MODO 501 Essential Training
Illustration by Petra Stefankova

Controlling geometry


MODO 501 Essential Training

with Dan Ablan

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Video: Controlling geometry

In this video I want to show you how you can control geometry with a few of the cool tools that modo offers. So what I am going to do is go to the File menu, click Open, and we are going to load the Fire_Ex_v2.lxo. Fire_Ex_v1.lxo we created in the previous video. And what we did in that was take basic geometry, like a disc, we extruded it out, and we beveled it in, and then we controlled these edges, and then we built this clamp. In the clamp we used a Boolean function, as well as additional extrudes. So, simple enough.
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  1. 2m 21s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 26s
  2. 42m 37s
    1. Understanding the interface
      4m 30s
    2. Understanding the workplane
      5m 7s
    3. Understanding Action Centers
      4m 12s
    4. Working with the modeling tools
      5m 10s
    5. Understanding surfaces
      7m 12s
    6. Selecting elements
      7m 33s
    7. Understanding the elements of a 3D model
      4m 3s
    8. Understanding symmetry
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Building a model
      8m 56s
    2. Editing geometry
      10m 39s
    3. Controlling geometry
      10m 31s
    4. Bending geometry
      6m 42s
    5. Adding detail with edges
      5m 37s
    6. Editing polygons
      10m 27s
    7. Extending polygons
      9m 34s
  4. 42m 53s
    1. Understanding subdivisions
      3m 49s
    2. Understanding Pixar-based subdivisions
      2m 48s
    3. Creating a basic model
      7m 51s
    4. Beveling with subdivisions
      6m 6s
    5. Adding detail to models
      8m 54s
    6. Deforming and shaping objects
      7m 48s
    7. Cloning
      5m 37s
  5. 49m 32s
    1. Creating with Radial Sweep
      4m 44s
    2. Working with text
      8m 40s
    3. Understanding replicators
      7m 22s
    4. Instancing objects
      7m 0s
    5. Working with Curve Clone
      4m 36s
    6. Working with Curve Extrude
      2m 25s
    7. Modeling with Array
      8m 50s
    8. Understanding Mesh Paint
      5m 55s
  6. 1h 4m
    1. Introducing the Shader Tree
      4m 32s
    2. Exploring layer-based shading
      4m 29s
    3. Creating surfaces for polygons
      7m 41s
    4. Editing surfaces
      7m 4s
    5. Applying procedural textures
      7m 38s
    6. Applying image-mapped textures
      6m 2s
    7. Working with transparent images
      5m 48s
    8. Adding bump maps for realism
      8m 49s
    9. Enhancing surfaces with specularity and glossiness maps
      3m 25s
    10. Creating a reflective surface
      3m 27s
    11. Working in glass
      5m 28s
  7. 39m 9s
    1. Building 3D scenes
      2m 49s
    2. Working with different light types
      8m 26s
    3. Lighting a 3D scene
      12m 51s
    4. Reflecting light
      5m 23s
    5. Lighting environments for realism
      4m 18s
    6. Blending light sources
      5m 22s
  8. 21m 1s
    1. Understanding the MODO 501 camera
      5m 39s
    2. Setting up a camera
      5m 42s
    3. Placing multiple cameras
      7m 11s
    4. Animating cameras
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 58s
    1. Understanding the timeline
      7m 16s
    2. Adding and controlling keyframes
      3m 22s
    3. Fine-tuning keyframes in the Graph Editor
      6m 17s
    4. Animating nontraditional elements
      4m 31s
    5. Animating colors
      4m 39s
    6. Animating displacement maps
      3m 53s
  10. 13m 57s
    1. Working with Hair Guides
      3m 18s
    2. Creating human hair
      4m 7s
    3. Creating the hair's surface
      1m 30s
    4. Generating animal hair
      1m 48s
    5. Building enhanced hair textures
      3m 14s
  11. 26m 21s
    1. Working with the painting tools
      6m 14s
    2. Painting on multiple layers
      9m 37s
    3. Sculpting models
      5m 45s
    4. Tweaking and finishing with the sculpting tools
      4m 45s
  12. 25m 56s
    1. Working with the Schematic interface
      1m 20s
    2. Understanding channels
      4m 9s
    3. Building a channel-based animation
      5m 51s
    4. Creating a schematic network
      6m 26s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      4m 29s
    6. Adding the finishing touches on schematic rigs
      3m 41s
  13. 26m 47s
    1. Understanding resolutions and rendering
      12m 43s
    2. Setting up a render project
      4m 51s
    3. Rendering to movie files vs. image sequences
      9m 13s
  14. 3m 23s
    1. Exporting an object
      1m 2s
    2. Exporting a full scene for backup
      2m 21s
  15. 2m 2s
    1. Next steps
      2m 2s

