MODO is the platform for you if you want a tool that gets the job done intuitively and effectively, can quickly iterate on an idea in 3d, is sensitive, and offers fantastic value for money. You can’t go wrong with MODO if you’re looking for a curriculum with a vibrant culture and a wealth of learning opportunities.
It’s an excellent choice for someone working as a modeler, concept designer, or industrial visualizer. It can be a valuable ally when working on a design or illustration project on a tight deadline. If you want to learn more about this well-oiled engine, check out PixelFondue, which is run by William Vaughn and his team and is full of concise and helpful tips and insights into MODO’s many features, and once you’ve got a few scenes ready, give our farm a shot, it’s easy!
MODO and its customers have a special place in our history as a rendering provider since our MODO render farm was one of the first to be added to our list of supported 3d software. Every 3d software has its own set of abilities, and we’re not putting MODO above any of the other fantastic 3d suites out there; however, in this post, we’ll discuss what we think makes this program great, as well as who it’s ideally suited for.
History of MODO Software
MODO is a full 3d suite developed out of the desire to create a holistic and effective 3d solution. It was created by some of the original developers of NewTek’s LightWave following disputes over a redesign of the program. It was formerly designed by Luxology LLC but is now developed by The Foundry, which also produces common software such as NUKE, MARI, and Katana. Along with Foundry’s compositing and management software, MODO has gained a reputation in VFX and film making and is hailed by industry insiders as a reliable pre-visualization and asset-building method.
MODO’s annual membership costs about $600, which is a bargain as opposed to other common 3d applications like C4d or 3ds Max, which cost anywhere from $900 to $1500. For $156 and $188, respectively, The Foundry provides educational licenses for students and colleges, as well as a 30-day preview of MODO that includes instructional materials to get you started.
Curve of Learning
The intuitiveness of a program is highly contextual since what workflow fits your way of thinking may not be as intuitive to those who think differently, but the plethora of MODO tools available online can help you get started quickly. MODO instructional videos abound on The Foundry’s community website, which has a thriving user base. Learning from these videos and answering questions on the platform is a perfect way to get a good understanding of the software, but there are still a plethora of training videos available on YouTube.
You can also enter a thriving MODO community on Facebook, where you can engage with users of all ability levels and get input on your work, as well as check out William Vaughn’s Vimeo channel for a wealth of practical tutorials and tips.
Creating a model
MODO rose to prominence as the crown prince of fashion for a while. Its modeling tools are well-known for being excellent for both direct and procedural modeling and have been characterized as seamless and intuitive. Nevertheless, underneath the surface is a complex workflow that makes dealing with meshes and their components even more effective. For example, the workplace is MODO’s way of indicating which coordinate system is being used in a scene.
When working on sections of a mesh that aren’t within the main axis, modeling becomes more difficult, but with a quick hotkey, you can snap MODO’s workplace to a polygon, for example, and begin to build within the polygon’s coordinate space. Selecting mesh components and the meshes themselves is a huge part of editing meshes, and MODO has a lot of selection options to help you do it quickly and easily. You could use an alternating edge pattern, then use the UP key to expand the patterned selection and the L key to pick the loops of those edges. Falloff deformers give you more sculptor-like control over choices and mesh component editing.
With the Select Pattern feature, you can also choose various items in the scene using a variety of choices. Geometry restrictions allow you to snap a mesh to a mesh in the background based on an index of all of its components in a variety of ways. In a hurry, you’ll need to clip those pouches into a character’s utility belt. MeshFusion makes hard surface modeling a breeze by allowing you to perform real-time boolean operations on subdivision surface meshes and then modify them procedurally using a node network.
Through a basic hotkey combination (Ctrl + F), you can adjust boolean functions for any number of meshes that are part of the “fusion,” drag and drop one mesh to another and allocate an operation from a drop-down menu, edit the profile of the intersecting region between two meshes, and access presets from a pie menu. Using the hotkeys associated with it, you’ll be able to build loops with ease, allowing you to concentrate on exploring new ways to approach your topology. It also has an auto retopology feature that generates quad-based meshes from your sculpts in a matter of seconds.
Shading and Texturing
Without needing to unwrap or tint the models, you can use a range of matcaps and textures to help pre-visualize them. The Variation texture layer, for example, allows you to add various values to your meshes depending on a variety of parameters including mesh bits, particles, and objects (objects). The texture painting toolset in MODO allows for the same kind of tool interoperability as the modeling toolset. Custom brushes, stencils, height maps from meshes, nozzle solutions for graphic tablets, and more are all available, with the responsiveness that enables any shift to be seen immediately in the viewport and preview renderer.
The Shader Tree works in a similar way to Photoshop, with each layer enabling you to instantly toggle those shading properties for viewport preview, add material layers to objects or mesh elements, and more. It often comes with a good range of presets for quickly and efficiently identifying surfaces for your models.
Animation and Rigging
The node-based rigging workflow in MODO allows it simple to create complex rigs and reuse them later. When using the skeleton tool to create joints, allow “intersection” to easily plot bones on your character by snapping them to the center of volume of any portion of the mesh they’re added to.
Weight containers in MODO allow you to map weights on objects outside of your mesh and use them as weight maps for other meshes. The order of operations function in rigging allows you to force your morph deformations without sacrificing other morph values you’ve set after, and the setup feature in rigging allows you to conduct rig changes whilst maintaining your animations.
You can animate in a non-linear manner with MODO’s Actor, Pose, and Action animation method, switching clips and poses to fit different scenes. Almost all of MODO’s attributes or channels can be animated, which eliminates the need for more time-consuming operations in other software, such as animating between active render cameras.
Since release 10, MODO’s native rendering engine has been stated to deliver stunning results in less time than external render engines, and it has used physically realistic materials. This does not rule out the possibility of using MODO for industry-standard engines.
It is entirely supported by renderers such as V-Ray and Octane. Passes and Pass Groups are two other interesting features of MODO’s rendering toolset. A Pass Group can contain any number of Passes, each of which stores separate values for allocated channels, allowing you to swap between several versions of your scene elements and arrange them as you see fit. Consider how much faster the turnaround time will be!
Third-party making utility providers’ assistance
There are many MODO make farms on the market, and the high degree of competition means low costs and high levels of technical support. This is an important consideration for a serious artist when deciding which program to invest in because technical work always has very strict deadlines, which will be impossible to meet without the use of a render farm or a significant investment in hardware.
The native renderer and feature set of It, as well as plugins and external renderers, are all supported by most MODO farms. MODO’s asset tracking is one of our favorites, and it can save us a lot of time while troubleshooting and checking!
Many helpful plugins are available from The Foundry and its partners, which support MODO’s already extensive features and add flexibility to supplement other facets of the software. The Foundry’s tight relationship with third-party developers ensures that plugins are up to date with the most recent Its updates, as well as well known and reviewed, but the fact that MODO’s core feature set is more than you’d normally require can’t be overstated!
It’s an excellent choice for someone working as a modeler, concept designer, or industrial visualizer, and it can be a valuable ally when working on a design or illustration project on a tight deadline. If you want to learn more about this well-oiled engine, check out PixelFondue, which is run by William Vaughn and his team and is full of concise and helpful tips and insights into MODO’s many features, and once you’ve got a few scenes ready, give our farm a shot, it’s easy!