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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.
One of my favorite things to do in modo is create glass, simply because it's so easy. So what I've done is I've loaded up the male figure that comes with modo when you install. If you hit the Layout, you can actually see from the Meshes tab the human, and I have the Man Body 01. Jump into the Render. I've got the camera set up just so it's kind of right on his face. What we're going to do is just create a glass surface, and I'll show you this little recipe that I have that I've used and how we can tweak that. I've used glass to sell a lot of medical animations, because you don't have to worry about gender as much and race as much when you're creating models like this in glass. And you can see right inside to the teeth, or the organs, or the parts that you need to animate.
So it has a dual purpose, and it looks cool. So in the Shader Tree, we're going to open up the Render, and for the Man Body material--we're going to just actually delete the base material--open up the Man Body material and you're going to see a base material and a default. This is the surface we want right here. There's an additional base material, so we're just going to delete that as well. So, there's bottom material right here, we're going to go to the Material Reference category. Believe it or not, you're going to tell this surface to be 0 Diffuse. Do not take any light from the scene.
This is all about reflections. So we're going to the Specularity and we're going to bring that down to about 5%, and believe it or not, the Roughness also about 5%. Then you get that tight hot spot, which is going to give it a little bit more gloss. Then the Reflections, I'm going to say about 35%. But we might want to match that Specular later. In the Transmissive categories where it says Trans, this is where we can make an object transparent. It's going to be 100% transparent. I've done glass for a lot of years in a lot of different programs and they typically don't look much better than this.
But the difference will be when you set some refraction. You can look up a table of refraction on the Internet, but glass is about 1.44. What that means is the light is actually bending through the surface. So hold up a magnifying glass. That thick glass like that, that's that distortion you get. That is refraction. Now, the Absorption Distance, that is the thickness of the transparency. And glass often has like a little tint to it. So I'm just going to open up the color wheel here and put a little green tint like that. I am going to move my mouse off to close that.
Once we start dragging the Absorption Distance, it suddenly gets really strong green, and that's okay; just keep dragging. Click and drag this Distance value up, and what you'll end up doing is changing the thickness of that transparency. So in the thicker areas, it's going to pick up that transparent color more than in the thinner areas. Let's zoom out a little bit, so we can see what we're doing here. So now we've got this nice man made of glass. But the problem is all this white area. What is that? Well, in a previous video, I talked about how reflections are important and how the environment plays a key role.
The same goes for glass. So let's jump down to the environment. Open up the Material. All this color here, that's what you're seeing all in here. It's reflecting that environment. You can go back to the Man Body and maybe turn off that Reflection, but then the glass doesn't quite work the same way. Even if you turn on Match Specular, it's not quite enough because we don't have a lot of specular value set. So I'll bring that back to about 35%. Then for the Environment material, let's just turn that off for a minute to constant. And then holding the Shift key, I'm going to click and drag right on there.
Well, now there's nothing for it to reflect. So we know white is too much and we know black is not enough. So let's just go back to a four-color gradient and set some colors. I'm going to make the top just kind of a grayish blue. I'm going to make the sky color just sort of this darker color like this. What I'm going to do is save this just by dragging this into the bottom; just click that thumbnail and drag it down. Then for the ground color, we're going to select that. And by doing that, we eliminate that horizon line.
Then for the Nadir color, I'm going to make that all-the-way blue. Okay, so that helps a little bit, and we have a little bit more to do here. So all I need to do then is bring my Opacity down. When we rotate to the side, you can see that that glass now is not looking quite as hot. But the next phase of this would have to be lighting. So all of these elements come together hand in hand: the refraction, the lighting, the reflections. We've not talked about lighting just yet, but quickly, you can go to the Items tab, take that Directional Light, and you can see that right here in the scene, and that's there by default.
Then we can take that light and increase the Radiance of it, and we can rotate it a little bit and tilt it down. But it doesn't seem like it's doing much, right? Well, in the Shader Tree for that material, don't forget that we told the surface, do not accept any light from the scene. So we're just going to bring that up just a little bit, and that will help brighten up that surface. That way, we get a little bit of a highlight in there. So, very simply, we can create a glass man that is reflecting the environment, that has refraction on, and that is responding to lights in the scene.
Using glass of course is great for glass objects, bottles, but it's also great for unique objects like this, like putting a human together, or doing some kind of generic objects, such as a watch, or even a glass building like an Apple Store in New York City.
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