Texturing and shading.
You can use a variety of mats and textures to better visualize your models in advance without unpacking and shadowing them. Functions such as Texture Layer Variation allow you to apply different values to your meshes based on multiple parameters, such as mesh parts, particles or elements (objects).
Modo’s texture painting toolset provides the same kind of tool interoperability as modeling. Custom brushes, templates, mesh height maps, tabletozzle options, and more are available with a responsiveness that allows you to instantly display any change on both the viewport and preview renderer.
The shader tree operates on a layer-based hierarchy similar to Photoshop, but with each layer you can quickly switch between specific shading attributes for the view preview, easily assign material layers to elements or mesh components, and Modo also has a nice collection of presets for quickly and easily defining surfaces for your models.
Rigging and animation.
Modo’s rigging and animation features are not negligible.
Modo’s node-based rigging workflow makes it easy to prepare and reuse complicated rigs. Enabling Intersection when creating connections with the Skeleton Tool allows you to quickly plot nodes on your character by snapping them into the center of the volume of each part of the mesh to which they are applied. Modo’s weight containers allow you to map weights to elements outside your mesh, which can then serve as weight maps for other meshes.
Rigging’s setup feature allows them to make rig adjustments while retaining their animations, and the order of operations feature allows them to move their morph deformations without affecting other morph values you’ve been looking for.
With the Actor, Pose, and Action Modo Animation System, you can animate in a light-linear way by exchanging clips and poses to customize different scenes.
Virtually any Modo attribute or channel can be animated, bypassing tedious processes that need to be performed in other software, such as animation between active render cameras.
Modo’s native rendering engines are designed to deliver breathtaking results in a very short time than external render engines and have been using physical realistic materials since release 10. However, this does not mean that Modo cannot be used with industry standard engines. Renderers such as V-Ray and Octane fully support Modo. Other interesting features in Modo’s rendering toolset are Passes and Pass Groups. A Pass Group can contain any number of passes that store different values for assigned channels, i.e. you can switch between multiple iterations of their scene elements and organize these interactions as you wish. Imagine how much faster your turnarounds could be.
Support from third-party rendering service providers.
Many modo rendering farms are available on the market and the strong competition means competitive prices and a high level of technical support. This factor is an integral part of a serious designer’s assessment of which program to invest in, as professional work often takes place under very tight deadlines, which would be difficult to manage without the procurement of a render farm or high investment in hardware. Most Modo farms support Modo’s native renderer and feature set, plug-ins and external renderers. We personally love Modo’s asset management, which can be a real time saver for us in times of troubleshooting and testing.
The Foundry and its partners provide many useful plugins that complement Modo’s already extensive features and add the necessary functionality to extend other aspects of the program. The close collaboration between “The Foundry” and third parties ensures that plugins with the latest versions of Modo are up to date, well documented and tested, but the fact that the core functionality of Modo is more than you normally need cannot be repeated often enough.
So is Modo something for you?
If you’re looking for a tool that does the job intuitively and efficiently, is able to produce 3D replicas of a concept more quickly, is responsive, and offers good value for money, Modo is a good choice. If you’re looking for a program with an active community and many available learning resources, you can’t go wrong with Modo. It’s an ideal choice for anyone working as a modeller, concept designer or industrial visualiser and can be a good solution for you if a design or illusion job has a demanding turnaround time. To learn more about this useful engine, take a look at the PixelFondue, run by William Vaughn and his company, packed with concise and useful tips and insights into the many features of Modos.
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