Switching from Max to Modo - Tips?

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C86G polycounter lvl 5
Hey guys.

I am a Max user (and I DO like Max!) but I want to learn Modo. Do you have any tips for me that makes learning/ switching easier?
Maybe some good introduction tutorial or something like that? And in advance, is there anything I should know as a max user?

Any tip is appreciated.

Thank you : )

Replies

  • igi
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    igi polycounter lvl 8
    Press 'O' and set Trackball Rotation as 'no'.
    Modo allows you to create all sort of illegal geometry rather than max. When in doubt use mesh cleanup tool often. Binding it to a key is even better.
    Easiest way to binding keys is to press F5 then go to history tab. Right click to tool and select Map Command to Key.
    Download Seneca's Scripts pack. You'll find a lot of useful stuff in it.
    When using modo you may need to unlearn how some stuff done in max as it mostly depends on modifiers. I don't have much thing to say about it, it depends on experience. Modo have more destructive workflow than max but less bureaucratic(even though produceral tools are newly introduced in modo but they need to be matured).
    Don't hesitate to make your own viewport configurations, pie menus, custom hotkeys and so on.

  • gauravcm
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    gauravcm polycounter lvl 5
    The Foundry made some training videos on folks coming over from the 3D Studio Max paradigm:  


    They were made for Modo 801, but the basics are still consistent, I believe.  Godspeed, Christian!
  • gauravcm
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    gauravcm polycounter lvl 5
    Customization is a necessity with Modo.  I'm in the process of documenting the Modo kits, scripts, macros and preferences I use to create assets for UE4.  I hope to share my notes on polycount sometime in the next couple of weeks.
  • C86G
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    C86G polycounter lvl 5
    Thank you, guys. ALready helps me alot. WIll have some trying and tetsing in the next days.

    Will surely come back here and bother you with questions : )
  • Anchang-Style
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    Anchang-Style polycounter lvl 5
    igi said:

    Modo allows you to create all sort of illegal geometry rather than max. When in doubt use mesh cleanup tool often. Binding it to a key is even better.

    This. From experience Modo will at every point create geo with randomly flipped normals, double faces, double vertice and alot of other stuff that can't be fixed by hand and has to be done tthrough cleanup. Like Bridging a gap, extruding along spline, and so much more seem to cause flipped normals.
    Also you have to really be careful about the symmetrie, which i think is still horrible in Modo. As far as i know, there is no local symmetrie option. There are tricks using Instancing to simulate a local, 3 axis symmetrie.
    Also activating the Subdivision Surface can help finding mesh errors, since your mesh will basically blow up if there are errors.
  • Grimwolf
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    Grimwolf polycounter lvl 3
    Modo is amazing superficially, but it has some serious issues. First, stability is a bit of an issue. Doing some things, like tweaking hotkeys, will cause frequent crashes. Some settings will behave in weird ways as well, like the whole screen going blank any time you open a pie menu set to open on mouse click like Maya. A lot of random quirks and errors will crop up as well, some of them serious. And because the community is so small, you WILL NOT find support. The Foundry themselves do not seem to provide support on problems either.
    I had no choice but to stop using it all together when I couldn't get it to export any animations, and no one could answer why. As in no one even replied, and I couldn't figure it out on my own because there was no information to be found online.
  • peanut™
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    peanut™ polycounter lvl 12
  • Tidal Blast
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    Tidal Blast polycounter lvl 3
    Modo is great fun to use, but 3DS Max is safer.
  • Anchang-Style
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    Anchang-Style polycounter lvl 5
    Also it's important to know that there are a couple of functions that are named the same but are working differently. Like Inset. In Max you can do group or single polygon insets (if i remember corretly). In Modo it only does single poly. To do Inset groups you have to apply bevel (without doing anything) and then Scale it in. Same with Extrude. Modo's extrude tool can't do extrude along normals (so extrude all faces of a tube into their normal directions) by itself. Instead you have to apply extrude without extruding and then using scale. Same with trying to extrude several items the same time. You have to work with the work planes (in Local) then. You could use smooth shift but that tends to change sizes (since it will add a fall off).

