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Modo releases.

Image Courtesy of Mad Atom Games

Greg Brown, Creative Specialist, Foundry

Modo 11 comes with a lower price point entry and focuses on performance optimisations and workflow improvements

Modo 11.2 Download Release notes

Modeling improvements

Direct modeling improvements

Modo 11.2 brings significantly improved poly bevel features, including: Square Corner to add quadrangles at the corners of a polygon’s boundary edge; Offset Even to maintain an even distance between the inset faces and the original boundary edge; Edge Rail for beveling groups of polygons; and Thicken to maintain a closed volume. Edge bevel now has a mitering option to create co-planar polygons beside the outer edges of the bevelled area, fixing smoothing errors. The Maintain Co-Planar Edge merges unselected co-planar edges to the next unselected sharp edge, giving more predictable results. And the Snap Only Selected option snaps selected geometry to foreground geometry, speeding up geometry snapping for heavy meshes.

UV Tool

UV Tool enhancements

The already powerful UV tools in Modo continue to improve, making it easier to texture games assets with consistency and efficiency. Numerous updates have been made to the Texel Density tools recently added in Modo 11.1, making them faster-to-use and providing more reliable results. Additional features quickly align UV islands and stack islands for more efficient texture usage. A UV coverage indicator shows the coverage percentage by foreground items and all items in a UV map. Extra display modes make it easier to select missing or distorted UVs, and there are multiple new commands for detecting UV errors.

Procedural Modeling tools in Modo 11.2

Procedural modeling

Keeping Modo at the leading edge as one of best-in-class modeling solutions on the market, the procedural modeling tools in Modo 11.2 continue to expand and provide greater flexibility. The Select by Previous operation has been updated to support slice related mesh operators, like Slice, Axis Slice, Axis Drill, Solid Drill, Boolean and Curve Slice. The new Set Polygon Type mesh operation operates on any selection of surface polygons and modifies the polygon type, converting polygons into faces, subdivision surfaces or catmull-clark polygons. Plus there’s a new Flip Polygons mesh operation to reverse the surface normal of polygons.

Animation performance Modo 11.2

Animation performance

Performance continues to improve across several areas of the rigging and animation workflow. Updates have been made to both Weight Editing performance and also Deformer Manipulation, enhancing the overall rigging and animation experience in Modo. When weight editing smaller parts of the mesh, such as a hand on a larger character, or when posing characters where smaller parts of the skeleton are deforming, such as a foot or finger, the interactive performance gains are significantly improved.

File I/O updates  Modo 11.2

File I/O updates

Modo 11.2 has a much enhanced replicator exporting workflow, allowing you to move data between Modo and other DCC applications more easily and efficiently. Select whether to export replicas as an Alembic particle system, geometry or both via the preferences viewport. Additionally, the FBX plugin has been updated to version Autodesk FBX 2018.1, including support for FBX 2016-2018 export/import options.

Cloud based preset browser Modo 11.2

Cloud based preset browser

Netting quick wins is now even easier! By using the Modo Preset Browser, artists can access the recently updated Modo Community share-site, with thousands of sample files, presets, and templates, directly from within Modo. Simply double-click on a preset to download it and the asset will be installed inside your default content folder structure, in much the same way as you install a regular .IPK file. Easy access to free kits and plugins, as well as direct links to purchase additional Modo Addons, will also be made available and continue to expand as the Community grows.

MeshFusion updates Modo 11.2

MeshFusion updates

Speed up interaction with Draft Unions: a new workflow which automatically splits MeshFusion Items into active and inactive parts, temporarily disabling the union or seam geometry calculation when the contributing mesh is moved. New support for Catmull Clark Sub-D edge-weighted source geometry results in meshes that handle variable edge weights better. There’s a new method for creating material polygon tags, pie menu updates, and two new assembly presets: Rib Trim Assembly is useful for modeling structural ribbing, window/canopy framing and related geometries. ElboPipe assembly provides an easy way to create piping consisting of straight segments and short, tight turns.

Workflow improvements Modo 11.2

Workflow improvements

Extensive workflow improvements have been made across all areas in Modo 11.2. Unreal Bridge now has a more compact UI for push actions, including checkboxes for items, textures and materials. It also supports subfolders, works with multiple Modo scenes when the connection is live, and has more precise export progress bars. Other additions include a new shader type - Principled BDRF, based on the paper from Brent Burley of Walt Disney Animation Studios. A new Scene Cleanup command removes any empty meshes and groups, and purges any unused schematic nodes, images, materials and deformers, while the new Playblast command gives you more options when recording OpenGL viewports.

