Modo for Solidworks kit?

anyone think it’s worth $300?

I hate the Modo UI (video editing based I believe) and the jargon. Does getting it retrofitted for to a more familiar ID format make it any easier? does it reduce the density of uneeded information?

(should I just get Keyshot?)

I bought the kit not for the gui set up but to properly import my SW assemblies and mates and the options that come with the import scripts. I also wanted the additional environments and preset shaders that come with it.

If you are using MODO and SW it is worth it as the two work together very nicely. Also for quick set ups it is as good as Keyshot, with the advantage that if you want to take it further and to the next level you have that ability.

Chevis W.

sounds good, but can you tell me why it’s got such a kludgy interface?
is it a legacy format from some gaming or movie or animation industry standard?

Because software designers usually don’t hire interaction designers until it’s too late.

Unfortunately great interfaces don’t always make great tools. Anyone remember Bryce?

Modo isn’t bad though. It may not be the best UI but frankly most high end software isn’t. I personally am a Maya UI fan but even that has elements which are super complex. I was able to figure out most of the Modo basics pretty quickly but never got enough time to really dive in. Plus it sucks at taking geometry that isn’t from Solidworks.

+1 for the Bryce shoutout! I completely forgot about it…

I haven’t used Modo, but I am intrigued by the direct SW interaction. If that simplifies my day, I’m happy.

Woah, Bryce was fun! I remember dicking around with it, but I never really understood the point of it. It was like photoshop, it could create image, but only landscapes, right?

ok…thanks for that.

but an additional $300 on top of the Modo licence fee? why not just use Keyshot?
why did Solidworks get in bed with Luxology if they’re not going to provide a great rendering package someday?

no_spec: I think you’d have to look at the landscape as a whole to see where things are. The whole KeyShot/BunkShot from Hypershot situation was as about insane as it comes. There was never really a nice easy path when upgrades came along, it just wasn’t pretty. The option to buy hypershot was off the table for like a good 6-8months as it took a them a while to get KeyShot/BunkShot up and running.

At that point SW only had Photoview (which was a mental ray btw) and could get some pretty decent results but you had to know it through and through. The addition of PV360 was a welcome addition for people who didn’t need a whole lot of options, just click, click, click… and render. It did a good job at that, but most high end users hit their heads pretty quickly as there was very little control over materials, textures and lights.

The SW to MoDo Kit is a nice addition to the process but there is still a lot that needs to be worked out… Also think of it like this, Modo, Keyshot, Bunkshot are about all the same price $1k, but in modo you can actually model as well. All three can animate so it’s a wash there, and it seems like the community in modo is much bigger and still growing even though it’s the new kid on the block and I think it’s because it offers more than just renderings. (but that could just be my bias…).

I can appreciate the need for SW to offer a dumbed down render package, and I hit my head early on, just as you said.
With the hope that Modo was the future of SW rendering I started checking it out: the UI is from another industry, polygonal modeling is of no value (to me anyway), and animation beyond simple articulations, turnables and flybys add uneeded complexity.
I need better renderings, hopefully with little to no learning curve, no nonsense, no waiting for SW or Luxology to find a middle ground.
The Kit offers to help me use Modo - I have my doubts. what would you say?

For now, I’ve keep SW '10 running just to execute renderings in Photoworks.

I think one point that hasn’t been made clear is that the SW kit basically converts the MODO interface in to Photoview 360 with the addition of having a “feature tree” like SW, and for the most part acts the same.

I will send a screen dump Friday if I remember.

I’m not saying SW is on the wrong path, just they aren’t there yet.
of the ID team here: 3/4 use Keyshot, and one uses Modo. as a final-render only solution, Modo is not working out.
If the Kit had a free trial, perhaps more might adopt, but as I said, Luxology has little interest in ID.

As you have stated, it really about how far you want to go. Keyshot is a solution for what you are doing. No sense trying to fit that square peg in that round hole by trying to make Modo fit into your work flow if it can’t achieve the results you want. If you really wanted the best then you’d be using Maxwell, but there are trade off’s in any of these programs. Keyshot/Bunkshot doesn’t have the full depth but are much easier to use. If all you need is a turntable rotation, have at it.

As far as Modo not being an ID program, I’d at least point out that as programs go, the combo of SW/Modo has much more potential than SW/Alias or SW/Rhino. If in the initial concept phase and are just looking to come up with a form, Modo in a lot of ways has tools not found in any of those other programs. Rhino and Alias are, though not exactly the same live off the same idea of building curves to generate surfaces. There are some over lapping tools like the cage feature in Rhino, but on the whole the sub-d route offers the other side of the modeling coin. But let’s not try to get anything manufactured out of it as might as well just blow your head off.