    And yes modo has some major issues that drive me towards going back to Max.

  • TerminatorJQ
    Also it's important to know that there are a couple of functions that are named the same but are working differently. Like Inset. In Max you can do group or single polygon insets (if i remember corretly). In Modo it only does single poly. To do Inset groups you have to apply bevel (without doing anything) and then Scale it in. Same with Extrude. Modo's extrude tool can't do extrude along normals (so extrude all faces of a tube into their normal directions) by itself. Instead you have to apply extrude without extruding and then using scale. Same with trying to extrude several items the same time. You have to work with the work planes (in Local) then. You could use smooth shift but that tends to change sizes (since it will add a fall off).

    And yes modo has some major issues that drive me towards going back to Max.

    Glad to see I'm not the only one who is annoyed by these things. As I've said on the Foundry forums, the current version of Modo seems overly complex for no apparent reason. Modo is powerful and it has potential but in its current form, its not giving me any reason to jump ship from Autodesk. Once upon a time, Modo was known for being the best software for modeling. The only benefit of using Modo now is the price. $1800 for a full license and $500 for upgrades is a far better deal than any of its competitors. Other than the price, I can't think of any advantage of switching from Max to Modo. In fact, workflow wise, it may be a downgrade. 

    Of course, Modo 11 is right around the corner. Foundry may release something that puts everything else to shame.  I'm eagerly waiting to see what they come out with. With Autodesk raising prices, Foundry has a perfect chance to come in and sweep away Max and Maya users. 
  • Grimwolf
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    Grimwolf polycounter lvl 3
    TerminatorJQ said:
    Once upon a time, Modo was known for being the best software for modeling. The only benefit of using Modo now is the price. $1800 for a full license and $500 for upgrades is a far better deal than any of its competitors. Other than the price, I can't think of any advantage of switching from Max to Modo. In fact, workflow wise, it may be a downgrade. 
    Modo is obscenely fast when you learn how to use the tools effectively.
    The Bevel tool in particular is a work of art.
  • TerminatorJQ
    Grimwolf said:
    Modo is obscenely fast when you learn how to use the tools effectively.
    The Bevel tool in particular is a work of art.
    Depends on what your making. If your modeling a single object with a lot of detail built from multiple combined meshes, such as a detailed tank, fighter jet or mech, then the Modo workflow certainly has the potential to be faster (once you learn the program). However, for larger scenes with multiple separate objects such as when modeling for architecture or level design, Modo is certainly not as fast as Max, Maya or even C4D. Even die hard Modo fans on the Foundry forums have admitted that the Modo interface is far too "clicky". What takes 1-2 steps in Max or Maya, takes 3-4 steps in Modo. As as for the Bevel tool, head over to the Foundry forums. There's a thread right now about how the bevel tool has major issues that have continued to be ignored for many updates. 

    I dont mean to bash Modo, every 3D app has its ups and downs. On the plus side, the mesh fusion tools in Modo are far above any other boolean tools from the competition. It also has a pretty good built in renderer that delivers good results pretty fast. 
  • Anchang-Style
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    Anchang-Style polycounter lvl 5
    I also hope they, at some point, start using Multi Threading. Trying to move a 20.000 Poly mesh basically makes my System take a break for seconds at a time.
    Also, i love the snapping but it has it's issues. Like the crosshair not appearing in certain situations or it not wanting to snap to a spline.
  • nervouschimp
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    nervouschimp polycounter lvl 4
    The bevel tool in Modo is far from a work of art. It has many issues, and is bested by blender, Maya, C4D, Houdini, etc.
  • Linko
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    Linko polycounter lvl 4
    Why do you leave 3ds max to stay with another proprietary software it's pointless. If you want to learn a new software it's best to switch to a free and open source software (Blender is  more advanced than Modo in many topics).
  • Grimwolf
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    Grimwolf polycounter lvl 3
    The bevel tool in Modo is far from a work of art. It has many issues, and is bested by blender, Maya, C4D, Houdini, etc.
    Maybe if you're talking about literally just beveling, which I don't know I agree on anyway. It's amazing because it combines several tools into a single key press, and has a lot of extremely useful modifiers attached.
    If you don't know what I'm talking about, I made a blog post on it back when I was still using Modo that I thought would be helpful. Would certainly help the OP if he's planning to start using it.
  • kadeschui
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    kadeschui polycounter lvl 7
    I've been using Modo for about a year and half now and trying to model in Max at work now feels antiquated and clunky. 

