Friday, November 13th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Foundry ships Modo 14.2

Foundry has shipped Modo 14.2, the latest version of its 3D modelling, animation and rendering software, and the last of the three linked releases that form the Modo 14 Series.

New features include Rig Clay, a neat new system for posing characters by clicking directly on the mesh rather than rig controls; USD Export; and native support for Cryptomatte when rendering.

Modo’s Advanced Viewport, modelling and UV toolkits, and mPath renderer have all also been updated.

New Rig Clay system lets you pose characters directly by clicking and dragging on them
The most attention-grabbing feature in Modo 14.2 is Rig Clay, a new system for posing characters by clicking and dragging directly on their geometry, rather than on a control rig.

It’s an intuitive workflow, and one in vogue at the moment, also being supported in Rumba, Mercenaries Engineering’s dedicated next-gen character animation software, which also shipped this week.

In Modo, artists can designate parts of the surface of a character model as Command Regions.

These can then be made to deform the mesh by assigning a mouse gesture and the Deformer it will trigger in Modo’s Schematic view, as shown in the video above.

New USD exporter for VFX and animation pipelines
Support for the Universal Scene Description format – now becoming widely used in VFX and animation pipelines – has also been extended, with a USD exporter joining the USD importer added in Modo 14.1.

It supports many of Modo’s key features, including meshes, instances, replicators, group locators, joint-based animation, cameras, and the Principled material type.

Non-geometry-based lights can be exported, but not Portal or Mesh lights; and character rigs may need restructuring before animations work correctly in other software.

You can find details of what is and isn’t supported in the online documentation.

Native Cryptomatte support and option to pause and resume renders in mPath
Modo also now natively supports Cryptomatte, the open-source ID matte generation system widely used in VFX pipelines, and supported in many other renderers.

The software’s new mPath render engine can also now save and resume renders in progress, and supports stencil mapping to speed up renders of objects like leaves that use transparent regions in textures.

Incremental updates to the modelling and UV tools and the Advanced Viewport
Modo’s other toolsets get incremental updates, with the direct modelling tools seeing more changes to the new Edge Chamfer tool added in Modo 13.2 and updated in each subsequent release.

The embossing and procedural vertex map generation features added in Modo 14.0 also get updates.

Other changes include a new preset for the Advanced Viewport for retopology work, and better support for real world scale in the UV tools. You can find a full list via the links at the foot of the story.

There are also some significant performance improvements: selecting components is now “up to 200% faster”, and Boolean operations “as high as 38,000% faster” with “dense polygons and complex shapes”.

Pricing and availability
Modo 14.2 is available for 64-bit Windows 10, RHEL and CentOS 7.6+ Linux, and macOS 10.13-10.15.

New perpetual licences of the software cost $1,888. Rental costs $62/month or $629/year.

Read a full list of new features in Modo 14.2 in the online release notes