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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.
A good part of knowing how to create something in modo is also knowing some of the tools available to you. And when we are talking about the Duplicate tools, there is another tool that I really like called Mesh Paint. So let me show you how that works, just on a simple object level, and then we will go into something little more useful with it. So from the Basic tab, I am going to hold the Shift key and add a flat plane like this, and then I am going to press the D key just a couple of times to subdivide that. I will press the T key for Element Move, and we will just shift this up in just a little bit of various ways, and I will use my right mouse to create a little range of influence with this, and then we can just pull this down. And then I will press the spacebar to turn that off and when I hit the Tab key, I just get nice little space there that we can work with.
In the blank mesh layer in my Items list, I am going to then just add something like a little doughnut. And then we will press the R key for Scale, and we will scale it down. So one layer we've got a torus, and the other layer we've got a flat plane. What can we do with this? Well, selecting the flat plane layer and then going to the Duplicate tab, we can use Mesh Paint. And Mesh, as you know, is our object right here, so we are painting with objects. Using my right mouse to create a range of influence, I can click on here and start painting my mesh. And first I need to tell the system what source is my clone. What is my painting brush going to be? Well, it's going to be a specific mesh, and that mesh will be the torus.
That's from right here. Then I want the Size to be Adaptive and Random, and what that means is it's going to adapt to the size of the plane but randomize the shape just a little bit. And we can do the same with the Rotation. From there, the Paint Mode, we've got Slide, Stroke, and Drop. So if we choose Strokes and we start going like this, you can see these little dots pop up, and when I let go, I have got all these little doughnuts that are painted on there. But look at the Size. It's 100%.
If I click on here, I can change them, or very simply come back to Uniform and try it again. And now I've got little doughnuts all over this landscape. And the reason I had shaped the landscape was so that they actually fall with that. They are not just dumping them down. They are actually following the contours of that shape. You can simply then, of course, rotate them. You will see them all shaped a little differently. And we still have it set to Surface Align, but with the Rotation, you can see how they are all just rotate in there.
So imagine this on a further level where you take rocks on a beach, or you take little bushes across a landscape, things like that. So let's do this. Now that you've seen how this works, I am going to Close All and then from the Layout tab, I am going to select all the way down and we are going to go to Organic, and then we will select Trees, and I am going to add the Tree No Leaves, just by double-clicking, and then press the A key to fit it to View. And then we will go to the Leaves folder, and we will just pick any one of these leaves.
I will pick the Aspen 01. So we've got two meshes, the Aspen leaf--and I am just actually going to call this leaf, just so you know-- and of course this is the tree. I am just renaming these mesh layers. We will go to the Model tab, and one thing that's important to know is that this system here has 8 gigs of RAM. When you start doing certain functions, such as mesh painting like this on a really large object with a lot of polygons, your system may start to bog down a little bit, so just be patient with it. I am going to take a look at this in a Reflection mode, so it makes it a little bit brighter to see.
I've got my Tree layer selected, my Leaf is the background layer, and we're going to do that same thing I just showed you. We are going to come down and select Mesh Paint from the Duplicate tab. We are going to use Strokes. Uniform is fine. I will keep the Rotation I had set for the torus, and the specific mesh will be our leaf. The right mouse button sets the size of that brush, and when I start clicking, you can actually see the little dots appear. Those are where the leaves are going to appear and when I let go with the mouse, there is the leaves on my trees, with nice little rotations.
But they don't look like leaves; they actually look like little flat polygons-- and I will show you why in just a minute. So what's nice about this is that you can really come in here and put some sparse leaves on just to renew them. If I ever going to do a tree full of leaves, we would do this with a full model that is already in my Library and then just modify them. I don't think I would probably attempt to try and paint a full set of leaves across this whole tree, because some of these branches are pretty thin. Very easy to paint those on and then when I press F8, I get my Preview Render.
And let me come up here so you can see these. And so there is the leaves on there, and they are set to Flat Polygons, but you can see that they are aligning quite nicely. Now if you jump to the Shader tree, which we are going to talk about in an upcoming chapter, we can actually make that leaf texture--which is right here-- we can make the white area disappear. So we are going to pull this scene up again. I am going to save this, and we will put this right in our exercise files.
This will be in Chapter 04. And this will be leaves, and we'll call that up again, and I'll show you how to texture this when we get to our surfacing chapter next. So the Mesh Paint is a great way to create more unique models by taking one mesh and using it literally as a paintbrush and painting with that on top of another.
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