    It will take you 6 weeks or so (at least it did for me) to get really comfortable with the program but once you do, you'll wish you'd always used it.
  • Spoon
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    Spoon Polycount Sponsor
     for larger scenes with multiple separate objects such as when modeling for architecture or level design, Modo is certainly not as fast as Max, Maya or even C4D. Even die hard Modo fans on the Foundry forums have admitted that the Modo interface is far too "clicky". What takes 1-2 steps in Max or Maya, takes 3-4 steps in Modo.   
    As an environment artist, this is exactly the part that worries me about switching.
    But can you elaborate why MODO is worse in those cases?
  • Anchang-Style
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    Anchang-Style polycounter lvl 5
    Would be really interested in hearing about that too. 
  • Tzur_H
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    Tzur_H polycounter lvl 2
    you can customise the crap out of Modo, customise tools hotkeys per component selection saves you so much time and headache (1 bevel hotkey for all components for example), and using macros saves lots of time too, and they are fucking easy to create so no excuse not using them (no need to write any scripts or anything complicated like that in some text editor).  I'm not a hotkey person myself, I use pie menus (maya marking menu look alike) and I have organised them into categories such as; cutting tools, mirroring and instancing, etc etc.  I rarely move the hand from the left side of the keyboard (ctrl,shift alt area)  and my mouse usually stays within the main viewport.

    I'd say the biggest issue Modo has is the viewport, it's really a piece of crap compared to Maya / Max.
    Another thing I don't quite like is the shader tree, for me, personally, it's too complicated.  I'm used to Maya's one and miss it... :[
    Oh, and you really have to rely on some amazing scripts created by the smart peeps over at the forums to get the full experience
  • TerminatorJQ
    Spoon said:
     for larger scenes with multiple separate objects such as when modeling for architecture or level design, Modo is certainly not as fast as Max, Maya or even C4D. Even die hard Modo fans on the Foundry forums have admitted that the Modo interface is far too "clicky". What takes 1-2 steps in Max or Maya, takes 3-4 steps in Modo.   
    As an environment artist, this is exactly the part that worries me about switching.
    But can you elaborate why MODO is worse in those cases?
    I guess it depends how big the environments are. The main issue is performance and stability. All 3D programs will slow down when you add a bunch of objects but Modo hits its limit much quicker than Max or Maya. Also, since Modo is layer based, the process of adding new objects takes more time in Modo than it does in Max (create a new mesh item, pick your primitive, draw the shape, choose your subdivision, drop the tool, center the pivot). The most annoying thing to me is that Modo is so dependent on 0,0,0. New empty mesh items start at 0,0,0 no matter where you place the first primitive within it. Also many tools in Modo (such as the mirror tool) generate their handles at 0,0,0. When working on a single object or small scene, this is no big deal. However, with a larger scene where your working away from the world center, this behavior can slow you down. 

    This is not to say that Modo can't be used for level design and creating large scenes. I'm just saying that Max would be the better tool for that kind of work (just like Modo would be a better tool for modeling a 3D car model or mech). 
  • nervouschimp
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    nervouschimp polycounter lvl 4
    @TerminatorJQ that is why Modo has the workplane. Also, in Modo, people tend use objects differently, often having many mesh shells within one layer. Because the section tools are so good, this is never an issue. I personally prefer the mesh layer based approach in Modo to the absolute polysurface91274 nightmare mess in Maya. The hierarchy in Maya needs constant babysitting. Keeping your scene perfectly organized in Modo is very easy. That's the one thing I miss in Maya.
  • WilliamVaughan
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    WilliamVaughan polycounter lvl 3
    Be sure to take advantage of all the free MODO training here:
    http://www.pixelfondue.com/training/

    Other software is covered but the majority is  MODO content. Videos, source files, scripts etc.
  • Prophet
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    Prophet polycounter lvl 8
    Don't know if anyone mention yet, but when you do a lot of customization (layouts, scripts, etc), when you are happy with it, just close and open Modo again so it saves that config. It crashes quite frequently even doing simple things and then you lose all your settings.

