Modo releases.

Image Courtesy of Mad Atom Games

Modo 12.2 Release notes

GPU acceleration in rendering with Modo 12.2

GPU Accelerated Rendering with Optix™ from NVIDIA®

Providing optimal ray tracing performance, Modo artists can expect to see this GPU-powered enhancement provide incredible speed and quality for their product and arch-viz creations. Developed and integrated in collaboration with NVIDIA®’s award-winning engineering team, Optix™ has been optimized specifically for Modo 12.2 and future releases.

MeshFusion Optimization

MeshFusion™ Optimization for Complex Edges

Foundry’s first award for Modo’s MeshFusion tools came in 2014, and in this Modo 12.2 release we’ve pushed their capabilities even further. Adding sophisticated topology improvements, Fusion meshes have now become even more useful in the post-Fusion modeling creative process, whether you’re direct modeling or using the advanced procedural modeling functions. Complex and concave corners now resolve with powerful improvements to simulate a result more in line with a natural bevel function.

Improvements to Animation and Rigging in Modo 12.2

Animation and Rigging Improvements

Working with some of the world’s leading animation and character artists, we’ve been able to streamline the schematic viewport, providing a cleaner and easier to use experience for your creative workflow. Modo 12.1 launched envelope presets which were limited to value and color, but now in Modo 12.2, we expand on these presets by adding vector and scale envelopes that can be saved directly from the graph editor, allowing you to drag and drop directly into your scene. Whether you’re working alone or part of an animation pipeline, the new schematic viewport Notes function allows you to manually keep tabs on your functions or automatically highlight values from your channels.

Customizable user interface in Modo 12.2

User Interface Customization with Workbenches

Modo 12.2 introduces Workbenches, a customizable UI module which allows you to add the majority of button controls, item channels, commands from the commands list and even presets from the preset browser. You don’t need to be an expert in scripting to create your own vertical or horizontal Workbenches - add tool presets, macros or scripts in an intuitive and flexible way to suit your workflow. Enhancements to the user experience continue with the option to create a bounding box threshold for working with larger scenes, as well as the addition of new views on the Preset Browser so you can find and organize your presets faster.

Procedural Modeling and stiching

Procedural Modeling & Procedural Stitching

Having become an increasingly popular Modo feature set, procedural modeling in 12.2 introduces significantly improved UV-mapping functions with the addition of UV-rectangles, UV-fit mesh-op and UV-unwrap mesh-op. The UV-to-Mesh mesh-op will procedurally generate a mesh based on a selected UV-map. Procedural stitching has been a much-requested feature by our automotive, footwear and apparel customers. There are a number of ways to use the new stitching tools, including drawing them onto a mesh or selecting the edges of an existing mesh and converting them to stitches, which allows the stitches to remain locked to the underlying surface.

Direct modeling tools in Modo 12.2

Direct Modeling in the Advanced Viewport (AVP)

Modo is famous for having the easiest to learn direct modeling tools of any 3D application, so it’s only right that we continue to refine these features in Modo 12.2. When using the AVP, you now have a cleaner visual experience with points represented as circles instead of squares as well as selections becoming more in-line with the regular viewport and visible when positioned behind geometry. Depth snapping helps you isolate your snapping behaviour to a defined depth, so your cursor lands in a more intuitive way when working in complex scenes.

Transfer between Unreal Editor and Modo 12.2

Modo Bridge

Item transfers between Modo 12.2 and the Unreal Editor are now up to 400% faster than in previous versions of Modo, dramatically improving the round-tripping of large and complex scenes. Removing any temporary freezing or lag, transfers now happen in the background so you can continue to work while assets are being populated in the scene. We’ve brought the overall experience of using Modo Bridge in line with standard Unreal workflows to create an overall smoother and more efficient real-time experience.

Integrated Virtual Reality Viewport

Integrated Virtual Reality Viewport

Expanding on our recent implementation of the VR Viewport, Modo 12.2 introduces a VR toolset that now allows component selection and a small yet refined set of the core modeling tools. In selection mode, you can jump between vertex, edge and polygon selection while the modeling tool subset provides familiar features like the pen tool and curve tool. You can slide, bevel, flip, extrude, thicken in a more immersive way than ever before, pushing the boundaries of creative journey. The topology pen is one of the most important additions to the VR Viewport, giving you the freedom to manipulate surfaces, move components and shift edges.

