Luxology Modo 301
- Mesh and image-based sculpting workflow, layer support, animation., variety of learning aids, new snapping and precision tools, good image support
- Power hungry for more complex modelling tasks, animation fairly limited
Modo 301 appears a prime choice for digital sculpting on the Mac, plus add in the animation and paint features and you have a full-featured application ready to take on the big studio tools, at about half the price.
Price$ 1,790.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
Modo has a versatile layout that lends itself well to either linear modelling workflows or working piecemeal on projects in conjunction with other applications. The various Tabs are dedicated to tasks like rendering, painting or UV editing and the layout has been configured to allow you display two tasks together -- for example showing the UV window while you edit a mesh alongside -- making for a far more interactive experience.
Unusually for a pro 3D application, Modo is also packed with learning aids such as inline help, videos, HTML tooltip links and documentation.
Modo is already well established as a pro-modelling application, benefiting from its Solid Sketch tool, symmetry features and fast subdivision workflow.
301's new sculpting features offer a combination of mesh-based and image-based modelling, which can be used in tandem or separately. With the mesh-based approach, sculpting tools like Push or Smooth work on the cage, or vertex points of polygon models for organic moulding of surfaces. Keyboard shortcuts abound, for example Tab flips the workspace to a smoothed view, while D and Shift-D subdivide the mesh in alternate ways.
To add fine detail, image-based textures can be applied, created with Modo's Paint tools or by importing common file formats like PSD and TIFF (including 16-bit and floating point colour). It's simple to add or reduce resolution for more or less detailing and multiple image maps can be layered for the same object, or activated at any point, giving a great deal of control. It's straightforward therefore to apply multiple images to one model and blend them, leaving the finest detail for the highest resolution map or to edit layers individually at any time.
Version 301 also offers new animation capabilities, which you can quickly use to keyframe camera moves. You'll probably need to go elsewhere for more complex tasks, but Modo does also offer morph animation as well as the import of MDD files to render animations created in other 3D applications. New snapping functionality and precision tools include snapping to guides and grids, with a 2D snap option to avoid 3D offsets in perspective views. Specific constraints include the ability to shrinkwrap an object or to constrain the pen tool to a certain height.
Licences for both Mac and Windows are provided with the software, available in boxed or download form for the same price, and for once licensing a 3D package is a breeze.
Mudbox is cheaper and has similar mesh tools and facilities, but as well as being confined to Windows, offers no animation. ZBrush too is lagging behind with Mac support for its latest release, so Modo 301 appears a prime choice for digital sculpting on the Mac. Add in the animation and paint features and you have a full-featured application ready to take on the big studio tools, at about half the price.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Synology DiskStation DS215j NAS device
- 2 Fitbit Charge wireless activity tracker
- 3 HP Stream 11 laptop
- 4 B&O BeoPlay A2 portable Bluetooth speaker
- 5 Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111)
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- VPN providers play 'cat-and-mouse' with China's growing censorship
- Telstra Wi-Fi 4G Advanced II wireless modem review
- Canon PIXMA MG7560 All-In-One Cloud printer
- Facebook tests delivering tips about your location
- How three small credit card transactions could reveal your identity
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.