SE: The Perfect Way to Get Started

3D Modeling, Texturing & Rendering

If you’re just getting started, and don’t need animation and the latest in power that the CX version provides just yet, Design 3D SE is the perfect way to get started. With Design 3D SE you can learn the basics with a very capable tool – and when you’re ready to step up you’ll already know your way around the Design 3D CX user interface.

FeaturesSystem RequirementsCompare VersionsCase Studies

Connected to Virtual Reality

The latest release adds exciting new features to allow you to explore and share your designs in VR. 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 SE and hit the Publish to VR button.

Model with Powerful Tools

Every 3D image starts with a model, and SE gives you some key tools to get started – including polygon modeling, spline curves and Booleans. And you can bring in existing 3D assets – you’ll find a variety of import filters for third-party models and scenes.

Apply Surface Textures

Design 3D SE gives you some of the key texturing features you’ll need to produce quality work, including: Wrap any image around any 3D object; Give surfaces texture with bump and normal maps; Generate realistic metals with anisotropic maps; use polygon subset texturing and – more! And it’s easy to get started with the huge library of pre-made textures.

Set Up Your Scene and Lighting

Design 3D SE is like a photography studio where you have total control. Position your 3D objects and then place lights, reflection panels, cameras, backgrounds, environments and more to produce a quality final render.

Render Professional Images

Design 3D SE’s renderer produces excellent results. From outlines, to toon-style rendering, to photo-realism – Design 3D SE can produce quality images fit for professional work.

Connect to Everything Else

Several 2D and 3D file formats connect you to the rest of the world. This includes Collada files tailor made for Apple’s iBooks Author app, OBJ, DXF and more. You can even 3D print with the included file formats that are accepted by desktop 3D printers and popular online 3D printing services.

Take Advantage of the 3D University

Strata offers a complete online training site at, with tutorials covering all aspects of the Design 3D line of products. This includes first time users to 3D professionals. It’s a great way to learn and is guaranteed to get you up to speed. Visit the University

You’re Ready to Step Up

Design 3D SE is a subset of its big brother, Design 3D CX. Once you’ve mastered Design 3D SE you’ll be ready to step up to CX without missing a beat. With Design 3D CX you’ll get an expanded toolset – including powerful modeling tools, UV texturing tools, animation, special effects and more. Learn more about Design 3D CX for Mac and for Windows.

In-Depth Feature List

Drawing Features Strata Design 3D SE 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 objects directly in Strata Design 3D SE.

  • 2D/3D Text
  • 3D Primitives
  • 2D Drawing Tools
  • Bezier Lines/Regions

Modeling Features Strata Design 3D SE 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; Extrude and Lathe; Boolean to combine or subtract; Skin and more!

  • Polyspline SDS
  • Bezier Surfaces
  • Extrude
  • Lathe
  • Boolean
  • Skin
  • Polygonal Modeling
  • Path Extrude

Lighting Features You’ve heard of “looks good in any light” – now you’ve found the tool that gives you that elusive “any light”.

  • Point Lights
  • Spot Lights
  • Directional Lights
  • Glowing Surfaces
  • Gels

Special Effects Features Any image can be spiced up with special effects like Lens Flare, Auras, Particles – and Script FX. Add multiple effects, and place effects on any object.

  • Lens Flares
  • Auras
  • HotSpots
  • ScriptFX
Rendering Features The core of what makes Strata Design 3D SE 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.

  • Toon
  • Photons
  • Raytracing
  • Raydiosity
  • Pointcloud
  • Anti-Matter Effect
  • Atmospheric Effects
  • MIP Mapping
  • Soft Shadows
  • Reflection Blurring

Texturing Features “What if” is as simple as drag-and-drop in Strata Design 3D SE. Select from the palette of pre-made surface textures or make your own using Photoshop or other 2D image files.

  • Bump & Normal Mapping
  • Anisotropic Reflections
  • Blurred Reflections
  • Blurred Transparencies
  • Layer & Mix
  • Fog
  • 15 Channels
  • Multi-Texture Blending Mix Modes

File Import/Export Features Being able to talk to other programs in your design studio is an important issue. Strata Design 3D SE offers a number of options in this area.

  • Collada (in/out)
  • Illustrator/EPS (in)
  • Photoshop PSD (in/out)
  • STL (out)
  • 3DS (in)
  • DXF (in/out)
  • OBJ (in/out)
  • VRML 1 & 2 (in/out)
  • True Type Fonts (in)

System Requirements

Macintosh Minimum System Requirements

  • Intel Processor(s)
  • Mac OS X 10.9.X or later
  • 2GB of RAM (more highly recommended)
  • 1.7 GB of available hard-disk space for install
  • 1024 x 768 capable display
Windows Minimum System Requirements

  • Windows 7 or Vista recommended (64-bit preferable)
  • Windows XP (some limitations, requires all latest service packs)
  • Pentium 4, Athlon, Intel or better
  • 4GB of RAM (more highly recommended)
  • 1.7 GB of available hard-disk space for full installation
  • 1024 x 768 capable display

Compare Design 3D Versions

Polygon Modeling Tools / Advanced: Magic wand selections, inset, inflate, flatten includedincluded

