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Review: MODO 701

By Jahirul Amin

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Date Added: 24th September 2013

If you did want to create all the assets in MODO though, one of its drawbacks is its inability to generate Vector Displacement maps. To do so, you would need to use something like xNormal but luckily that piece of kit is totally free! I did find that with 8GB of RAM installed, there was some slow down when dealing with very high resolution meshes. I'd been meaning to pop some more RAM into my machine and this was a good excuse; upping my machine to 16 GB of RAM really made MODO sing. Things started flying.

Using the Advanced OpenGL and turning on setting Ray GL to Full while modeling

It's interesting to see what's happening with MODO in the very tight-knit CG community and in its user base. Due to the open and modular architecture of MODO, third parties can take the code and push it further. Check out MeshFusion from Braid Art Labs for example, that allows for some amazing boolean operations to come.

Moving on to the Topology module, MODO again offers a range of tools that allow you to work very easily over the top of a high resolution mesh to create a low resolution model. The speed at which you can retopologize a mesh is fantastic and again, being able to stay in one package is a major boon. Tools like the Bridge and Contour will only put a smile on your face as you retopologize your mesh with the greatest of ease.

Retopologizing the high resolution mesh in MODO

"With rigging, I tend to have a few techniques that are easily transferable between packages like Maya, 3ds Max and Softimage. I found I could also easily implement them into MODO but on top of that... the Pose Tools allow you to quickly pose your characters using clever inverse kinematics"

So that's modeling, sculpting and retopologizing in MODO, which is probably what MODO is best known for. But since MODO is now a fully-fledged end-to-end solution, how did it fair in terms of rigging, animation, lighting and rendering? Well, I must say, very well. I'm actually pretty smitten with it.

With rigging, I tend to have a few techniques that are easily transferable between packages like Maya, 3ds Max and Softimage. I found I could also easily implement them into MODO but on top of that, MODO had some more crazy black magic such as the Pose Tools that allow you to, as the name suggests, quickly pose your characters using clever inverse kinematics.

It may not sound like anything special if you're familiar with something like HumanIK in Maya, but the amount of control you have in MODO makes a huge difference. Joint placement is easily handled by activating Intersection, and although it may sound unimportant, the fact that they have implemented Naming tools shows the top-notch thinking behind the product. The results from Binding also give some good results off the top of the bat, especially when using the Heat Bind, but additionally you can create corrective sculpt shapes without the need of an external plug-in. Nice!

Using Heat Skin and testing out the default deformations

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 324820, pid: 0) James on Mon, 09 February 2015 4:09am
I am tired of reviews that sounds like you were working for luxology. Modo is a pita,its workflow is very stupid and unnecessary and it just slow you down. Its obstacle after obstacle and that shouldnt be that way. Please stop selling modo and start making a review thats real. Modo is plain stupid and you are better off with blender
(ID: 221034, pid: 0) Devin on Tue, 24 September 2013 8:53pm
One note - Instead of having the graph editor/dope sheet pop up as a separate window and obscure your opengl view, you can also toggle it to extend up from the bottom animation controls by clicking on one of the green/gray icons on the top right of the bottom controls.
(ID: 221005, pid: 0) Gonebadfx on Tue, 24 September 2013 3:56pm
Very nice review of Modo. Thanks.
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