Join Dan Ablan for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding surfaces, part of MODO 501 Essential Training.
Now along with building model, the next thing that would come natural is surfacing a model, and modo makes this very easy with the Shader Tree. But before we get in to the Shader Tree, let's just talk about surfaces a little bit. I'm going to jump over to the Layout tab and from the Mesh tab, go ahead and choose from the Miscellaneous category, the Toy Tractor. And you can just double-click to add that to your scene, press the A key to fit, and you'll see this nice little tractor model. And then let's jump over to the Render tab.
Now the render tab is a three-port view. It's got the Perspective view at the bottom, the Camera view on the top right, and then a Render view, a preview render. If you press F8 on your keyboard, you'll actually see this view pop up, a little preview window. That's the same window that's right here. So if you're working with the dual monitor, you could put that off to one side if you like. I'm going to press the A key to fit all of this to view. And let's just arrange this a little bit, so we can see more of these views up here.
Over on the left-hand side--now I'll just click and drag this open-- you see a set of preset surfaces and a Browser toolbar. Now the reason that comes up is because our screen is sort of squeezed in a bit. So let's just pull this out and once you get enough room here, you'll actually see that bar now appear. It's not always going to look like that depending on the size of your screen. Just keep that in mind: if you don't see it, click Browser toolbar to get it-- or better, just open up your screen a little bit and you'll see the controls right here. And what this allows you to do is cycle through existing materials, again, that come with modo.
I could take a look at Light, Glass, Fabric, Organic, and so on. I'll go to Plastic for this one. You can see these thumbnails. This little guy here will actually slide these folders open so we can read them better. And then we can look at High Gloss. Double-click to open, and here are some preset surfaces. So what can I do with these? On a simple level, I can just drag and drop them on, and now I've got a nice shiny plastic blue toy tractor. Very nice, but notice it went to the whole entire model. So I'm going to Command+Z to undo on my Mac, or Ctrl+Z on the PC, and let's take a look over here.
I'm going to shrink this down, just click and drag these panels to the Shader Tree. Now I'll open this up so you can see it. This tab is called Shader Tree. Now this is pretty complex, but at the same time you can very easily view simple surfaces without much effort. By default, we've got a Base Material, but before we get into that, let's just talk about the surfaces here. This existing model had a Toy Window, Toy Wheels, Lights, Buttons, Body. When I hit dragged the existing preset onto that, it just cover the whole thing, and that's because I was in Item mode.
If I jump to Polygon mode and I drag that on, it jumps at right on the wheels, because that's what I had selected and chose. And all we did was just replace that material with a preset. It's that simple. These materials are pretty easy to use and as I said in the very beginning, whenever you select any of the items, you'll see the properties for it below. So let's take a look at the tractor itself. What helps is if you close these up when you're not using them, just to keep organized.
I'm going to go down to the Body itself, and you could see that now I can easily see just that material. When I select the material the color values for it all appear in the properties. If I don't want to use perhaps one of the presets included with modo, I can come in and just change the color itself. So I'll click in here and say I want to make this green. Now let's talk about that Color panel for a minute. When I click this, this very nice new color panel pops up, a lot different than it was from previous versions of modo. And I can use a hexadecimal color for web-type colors for instance; HSV for hue, saturation, and value; Kelvin temperature if you want to match daylight for instance; and so on; or just do what I did, which is just click a color.
Once I move my mouse off, that panel goes away. It doesn't actually have a Close button--just move your mouse off of it. As I work my way down on materials, you can see that I can change Reflection, I can change Specular for shine, and so on. We can get to the Transmissive category later for transparency and things like that. On a simple level, the Shader Tree is where all of your surfaces will be applied to your model. So this model had some materials created already. How would you create your own? Let me show you how to do that. Let's go to File > Close All.
We don't need to save this. And I'm going to open up the Model tab. And the reason this is here is that while we have been using the Model tab itself over here to create models, in the Render tab, we actually have a Model tab right here. And if I click that, what you'll see is my modo Tools pop-up, allowing me to quickly just add a model. So in this case, if I click and hold on these, you can see I've got Tube and Solid Sketch. If I click and hold, I've got Capsule and Cylinder. Click and hold, I've got an ellipse and a sphere.
So it's just some other options here if I wanted. In this case, let's just choose a capsule, and then I'm going to click and drag in the view, grab the little blue plus and stress it out. I can make a little capsule. Close the Model tab and then I'll press the A key to fit that to view and then click and drag to rotate. So we've got a little pill, and perhaps we wanted to create a little surface for it. Now simply I could drag on any one of these materials and I'm pretty much set. The only thing with that is that it applied it to the base material, and if I have other objects in the scene, when I hit the Model tab--I'll hold the Shift key and click the Flat Plane-- well, now my flat plane has the same surface.
I've not told those objects that they have different surfaces. So all I need to do then is in Polygon mode jump to Item mode, and here is the first Mesh, and I can just double- click on that, and I'll press the M key for material. And I will give this a name and we'll call this Pill and click Return. Now that has its own unique surface. When I goes to the plane, the flat plane and press M--and we can call this ground let's say.
Just to give it a little color, we can just click and drag on here to add a little color to it and also click OK, and now you see I've got two items with two different surfaces. And if I jump back to the Shader Tree, now you can see I've got the pill and the ground materials. And then from there, I can open these up and inside I have got my material for the ground and my material for the pill, which means I can drag one on here and perhaps drag one on there for the ground. Pretty easy.
We can get much more complex with all kinds of included materials that come with modo, do layer masks, stenciling, things like that, but for now this really help you get started which just the defaults that come with modo. So try that out. Go ahead and make some models, play with the primitives, and put some surfaces on and see what you can come up with.
- 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