Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

The Foundry releases Modo 10.1

Originally posted on 5 May 2016. Scroll down for news of the public release.

The Foundry has unveiled Modo 10.1, the second of the three linked updates to its 3D modelling, rendering and animation software forming the Modo 10 Series.

The release, which is due in beta later this week, adds a new procedural modelling toolset to Modo.

Fully non-linear, non-destructive procedural modelling in Modo
As you can see from the teaser video above, the update implements fully non-linear, non-destructive modelling in Modo, with users able to reorder modelling operations or edit parameters at any point.

The toolset should enable artists to make quick adjustments to complex models in response to client or directorial feedback, or generate a near-infinite series of variations of a single model.

According to The Foundry, the “robust new system is being developed to support presets, third-party developers, and a nodal relationship graph”.

Reorder or edit modelling operations via the new mesh operator stack
You can see the workflow in the video above, narrated by The Foundry president of the Americas Brad Peebler.

The update adds a new mesh operator stack, which works like the existing deformer stack, making it possible to reorder or nest mesh operations simply by dragging them around.

Operators can be combined with ‘sub-tools’ modifying their effects: for example falloffs or path generators.

Changes are shown in the viewport in real time, and there is a ‘before and after’ option in the shape of a new ‘ghosted’ view, which shows the base mesh surrounded by a semi-transparent view of its current form.

Fully animatable – and works with text too
As well as standard models, the workflow can be used with the existing Text tool to create editable 3D text.

Procedural mesh layers can coexist in a scene with standard geometry layers, and the results are fully animatable. There is also option to create and share sets of procedural modelling options as Assemblies.

The new toolset is designed to enable artists to model procedurally without having to use Modo’s node-based Schematic viewport, but the mesh operation stack is also represented as a schematic.

A second video demonstrates the level of customisation possible in more detail.

Works with particles
The procedural modelling tools can be used in conjunction with Modo’s existing features, including particles.

The new Curve Particle Generator, as the name suggests, distributes particles along a curve, used in the video above to generate a procedural model of a fence.

Interacts with MeshFusion
The new toolset also works with MeshFusion, the versatile Boolean modelling plugin integrated into the core software in Modo 901, as shown in the video above, narrated by MeshFusion creator Darrel Anderson.

A crucial part of this is the implementation of B-splines as a new curve type, making it possible to generate “exceptionally graceful … pseudo-angular” profiles for hard-surface models.

Free Profile Intersection Kit
The video above shows both new toolsets in action in the form of a proof-of-concept Profile Intersection Kit, which will be released as example content along with Modo 10.1 itself.

Effectively a procedural modelling rig, the kit consists of 2D curves representing the front, side and top profiles of a model plus a ‘blank’ 3D object with which they are intersected.

Choosing different profile curves from the kit’s UI instantly generates a new overall form, and users can slide each profile through the model to see its effect.

Each part of the rig can be toggled on or off via a viewport widget.

The resulting forms are vaguely reminiscent of futuristic weapons – and, later in the video, helmets – but Anderson comments that he can see the development of future themed tools for other types of content.

Updated 15 June 2016: Modo 10.1 is now shipping for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Both individual and floating licences cost $1,799. The update is free to anyone who purchased Modo 10.0v1 earlier this year.

Visit the Modo 10.1 product page

Read more about the new features in Modo 10.1 in the announcement thread on The Foundry’s forum