Design 3D CX 8 for Mac

Our Premier Modeling & Animation Software for Mac. Unrivaled Quality & Price.

All the Power You Need in One Integrated Solution

Design 3D gives you all the tools you need to complete professional 3D projects. This includes integrated modeling and scene composition so you can get to the final high quality images and animations that professional studios demand. Even though Design 3D is a stand-alone solution, it’s still connected to the other tools and resources you need so your overall workflow efficiency is maximized.

Discover what’s new in Design 3D CX 8

Simplified 3D Learning Curve

Strata Design 3D eases the learning curve for 2D designers who are new to 3D. Quick start templates, libraries, predefined effects, backgrounds, environments and more allow designers to create complex scenes in minutes. With a user interface and tools that are familiar to today’s 2D designers, you invest your time learning 3D design concepts rather than a new design paradigm.

Fundamentals Video: User Interface
Fundamentals Video: Windows & Views

Share Your Vision in VR with VR17 Release

The latest release adds exciting new features to allow you to explore and share your designs in VR.

Render VR new camera type (VR 360° Stereo) generates images that allow you and your clients to step directly into your projects for a fully immersive experience using a standard smartphone and simple, inexpensive viewers (such as Google Cardboard).

Publish VR makes it easy to interactively experience your designs in a full VR environment using Strata Spaces VR and HTC Vive headset. Just select your model in Design 3D CX and hit the Publish to VR button.

Design 3D CX – VR17 Release Overview Video

Intel® Embree & Stage Model Features

Design 3D CX includes the Embree raycasting technology by Intel® to improve rendering speed up to 800%. The Stage Model feature also helps to make it easy to place your models in professionally created templates for a finished presentation. Speed and efficiency.

Model Anything in 3D or Import Existing 3D Assets

For many, the thought of 3D modeling is a daunting task. Design 3D offers an extremely friendly modeling toolset and environment for manipulating your polygons, splines, and primitives into any 3D object or scene you can imagine. If you’re working with existing 3D assets, Strata Design 3D CX utilizes a host of filters and options to accurately import third-party 3D models and scenes.

Fundamentals Video: Modeling

Apply Surface Textures with Precision

In the world of 3D, texturing may just be the most important component in creating convincing final renderings. Once you have designed your 3D model, Strata Design 3D CX gives you powerful tools to create, apply and manipulate surface textures with beautifully accurate results.

Fundamentals Video: Texturing

Sophisticated Lighting, Backgrounds & Cameras

Scene composition is a critical step in producing stunning images. Design 3D CX makes it easier to control the environment than any photography studio you could imagine. Position your 3D objects and then place lights, reflection panels, cameras, backgrounds, environments, reflection elements and more to produce a superior final render or animation for your design project.

Fundamentals Video: Lighting

Photo-Real Images & Animations at Blazing Speeds

Strata is well known for its extraordinary rendering technology. Whether you’re after photo-realistic results or some other style for your static or motion graphics, you will find the rendering options to suit your needs and output the results using one of the fastest rendering engines in the industry. After all, it’s all about the final results and Design 3D delivers.

Fundamentals Video: Animation
Fundamentals Video: Rendering

Spaces VR Ready

Ever wonder what it would be like to be able to step into your design projects? What it would feel like to hold your creation in your hands – with just the push of a button? With Design 3D CX and Spaces VR you now have the power to not just visualize, but to truly experience your ideas. No need to 3D print or build expensive prototypes – Spaces VR can put you there in seconds. Just select your model in Design 3D CX, hit the Publish to VR button and you’ll be there in seconds.

Watch the Spaces VR Intro Video

Detailed Feature List

Strata Design 3D CX makes it easy for 2D designers to get started in 3D. You can import 2D elements from applications like Adobe Illustrator or you can draw 2D and 3D objects directly in Strata Design 3D CX.

  • 2D/3D Text
  • 2D Drawing Tools (rectangles, ellipsis, etc.)
  • 3D Primitives (cubes, spheres, etc.)
  • Spline Curves (Bezier lines/regions)
Strata Design 3D CX offers an incredible array of modeling options. You can model using familiar Bezier splines, but now in 3D: traditional polys- but now with Quad Polysplines (subdivision surfaces); MetaSurfaces to meld objects together; Extrude and Lathe; Boolean to combine or subtract: Skin; Mirror and more!

  • Polyspline SDS (subdivision surfaces)
  • Meld MetaSurfaces
  • Bezier Surfaces
  • Extrude
  • Lathe
  • Boolean
  • Skin
  • Polygonal Modeling
  • Path Extrude
  • Construction Objects
  • Shy Objects
  • Shape Instancing
  • Replicate / Duplicate
  • Object Manipulation
  • Drop a Curve
  • Hide Objects
  • Fillet
  • Thickness
  • Mirror
  • Hull Surface
  • Deformation Lattice
  • Grids – World, Custom & View
  • Guides – Custom and Default
  • Smooth Mesh
  • Decimation
  • Segment Edge Command
  • Show Face Normals
  • Point Snap
Unlike your favorite 2D applications, Strata Design 3D CX gives you the opportunity to examine artwork from any angle. With the power of 3D perspective comes new challenges for control. Strata 3D rises to the occasion with split-able views, connected views, multiple views, depth cueing and even special views for cameras and light sources. OpenGL gives you quick previews while LiveRay gives you photo-real previews.

