MODO 901 review

The Foundry's MODO 901 comes of age as Rob Redman takes the 3D contentcreation software for a spin...

The Foundry's MODO 901 comes of age as Rob Redman takes the 3D content
creation software for a spin...

Product: MODO 901

Company: The Foundry


MODO has come a long way since its inception. From its earliest post-lightwave days it's been favored for its modeling toolset, and each release has improved upon the last. 901 sees the best yet, with additions and improvements that make MODO feel like the experienced professional product it should be.

New viewport

An adaptable interface

The very first release of MODO made some waves with its fresh approach to modeling in subdivisions and its beautiful gui, which to this day is still one of the best looking interfaces around. Other software has tried to match it but all have failed and MODO is instantly welcoming. Things used to lurch to a bit of a halt there though, with an occasionally clunky workflow and some logic that didn't feel natural. 901 sees the last of these downsides almost completely vanished. The interface is much the same but is infinitely variable and adaptable to suit the needs of the user and task at hand.

901's list of new features is a hefty one and there is far more to welcome with open arms than can be mentioned here, but there are a few that really have to be mentioned, so I will concentrate on them here. Head over to The Foundry's site to read the long list of others.

Modeling improvements

Headline new features

The first new feature up there is the addition of meshfusion to the core application. While not strictly a new feature this is the first time it's been available to every user, and that is a welcome move. For those not familiar with meshfusion, it is a powerful and intuitive boolean operation type tool, that makes some modeling tasks a breeze that would otherwise have been time consuming and difficult.

There are many enhancements and additions to the modeling tools, but it's probably things like the new quad fill that will become daily use favorites. There are new ways of selecting geometry that will prove very helpful along with a new way of adding geometry that makes creating shaped holes in sub-d meshes as simple as it gets.

Radial align

The slice tool has had some welcome tweaks as well, and something that pleases me immensely is the ability to add a modifier keystroke to make the slice tool constrain to an edges center. Very useful indeed.

Every 3D artist I know has at some time or another blown something up, destroyed it with dynamics or had it collide with another mesh. 901 introduces a new tool for shattering meshes, meaning finding a plug-in or external app is a thing of the past. In practice it's really very simple, using dynamics to shatter one mesh dependent on the impact location of a second. It's a powerful tool with a simple workflow and could save artists a significant amount of time and money.

Workflow and beyond

There are many, many more improvements and new features, some creative, others technical, but all add up to a competent, mature and well-rounded application. The UV improvements and scene management additions are excellent. Being able to send assets to disk and use a simple bounding box as a proxy until render-time is great for dense scenes.

The last thing I want to mention as a big deal here (there really is way too much to talk about) is a couple of material, viewport and texturing elements that make daily use of MODO a joy. We all do wireframe renders and 901 has a wireframe shader. Of that no more needs to be said but the viewport (depending on your workstation) will take advantage of your hardware to display photorealistic renders. That's a big deal for many and will save a lot of testing time, especially when paired with the new physically based materials and texture painting tools. It's clear (no pun intended) that the Foundry have put a lot of thought and time into this area alone and for me it makes the upgrade worthwhile.

Best release so far

While there is much that I haven't even mentioned I think it's safe to say that MODO 901 is the single best release so far. Setting it up to work how you want it is simple, creating a friendly environment. 901 can be a little unstable at times but The Foundry historically offer service packs frequently, and I expect things to be solid and reliable very soon.

Score (out of 5): 4.5

Price: from £1195

System requirements

- Windows 7 or Window 8 (64-bit only)
- Mac® OS X 10.8 or later (64-bit only)
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 or later (64-bit only)
- Intel processor(s), Core2Duo processor or higher
- 10GB disk space available for full content installation
- At least 4GB RAM
- Display with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution
- Internet connection for product activation and online videos access

Related links

Take a closer look at MODO 901 over on The Foundry's website
Here is a sneak peek video from The Foundry for MODO 901
Grab one of our MODO eBooks

Fetching comments...

Post a comment