If you have ever had to produce packaging visuals for a client you know you need them to look as realistic as possible. By having realistic visuals they’re are more liable to be able to sell their products into shops more easily and hence you hopefully get more work
I use Strata 3D to create my packaging and 3D visuals. The thing I like about Strata 3D is it is very user friendly and much more Mac like that a lot of 3D design programmes. I have also dabbled with Cinema 3D and Lightwave but the learning curve was just to steep and far too complex for my needs.
In Strata 3D you can draw a box and then use “box wrapper” which allows you to import a graphic into each face of a box. So you design your packaging in Quark or illustrator and create jpegs of the faces and upload them as textures in a box wrapper. Put some lighting on the box and a floor level, render it and you have realistic looking packaging visual.
You can also create animations and Quicktime VR where you create an animation which allows a user to more the box around to look at all side, it is not a feature I usually use but it can be done.
Strata 3D is great for box like structures and geometric shapes quickly, reat for POS and exhibition visuals. It can also be used to create organic shapes – meld is an easy way of doing this – basically you create shapes such as spheres or cylinders apply “meld” and they all sort of blob together. You can change settings so they become more or less blobby (sorry about the terminology its hard to describe). You can also extrude, lathe and pull meshes around. If you have never tried 3D give it a try
Below is an example of some characters I created using Strata 3D and Photoshop