Intro to Modo


Intro to 3D for Design using Modo


Basic User Interface and simple Modeling

User interface

  • Menu Bar
  • Switch Bar
  • Tabs
  • Navigation
    • Alt+LMB Rotate Around
    • Alt+RMB Rotate Around and keep spinning
    • Alt+MMB Pan Around
    • Alt+CTRL+LMB Zoom
    • Alt+CTRL+RMB Zoom selected
    • Ctrl+Space Viewing Pie Menu
      • Use this to quickly move between viewing directions
    • Ctrl+Tab Switch Layout to different mode
      • Modeling Layout
      • Rendering Layout
      • Texturing Layout
      • Many more Layouts
  • What are ITEMS
    • Items in Modo are like layers or groups.
    • You will first need to select the Item before modifying whatever is inside it.
    • Different type of Items
      • Meshes
      • Lights
      • Camera
      • Locators
      • Background Images
      • plus many more
  • Presets
    • By Pressing F6 you activate Modos vast library of preset items.
    • These include many meshes, Environments and Materials that can help you get going.
    • Add an Item by double clicking on it or dragging it into the viewpoint 
    • Presets are a great way to get a sense of scale
    • Many very nice materials to get a base going.

Basic Modeling

  • Toolbox is the easiest place to find most of the Modo tools you will use.
    • Pressing Shift will add a little plus symbol to our basic shapes
      • This means instead of adding it to your Item, it will create a new Item with the basic shape
  • Moving, Rotating and Scaling
    • W to activate Move Tool
    • E to Activate Rotate Tool
    • R to Activate Scale Tool
  • Selecting Items, Polygons, Edges and Vertices
    • Press 5 to select an Item in your scene
    • Press 1 to select its Vertices
    • Press 2 to select its Edges
    • Press 3 to select its Faces
  • Viewport, workplane and Snapping
    • The Viewport has a grid that changes it's scale based on how far you are looking at the Item. 
    • The Work plane is the white grid that tells you what Axis your mouse will work on
    • Activate the Snapping by selecting it in the Modo Modes Menu or press F11

Basic Materials

  • Adding Color 
    • Once you have selected what you want to color press M to add a Material to it.
    • Change the name and the color and press enter.
    • When assigning materials you can use previous ones to color anything else in the scene. 

Exercise 1

  • Adding Cubes and snapping them to themselves.
    •  Remember to activate the snapping and select Grid as a snapping option by pressing F11
    • Press Shift and Add a Cube in the Scene using the Toolbox
      • Add color to the cube by pressing M, deselect the Smooth option
      • Select a face of the cube by pressing 3 and move it by press W
      • When done modifying press 5 to select it as an Item
      • Move the Cube around by pressing W
    • Add more Cubes, Modify them and move them around
      • Snap them to each other, challenge yourself to connect one corner to the others.
      • tips
        • Remember to keep in mind that when you are moving the whole object, move it in Item mode. 
        • If you are trying to select a face and it isn't working, double check what selection mode you are in and what item you have select
        • Keep everything snapped to a grid, no crazy numbers

Simple Cube




Simple Polygon Modeling

  • In the Toolbox, you will find tabs the have labels like Polygon, Edges, Vertices and Mesh Edit
  • Polygon Tools
    • Remember to activate Polygon selection press 3
    • Shift is a basic extrusion. It will extrude the face out or in depending on what direction you chose.
    • Insert is a basically a flat bevel. You use this tool to insert a smaller polygon into the polygon you selecting
    • Bevel is a mix of both of these. You can extrude something out then Inset it in to make it a beveled polygon
  • Edge Tools
    • Remember to activate Edges selection press 2
    • Add Loop adds an edge (can also be called Loops) to wherever you click on the model
    • Bridge connects edges together by adding polygons that bridge both edges
  • Mesh Edit Tools
    • Slice gives us the ability add an edge based on a line the slices the whole mesh.

Add Loop

Mesh Slice

Edge Bevel



Simple Preset Rendering

  • Activate the Preset menu by pressing F6
    • Under Environment, double click on any environment you wish.
    • Under Materials, Drag and drop the materials to different items in your scene.
    • Go to the Render Layout using Ctrl+Tab 
    • In the Shader tree to your right click on Render, make the frame to 3600x1600
    • Click on the tab marked Settings and change the Anti-Aliasing to 64 samples
    • Change the light samples to 256

Exercise 2

Make  Modern Abstract Building

Using the tools we have learned make a modern building. All points must be based off a grid snap. Add a couple of humans walking around to keep scale. Don't focus too much on purpose of the building. This exercise is meant to get you moving polygons around in a controlled manner. The first mistake I see people make when learning 3D is they don't have any sense of structure or scale. By starting with understanding a grid layout and adding humans for scale, we can build up your skill set with structure. Have fun with this and the crazier the colors the better.