    About the Layout, if you by mistake make some change in the Layout and you don't know how to get back, the best way is to go to the Task Manager, and stop Modo process. This way when you open it back it will have the previous Layout Configuration.

    I was using 3ds Max back in 2010 and had to switch to Modo because of my workplace, but never regret it. For modeling itself, I like it much better than Max. For me, I think it's more "free" to use.
  • gauravcm
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    gauravcm polycounter lvl 5
    @Prophet, I tend to use File > Config Save (Alt + F12) every so often when I'm customizing Modo.  It lets me keep working.  Stability is becoming less of an issue with Modo, at least for me.

    Have you tried Layout > Restore to get back to a saved state if something in your Layout changes and you want to revert?

  • gauravcm
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    gauravcm polycounter lvl 5
    Quick Tip:
    I was previously going between the UVEdit layout and the Game Tools layout to prep my mesh and UV Sets for Unreal and Substance.   I *just* streamlined this by customizing the default UVEdit layout so that the tabs on the right of my viewports default to the Items List and the Vertex Maps list.  This way I can more easily work with UV Sets for the selected Mesh Item.  

    1. In the Lists tab, right-click on the little arrow to the right and select the Data Lists > Vertex Map List.  
    2. Right-click on the little arrow again and select Viewport Controls > Min Header
    3. Layout > Save

    I have no idea why I waited so long to do this!  I'm sure there are plenty of other such optimizations game artists can make to default Modo...
  • Prophet
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    Prophet polycounter lvl 8
    gauravcm said:
    @Prophet, I tend to use File > Config Save (Alt + F12) every so often when I'm customizing Modo.  It lets me keep working.  Stability is becoming less of an issue with Modo, at least for me.

    Have you tried Layout > Restore to get back to a saved state if something in your Layout changes and you want to revert?

    Yes. But never worked decently for me. But I'm still with 801, though...
  • Duard
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    Duard vertex
    Ive aslo been using Max for a while now, came from Maya and started trying out Modo since Ive heard its a modelling beast, but....

    I dont like the destructive way it works, just like Maya (bring back the modifier stack :disappointed:)
    Item groups (still trying to wrap my head around that)
    Sometimes need to use 2 tools that does kinda the same where in Max you can use one tool?
    No shift extrude :(

    there is more but this is all I can think of just off my head but then it has its pros as well....
    Nav - almost as Maya, Max has the worst nav config in my opinion
    Baking/Rendering - The baker/renderer built in is pretty awesome and gives really nice results 
    Paint Selection all the time - MAYOR PLUS!!!
    Recording of macros , pie menus etc, really something id love to have in Max

    I know there is a lot I have not mentioned, I am still learning and testing the waters with Modo, but this is what I can say off the bat

    I dont see me using Modo for a gaming workflow anytime soon mostly because of the easy way it handles illegal geo and the destructive manner it works, that said I love using the chamfer workflow which works like a charm in Max with the modifier stack.

    So with all this said, I see the potential of Modo, and it has some awesome modeling tools etc, its definitely something id love to learn more and play more with, I can see how this can maybe become my primary modeling software but at this point Im still leaning towards Max, maybe because I just know it better, but all of this is just my opinion. When I know it a lot more ill post more about my experience 
  • TerminatorJQ
    Duard said:
    Ive aslo been using Max for a while now, came from Maya and started trying out Modo since Ive heard its a modelling beast, but....

