Foundry ships Modo Indie 11
Foundry has released Modo Indie 11.2v3, the long-awaited update to the export-limited edition of Modo aimed at indie game artists, adding the new features from the main Modo 11 Series of product releases.
Key changes for game artists include a new live bridge to Unreal Engine; improvements to the modelling and UV packing toolsets; support for glTF 2.0 export; and access to a tech preview of Modo’s new VR tools.
The update is free to owners of Modo Indie 10, but Foundry has discontinued sales of new perpetual licences of the software in favour of a rental-only system.
A surprise update, several months after the end of the main Modo 11 Series of releases
Whereas previous versions of Modo Indie came out almost immediately after the corresponding update to Modo itself, the wait for version 11 has been much longer for Indie users.
Updates to the full version of the software began last April, with Modo 11.2, the final release in the Modo 11 Series, shipping in November. The next major release, Modo 12, is itself now in public beta.
The delay, coupled with a period of public silence on Foundry’s part, led some users to assume that the Indie edition had been quietly abandoned.
New in Modo Indie 11: new Unreal Engine live bridge, better modelling and UV packing tools
Today’s update not only confirms that Modo Indie is alive, but adds all of the new features introduced in the full edition of the software during the 11.x release cycle in one go.
We covered all three releases in the Modo 11 Series, so check out our original stories for more details.
However, highlights for games artists include the new live bridge to Unreal Engine and improvements to UV packing introduced in Modo 11.1; and the updates to the MeshFusion and procedural modelling toolsets, new Principled BRDF Shader, and improved FBX export from Modo 11.2.
The update also gives users access to a technology preview of Modo Indie VR, a separate build of the software containing Foundry’s work-in-progress virtual reality toolsets for Modo.
At the minute, the tech preview is “essentially the same build and feature set [as the normal edition of Modo Indie] other than the addition of the VR viewport mode”.
Now exports geometry in glTF 2.0 format and directly to Unreal Engine
The update also relaxes some of the previous restrictions on the Indie edition of the software.
While geometry export remains capped at 100,000 polygons, Modo Indie now supports the new glTF 2.0 open format for real-time 3D assets as well as OBJ and FBX.
Users can also get assets directly into UE4 via the new live bridge, which removes the poly limit entirely.
Other than that, baking and rendering is still limited to 4K resolution and number of common image formats; and the Python editor, third-party scripts and most of Modo’s command-line options are disabled.
However, Foundry says that it is considering adding support for “certain plugins” in future releases.
Pricing and availability
Modo Indie 11.2v3 is available now for 64-bit Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.10+ via Steam. The update is free to registered users of Modo Indie 10.
Foundry has also now discontinued the old $299.99 perpetual licence of the software, meaning that new licences are only available on a rental-only basis, with subscriptions starting at $14.99/month.
The move seems likely to prove controversial: this forum thread calling for the perpetual licence to be retained is typical. Foundry has confirmed that there are “no plans” to drop perpetual licences of Modo itself.