Price When Reviewed: 475 . 210
Pros: An elegantly designed, refined 3D system. Offers the core features that professional 3D artists expect.
Cons: The interface is best suited to widescreen displays, and the Shade Tree list can be confusing.
The market for 3D modelling applications seems to be reaching a plateau in terms of complexity and efficiency. Programs that pile on the technology suffer in terms of ease of use. On the flipside, programs that are simple to use are often found wanting in the features department.
Luxology’s Modo is a new breed of 3D program that attempts to buck the trend. It recognizes that the 3D artist sometimes has too many controls to tweak – an approach that makes for a promising program.
The first incarnation of Modo (dubbed 102) featured a modelling environment for polygonal subdivision surfaces. There’s no need for NURBS – anything you can do with NURBS can be done with subdivision surfaces. Modo boasts good modelling tools, and the workflow is clean, flexible, and speedy.
The new version of Modo (called version 201) adds rendering, texturing, and 3D painting. It establishes Modo as a solution that’s well on its way to becoming a comprehensive 3D solution. Its main limitation is that it doesn’t include animation.