Dasch, From Styrofoam to Strata

Dale (Dasch) Schulz is a traditional sculptor and artist who has successfully translated his whimsical style to the world of computers using Strata 3D. Clients over the years have included Manitoba Tel, Monumental Life, the City of Nanaimo, Malaspina University, and the Theatre One Drama Festival.

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» How did you get started in the graphics industry?

I sold my first drawing at the age of eight and was hooked. It seemed like easy money! My first taste of commercial art was at the age of 15. Painting Holiday scenes on store windows. I've worked as an Editorial Cartoonist, Video-Art Director, Set Designer and Scenic Painter and Graphic Designer.

» What made you pick up Strata 3D? Was there a specific problem/need that caused you to seek out a 3D application?

I found Strata 3D at the end of 2000. I was looking for an easy method to show multiple variations of graphics on a tradeshow display mock-up. The panels were curved so it would have been difficult to draw the mock-ups.

» What other applications were part of your workflow, and how did Strata 3D work with those applications?

I had been using Illustrator and Photoshop so Strata fit into the flow beautifully. Illustrator is perfect for building templates and base shapes from which to extrude, rotate or otherwise build models in Strata. Together with Illustrator, Photoshop is the perfect tool for preparing textures, background images - and is a strong post production tool. The "Group of Three" performs in all my digital 3D escapades.

» How did you learn Strata 3D, and would you recommend your method to new users?

I used the "hunt & peck" method, experimenting as I went. I also read through Strata's manual and followed suggestions gleaned from StrataCafés Forums and Gallery. There are more and more resources for new users - (Chris Tyler's CDs - WestRim Training etc), but I love to experiment and play to learn. I also learn a LOT from other Strata Users. I'd definitely suggest joining the StrataCafe Forums. The Users there are very helpful.

» Has the introduction of 3D into your workflow caused you to branch out and explore opportunities you wouldn't have otherwise?

Very much so. In fact it has revolutionized my entire workflow and has infiltrated into all aspects of my art production. As a visualizing tool it is unbeatable. Used in conjunction with CNC cutting tools, the sculptural possibilities are endless. I am doing more Architectural Concept renderings and large sculptural projects are much easier to plan and execute using 3D modelling.

» Have you tried other 3D applications? How did Strata 3D compare?

Wings 3D and Silo. Strata provides that important completeness though - loads of modelling tools AND great rendering capabilities.

» Do you use any other applications to compliment Strata 3D?

I am doing more and more of my modelling in Silo. It has an interface that I find very easy to use. Currently I use Silo for polygon modelling, then UVmap in Wings. The files import into Strata CX very easily.

» How has your personal style and workflow changed since learning Strata 3D?

My entire workflow has changed. Not only is Strata my prime visualizing tool, it is my first choice when I am about to start any illustration job. I sometimes find it hard to be satisfied with just drawing. I also use 3D props as reference for drawing and painting projects. More and more of my sculptures are started in Strata. I even design the shipping crates for my sculptures in StrataCX.

» Was there anything else regarding your experience with Strata 3D that our readers would find interesting or useful?

Not only do I find the folks at Strata to be friendly and helpful, but the User Community is extremely supportive. I've made a LOT of friends during my journey into 3D.