MODO 501 Essential Training
Illustration by Petra Stefankova

Painting on multiple layers


MODO 501 Essential Training

with Dan Ablan

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Video: Painting on multiple layers

When you are painting a surface in modo, often you might think to just put one coat of paint on, but you can layer up those coats and change their effect in the Surface Editor. So let's do that. We are going to go to the Layout tab, and I'm going to go to the Animals. I'm going to load up that chameleon again, just a basic model here. And we'll jump over to the Paint tab, click the A key to fit. And what we are going to do is just simply work on his body a little bit. Now I am not the most prolific painter, but I am going to show you how to do it so you can create something that's really pretty amazing.
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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

Painting on multiple layers

When you are painting a surface in modo, often you might think to just put one coat of paint on, but you can layer up those coats and change their effect in the Surface Editor. So let's do that. We are going to go to the Layout tab, and I'm going to go to the Animals. I'm going to load up that chameleon again, just a basic model here. And we'll jump over to the Paint tab, click the A key to fit. And what we are going to do is just simply work on his body a little bit. Now I am not the most prolific painter, but I am going to show you how to do it so you can create something that's really pretty amazing.

So we are going to open up the body for the chameleon, and what we are going to do is change this base color. We are going to give him just a dull, flat kind of greenish color. He is a chameleon after all. Now I want you to think back to some of the other videos where you've actually animated that color over time. Well, he is a chameleon, so maybe that's something you might want to do. It would be kind of a neat thing, just have it slowly turn. For his eyes, we are just going to go and make those just like deep-black-blue like that. For the tongue, I am going to open that up, and that's going to be sort of this peachy color, but it's still kind of dark. Maybe a little brighter than that.

And then for the inside of his mouth, that can actually be some of this green color just tinted. So what I am going to do is, up to the body, right-click on that, Copy, Inside Mouth, right-click, and paste, and then we can just hold the Shift key and then just drag that down to make it a little bit darker. You can also tint it to the pink a little bit too, kind of in between there somewhere between the green and the pink. Finally, for the Stick, obviously, that should just be sort of brown log, but you can do whatever you like.

Now we are not worrying about the specularity and glossiness and all that right now. This is just to give you an idea of what we can do with some multiple layers of paint. And this little guy's nails, hold the Shift key and just drag these down. So you get a black color. Command+S. I am going to save this, and this is a good idea, guys, when you're working too, just save often. We are going to call this Chamel1. All right! So we've got him saved. In case we crash or do anything else, we can come back and paint right on where we left off.

Now we are going to use this Multiresolution in a minute. I am going to show you that, something new for 501. But first, we are going to go to the Paint tools. I am going to choose Airbrush. Now instead of just clicking and letting the system add a material image for us, we are going to do it ourselves, so we have more specific control. So with the body material selected, we are going to choose Add layer, go to Image Map, and say New Image. And then we're going to save this image into our exercise files > CH10, and this will be--we can keep it as a Targa-- this will be bodypaint.

When you do that, you get a new still image, and the Resolution can be set to 1024, 2048, whatever you like. It depends on how close you want to render and how much detail you need. So I'll set it to a 2K image. Everything else can be left alone, but you do want RGBA so that Alpha Channel remains in there. We'll click OK and in a second, you'll see that now a new blank image is added to the Material group. Let's take a look over here, what these are. Inside this little panel here, there's a number of sculpting tools and if you click here, you can see there's also a number of different painting tools.

And these are brushes, basically, like you would find in Photoshop. In the Paint tab, you can scale that down. You'll see right there. But there's also an Images tab, and look at the images in here; there's quite a few you can use. We are going to come back to that in a minute, but instead of Nature_Ink, you can also see that there's wood, and all these other ones available to you. So it's pretty neat; there's quite a few in there you can play with. Coming to the Sculpt tab, we'll talk about those, just the models you can sculpt with. And then coming to these brushes, just more some brushes you can work with.

