MODO for Scientific Visualization: Hardsurface Modeling

This tutorial introduces The Foundry’s MODO as a tool for hard-surface modeling. We assume some basic knowledge of 3D modeling, but no
experience with MODO. This tutorial provides a broad overview of MODO’s
modeling interface, then uses a few fundamental tools to box-model a
realistic laboratory device. We then examine the model for potential
render artifacts and use a variety of methods to clean them up. By the
end of the tutorial, you should have a sense of the direct, responsive
modeling workflow possible with MODO. While this tutorial is recorded in
version 9xx, the techniques covered apply to version 10.x as well.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the general layout of the MODO interface
  • Learn where to find inline help, tutorials, and online resources for
    learning MODO
  • Understand common MODO concepts including Action Centers, Falloffs,
    Symmetry, and Component Modes
  • Learn to use reference geometry to guide the creation of freeform
    shapes with known dimensions
  • Use box, bevel, thicken, and transform tools to build a basic shape
  • Use viewport shading to identify potential render artifacts
  • Use polygon splitting techniques to control rendertime tesselation

MODO for Scientific Visualization: Photorealistic Rendering

This tutorial introduces the render engine in The Foundry’s MODO as a tool for photoreal rendering. This tutorial assumes some basic
familiarity with rendering concepts, and builds on the general
introduction to MODO provided in “MODO for Scientific Visualization:
Hardsurface Modeling.” This tutorial provides an introduction to the
MODO render workspace and introduces MODO-specific shading and rendering
concepts. We then build a naturalistic benchtop scene around the device
model from the Hardsurface Modeling tutorial. We cover framing, lighting
with Area Lights and HDRI, global illumination, camera settings,
material settings and presets, and progressive render controls. By the
end of the tutorial, you should be able to navigate the MODO workspace
and take advantage of the “out-of-the-box realism” provided by render
defaults and material presets; you should also have a sense of the range
of control available, and the advantages of quick feedback for tweaking
a final look. While this tutorial is recorded in version 9xx, the
techniques covered apply to MODO 10.x as well.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the layout of the MODO render workspace
  • Learn basic concepts behind the MODO Shader Tree
  • Review principles of setting up a non-studio shot, including open framing, realistic camera settings, and using reflections to highlight form while preserving the impression of “found lighting.”
  • Learn to work with MODO’s material system, starting from scratch or using presets
  • Learn to adjust MODO’s progressive renderer for quick feedback or final quality

MODO for Scientific Visualization: Rigging & Animation

In this tutorial, we will explore the power of Modo’s rigging and animation tools by building and animating a tetrapod rig. You’ll not only become familiar with the basics of the UI, joints, rigs, animation channels and poses, but also understand how these compare to similar tools and methods in programs like Maya. In the end, we will develop custom controls to create a looping tetrapod walk cycle. We also encourage you to explore the related Modo tutorials, Hardsurface Modeling and Photorealistic Rendering, to get a broader overview and understanding of Modo’s unique strengths and how these can be leveraged for scientific visualization.

Learning Objectives:

  • Become familiar with Modo’s user interface
  • Understand the basics of keyframe animation in Modo
  • Learn about joints, inverse kinematics, and how to rig a skeleton
  • Optimize animation workflow with custom controls and poses
  • Create a looping walk cycle