Basic Tools: Move, rotate, scale, grids and guides, history stack included included included
Environmental Tools: Ground plane, visible and reflected backgrounds included included included
Lighting / Basic: Point lights, spot lights, global lights included included included
Lighting / Advanced: Lightdomes, global lights with soft shadows, Sun & Sky global lighting with soft shadows* (*global soft shadows requires CX 8) included included
3D & 2D Primitives included included included
Import / Basic: EPS (v8), S3D, OBJ, Collada, VRML, 3DS and more included included included
Import / Advanced: Adobe Illustrator .ai, .pdf and .u3d; Match Motion camera matching included
Export: Collada(DAE), STL, S3D, OBJ, VRML, BMP, JPG, SWF, PCT, TIF, TGA included included included
Export / Advanced: OpenEXR*, Photoshop 16-bit psd*, Quicktime, XMM (*requires CX 8) included included
Publish 3D – Augmented Reality, Web 3D & 3D Printing: Publish 3D output dialog for augmented reality, 3D web embedding & 3D printing* (*requires CX 8) included
Bezier Modeling Tools: Pen tool, extrude, lathe, path extrude, skin included included included
Bezier Modeling Tools / Advanced: Hull, thickness, fillet included included
3D Text Tool included included included
Boolean Operations: Subtract, intersect, union, cut included included included
Polygon Modeling Tools / Basic: Move, rotate, scale, bevel, extrude included included included
Polygon Vertex Commands / Advanced: Select Perimeter &amp Hard; Weld, Flip included included
Polygon Edge Commands / Advanced: Select Perimeter, Hard, UV Seam Edges &amp Non-Manifold; Segment Edge, Flip included included
Polygon Face Commands / Advanced: Select Perimeter, Un-Weld, Flip included included
Subdivision Surfaces included included included
Meld Advanced Modeling: Meld objects together as metasurfaces included included
Deformation Tools / Advanced: Deformation lattice, bones included included
Animation: Keyframing, animated textures included included
Animation Effects: Shatter, explode included included
Animation / Advanced: ScriptFX: heartbeat, bounce, rotate, etc. included included
Texturing Tools / Basic: Multi-channel stackable textures, stone, wood included included included
Texturing Tools / Advanced: Linked PSD textures; Box Wrapper, Corrosion, Displacement, Clouds, and 14 more procedural texture types; edit UV’s included included
Effects: Fire &amp Smoke, Fountain, Hair, Hotspot, PixieDust included included
Rendering / Basic: Raytracing, raydiosity, openGL, toon included included included
Rendering / Advanced: Suspended renderings, fields, stereo, panoramic, motion blur, render to layers included included
HDR Light Studio support: Use the industry standard in custom global HDR image based lighting* (*requires CX 8) included
LiveRay Rapid In-View Photoreal Rendering: See your lighting and textures in photoreal preview within the modeling views* (*requires CX 8) included
64-bit Rendering: Access massive amounts of memory during rendering* (*requires CX 8) included

Case Study | A Virtual Fleet of Aircraft

Illustrating the world of flight can be a tremendous challenge. Photographs can be the wrong angle, low quality or simply not available. For the aviation enthusiasts that read the Greek magazine “Remove Before Flight” the visuals are just as important as the technical articles. As Art Direcetor of 11 Aviation Publications, Nasos Vlachos turned to Strata Design 3D CX, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to solve the problem.
Read More…

Case Study | A Market Bull’s Eye for Kraft

What do you do when you get a new sauce? You get a new bottle of course. Kraft’s Bull’s-Eye BBQ Sauce marketing team undertook an extensive review of the BBQ category and the BBQ consumer. This hard work resulted in a killer new sauce. With superior taste and more authentic BBQ flavor, the team at Kraft went on to develop a new brand position to go with the new flavor. This required new packaging to bring all these elements together.
Read More…

Case Study | Picking Up Spirits at Ralphs

When Diageo (the world’s largest provider of spirits, wine and beer) partnered with Ralphs (part of the Kroger grocery stores empire with over $70 billion in sales) to create a spirits retail solution they chose Linear SC. To provide a complete, “Below The Line” program, Linear SC relied on their detailed development process, designer talent, pencil sketches, Adobe software – and Strata 3D tools.
Read More…

Case Study | Walgreens Impulse Camera

Atico International is a global sourcing company with long-term ties to Walgreens, a U.S. based health and retail chain. But sourcing means much more than just importing products. Atico creates specifications for client products, develops branding, packing and promotional elements – such as point-of-purchase displays – and then sources that design to provide the client with a complete solution.
Read More…

Case Study | Dream Home Realized in 3D

Building a dream home in reality takes a lot of planning. For EH Design – and their client the Averill family – they knew that waiting until the house was built would be too late to get things perfect. To visualize their multi-million dollar home overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho they turned to Jon and his company – PEC, Inc.
Read More…

Case Study | Judging Books by Their Covers

Ed Tuttle and his eklektos design studio were approached by publishing giant Barnes & Noble to press restart on a series of brain-game books. The content was right on target but the covers were missing the mark. Using the Adobe Creative Suite and Strata Design 3D CX, Ed was able to solve the design puzzle and hit a bulls-eye for the client.
Read More…

Case Study | Mass Explained iPad App

The Roman Catholic Mass is the source and summit of the Catholic faith. While cradle Catholics may know the prayers and responses said at Mass, many do not know their significance or historical development. The Mass Explained iPad app was designed as a scholarly yet totally approachable and thoroughly entertaining educational tool to help faithful Catholics as well as the general population learn more about the Mass.
Read More…