So, pretty neat, but we are going to end up in the Paint tab, just like this, and you'll see if we move over here, just like this, there's another Images tab, and in here is the bodypaint. That's the image we just created here. I am going to take this and drop it on the body of the character, and you'll see that it drops it right there. The reason it works that way is that we created a layer from up here, but you could also do it right from here. You can say New Image. So we are going to do that in a second. We'll just undo that. We are going to create a new one for our bump.

This one is a blank image and when you see that checkerboard, that's what that means. So what can we do with that? Well, now that that image is applied, we can come in, and I am just going to pick a color here, something a little bit lighter, and I am going to use this Noise brush. And I don't want a super dense opacity. I am going to bring this down to maybe about 30%. And I'm just going to click right on here like this and just kind of give this guy just a little bit of texture on there, just nothing too much.

You can brush it if you want, but remember, it's kind of nice because it's a set material. So it's not actually painting on anything else than the body, which is all we want right now. But this is painting in its own image. So now if you want a layered image, what you can do is say Add Clip > New Image, and this one we will call ChamelBump or 2, whichever you want. It can also be a 2K image, just for a nice resolution, and you'll see it right there.

It's not applied to the material yet, so that's what we do when we drag and drop, and you'll see jump right on top. Now for this, instead of a Diffused Color, we want the effect of this one to actually be a bump map. We could still use a Noise brush or maybe we could choose one of these, like this, or one of these. I am going to right-mouse to create the size of this brush, and I am going to click on the Chameleon, and look what happens. We are creating all these circles. Now that's not something we want to do, but the idea is that we can paint that bump right on there based on some of these brushes.

So find the right brush. I am going to undo a couple of times. Let's see what this one will do for us. That might look kind of neat. If I paint a really large one, it's going to come out like that. So we want to make this a little bit smaller, and we can just paint that on there, sort of this tire tread. Now that's a bit much, right? Well, that's okay, because we can come down to the body material, and at the very bottom, open this up, and the Bump Amplitude is set to 5 mm. Well, our grid size is only 10 mm. That means those bumps are showing up pretty heavy.

So we are going to go down to like half a millimeter, so 0.5 mm, and hit Return. Then come back up here, and now we can just paint this texture on here quite easily. And we are not sculpting; we are just painting a bump map right over that other texture; we are just layering these up. You don't have to do the whole body. You can just do little bits of it, whatever you like. But the idea here is that you can literally just come in and go to town and layer these up even in just one area. Let's say his nose has to have a very specific little tutorial bump in there. We could do that.

Increase the size of this a bit and go down like that. And again, I'm using a mouse. Try using a Wacom tablet if you have one. It might be a little bit more accurate. But for this little tutorial, it's working pretty well. Okay, so we painted a bump map on there. From here, we can actually just put another image. And we'll go back to Images. We'll add another clip, New Image, and we'll call this just ChamelTone, something like that, also make it a 2K image. And then I am going to save this, this Chamel1, so you can load this up and take a look, and I am going to drag and drop this on to the body.

This will also be a diffuse color. But don't forget, you can try different things. Look at some of the basic channels, perhaps Specular, perhaps Transparency for some of the thinner areas of his skin, perhaps Luminous Amount, or Dissolve. So for this, I am just going to create just a much brighter area here like that, still kind of greenish. And the Opacity, I am going to do about 20%, right-mouse. And I don't want that brush anymore; I just want a simple airbrush. I'll start painting and just kind of just tint it right up here.

And then I can even come into the texture layer itself and play with the Blending modes. I can add that in, subtract it, or play with the difference, or just bring the Opacity down altogether, and then even paint again all right in here, just right on the top. Maybe that's kind of worn. So you can see that the sky is the limit with this. You really can go on and on and on, and I am sure there are some skilled artists out there who are really terrific with sculpting and painting that can do this chameleon a much better job than I can.

But the idea here is that you can take layered images, body paint, the bump map, different tones, and for each material group, such as the body, the nails, the little wood stick that he is on, the mouth inside, and everything else, you can just layer up and paint as needed. Even little things like on his knees where they are a little bit worn around the bottom of tail, you might have a bit darker color. Things like that, they can all be used with the paintbrush. So try that out. Give yourself some time-- trial and error is the best thing with these kinds of tools--and see what you can come up with.

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