features wich would be nice:

 >16.) Half-frame (field) animation for smooth look on video.

This, and motion blur are essential.

 >17.) Allow the direction lines of spots and cameras to be displayed all the
time  

>instead of just when clicked on. If possible allow to adjust focus of
spots/cam  
>interactively in the model view with a cone as seen e.g. in 3D-GO on SGI.

This would be great. ItUs the only feature I really like in Alias Sketch.

New Features I would like to see:

Better 2-D modeling With the ability to align points and handles, as well as
mirror points and handles. Symetrical drawing tools, the ability to
disconnect/reconnect line segments (al-la freehand/Illustrator Basically I
want the 2-d modeler to be a little version of freehand's line drawing tools
(but with point align)

Improved Boolean modeling (take a look at Presenter Pro 3.0 for a really neat
boolean modeler, the only differ4ence would be that once I have things the way
I want them, I would want to be able to "set" the oject, and make it a single
object, rather than a collection of boolean peices).

Vastly improved spline modeling, and more spline based modelers. Right now,
most of the modelers are polygon based (again, see Presenter Pro 3.0).

A puppy, and a new red bike. (oops, wrong list...)

--
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StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

Post by Loga » Wed, 14 Dec 1994 14:15:42


How about fractally generated trees?  And terrains that are spline based
instead of polygon based, so you not faced with the choice of either
a) don't smooth, but have lots of dropouts and be unable to ray trace, or
b) smooth, but run high risk of having "too many objects" message abort
the operation, or if it succeeds have the result look nothing like a real
terrain.
 
 
 

StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

Post by Cheshire C » Wed, 14 Dec 1994 06:54:17


Here are a few suggestions for improving Strata StudioPro:

1) A particle systems extension. (To create such effects as sparks,
fountains, and other generally cool, hard to achieve effects).

2) A lens flare extension (yes, I know this effect is often overused, but
hell, it sure looks nice). As an extension it would be available when
animating, rather than having to rotoscope a lens flare into each frame
afterwards in PS.

3) Better fog/haze control...such as being able to specify its altitude
(so that the fog could just cover the ground and dissipate at specified
level).  This would allow for very realistic fog effects, and would also
allow environment maps to show up above the fog.  Also the fog color ought
to be affected by the light level...so that fog in dark areas appears
dark, and fog in light areas is illuminated.

_____________________________________________________

         _/_/_/_/    _/_/              _/_/  _/_/
      _/_/    _/_/  _/_/_/          _/_/_/  _/_/
     _/_/          _/_/_/_/      _/_/_/_/  _/_/
    _/_/          _/_/  _/_/  _/_/  _/_/  _/_/
   _/_/    _/_/  _/_/    _/_/_/    _/_/  _/_/
    _/_/_/_/    _/_/       _/     _/_/  _/_/_/_/_/_/
_____________________________________________________

 
 
 

StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

Post by Yves Boudreau » Fri, 16 Dec 1994 10:45:04


I would like that the camera be more like in EIAS. You select where you point
and can rotate around that point always fixing it. And the lateral movement
of the camera is the camera menu. It looks a lot like those in airplanes.
That makes the camera movements easier to produce and more fluid. The camera
and light movements are badly implemented in SSP ( except for banking, which
is great) and that is the major problem for animation.
 
 
 

StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

Post by Shawn Joy » Sun, 18 Dec 1994 06:12:50



> 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 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:

They are nice, but they are most responsive to phone calls.  They do read
their mail, they just don't always seem to repsond.

Quote:> - Do they have email connectivity


Quote:> - Do some of the engineers hang out in some newsgroups?

I believe one reads this list.

Quote:> - Do they have an ftp-server?

No but there are a few stata files at avalon.chinalake.navy.mil

Quote:> - Are there any bugs fixed in StrataStudio Pro 1.5?

yes, the camera resizing in suspended renderings is supposed to be fixed
as well as a couple of others.

Suggestion for strata:  I would also like the field rendering, and motion
blur.  Particles would not be as immediately usefull to me, but lense
flair actually can have many uses if it is implemented in a flexible
manner (allowing you to use particular aspects of lense flair as you need
them).

I would like to see better spline support.  I would like to take spline
text, choose, create, or edit a spline bevel, and have the extruder create
a spline object.  I would like to take a spline outline into the lathe
modeler and come
out with a spline object.

It would be nice if the 2d editor had a basic object oriented interface
for adding and subracting from a surface.  For example:  Say I am wanting
to mode a piece of wood trim and have most of it modeled, but would like
to cut out a circle from the exact middle of my surface.  If there was an
object oriented (macdraw type) interface, I could draw a negative circle
using a snap grid, align the negative circle to the polygon shape and when
I hit the ok button, the circle would be subtracted from the trim
outline.  Some basic tools like circle, rectangle, rounded rectangle,
poly-line, and region would be nice (and shouldn't be too difficult to
create.  I had to write a paint program for computer graphics class at
baylor.  Two weeks).  It would also be nice if they would alow me to set
the resolution I want the paint layer of the 2d modeler to work at.  I
tried the paint layer once.  I took some spline text into the paint layer,
it came in at 74dpi and I have never looked at it again.

Inverse kinimatic motion would also be nice.

Shawn Joyce

 
 
 

StrataStudio Pro wish-list - your comments wanted

Post by john » Tue, 20 Dec 1994 11:22:50




> Here are a few suggestions for improving Strata StudioPro:

> 1) A particle systems extension
> 2) A lens flare extension
> 3) Better fog/haze control.

I would really like to see a command line interface that you have the
option of using when modeling.  I really like the ability to be able to
put exact dimensions on my models while I am making them.  I hate having
to open the model and edit in the exact dimensions.  AutoCad has spoiled
me with its 'exactness' although I hate its interface.... I just cant win.
   JohnO.
 
 
 

1. Give us your SmartSaver Pro Wish List

Calling all SmartSaver Users!

We need your help to make the next
version of SmartSaver Pro even better.

As you know we recently released SmartSaver Pro 2.0
(for more info visit: http://www.ulead.com/ssp/runme.htm)

What we need now is for you to give us your wish list
for future versions of SmartSaver Pro.

Let us know what new features you would like to
be incorporated, how we can improve on the current
feature set or share new ideas for future versions.

Thanks,
Colwin Chan
Ulead Systems, Inc.

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

2. RGB palette for 8 bits

3. comments wanted on Autodesk Animator Pro

4. agfa 1212u

5. FS:StrataStudio Pro 2.5 (Mac)

6. C functions for scan conversion

7. StrataStudio Pro crash a 8200 PPC

8. FS:StrataStudio Pro 2.5 (Mac)

9. stratastudio pro upgrade

10. StrataStudio Pro Question

11. StrataStudio Pro REVIEW...anyone?