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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.
In modo, the Clone tools are actually some of the most powerful tools that you have, but there is even something a little bit cooler that I think you'll like. Let me show you about replicators. In the Duplicate tab you are going to see all the Clone tools that we have, but there is one that's not in there that actually is done with the Items tab. So let's do this. Let's go back to the Basic tab. I'm going to hold the Shift key and then click on the flat plane object, and then I'll press the A key to fit. And then I'm going to the press the D key. And what that's going to do is do a subdivision-surface-subdivide, and I'm going to do this about four times.
And then I'm going to press the T key, and that is going to be my Element Move, tool and what that's going to allow me to do is just click and drag and pull some of these around. What we're doing is making like a flat little landscape that we're going to turn in- it to kind of a bumpy landscape instead. And the reason I hit the D key a few times to subdivide this is so that we have a nice mesh to work with. If it were just a simple polygon with a few points, it wouldn't be quite enough for what we need. You can also hold the right mouse button and create a range of influence.
And you can see that down here for the Falloff, for the transform tool. And then we can just pull this around a bit. Then of course when you hit the Tab key, you get a very smooth surface. So again, using the subdivisions, using the sub-Ds, we create a nice bumpy surface. Okay, so, very simple. We'll turn off the Transform tool. Next thing I'm going to do is go to Layout tab and from our Mesh tab, we're going to click and jump to Organic. And in there you'll find Plants and Trees and Rocks.
We're going to choose Plants, and I'm going to choose the Clovers. So let's double-click that, what you'll see is that the Clovers are now added to our Item list, and then we have our flat plane. This blank mesh right here that was there by default, we're going to right-click on that and choose Delete. And for the flat plane, we're going to click and just call this Ground. And then over here in the Layout view, I'm going to press the A key to fit it on the view. So this is what we have, a nice little landscape we made, and we've got those plants.
Now I like them because they look like little trees and things, and they are going to work fine for this, but you can experiment with some of the other bushes and leaves and trees, and even this little dandelion is kind of neat too. So what can we do with this? Well, rather than manually going in and duplicating this bush item and then placing it, we can let modo do the work for us. From the Add Item dropdown in the Items tab, go down to Duplication and choose Replicator. Now with this replicator you have to look down in the Properties, and you're going to see a number of different tools.
The first thing you want to do--let's close the Transform by clicking on it--for Instancing, the prototype and Point Source, well, the Point Source of course is the ground that we created. The prototype is our clover. And what happens is modo takes the point data from that ground, all the information of all those polygons, and then assigns those clovers to them. Now, it looks a little messy, so what I'm going to do is go over to the Render tab, and I'm going to zoom in my camera over here and then click and hold on the Move tool and move my view.
And this is what you get, all of those little clovers placed on that ground perfectly based on its shape. And you can zoom in a little bit here and see how those all line up perfectly. That would have taken hours to do manually. Well, that's great, but it looks a little too nice. Let's randomize them a bit, and we can do that very easily with all of our tools. At first level, you can just change the overall scale. Now one thing I've not talked about yet is the Gang Select, or the Group Select, and that's these little buttons right here.
If you hold your mouse over, you can see that you can choose Independent, Copy, Relative, and Proportional. Well, what does that mean? Well, let's say I want to scale these evenly. Well, if I just click and drag on one of them, well, it only scales the X. So Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to undo. Click once on this gang select, and then when I click and drag it drags all of them together as a unit, which is great. If you click again--let's say you made a variation and the X is wider than the Z, and the Y is taller or shorter-- you can click twice for the independent, or relative, and then it will scale those different proportions equally as well.
So that's a great way to work, rather than manually punching everything in. So we're going to close the Transform. I think our size is okay on these, but I want to randomize them. So down here under Variation, you can see all of the Random Twist and Random Offset, so we'll close Instancing, and let's just play with the Random Scale. So we're going to take the Y, and we're going to randomize it about 40%, and let's play with the Twist. And you can actually see them all twisting in there. And then we can play also with the Z scale. I mostly like the Y scale, just so there is a little height difference, and we can turn that off as well. Turn off Uniform Scale and that will help.
And that way we have a much more random look to these, and they don't look like they're all just placed and cloned together. One last thing you can do with this variation is close that and go to Instancing, and Source mode is set to Align to Surface. You can also choose Use Polygons, and it will align these to each one of those polygons. And if you remember correctly-- let's just jump back to our Items tab. I'll turn off Clovers for a minutes, and if you look at just the ground, these are the polygons.
We can hit that D key a few times to create multiple polygons. Well, by choosing my Source mode as Polygons, it's putting a clover in each one of these polygons. So if I only had four or five polygons, I only have four or five clones. So, something to keep in mind. I'll put the replicators back on and then put the Clover back on. The Source mode can also be set to Point Data. And similar to the polygons, it will actually place these on each of the points. But overall, I think I like how it looks Aligning to the Surface itself.
So using replicators, you can create all kinds of interesting designs and shapes, and in this case we just simply used some of the presets to create this nice field of clovers. And these are objects that are already surfaced that come with modo. So I want you to think a little bit further beyond doing this. Think about doing pipes and boxes and balls and all kinds of things that you can create unique items and scenes for. You can also do things very similar to motion graphics, to create elements behind a logo, things like that.
Lastly, if you come in and you don't want this ground, you can just turn that off. You don't actually need that to be on. That just helped generate where these go. Then you can save this and use this as a group and build more of these, and you can clone this whole group and then build an entire forest. So it's really very powerful. This is just the tip of the iceberg with replicators in modo. So experiment with these and see what you can come up with.
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