Theres no “It” since everything comes down to preference, workflow, results needed, etc. Many people view Showcase’s GPU (graphics card powered) mode as a downside, since most people are running their software on non-workstation hardware and while Showcase will work on gaming level hardware, you need to accept the performance and any potential glitches that may come with it. (Haven’t tested it on gaming hardware recently so I’m not sure how it works. In the past I had some issues with ground shadows showing up correctly but that was it). The GPU advantage means what you give up in quality, you gain back in true real-time performance (vs semi quick time, visuals trickle into focus which you get with hypershot)
But now Showcase can do GPU and CPU driven raytracing like Hypershot which makes it very compelling IMO, esp since they dropped the price.
Showcase also has a level of interaction and flexibility that is really nice if you need it. As a design review tool it’s very powerful in that regard, and they are also starting to roll better animation tools into it which is another big pro if you use it.
I really like showcase’s decal/texture application. Theres still some bugs that piss me off, but theres a lot of things that work really nicely. For example in the old days if I had 2 copies of my object, one upright, and one laying on the floor, and I applied a logo to one of my products, I would have to completely re-apply it and reposition it on the second object (which if at an off angle would be a huge PITA) Showcase I can just click and boom, automatically knows exactly where I want it.
From a productivity perspective, what used to take me days I can now comfortably do in hours. I don’t feel bad about going home the night before a design review with no renderings, because I know I can crank out high quality images all in a few hours the next morning.
RE: Integration with other software. So far I’ve only tested with Alias and Pro, but it has Autodesk’s direct connect technology for importing, so it should recognize any material breakup you’ve done in your CAD software and automatically merge all of those objects to quickly and easily swap out materials. They even have some automation you can do though I’ve never done that myself. I will break up my CAD model in Alias so I can get the close up surface detail (and define material breaks more easily than in Pro) and then as soon as I import to showcase I can pick all of my temporary shaders, replace them with my good shaders, add ambient shadows, decals, some quick lighting tweaks and start exporting images.