Thursday, March 29th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

Foundry ships Modo 12.0

Foundry has released Modo 12.0, the first of three linked updates to its modelling and animation software that will form the Modo 12 Series, completely overhauling the application’s Mesh Paint tool.

The release also further updates Modo’s classic, procedural and MeshFusion modelling systems, its UV toolset and viewport display, and adds a set of free Python Scripts from Pushing Points’ Hatchet Collection.

Later releases in the Modo 12 series will add a VR viewport embedded directly in the UI, “vastly improve” Modo’s animation capabilities, and expand the software’s ability to load CAD data.

Big update to Mesh Paint adds new object placement, scaling and randomisation options
Modo 12.0 overhauls the software’s ageing Mesh Paint tool, designed for scattering objects across a surface.

As well as fixing a number of significant bugs, mesh painting can now take “full advantage” of replicated and instanced geometry, reducing the memory overhead of the resulting scene.

There are also three new paint modes, Linear, Radial and Array, which provide more control over where objects are placed on a surface; and a Scale Increment setting to control how they are scaled on placement.

In addition, Mesh Paint – along with any duplication tool the uses Modo’s Preset Browser – can now use random presets, making it possible to scatter a randomised selection of objects.

MeshFusion Boolean modelling toolset gets interesting new Surface Strips system
MeshFusion, Modo’s real-time Boolean modelling system, gets Surface Strips: an interesting new feature that creates a user-configurable strip of quad polygons at the intersection of two Boolean meshes.

The strips can intersect, making it possible to create complex patterns of surface ridges or grooves.

Surface Strips can also be used as a new kind of Boolean operation, resulting in open meshes with a ring of quads around the open edge.

More procedural and direct modelling options
The procedural modelling toolset introduced in Modo 10.1 gets another sizeable update, including the option to non-destructively triangulate the meshes it generates.

The Merge Mesh operator also gets a range of new functionality, including the option to read replicator and group items, and to merge item hierarchies in one click.

There are also a number of new ways to adjust falloffs for mesh operations, including the option to edit falloff curves, and a new Falloff Operator node in the Schematic view with support for weight maps.

Modo’s traditional modelling tools have also been updated, with the Jitter Tool, used for randomly moving points in a mesh, getting new options to move, scale or rotate connected geometry.

The new options carry over to the UV version of a tool, enabling users to introduce random variations in texture where a single texture map is being used across multiple cloned objects.

New display quality options in the Advanced Viewport
Modo’s Advanced Viewport gets two new options for trading display quality against performance, including the option to turn on GPU-based anisotropic texture filtering in order to improve texture display quality.

There is also the option to use Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) as a “rough and ready” alternative to Supersampling. Raising the MSAA value reduces anti-aliasing quality, but improves interactive performance.

Other features: new Hatchet Collection Python scripts, model export to Facebook in glTF 2.0 format
Other new features include the option to drag assets from Foundry’s community site directly into Modo, and the inclusion of 13 general utility Python scripts from Pushing Points’ commercial Hatchet collection.

Modo’s UV tools, a major focus on the Modo 11 Series of releases, also get a few minor updates.

And, as announced last month, Modo users can now export models to Facebook in glTF 2.0 format.

There is also a new glTF Material Shader that allows for “complete WYSIWYG” between Modo’s native renderer, the Advanced Viewport, and any other application that supports the glTF shading model.

Coming up in Modo 12.1 and Modo 12.2: new VR viewport, improved animation workflow
Features due later in the Modo 12 Series include a new VR viewport within the UI, which should enable users to inspect and edit scenes through a head-mounted display, as shown in Foundry’s original tech previews.

Animation will be “vastly improved”, with users able to “easily build, repurpose, combine and adjust animation models”.

Other upcoming features include “enhanced model-bashing tools”, and new options for transferring data between Modo and other applications, including updates to the CAD loaders and Unity and UE4 bridges.

Pricing and availability
Modo 12.0 is available for 64-bit Windows 7+, RHEL and CentOS 7+ Linux, and Mac OS X 10.10+. Buying or upgrading to 12.0 automatically grants access to the other two updates in the Modo 12 Series.

New perpetual licences of the software cost $1,799, while rental starts at $599/year.

Read a full list of new features in Modo 12.0 in the online release notes

Visit the Modo product website