Foundry ships Modo 15.1
Foundry has released Modo 15.1, the latest version of its 3D modelling, animation and rendering software, and the second of the three linked releases that will form the Modo 15 Series.
New features include OmniHaul, an interesting system for setting up custom gesture-based controls for editing tool attributes, a new Curve Booleans system, and automated scene-testing system Static Analysis.
The update also provides more control over how Modo evaluates MeshOps, adds support for chromatic dispersion to the mPath renderer, and adds support for UV tiling and real-world scale in USD files.
Workflow: control tool attributes with viewport mouse gestures via the new OmniHaul system
Major changes in Modo 15.1 include OmniHaul, an interesting new system for setting tool attributes and parameter values directly within the 3D viewport.
It extends the approach taken in the existing Channel Haul tool to Modo’s entire toolset, enabling users to assign custom combinations of attributes to the left, right and middle mouse buttons.
Attribute values can then be adjusted interactively by clicking and dragging in the viewport, or by entering numerical values into a floating panel that pops up when the feature is active.
Workflow: new Static Analysis system automatically tests scenes for common faults
The update also introduces Static Analysis, a new automated system for testing 3D scenes for common workflow and performance issues like floating vertices, empty groups or unused images.
Foundry describes Static Analysis as being similar to Modo’s existing Mesh Cleanup and Scene Cleanup systems, but providing a “richer set of test criteria”, plus the option to create your own custom scene tests.
Modelling: new Curve Booleans system
New modelling features include Curve Booleans, a new system for performing Boolean operations like intersect and subtract on 2D curves, then converting the resulting form into a 3D model.
The toolset is intended to provide a modelling workflow more accessible to new users coming to Modo from a background in graphic design than conventional polygon-based tools.
Modo’s 3D Boolean tools get a new Union All option, making it possible to perform a Boolean union on multiple meshes simultaneously, rather than having to add and merge meshes one by one.
There are also a number of updates to existing modelling tools. You can find a full list in the release notes.
Rigging: new Stack Node and deferred evaluation for MeshOps
Procedural modellers and riggers also get new ways to control MeshOps, Modo’s system of procedural mesh operations.
A new Stack Node (shown above) makes it possible to show the order in which MeshOps are evaluated as a list within Modo’s Schematic view, in the same way that they are displayed in the MeshOps view itself.
it is also now possible to defer or pause evaluation of MeshOps and deformers, helping to improve interactive performance when working with complex scenes.
Other changes: updates to the mPath renderer and USD import/export
Other changes include support for chromatic dispersion in mPath, Modo’s new path tracing render engine.
Foundry has also standardised the controls for QuickCam – mPath’s interactive scene exploration mode, added in Modo 15.0 – with those for Modo’s OpenGL viewport and preview render view.
Support for the Universal Scene Description format, introduced in Modo 14.1 and 14.2, has been extended, with support for UV tiling and real world size values when importing or exporting assets in USD format.
Pricing and availability
Modo 15.1 is available for 64-bit Windows 10, RHEL and CentOS 7.6+ Linux, and macOS 10.14+. Buying 15.1 grants access to the remaining update in the Modo 15 Series.
New perpetual licences of the software cost $1,909. Rental starts at $65/month or $659/year.