Initial impressions

Tell us what you think of Stella.
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Initial impressions

Post by starbase1 » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:01 pm

I got the program Stella 4d yesterday, so these are early impressions.

Installation was extremely fast and simple, as was entering the activation code. It's not tied to the hardware, so there should be no pain when I upgrade my computer!

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly it handled even very complex shapes, also very nice to set them gently tumbling with a flick of the mouse! A nice touch that the motion is preserved when you load a new model in.

I am currently finding some of the buttons along the top a bit confusing, but I guess that jargon is unavoidable in a program of this type. Indeed for mathematicians it must be an essential. I'm sure that it will make sense very soon.

My main interest is in exporting for use in other 3d software, again this was extremely fast and easy, and everything worked first time. The range of formats is a bit limited, but with OBJ and DXF included pretty much any 3d program should be able to load them in. Also nice to see that surface assignments are incuded in the models.

You have the option to triangulate when exporting objects, and they imported without a hitch, (not always the case in my experience), suggesting that the mesh is very clean. I was also able to manipulate them into smooth surfaces without error, again indicating a clean and well formed mesh.

I am currently finding it easy to get lost in all the models available from the file menu, but I expect this will improve with time.

I already have a few suggestions for improvements.

* I think it would be good to have a 'quick start' or 'highlights' section in the library, to lead the new user directly to some of the prettiest and most impressive polyhedra.
* I would like to see a button to 'reset rotation' directly available in the export process.
* Some sort of thumbnail view of the object, or preview, when loading would be a big help in finding the most interesting shapes.
* And as mentioned I elsewhere, I would personally find it very useful to export a sequence of objects that make a morph in controllable small steps. (Particularly for the 4d shapes).

But the important thing was that I was loading, twiddling, and exporting fascinating shapes without difficulty, within minutes of installing the program.


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Post by robertw » Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:26 pm

Hey, thanks for the review. This forum was looking pretty empty :roll:

To keep things relevant, I've posted a response to your feature requests in the Feature Requests forum:


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