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Watch the Online Video Course MODO 501 Essential Training
7h 32m Beginner Sep 16, 2011

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In this course, author Dan Ablan walks through the process of understanding the MODO workflow while learning to create 3D models and animations. The course teaches fundamental tasks, such as modeling polygons and applying materials with the Shader Tree, while exploring scene building in depth through advanced lighting, camera, and animation techniques. The course also covers MODO's schematic tools and shows how to render animations for various playback media.

Topics include:
  • Understanding surfaces and symmetry
  • Editing polygons
  • Shaping, deforming, and cloning objects
  • Working with text
  • Instancing objects
  • Applying procedural and image-mapped textures
  • Adding bump maps
  • Creating reflections
  • Working with different light types
  • Blending light sources
  • Setting up and animating cameras
  • Adding and controlling keyframes
  • Creating hair textures
  • Working with the painting and sculpting tools
  • Setting up inverse kinematics
  • Exporting a full scene
3D + Animation
Dan Ablan

Controlling geometry

In this video I want to show you how you can control geometry with a few of the cool tools that modo offers. So what I am going to do is go to the File menu, click Open, and we are going to load the Fire_Ex_v2.lxo. Fire_Ex_v1.lxo we created in the previous video. And what we did in that was take basic geometry, like a disc, we extruded it out, and we beveled it in, and then we controlled these edges, and then we built this clamp. In the clamp we used a Boolean function, as well as additional extrudes. So, simple enough.

In this video what I want to do is build a handle that will allow us to carry it around, and then we are also going to build a small little tube that's going to come out from the top. And we are not trying to make this super accurate; the idea here is just to really give you an idea of all these different tools you can use to create different shapes. So from Add Item dropdown in the Items tab, we are going to select Mesh. That's a new blank mesh layer. Its location in this list does not matter at this point. Sometimes the order is important, especially when you get to the Shader Tree for materials, but in the Item list the order doesn't matter at this point.

Then what I am going to do is come to the front view, and here is a trick to do this. Right now, we are in a Perspective view. And you can see if I click and hold on the top right I can rotate around and see my entire 3D space. I can click on the Perspective and choose any of other views, just to get a little more control, but the way I like to do it is if you press Alt+Space, you can choose between Transform, Select, Action, Center, and Falloffs, which we haven't talked about yet; or if you press Ctrl+Space at the same time you get this Pie menu that pops up wherever your mouse is.

So I can just press Ctrl+Space, move to front and select it and I quickly jump to the Front view. And don't forget that we have, by pressing the O key on your keyboard, with the View and Shading commands, we have the Inactive Meshes set as Active Item, same Shading. And what that means is the background is also the same shade as the foreground. So everything in this case is Advanced OpenGL, because that is my current. So, just to keep it a little more visible, I should say, we are going to put this here to Wireframe.

So inactive meshes are wireframe, meaning any mesh that's not selected, in this case the clamp and the base, will be wireframe. And you should know that that is our background. That will help us work a little bit more cleanly. From the Basic tab, I am going to select Box, and I am just going to draw out my handle. But a few things I want to do before I finish this. I want to make sure that I have enough room here to build a little hose that's going to come up and out, and I also want to shape this. So we are going to do this with a couple of different things.

So I have got it that way, and before I turn off the tool, I am going to jump over here to the Perspective view. And notice that because we did in the front view, it's just a flat object. That's okay. So Ctrl+Space, and we will jump to the right view .And then using the blue plus handle in the middle of this Box command, I can actually extend and move this around. And let me just zoom in, so we can see this. So click and hold on these buttons here and then click and hold on the zoom and drag to the right.

Now, we will just extend this and then click on the plus, not the arrow. The arrow is going to move it; the plus is going to actually change the size and shape of it. And now what I am going to do is just fit this right inside there, like that. And then Ctrl+Space, let's get back to Perspective view. The last thing I want to do before I commit to this model is add some segments to it. And we are going to do this right here for the cube down in the properties, and I'm just going to click the right arrow and add some segments across that. Just like that, that's all I really need. And in fact, I might actually take the top and just pull this down slightly, like that. That's it.

