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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.
Setting up cameras in modo is relatively easy to do. There's a few little caveats that we're going to go over, but you have to understand that everything you render, when you have that final output, it has to come from a camera. It can't be a render of the Perspective view. But what I have here is the Render tab open, and I've set this up so that my camera is at the very bottom, so we can see it. You can also see that it's changeable to a Perspective view if you like, which is more of the default. But I'm setting it to the Camera view because this is what renders.
Over here I have an overall Perspective view, which typically is the Camera view in most cases. But we're going to reverse these today. What I also have opened is the ShootMe scene from the exercise files, and this is just a sweep with some simple lights that we had made in a previous video. And I'll press the O key to make sure that my lights are visible, so we can see them right there. Now, it's just that nice area light lighting up the back of this object, as well as a flat board bouncing some light. If we jump to the Shader tree and click on Render and go to Properties, under Global Illumination, you'll see that the Indirect Illumination is turned on.
And for Environment, I'm going to open that up and take the Environment Color from this kind of pale bluish to maybe something a little bit warmer, like that. So when setting up cameras, there's a couple of things you need to do. The first thing I always need to do is find out from my client what resolution I want to render in. Because if I go and take the time to actually set up this camera down here and suddenly that resolution changes, well, that might change the overall look. For instance, I've got this 4:3 ratio going now; 720x486. If I'm maybe towards the edge of my shot like this and I go widescreen, I'll suddenly render off the side of this set, and I don't want to see that.
So I need to make sure that, from the Shader tree, with the Render selected, in the Frame tab, I can set my Resolution. So 1920x1080 for HD. And then I'm going to just kind of start getting this in place. This way I've got my proper Pixel Aspect and my Frame Width and Height. The Pixel Aspect doesn't need to change too often anymore. Years ago when we used to always put everything television, 720x486, this Pixel Aspect was set to 0.9--more rectangular pixels. When your animation stays in the computer, those pixels are square. 1.0.
But sometimes you might render at 1.2 and you get more of a letter box. Depending on who you're working for or what kind of project you're doing, this will be specified for you. So it's something to be aware of. So for us right now, we're just going to do a Pixel Aspect of 1.0--square pixels. Back in the Items tab, we can select the Camera, and we can start up here at the top. So for the Transform, we can manually drag these and move them around, but to be honest, I really like just to grab the camera and move it myself. So make sure Items is selected; it won't work in Polygon mode too well.
We'll press the Y key to get our Transform tool. And then I can click and drag and move this around. Now, this camera was set up from a previous render, and it's got a very long lens. So to change that, that's the Focal Length, and I want to set this to maybe more of 105 millimeters, something like that. Then I want to actually push the camera in, so I'm just grabbing that blue handle, which is the Z axis, kind of watching over here and here, and then I can actually rotate it, or move it, just to get it in place.
You're going to find that this is a little awkward to work with, so here's a little trick. Hold your Command+Alt or Option key on the Mac, or you can hold the Ctrl+Alt key on the PC, and what you'll get is, like, a handle, so to speak. And you can click and drag in the Camera view to rotate around. Just a nice way to work and a little more interactive. You can also just rotate here as well and move up and so on. So again, just a little bit awkward to work with, but it's not too hard when you move the tools here and then you use the big handles here.
So I'm just going to push this in, and we are going to render this out, just kind of off to the side, just create kind of a neat little angle for this, making sure that that backdrop doesn't get into our shot at all. We don't want to see off the edge of the set. And if we did, all we would have to do is select the actual set to sweep and then move it over. So our camera shot is good. I like that. But notice this line coming all the way out. That's our focus. So I can grab that and pull. Now, you're not going to see it when the camera is not selected. When the camera is selected, you make sure that the Y, or even the W or E command is on, which is the Move or Rotate.
But again, I like to use the Y command, because it gives me all of those in one tool. And that's our focus for the camera, so make sure that's set. And where is it focusing? Well, we want to focus it directly on our objects itself. And when you look at some of the tools here, there's a number of different settings. There's Resolution. There is our Pixels that we set. There's Motion Blur and Depth of Field, and then there's the camera for the Focal Length, Lens Distortion, and so on. So for the focus, it's just easy to move in here, grab that little handle, and pull it right there, and not worry about a lot of the numerics.
We're not really needing to worry about focus too much on this unless we're turning on Depth of Field, and we're going to set that up shortly. But it's a good idea to get in the habit of always keeping that Focal Length there, because if you want to turn on Depth of Field, that will really help; you won't have to go back later and do it. There's a chance you might want to come down close and render out the phone handle or maybe one of the buttons and you want to really create a good bit of realism; that Depth of Field will really help that shot. So setting up the camera is a matter of setting the resolution, the size of the image, pushing it in so that we have the proper frame, setting the right height, rotating, and then setting the focus.
That's all there is to it.
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