  • Familiar Interface
  • Split Views
  • Camera View
  • Multi-Views
  • Depth Cueing
  • Image/Movie Backdrop
  • Spotlight Views
  • OpenGL
  • LiveRay
Sometimes great design is about the “negative space” – the area that surrounds your 3D model. Strata Design 3D CX gives you many options and an easy to use interface to control your “environment”.

  • Ground Plane
  • Air Refraction
  • Visible Backgrounds
  • Reflective Backgrounds
  • Atmosphere
  • Gravity
  • Wind
You’ve heard of “looks good in any light” – now you’ve found the tool that gives you that elusive “any light”. Strata Design 3D CX gives you point lights, spotlights, global sun-style lights, environment based lightdomes, High Dynamic Range Image lighting, glowing surfaces, gels – all unlimited and fully controllable.

  • Point Lights
  • Spot Lights
  • Global Lights
  • Glowing Surfaces
  • Lightdome HDRI
  • Intensity
  • Host Object
  • Soft Edges
  • Ambient Light
  • Gels
  • Animatable Lights
  • Overflow Handling
  • Spotlight Window View
  • Effects Applied to Light
  • Direct Manipulation Interface
  • HDR Light Studio Integration (optional)
Any image or animation can be spiced up with special effects like Lens Flare, Auras, Particles – and the new Script FX. Add multiple effects, place effects on any object, even animate the effects.

  • Lens Flares
  • Particle Collision Detection
  • Script FX
  • Auras
  • Caustics
  • Fountain Effects
  • Global Gravity Control
  • Global Wind Force Control
  • Global Air Control
  • Fire & Smoke
  • Hair
  • Hotspots
  • Pixie Dust
Being able to talk to other programs in your design studio is an important issue. Strata Design 3D CX offers a number of options in this area.

  • U3D (in)
  • Collada (in/out)
  • Illustrator/EPS (in)
  • Photoshop PSD (in/out)
  • STL (in/out)
  • XMM (out)
  • Quicktime (in/out)
  • PICT (in/out)
  • Quicktime VR (out)
  • TGA (in/out)
  • TIFF (in/out)
  • BMP (in/out)
  • JPEG (in/out)
  • 3DS (in)
  • PDF (in)
  • DXF (in/out)
  • AVI (in/out)
  • MiniCAD (in)
  • Amapi (in/out)
  • OBJ (in/out)
  • VRML 1 & 2 (in/out)
  • Flash SWF (out)
  • True Type Fonts (in)
  • Postscript Type Fonts (in)
The core of what makes Strata Design 3D CX so good – and what it’s famous for – is the high quality rendering. Rendering is the process of taking the design you worked to put together and creating the final image.

  • OpenGL
  • Toon
  • LiveRay
  • Photons
  • Raytracing
  • Raydiosity
  • Render to Layers
  • Flat Shaded
  • Hidden Line
  • Outline
  • Pointcloud
  • Smooth Shaded
  • Wireframe
  • Scanline
  • Transparency
  • Alpha Channel
  • Anti-Aliasing
  • Oversampling
  • Glow
  • Reflectivity
  • Blurry Transparency and Reflectivity
  • Instance Rendering
  • Anti-Matter Effect
  • Field Rendering
  • Atmospheric Effects
  • Shadows
  • MIP Mapping
  • Soft Shadows
  • Stereoscopic
  • Custom Environments
  • Specular Highlights
  • Suspend Rendering
  • Marquee Select Rendering
Design 3D CX takes a simple approach to animation: Everything can be animated. And it takes a simple approach to controlling animation: keyframes, a timeline, and scripting. Even if you’ve never booted it up, you already know how to use it.

  • Scripting
  • Hierarchial
  • Visible Paths
  • Everything Time Variable
  • Animation Preview
  • Shatter
  • Explode
  • Jiggle
  • Convert to Path Event-Based
  • Cycle Back & Forth
  • Key Frames
  • Velocity Graphs
  • Life Checkbox
  • Align to Path
  • IK (Inverse Kinematics)
  • FK (Forward Kinematics)
  • TCB, Spline & Natural Paths
  • Proportional Event Scaling
“What if” is as simple as drag-and-drop in Strata Design 3D CX. Select from the palette of hundreds of pre-made surface textures or make your own using features like live-linking to native Photoshop and Illustrator files – make a change in Photoshop or Illustrator and Strata Design 3D CX automatically updates the model surface.