Turn the cube off, move over, and now it's looking pretty good, but I need this handle to be angled down. So I am going to press Ctrl+Space to get to a front view and most people might think okay well, let's choose Rotate. We can move our Action to here by clicking over towards that top corner--bottom corner, that is--and go like this. Well, that can work, but I want these edges to be straight up and down, so there is a better way to do this rather than rotating it.

So Command+Z to undo or Ctrl+Z on the PC. We are going to go to our Deform tab right here-- I will pull these back down, so you could read--and I can choose Shear, and I want to shear from that same point. And then I am going to grab this green handle and pull, but look what happens. It does it from the wrong side. We want to reverse this. So Command+Z, or Ctrl+Z to undo, and in the Properties for the Transform there is a Reverse button. Now, we will get into falloffs a little bit more later on, but simply, the Falloff is a way you can control a movement, and in this case a Shear is a transform.

It's a move function. But this tool, the Falloff tool, is telling modo more falloff, more move on this thick end, and less on this thin end. So with it reverse, and I pull that down, I have more movement where the thick end is and less where the thin end is. And this way I keep my forward and backsides straight, but I get that angle that I'm looking for. Pretty neat. So we will turn off that, and we will Command+S, or Ctrl+S, to save, then Ctrl+Space to get to my pie menu, and let's jump back to Perspective view.

And you can see we have a very nice shape here that we can use as our handle. But the problem is, on this fire extinguisher, this handle is not solid. So, very similar to the clamp, we need to cut out this center, and there are a number of ways we could do it. We can use a Boolean like we did earlier; we can select the Polygons and Delete and then just Extrude or Bevel them; and we can use another tool called Thicken, but I am going to save Thicken for the hose later on. So in this case we could just copy this and cut it out, just another way to do things.

So over here in the Items list I am going to right-click and then choose Duplicate. And for the original mesh, or the second mesh, doesn't matter at this point, we will call this BaseHandle like that. And I am going to turn off this Base and the Clamp, and then go select this, and this will be, we will just name this Cuttingtool, like that. And then we want to go back to our Basic tab and choose Scale. Now, I will press the A key to fit everything to view.

I will go back to Scale, and we want to make sure we jump to Polygon mode, what that's going to allow us to do is scale these polygons down just like this. Just click and drag right on that center circle from the Scale tool. The Scale tool keyboard equivalent is the R key. But notice when I scale it down it's inside it. Well, that's not going to help us much, because we want to actually see a hole through the top. So we will go back to Transform and we will just slide this up, just so it comes out. And then we are going to take the back side.

Turn off the Move tool, select this polygon, and then put Move tool back on. And then we are going to use this little tool right here, because if I grab this red handle, it's pulling out straight based on that workplane in the back, which is fine, but in this case we want to pull it down. You can simply do it like this, but what's nice in modo is that the tools have a double-axis control. So while the green handle controls the Y up and down, the red handle controls the X left and right.

This little guy right here allows me to use both of those at the same time. I can just pull that out. We will turn this tool off, hold the Alt or the Option key to move around, and select this Polygon, and we will do the same thing: W for Transform, grab that little dot, and pull this out. modo is all about workflow. So when I add little tools like this, rather than you might think that one movement on the Y one movement on the X is not a big deal, but over the course of an entire model, especially when it's paid job and time is money, little things like this really help save time, and all those little seconds do add up.

So I am going to click to deselect this, and then I am going to reverse these layers. So I will go back to the BaseHandle and then that makes my CuttingTool in the background. And just like we did earlier, we are going to hit Geometry, come down to Boolean, and choose Boolean. And then Operation is a Subtract. The driving mesh is our Background layer, that one we just edited. We will click OK and that background now is cut out of that handle very nicely.

Go back to the Cuttingtool, right-click on it, and delete it. We do not need it anymore. We will turn our Clamp back on, turn our Base back on, and let's press the O key to get our Viewing and Shading options, and inactive meshes can now be same a active mesh. Now we have this nice little handle to work with. And we can do a little more detail on it and work with these points to kind of clean them up, but for now, that actually is working pretty well for us. The last thing we need on this is a material, so let's make sure we select the Handle, press M from Polygon Material, and we will call this Handle. And I don't want it to be black.

Let's just give it a gray color and click OK. So now we know that that has its own unique surface material, which we can edit later. In an upcoming video what we are going to do is using Mirror tool to create another version of this, and then we are going to create small little holes using the Bend tool. This video actually helps you create a very nice-looking handle. Simple. But we got use the Falloff tool, and we got to use a Boolean, all right on these simple geometric shapes. This is a reason that most of these models you will create start with these geometrics, and that's why these are all located right here.

It's the basis for almost everything you are going to create.

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