capsule review

modo 102

Luxology’s modo 102 is the best tool we’ve seen for subdivision-surface (sub-d) modeling, a technique typically used to create 3-D models of characters and other organic surfaces. In some ways similar to Nevercenter’s Silo 1.3 (

; January 2005)—but more advanced in depth, flexibility, and customizability—modo offers a chameleon-like interface, an elaborate tool set, and powerful scripting that give it the look-and-feel of other high-end professional 3-D tools. But despite modo’s great depth of features, it’s easy to use.

In addition to well-designed tools, modo offers an amazing degree of customizability. Its interface is completely modular: you can modify and create workspaces, tool palettes, key commands, and hot keys. It can be configured to mimic the interface conventions, such as standard navigation and certain hot keys, of programs you’re accustomed to, and it’s compatible with most 3-D-animation programs.

modo’s sub-d tool set is the best we’ve seen for the day-to-day demands of a working modeler, although it lacks some features for creating or importing NURBS (nonuniform rational B-splines—standard tools for accurately modeling industrial designs), rebuilding scan-data topology, and creating painted displacements.

Macworld’s Buying Advice

Whether you can justify spending big bucks on modo 102 will depend on whether 3-D modeling is an important part of what you do. You may find the program’s flexibility and ease of use hard to resist.

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