capsule review

Silo 1.3

Nevercenter’s Silo 1.3 is the latest subdivision-surface (sub-d) modeler to come to OS X, and at $109, it’s one of the best 3-D-software bargains in years.

Sub-d modeling allows artists to model complex, smoothly blended surfaces. The classic example is a human head: by manipulating relatively simple polygonal shapes in Silo, you can define the complicated geometry where the nose meets the upper lip, creating perfect, smooth blends. Silo has a powerful package of polygon-editing tools, but added control over the weighting of creases isn’t available, and there’s no UV-mapping control.

Silo’s interface is fast, efficient, and highly customizable. Its smart tools let you work on half-models with symmetric mirroring; you can quickly join faces on separate objects and blend shapes seamlessly into single surfaces. Silo 1.3 lets you draw directly on sub-d surfaces to create new geometry—a capability we’ve yet to see in more-expensive 3-D suites.

Silo is exclusively a modeler: if you want to render, you can choose an export format and render it in another program.

Macworld’s Buying Advice

As an add-on to a capable 3-D environment, Silo 1.3 is a work of art.

Silo’s subdivision-surface modeling lets you sculpt any shape from simple polygons.
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