It really has only been within the last 5 years that the rendering arena has been filled with this many options. Way back in the day it was Alias or nada. And that was when Alias had Maxwell type rendering times…30+hours only to find out in the end that something was “not right”… At least with this current set of program you are getting real-time info, so give it time, they’ll work it out or just use what cha got and be happy. No the UI in Modo ain’t “s3x” like SW (and that could be debated ad infinitum in another thread) though it would seem that if your company took the time to invest in SW at $5k a pop, $300 shouldn’t be anything to shake a stick at if it’s about investing back into the company something that would be useful in the long run.

but that’s just a random 2cents

I remember those days, but to keep apples to apples, Alias has Maya and the distinct advantage of not having the vast majority of users be engineers.
For those few designers who are blowing out Ad quality renderings all the time I hope Modo becomes the Maya equivalent, (if that makes sense). for those of us who rarely do that level of rendering or just for portfolio updates, a much simpler to pick up and go solution is needed. PV 360 isnt’ there, and Modo is too far away.

I wondered if the SW Kit for Modo gets us any closer, but it doesn’t look like many folks here are using it…which answers my question.

@Cadjunkie: You seem to be well versed with various softwares. You say that a SW/Modo combo has more potential than a SW/Rhino one. How about when compared to SW/Rhino+T-Splines? Does it have any benefits that would make it better for ID?

Playdo…SW/Rhino-Tspline is a great combo as well. I’d not knock it, but then T-spline is also coming native to SW. Most of this will come down to what you are comfortable with… Overall, and take it for only 2cents, Modo is a better compliment to SW than Rhino even though they are business partners i.e. Being able to open Rhino files natively in SW. If you leave both Programs open (SW and Rhino) then any imported geometry from Rhino will update in SW. That’s a nice work flow that semi-parametric.

I’d like to see a square off between the different packages. Same model, same or as close as possible, materials, lighting, etc…then see what the quality to time ratio is. I’d be willing to do Modo if anyone else has Rhino/vray, Keyshot, Bunkshot, and Maxwell. Take a model from GrabCad and go. The only X factor is that not everyone has the same computer so render time would not necessarily be an area for comparison.

I should have mentioned that I was interested in the comparison only for modeling purposes.

Can you give details on why you prefer to use Modo over T-Splines for conceptual work, even though T-Splines has the benefit of being NURBS? And what stages exactly, does it fit into your design process?



This is just 2 cents worth but I find it important… “Workflow” is single handedly one of the biggest area of the design process that cost companies the most $$$. I say this if only from the stand point that most don’t take into account what actual the actual cost to benefits ratio is and how being inefficient can be the biggest killer in-terms of keeping their heads above water. While sometimes being efficient ‘can’ narrow ones vision it can add a sense of clarity.

The “critical thinking” part is what’s going to probably be the biggest factor for you. (i.e. the approach used to make a model in SW or Pro/e are much more similar to each other when compared to making a similar model in Alias/Rhino.) I’d put Modo on the other side of the 3D modeling spectrum. When it comes to modeling, the mind set needed to switch back and forth between these 3 different styles takes some heavy lifting on a designer’s behalf.

That said…I’m off of my soap box and onto the stuff that really matters…

If in the early stages and just trying to figure out form/shape of a design, the Tspline/Rhino combo has a lot to offer, but then again so does Modo. Overall I’d say that control over curves is different in Tspline/Rhino than in Modo but then again the modeling style in Modo doesn’t really require it. Building and creating shapes in Modo, feels more refined to me. How edges, Polys, Items…it just ‘feels’ much more thought out than in Tspline/Rhino…again this is not a knock as I’m sure that there are some that find it better. The flexibility of working in a Sub-d environment just has a certain level of adjustment that I feel like NURBS with the same functionality is trying to be.

Probably one of the best ways is to check out any vids on youtube or of the many tutorial websites that show ‘how to’s. Here are a few for Modo specifically… though if you find some sites dedicated to TSplines/Rhino maybe post them up as well

Modo sites


Hope this was helpful

Hey Adam,

Thanks for your thoughts and the links. I do a lot of SubD modeling, but unless I’m only creating certain forms or using blockwork, I’m slowed down for conceptualising. The SubD requirements when going beyond the basics (adding angular extrusions/cuts on curved surfaces, holes etc), means too much preparation has to go into setting up the geometry, that I don’t find it productive. Have you done a video tutorial showing how far you take the model in Modo and what you do in the next stages? T-Splines allows a lighter mesh when adding details. I’d have thought the benefit of this over a typical SubD workflow would be crucial.