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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.
Throughout this essential training, you've seen how we've created different models, we've replicated them, and we've duplicated them, and we've created instances. But one thing that's important when you're doing 3D is, of course, the surfacing, and in modo that's all done in the Shader Tree. So over here on the right side of your interface--and we're using the modo 501 Default Layout which you can find from the Layouts tab up top-- you're going to find the Shader Tree tab and four items in there, by default. We've nothing loaded in our interface. We have no objects or anything, so basic default view.
You have a Render, an Environment, Directional Light, and Camera. Now what's going to happen mostly is you're going to work in the Render. So let's open that up by clicking the triangle, and within there, you're going to have four default items: a Base Material, a Base Shader, a File Color Output, and then Alpha Output. Now what does that mean? Well, in the Shader Tree, everything works all the way up to the render. So let's do this. We're going to go to the Layout tab, and let's go up to Jewelry, and then let's load up this bracelet, just by double-clicking it.
I'll press the A key to fit it to view, and when I do that, you're actually going to see some additional items added to the Shader Tree. Well, these are materials that were saved with this model. And what does that mean? Well, our base material that was there by default is no longer needed because the item that we loaded has its own material, and when I select that, I can see all of the properties beneath it. So here's the color for that material. I can click and drag and change the color of that. Here is the Specular, or the shine, how shiny that object is, the roughness.
Think of that as a gloss. So let's say you had more of a metal bracelet. You'd have a higher roughness with a little bit lower specular. Or if you have maybe glass, you have a higher specular with a lower roughness. You're getting a little bit tighter hotspot. And that's isotropic features for metals. You can have different reflection amounts, things like that, and you can see that's nice and reflective. The way you're seeing this in the interface is because of the Advanced OpenGL. If you have just a simple Shaded on, you're not going to see those reflections, something to keep in mind.
You have different reflection types. You can blur the reflections, and then when you click this little button down here, you can also change the Bump, Displacement, and Smoothing, which we're going to talk about shortly. But this material then feeds up into the shader, and when I select that, I have the controls for the shader. And what does the shader do? Well, the shader is what controls things like the illumination, and how much it's going to take from indirect light, how much indirect illumination for saturation, and certain things like that.
You can turn on shadows and receive shadows. You can even have things visible to camera or not. But why would you do that? Well, let's say, you come over to the Render tab and you open up the left side here, and you come up to Environments, and you open up Studio, and you double-click one of these. That adds an environment to your scene. In the Camera view here, I'll press the A key to bring that to view, and let's say you really like how that affects your model. It's reflecting in there and it's got some nice highlights, but you don't want the blue as the background.
Well, in the Shader Tree, if you select the Environment and you open that up and go to Environment, you could say, Visible to Camera, no, and you uncheck it. So now that environment is affecting the surface, but it's not visible, because we've turned it off for the shader. Well, all of the things that are visual, in terms of shading and lighting, are going to be handled in the Shader Tree, and we're going to work through this in the next chapter, and we're going to work all the way up to the render. And when you select that, here's your final output, the length of your animation if you're doing one, DPI if you're doing for prints, different settings for your cameras and your filtering for cleaning up the edges, and so on.
So just keep that in mind, that the Shader Tree, while it looks kind of messy, is actually pretty easy to navigate. We're going to also add in different layers of computer-generated textures. Those are very nice and easy to use. And then we're going to change the effect of those as we add them in. So the Shader Tree, right here on the left and the right side, a combination of both the environment and different levels, all the way up to the render, can create any kind of surface you want very easily and directly with modo 501.
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