Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Alexey Vanzhula releases Modeler 2020.1 for Houdini

Developer Alexey Vanzhula has released Modeler 2020.1, the latest incarnation of his hard surface modeling toolkit for Houdini, previously known as Direct Modeling HDA and DM.

New features since the 1.0 release include a new hotkey system for creating custom keyboard and mouse shortcuts, and new local transformation, Point Weld and extrusion tools.

A classic hard surface and Boolean modelling toolkit for Houdini
First released in 2018 under the name Direct Modeling HDA and later renamed DM, Modeler streamlines hard surface modelling workflows inside Houdini.

The name ‘Modeler’ originally referred specifically to the toolkit’s ‘classic modelling environment’, intended to make modelling workflow in Houdini more similar to that in other DCC applications.

The add-on also includes a real-time Boolean modeling system, and a library of geometric components from which users can build up models via the software’s KitBash tool.

New since 1.0: hotkey system, more modelling tools, and lots of under-the-hood changes
Modeler 2020.1 is another change of version numbering for the software, Vanzhula having only just released Modeler 1.0 in January.

The only detailed changelog we can find is for Modeler 2020.0, released two weeks earlier, but many of those new features are shown in the demo video for 2020.1.

Either way, one major change since 1.0 is the new hotkey system, which enables users to set up custom mouse and keyboard shortcuts for any tool, including support for additional mouse buttons.

Other new features include a set of local transformation tools, Local Move, Local Rotate and Local Scale, shown at 03:30 in the video above; and a Point Weld tool, for stitching points together interactively.

There are also new Extend and Inset tools for extruding geometry; a new option to select components of a model based on their normals; and new hotkeys for previewing subdivided geometry.

In addition, there are a lot of changes under the hood, including a complete rewrite of the modelling core, a redesign of the retopology tools, and a lot of smaller updates.

Updated 19 May 2020: Alexey Vanzhula has sent us the full changelog for Modeler 2020.1. We’ve added the information at the foot of the story.

Pricing and availability
Modeler 2020.1 is available for Houdini 18 only. It costs $100. Users of previous versions of the software can upgrade for $20.

Read a full list of new features in Modeler 2020 for Houdini on the od|force forum

Download Modeler for Houdini from Alexey Vanzhula’s Gumroad store

New features in Modeler 2020.1 (reproduced from Alexey Vanzhula’s email)

  1. Radial menu support
    Custom user menus and the native Houdini menus also can be used in Modeler.
  2. Insert Mesh HDA was rebuilt from scratch
    It is much faster and [has a] simpler UI.
  3. Insert Mesh, Soft Boolean, Thickness, Relax now use a new interactive tools system (Python states wrapper).
    Also, these tools are sticky now. They work instantly after holding the keyboard shortcut [in the same way as] in Silo, XSI, etc
  4. All the Python code was revamped with lots of optimisations
    I think currently Modeler on Linux is one of the fastest classic polygonal modeling tools
  5. Lots of improvements were added after the release
    For instance, seven new radial menus, lots of bug fixes. In addition, Modeler on macOS works much better