Foundry has just released Modo 11.1. The newest version brings Unreal Bridge, Advanced Viewport and many other improvements. Let’s take a look at the full list of improvements.
Modo 11.1 continues to enhance the direct connection to Unreal Engine 4 with a new client-server bridge. Work in an uninterrupted flow between Modo and Unreal Engine, with the Unreal Bridge providing a bidirectional connection between both applications, allowing entire scenes, or selected elements of a scene, to be pushed and updated. The connection can be remote, on the same machine, or across multiple machines on a network.
The modeling tools in Modo 11.1 have undergone a number of upgrades to provide even greater modeling power. The topology pen and standard Smooth tool have been revamped to provide greater control, falloffs are even more dynamic with updates to the move and smoothing modes, the Loop slice tool and radial sweep are easier to use and offer new functionality, and enhanced procedural modeling features include new UV create and smooth operators.
The ease of creating UVs in Modo is one of the tool’s core strengths, and Modo 11.1 builds upon this with a raft of fresh features. Efficiently arrange UV maps with the new UV coverage indicator, and easily separate or move and position UVs more fluidly with the new Box Transform tool. Detecting potential problems with UV layouts and maintaining uniform texture detail is now easier, while enhanced UV to SVG exporting provides better control over the real world size of the output: great for packaging and industrial design.
The Advanced Viewport sees further improvements in both visual quality and interactive performance, with much higher frame rates on all systems. It’s now possible to increase or decrease the shadow quality with Cascaded Shadow Maps, wireframe drawing has improved with Line anti-aliasing options, and there are new shading modes to to quickly switch between simple, basic, and full – useful for quick results for general modeling, or to get as close as possible to the output from Modo’s internal renderer.
Vertex Normal & Baking
Editing vertex normals and baking in Modo just got much easier. Modo 11.1 now supports object space normal map baking; useful when creating normal maps for static objects in real-time applications. There’s a new Use Polygon Area Smoothing option which weights the normal average based on the size of the polygon, improving smoothing errors. Two new options for vertex illumination baking control what is baked and output, and a contextual menu command that will bake either occlusion, illumination, normal, displacement or texture effects, based on options defined in the dialogue, speeds up the workflow of baking certain mesh features.
Preview Render and Preview Render Animation now allows limiting the maximum rendering time before the frame is saved to disk. Costly mistakes are more easily avoided when analyzing convergence, with updates that reduce the risk of changing a render setting based on an output that is different than the final render output. Zooming improvements mean it’s easier to analyze an in-progress full resolution render, and autosave now saves the current Preview rendered state, making it easy to restart a progressive render from its last saved point, rather than having to start the render again.
File I/O & Alembic Improvements
Modo’s ability to work within larger production pipelines has vastly improved with the improved Alembic streaming support. Geometry can now be transferred using enhanced Alembic streaming, greatly speeding up the rate at which large scenes of animated data transfer to other applications. With the ability to stream geometry, particles, simulation meshes, curves, multiple UV sets and material and part tags, it’s possible to work within a much wider range of Alembic related workflows, and import, layout and render large animated scenes from either Modo or other DCC software packages.