Foundry ships Modo 11.2
The release focuses largely on Modo’s modelling and UV tools, including the direct modelling, procedural modelling and MeshFusion toolsets, and implements Disney’s Principled BRDF shading model.
Direct modelling: new bevel and snapping options
New direct modelling features include new options for the Polygon Bevel and Edge Bevel tools, designed to provide more precise control over the form of the bevels created, and fix shading issues.
They’re quite specific, so it’s probably easiest to watch the video above and see them in action.
Polygon Bevel also gets a new Thicken option, which turns a bevelled surface into an closed 3D volume; and there is a new option to limit snapping to selected geometry, making it easier to manipulate heavy meshes.
MeshFusion and procedural modelling: workflow and performance updates
MeshFusion, Modo’s real-time Boolean modelling toolset, gets a number of performance improvements, including a new Draft Unions option, which splits a MeshFusion assembly into active and inactive parts.
There is also a new Edge Weighting option, which simulates Catmull-Clark edge weighting by adding internal edge loops to the source meshes; and new assemblies for creating elbow joints and structural ribbing.
They’re mainly workflow and performance improvements, but there is a Flip Polygons tool for reversing the normals of selected polys; and the option to select polygons by tags like Material, Part or Selection Set.
UVs: lots of useful new tools for organising and troubleshooting UVs
The UV toolset – also a key focus of Modo 11.1 – gets some useful troubleshooting features, including the option to highlight flipped UV islands in the viewport, and to toggle the colour overlay showing UV distortion.
There are also new options for identifying UV polys creating errors, including stacked polygons, those with zero area, and those crossing UDIM borders; and to select all polys that do not currently have UVs.
Other changes include the option to select individual UV maps in the UV Editor and UV Viewport using paint or lasso selection; more tools for aligning UV islands; and a new tool for stacking islands.
The Texel Density tool, which scales the size of UV islands in proportion to the number of texture pixels assigned to them, also gets a number of new options, which you can find in the release notes.
Other changes: new Principled BRDF shader type, Alembic and FBX improvements
Modo 11.2 also adds a new Principled BRDF shader type, based on Disney’s influential work on creating an artist-friendly ‘ubershader’ to recreate a wide range of real-world materials.
The shading model is also used in many renderers, including RenderMan, Arnold, Houdini’s Mantra renderer and Blender’s Cycles engine; game engines like UE4; and DCC tools including Substance Painter.
Pipeline improvements include the option to export Modo’s Replicators as geometry, particles or both when exporting scenes to other DCC tools in Alembic format; and support for the FBX 2017 and 2018 file formats.
Unreal Bridge, the live link between Modo and Unreal Engine introduced in Modo 11.1, gets new options for controlling which assets to push from Modo to Unreal, and how they should be named once they get there.
Other changes include a new Scene Cleanup command for automatically removing any empty meshes and groups from a scene, and purging any unused schematic nodes, images, materials and deformers.
Pricing and availability
Modo 11.2 is available for 64-bit Windows 7+, RHEL 6.8+ and CentOS 7+ Linux, and Mac OS X 10.10+. Perpetual licences cost $1,799, while rental starts at $599/year.
You can read more about Foundry’s new subscription and update policy in our story on Modo 11.0.