A year on with Modo Pt1

Way back in the 1990’s I first started my first forays in to the world of 3D. It all started with Pov-Ray and then Impulse Imagine on the Commodore Amiga. As time went on along came Lightwave 5.5

I stuck with Lightwave all the way through to Lightwave 2015, but increasingly I was becoming more and more aware of the lack of development on the modelling side. While Layout had progressed, Modeller was left behind.

So the choice was made, next up would be Modo. I jumped in on v8. During the modelling phase of the Aston Martin DB5 at Propshop, the perfect opportunity was there to start the transition. Though the modelling had begun in Lightwave, about a quarter of the way in I started to attack it with Modo, and pretty quickly the workflow benefits became apparent.

My primary realm is modelling, and right from the get go, Modo felt to me like the place where Lightwave’s Modeller should have been. The action centres and working planes alone made modelling a much more streamlines affair. Sure Lightwave has incorporated these ideas, but they feel very much like bolt on after thoughts, not an idea that was at the very core of the program.

One especially useful ability is to render in the perspective viewport  while modelling and texturing, it’s a small thing in the grand scheme, but it soon becomes apparent just how often you end up using it.

A central part of Modo that many users don’t seem to like is the Shader Tree. This is a system of applying shaders and textures in a very simple and logical top down hierarchy. There are a couple of very major reasons why this is amazingly powerful.

As this shows, the shader tree allows whole blocks of surfaces to be defined. These can be turned on and off allowing entire models to have multiple texture and shader setups in one scene.

I’ll have more soon……

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