Modo 12.1 Release notes

Integrated VR viewport in Modo 12.1

Integrated VR Viewport

The new integrated VR viewport allows you to connect to a VR headset and view and adjust your model within a virtual environment. This release focuses on Item transformation, scene layout, and design review. A number of key Item editing tools are available, including move, rotate, scale, instance, duplicate and transform reset. There are also snapping options and action centres available, allowing you to accurately move objects around in your virtual environment.

Rendering and RIgging

Rendering and Rigging

The Advanced Viewport has seen significant improvements, allowing you to render more complicated material setups directly in the viewport and make changes in real time. With Group Masks fully supported, you can mask multiple material layers and render highly complex, multi-layered material setups. There’s also full support for group blending modes and opacity changes, resulting in little difference between the representation of a material in AVP and in Modo’s native renderer. Other rendering improvements include the addition of a Film Roll channel, which allows you to animate a two dimensional roll of the camera relative to the camera’s film offset channels: useful in 2D animation pipelines.

UV tools and MeshFusion for Modo 12.1

UV tools and MeshFusion

A major update to the UV Pack command brings a new algorithm that provides faster Packing times. The distance between UV islands and UV border can now be more accurately controlled with the Gaps by Pixel Option. There is a new option to Pack to a new UV map, preserving the original. And a further major addition is the ability to Pack based on Polygon Tag, which gives the ability to pack UVs to separate UDIMs based on that tag. Additional settings have been added to MeshFusion Surface Strips, giving you greater control over the generated topology.

Animation improvements in Modo 12.1


Modo 12.1 introduces animation workflow enhancements designed to speed up the keyframing process and reuse keyframe data. Driven Actions add the ability to reuse, retime and rig action clips in a scene, allowing you to fully utilise Actions for the first time. There’s a new default key slope type, providing smoother interpolation between keys, vastly reducing the amount of key adjustment required whilst animating. It’s now much easier to manipulate multiple keys in the Gradient Editor using the new Box Transform Tool. The Mini Gradient Editor brings a number of improvements including the addition of a menu that allows you to save and load presets.

Procedural modeling

Procedural Modelling

Modo’s procedural modelling system continues to improve, with a range of new Mesh and Selection Operations. The ‘Surface Constraint’ mesh operation is a procedural version of the Background Constraint, which allows you to procedurally constrain geometry to another piece of geometry in the scene. Other key additions include the Convert Selection, Select Connected, and Select Loop selection operators, and the Edge Slide, Push, Edge Split, Polygon Merge and Polygon Unify mesh operations. Watch our videos for a full run-through of all these new features!

Direct Modelling for Modo 12.1

Direct Modelling

Modo 12.1 brings significant improvements in editing and defining vertex normals. The Vertex Normal Toolkit has been updated to make it simpler but with more options for hardening or softening by specific component, by endpoint, by angle, by polygon boundary, UV boundary, and UV island boundary. There’s a new Smoothing Group manager: a UI for defining and visualizing the groups within which polygons exist. The vertex normals of a model are stored as part of Modo’s native smoothing rather than a separate vertex map, so models can now be freely edited and deformed without adverse effects on smoothing. A variety of new options for controlling surface normals have been included as part of Material Properties. And there are options for controlling the effect of smoothing groups on a per material basis.

UI imporvements

UI Improvements

Modo’s UI has been tweaked: To allow faster access, the tool palette buttons can now swap the tool palettes directly in the form. It’s now possible to toggle things like background mesh visibility, item drawing, weight map visibility and distortion directly in the 3D viewport, making these options easier to find and giving a clear visual indicator of their state. The Modo modes form includes a set-up mode button, render button, and nested center and pivot mode buttons, allowing for further consistency between layouts. And all KITS now exist in a KITS popover form, accessed via the KITS button in the top right of the UI. Modo also comes with a new Beta layout, showcasing a number of new UI concepts for working in a single layout.