Modo 11.1 Download Release notes

Modo 11.1 Unreal Bridge screenshot

Unreal Bridge

Modo 11.1 continues to enhance the direct connection to Unreal Engine 4 with a new client-server bridge. Work in an uninterrupted flow between Modo and Unreal Engine, with the Unreal Bridge providing a bidirectional connection between both applications, allowing entire scenes, or selected elements of a scene, to be pushed and updated. The connection can be remote, on the same machine, or across multiple machines on a network.

Modo modelling improvements for modo 11.1 - topology pen example

Modeling workflow

True to its reputation as the best modeling solution for creating singular assets, the modeling tools in Modo 11.1 have undergone a number of upgrades to provide even greater modeling power. The topology pen and standard Smooth tool have been revamped to provide greater control, falloffs are even more dynamic with updates to the move and smoothing modes, the Loop slice tool and radial sweep are easier to use and offer new functionality, and enhanced procedural modeling features include new UV create and smooth operators.

Modo UV workflow improvements for 11.1 - UV split and sew example

UV workflows

The ease of creating UVs in Modo is one of our core strengths, and Modo 11.1 builds upon this with a raft of fresh features. Efficiently arrange UV maps with the new UV coverage indicator, and easily separate or move and position UVs more fluidly with the new Box Transform tool. Detecting potential problems with UV layouts and maintaining uniform texture detail is now easier, while enhanced UV to SVG exporting provides better control over the real world size of the output: great for packaging and industrial design.

Modo 11.1 advanced viewport improvements - 3d viewport properties example

Advanced Viewport

The Advanced Viewport sees further improvements in both visual quality and interactive performance, with much higher frame rates on all systems. It’s now possible to increase or decrease the shadow quality with Cascaded Shadow Maps, wireframe drawing has improved with Line anti-aliasing options, and there are new shading modes to to quickly switch between simple, basic, and full - useful for quick results for general modeling, or to get as close as possible to the output from Modo's internal renderer.

Modo 11.1 vertex normal and baking

Vertex Normal & Baking

Editing vertex normals and baking in Modo just got much easier. Modo 11.1 now supports object space normal map baking; useful when creating normal maps for static objects in real-time applications. There’s a new Use Polygon Area Smoothing option which weights the normal average based on the size of the polygon, improving smoothing errors. Two new options for vertex illumination baking control what is baked and output, and a contextual menu command that will bake either occlusion, illumination, normal, displacement or texture effects, based on options defined in the dialogue, speeds up the workflow of baking certain mesh features.

Modo 11.1 preview render improvements example

Preview Render

Preview Render and Preview Render Animation now allows limiting the maximum rendering time before the frame is saved to disk. Costly mistakes are more easily avoided when analyzing convergence, with updates that reduce the risk of changing a render setting based on an output that is different than the final render output. Zooming improvements mean it’s easier to analyze an in-progress full resolution render, and autosave now saves the current Preview rendered state, making it easy to restart a progressive render from its last saved point, rather than having to start the render again.

Modo 11.1 File I/O & Alembic Improvements screenshot

File I/O & Alembic Improvements

Modo's ability to work within larger production pipelines has vastly improved with the improved Alembic streaming support. Geometry can now be transferred using enhanced Alembic streaming, greatly speeding up the rate at which large scenes of animated data transfer to other applications. With the ability to stream geometry, particles, simulation meshes, curves, multiple UV sets and material and part tags, it’s possible to work within a much wider range of Alembic related workflows, and import, layout and render large animated scenes from either Modo or other DCC software packages.

Modo 11.1 Basic improvements - GL color channel example

Better out of the box experience

Modo 11.1 includes a number of updates to improve usability. Individual textures and materials in the shader tree now have GL channels that override the colors in the GL viewport - useful when modeling shapes that have many different parts and you want to optimize how an object is displayed. The Autosave function let’s you manually cancel the autosave if it’s about to occur at an inopportune time, template scenes can easily be created and loaded from the preset browser, and the Texture Locator properties form has been reduced for easier use. We’ve also fixed a large number of legacy bugs.

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