Saturday, May 13th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Cycles is coming to Modo

Modo should soon have a semi-official plugin integrating Cycles, the GPU-accelerated path tracing renderer available in applications like Blender and Cinema 4D, into the 3D modelling software.

The plugin, Cycles4Modo, is being developed by a Modo user, Marc Meijer (TheGarf), and is still in pre-alpha, but its development is now being supported by Foundry.

New plugin to make Blender’s GPU-accelerated path tracer available inside Modo
Although most people associate Cycles with Blender, in which it is used for final-quality rendering, the path tracer is also available in other DCC applications via plugins like Insydium’s Cycles 4D for Cinema 4D.

When released publicly, Cycles4Modo will add Modo to that list, making Cycles available in Foundry’s 3D modelling software alongside the native mPath renderer and the legacy CPU renderer.

Meijer had been developing Cycles4Modo independently before releasing a series of demo videos on YouTube last week, bringing the tool to Foundry’s attention.

The plugin supports a range of material properties, including transparency and displacement, can be used to render fur, and supports motion blur for rendering animations.

In a livestream on the Modo Geeks TV YouTube channel, Foundry product manager Greg Brown commented: “We were surprised at how many capabilities [Marc has] managed to implement.”

Foundry now plans to work with Meijer to help get Cycles4Modo to a public release.

“We’re looking forward to having this as a formal plugin,” said Brown. “We know how important it is to artists using Modo to have GPU-aided rendering, and this is another option that we want to help support.”

One of a new breed of third-party renderers for Modo?
The news comes after Foundry’s announcement earlier this year that it is moving to a renderer-agnostic strategy for Modo as part of a set of wide-ranging changes to Modo development that has included mPath developer Allen Hastings leaving the company.

Brown commented in the livestream that Foundry aims to streamline the Modo SDK to make it easier for other third-party developers to write plugins for the software.

Pricing, system requirements and release date
Cycles4Modo is still in pre-alpha. There are no details on its pricing or release date yet.

See more demos of Cycles4Modo on the Modo Geeks TV livestream