  • Native UV Mapping
  • Scripting
  • Hierarchical
  • Visible Paths
  • Photoshop Linking
  • Illustrator Linking
  • Displacement
  • Box Wrapper
  • Normal Maps
  • Mist
  • Image Textures
  • Corrosion
  • Starfield
  • Rainbow Reflection
  • Mock Tile
  • Shadow Catcher
  • Ripples
  • Solid Brick
  • Silk
  • Solid Candy
  • Solid Concrete
  • Solid Marble
  • Solid Moonscape
  • Solid Rock
  • Solid Stone
  • Solid Terrain
  • Solid Wood
  • Wildlife
  • Mock Plank
  • Surface, Solid & Volume
  • Layer & Mix
  • Fog
  • Haze
  • Clouds
  • Burn UV
  • New Conform to Mesh option; using Least Squares Conformal Maps technology
  • LSCM unwrap (Conform, Conform Connected) Unwrap entire objects, single UV island or just selected polygons
  • Pin UVs (Toggle pinned vertices on or off)
  • Fit (to UV, U or V)
  • Fit Each (to UV, U or V)
  • Rotate Connected (to Grid, U or V)
  • Move (to U, V; Center to U, V)
  • Select Perimeter
  • Select Pinned UVs
  • UV Edge Seam Assignment
  • Select UV Seam Edge
  • LiveRay Texture Preview: see all texture effects with interactive rendering directly in the modeling view
A great camera can make even the novice photographer look good. Just think of what Strata Design 3D CX will do for you with all these imaging options at your finger tips. These options include four kinds of motion blur, depth of field, and six styles of cameras including panoramic.

  • Scripting
  • Hierarchial
  • Visible Paths
  • QTVR
  • Motion Blur
  • Depth of Field
  • Boom
  • Pan
  • Dolly
  • Arc
  • Pitch
  • Yaw
  • Roll
  • Host Object
  • Target Object
  • Focal Distance
  • View Angle
  • Stereoscopic Camera
  • Panorama Camera
  • Cubic Camera
  • Fisheye Camera
  • Spherical Camera
  • Shutter Speed
  • Live Window Updates
  • LiveRay Scene Preview
Strata Design 3D CX includes a Lua based scripting language. Lua is a widely used language, particularly in gaming, with companies like Blizzard (World of Warcraft), Criterion Studios (NBA Ballers, ESPN Major League Baseball), BioWare (Neverwinter Nights), UbiSoft (Far Cry), Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts), Nival Interactive (Blitzkrieg) and many more. Even new favorites, such as Adobe Lightroom, utilize Lua.

With Lua you can script shaders and textures to: access the rendering pipeline; lens scripting for the creation of custom lenses, effects and warps; Filter FX which allows you to write custom Lua scripts to apply filters based on an object’s surface normal, direction, lighting, volume, and by pixel color, depth, transparency, layer within the psd file – and much, much more. In fact, Design 3D comes with a whole series of special effect shaders created using Lua. These “Script FX” let you do things like bounce, vibrate, alter acceleration and more. Each Script FX gives access to the full Lua source code, so you can edit them if you like.

Additional features are implemented directly in Lua throughout Design 3D such as Match Motion and Instance Node Control. If you’re somebody who’s interested in scripting, Lua gives you the opportunity to extend Design 3D in a variety of important ways.

System Requirements

  • OS: macOS 10.9.x or later (macOS Catalina not yet supported)
  • Processor: Intel Processor(s)
  • Memory: 4 GB of RAM (more is highly recommended)
  • Hard Disk Space: 5 GB of available hard-disk space for install (additional 2 GB for HDRLS if bundled)
  • Display: 1024 × 768 capable display

Design 3D CX 8 for Mac


Subscriptions include Strata 3D University, Premium Support and continuous upgrades.
  • Initial payment of $69.95 ($50 License Fee plus $19.95 first month)

  • Initial payment of $296.79 ($212 License Fee plus $84.79 first month)

  • Initial payment of $559.60 ($400 License Fee plus $159.60 first month)

Add to Cart

Bundled with HDR Light Studio

Interactive global lighting. Pinpoint reflections and shadows.
  • Initial payment of $124.80 ($89.90 License Fee plus $34.90 first month)

  • Initial payment of $530.40 ($382.07 License Fee plus $148.33 first month)

  • Initial payment of $998.40 ( $719.20 License Fee plus $279.20 first month)

Add to Cart

One-Time Purchase Price

A single payment provides you with a standard, perpetual license.
  • One time payment for a single user

  • One time payment, up to 5 users

  • One time payment, up to 10 users

Add to Cart

Bundled with HDR Light Studio

Interactive global lighting. Pinpoint reflections and shadows.
Add to Cart

Design 3D CX 8 Trial (Mac)

Your Design 3D CX Trial will turn into our free version – Design 3D SE after your 30 day trial.

Bundled with HDR Light Studio Trial

Already Own Design 3D?

Upgrades are available for users that already own Design 3D. This button will take you to a page that will show you all the options available.
Subscribers Note: You are already eligible for this upgrade for free. Just select the "Check for Updates" command from the "Help" menu of Design 3D.

Learn Design 3D CX Online at Strata 3D University

Learning 3D doesn’t have to be difficult. Especially with Strata’s online training library at your fingertips, covering every aspect of Strata Design 3D CX and the entire 3D design workflow. Strata 3D University makes it simple to find your subject of interest and quickly get up to speed with short, informative videos created by professional 3D designers.

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