modo 401 review

One of the best 3D suites available for the Mac modo 401 delivers advanced modelling, 3D sculpting and painting, superb rendering, and a growing animation toolset. Just about all toolsets have been improved, but notable enhancements include new quad modelling tools, Instance Replicator, Fur, advanced rendering such as Volumetric Lighting, and better animation. Unfortunately, due to Apple’s switch in 64-bit API there’s no Mac 64-bit version of modo in this release.

The core modelling tools have been improved by adding options to the versatile Pen tool, plus a handful of novel tools. The Pen tool now features properties like Wall and Wall Thickness for faster architectural modelling and Quads and Merge for improved re-topologising. Tools like Drag Weld, Smooth, and Grow Quads, in combination with enhanced Background Constraints, make it easy to create new geometry over existing meshes.

With modo’s new Instance Replicator it’s easy to populate complex scenes like forests and cityscapes while keeping memory overhead manageable. Also new is the ability to create Fur. More than just being able to create furry creatures, the new Fur tool allows just about any type of fibrous material to be simulated.

The animation tools have been enhanced with the introduction of Channel linking, Channel modifiers, and Constraints. These make it possible to produce layers of complex animation. However, animation in modo is largely limited to mechanical motions as there are no true character animation or simulation tools. But hopefully character and simulation tools will come soon.

modo 401 makes rendering better with the debut of advanced features such as Volumetric Lighting, a Clearcoat channel, blurry refractions, Stereoscopic rendering, and a Shadow Catcher among many others. However, beyond just being able to create hyper-realistic or stylised renders modo’s rendering is interactive, easy to setup, and fast.

OUR VERDICT

modo 401 is solid choice for high-end 3D tasks. Its modelling tools are unparalleled, UV mapping is painless, and rendering top-notch. Though animation tools are still being developed it is possible to choreograph complex motions. With the addition of significant advanced features this release is definitely worth the price.

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