Nevercenter releases Silo 2023.4 and Milo 2023.1
Originally posted on 4 November 2022. Scroll down for details of the Silo 2023.4 update.
Nevercenter has released Silo 2023, the latest version of its lightweight 3D modelling software, and Milo 2023, its Unreal Engine-based real-time renderer.
The Silo 2023.0 update brings procedural modelling to Silo, adding a new set of modifiers to make it possible to perform operations like extrusions and edge bevels non-destructively.
Milo 2023.0 updates the software to Unreal Engine 5, and adds two new lighting rigs designed to mimic real-world studio lighting set-ups.
A lightweight sub-D modeller now being actively developed again
First released in 2003, Silo built up a reputation as an efficient, focused modelling package.
It has a streamlined set of polygonal and subdivision surface modelling tools, a topology brush for drawing new topology over a reference object, and interactive real-time UV unwrapping.
As well as creating low-poly assets for games or real-time applications, it can be used to rough out base models for sculpting in ZBrush, and supports Pixologic’s GoZ bridge system.
Although development stalled during the 2010s, the pace picked up again with the release of Silo 2021, with Nevercenter also launching Milo, a new standalone Unreal-Engine-based real-time renderer and VR viewer.
Silo 2023.0: new modifier stack brings non-destructive procedural modelling to Silo
Silo 2023.0 is something of a jump in version numbering, given that Silo 2021.5 was only released in March, meaning that Nevercenter has gone through its entire set of 2022 releases in just six months.
The shift to Venusian years notwithstanding, Silo 2023.0 is a significant update, bringing procedural modelling to the software.
The release introduces a modifier stack, enabling users to modify geometry non-destructively, toggling individual modifiers on and off or changing the order in which they are applied without affecting other edits.
There are currently six modifiers: Bevel, Crease Edges, Extrude, Numerical Deform, Shell and Triangulate.
Numerical Deform is a combined twist and taper modifier; the others are self-explanatory – or at least will be familiar to users of other 3D modelling software.
Users can also bake modifiers to convert a mesh to standard non-procedural geometry, with the option to do so automatically when exporting a model.
Milo 2023.0: now based on Unreal Engine 5
The key change in Milo 2023.0 is that the software’s core has been upgraded from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5, which should improve rendering performance and visual fidelity.
The update also introduces two new lighting rigs intended to mimic real-world studio lighting set-ups, Ring Light and Lightbox, both designed for use with ray tracing.
Updated 8 February 2023: Nevercenter has released Silo 2023.1.
The update adds two more modifiers: Smooth, which smooths geometry procedurally, with the option to preserve its overall volume, and Array, which generates copies of a model in a line or grid.
The latter replaces the old standalone procedural array system, and includes options to randomise the position, rotation, scale and blendshape sliders for each copy.
Updated 22 March 2023: Nevercenter has released Silo 2023.2.
The update adds a new Subdivide modifier in addition to the existing subdivision system, making it possible to toggle subdivision on and off, or move the modifier around in the stack.
Other changes include multi-monitor support, and a new Arch primitive, for creating architectural arches, and similar shapes like “tunnels … mailboxes, gravestones [and] half-pipes”.
Updated 10 May 2023: Nevercenter has released Silo 2023.3.
The update adds a new Radial Mirror modifier, making it easier to create cylindrical or radially repeating forms like wheels, spokes and gears, as shown in the video above.
Under the hood, the software’s core has been updated to improve performance and reduce memory usage, particularly when performing operations on high-poly models or undoing previous operations.
Updated 3 August 2023: Nevercenter has released Milo 2023.1.
The software’s rendering pipeline has been “totally rewritten”, improving performance, reducing memory use, and reducing visual discrepancies between on-screen previews and final renders.
In particular, turntable renders now update interactively, and FBX import is “much improved”.
Under the hood, Milo has been updated to Unreal Engine 5.2, the latest stable version of the engine.
One consequence for macOS users is that the software is now available as a universal binary, and now runs natively on Apple Silicon processors in current Macs. Both M1 and M2 processors are supported.
Updated 23 August 2023: Nevercenter has released Silo 2023.4.
It’s primarily a bugfix and performance update – loading of large FBX files has been sped up “up to 100x” – but it adds one new feature, a New Window command for opening a new instance of the software.
Pricing and availability
Silo is available for Windows 10 and macOS 10.14.6+. Milo is available for Windows 10 and macOS 10.15.7+.
Perpetual licences of Silo have an MSRP of $159, which includes Milo. The update is free to anyone who has bought the software in the past year.