    I dont like the destructive way it works, just like Maya (bring back the modifier stack :disappointed:)
    Item groups (still trying to wrap my head around that)
    Sometimes need to use 2 tools that does kinda the same where in Max you can use one tool?
    No shift extrude :(

    So with all this said, I see the potential of Modo, and it has some awesome modeling tools etc, its definitely something id love to learn more and play more with, I can see how this can maybe become my primary modeling software but at this point Im still leaning towards Max, maybe because I just know it better, but all of this is just my opinion. When I know it a lot more ill post more about my experience.
    From a fellow Max/Maya -to-Modo migrant:

    1. The destructive workflow is being addressed. Procedural tools and meshes are in the latest version of Modo. The sad thing is that all of the procedural stuff is hidden away in a separate menu. Hopefully, this will be fixed in the next version of Modo to speed up the procedural workflow. I'd suggest looking at the procedural tools videos on YouTube.

    2. It took me a while to wrap my head around item layers too. In fact, I still find myself frustrated by it from time to time. Basically, an empty mesh item is just a container, sort of like an empty game object in Unity. This is one area that is very different from any 3D app I've used. I've found that the Modo way works well for some projects but it can be a little too clicky for other projects. 

    3. I agree with your point about tools 100%! I don't understand why we need a separate tool for extrude, inset and thicken! This should all be one button. 

    Modo has a lot of potential. Modo 11 is right around the corner, so hopefully some of your concerns will be fixed in the new version. 
  • Dataday
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    Dataday polycounter lvl 5
    If Modo isn't quite hitting the sweet spot when coming from Max, it is worth checking out one of the other fallback options.
    Blender. For former max users, this might be especially useful https://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?306867-BMax-Tools-or-how-I-left-3ds-Max-)

  • PolyHertz
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    PolyHertz polycounter lvl 10
    Since this appears to have become a general 'ask questions about modo' topic, wanted to ask (since I haven't kept up with modo during the last 2-3 years and have also forgotten some things):

    1. How are the UV packing features atp? Are they anywhere near as good as ipackthat?
    2. Is there a way to move/scale/rotate geometry without using the gizmo/manipulator handles (like in Blender)?
    3. Can you snap vertices to splines (like in Max or Maya)?

    Also, what happened to the modcasts and their forums? Did they stop making modcasts? And their forums are so much worse to navigate now then the last time I was there :/
  • nervouschimp
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    nervouschimp polycounter lvl 4
    1. No, and Maya 2017 is much better at packing UVs than Modo 10.
    2. Like blender? Some tools can sort of be used without the gizmo, but no, blender is leagues ahead here.
    3. Sorry, not a Max user.
  • Dataday
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    Dataday polycounter lvl 5
    PolyHertz said:
    Since this appears to have become a general 'ask questions about modo' topic, wanted to ask (since I haven't kept up with modo during the last 2-3 years and have also forgotten some things):

    1. How are the UV packing features atp? Are they anywhere near as good as ipackthat?
    2. Is there a way to move/scale/rotate geometry without using the gizmo/manipulator handles (like in Blender)?
    3. Can you snap vertices to splines (like in Max or Maya)?

    Also, what happened to the modcasts and their forums? Did they stop making modcasts? And their forums are so much worse to navigate now then the last time I was there :/
    So the good and the bad:

    1. I don't think Modo's packing features are bad at all. In fact you can get some pretty good results fairly quickly, however that said ipackthat uses some dark magic that is hard to compare to. I know farfarer wrote a script to send UVs back and forth from Modo to Ipackthat, however never tried it myself.
    2. Sort of. You do not actually need to click the widget in Modo. For example if you toggle rotate via R then drag anywhere in the viewport, it will rotate based on where the pivot is. In other words your mouse/wacom pen does not need to be on the actual widget.  This rule applies to most tools as well. Bevel is a classic example. Even though the widget appears when you trigger bevel via B, just click dragging anywhere in the viewport will still give input to input or bevel based on the direction.
    3. Yep, if you have edge snapping on, verts can be snapped and dragged along splines.

    Modcasts... they died. Brad Peebler quit. Not a good sign tbh. Foundry's corporate like behavior didnt seem to be in a rush to make up for the loss in community building podcasts. That said, he does have some pod/modcasts via an independent venture known as Pixel Fondue. http://www.pixelfondue.com/

    The forums seem to be some kind of rebranding attempt. The changes are not too popular so far.
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