What's New in Modo 13.1

This topic documents the updates included in Modo 13.1 and links to the appropriate page of the documentation so you can get the information you need and start working with the new features right away.

Advanced Viewport

Improved Ambient Occlusion

Hybrid Ambient Occlusion mode has been introduced, providing a robust solution that works well for large scenes. For more information, see Advanced Options.

Improved Area Light Roughness

Area lights now respect the Material's Specular Roughness parameter, and the rendered effect approximates offline renders.

Progressive Anti-aliasing

Another way of producing anti-aliased images. It specifies the maximum number of frames used to produce the final image in the Advanced viewport. For more information, see Advanced Options.

Improved Point and Spot Light Shadows

Previously, the shadows produced for point and spot lights where hard-wired depth projections. These have been updated to use camera vs scene vs light source frustum and bounds culling. This produces better quality shadows on all scenes and camera positions.

Animation and Rigging

Backdrop Improvements

Header-only Moving Backdrop - Backdrops can now be moved by clicking and dragging on the node header instead of anywhere on the Backdrop node. For more information, see Backdrop Nodes.

Autosize on Collapse - When a Backdrop node is collapsed, it now shrinks to fit the width of the node title, rather than retaining the width of the expanded node.

Bounding Box Drawing in Animation Playback

A new option has been added to the Display Preferences, allowing you to display meshes as bounding boxes during animation playback, to eliminate lag. For more information, see OpenGL.

Morph Containers

A Morph Container is an item that allows you to store morph information separate from a mesh. It works the same way as a Weight Container, but instead of storing Weight Map information, it stores Morph Map information. Morph containers can also handle more than one morph map a time. For more information, see Working with Morph Containers.

Shortcut for Removing Links

Links in the Schematic can be removed by Shift+clicking on the link. All links at a connection can be removed by Shift+clicking the connection. For more information, see Defining and Editing Node Links.

Direct Modeling

Bevel Boundary Toggle

The Open Boundary option has been added to the Polygon Bevel tool, allowing you to specify whether boundary edges are inset. For more information, see Polygon Bevel Options.

Select Symmetrical Command

The Select Symmetrical command allows you to select any geometry that is symmetric to the current selection. For more information, see Select Symmetrical.

Tool State Presets

You can now save the state of a tool as a Tool State Preset. This can be handy if you frequently use a tool for the same task, with the same settings. For more information, see Using Tool State Presets.

General Workflow and UI

Renaming Workflow

You can now rename multiple items at once, based on defined rules, either in the Item List, or in the Rename Palette in the Setup Toolbar. For more information, see Renaming Multiple Items.

Revert Image Update Alerts to Dialog

When you edit and save images outside of Modo, the update notifications are now displayed in a dialog, rather than as repeated alerts. You can set the dialog to not be shown again, if preferred.

Script Editor Saves Scripts between Sessions

Code entered into the Script Editor is now saved between sessions.

Scrolling Forms

Vertical Properties and Toolbars now have a scrollbar on the right and you can scroll the panel by:

Clicking and dragging on the bar

Using the mouse wheel

Shift+Alt+left-mouse dragging (Pan navigation)

You can also adjust how vertical tabs are displayed in the Form View Options. For more information, see Properties Panel.

Tool Properties Workflow

A third Split option has been added to the Modo Layout preference found under Preferences > Defaults > UI > Tool Properties. It adds an embedded Properties form into the left-hand toolbars when a tool is active. It is hidden when a tool is dropped or the tool's properties are opened in a popover. For more information, see Defaults Preferences.


Curves as Input Meshes

Curves, Beziers, and B-Splines can serve as input meshes in MeshFusion modeling. They can be used the same way as regular polygonal meshes and produce primaries, trims, and surface strips. For more information, see Using Curves with MeshFusion.

Modeling Enhancements

Co-planar Polygon Selection

You can now select neighboring polygons located on the same plane as the original selection, using the Coplanar Polygons tool, or its procedural equivalent, the Select Coplanar Polygons operation. For more information, see Select Coplanar and Select Coplanar Polygons.

Find Shortest Path Enhancement: Start New Path

When using Shortest Path selection, Ctrl+Shift+clicking allows you to start a new path without connecting to the previous path. For more information, see Shortest Path Selection.

Primitives Default to Face Polygons

For consistency, all primitives use Face polygons by default.

Thicken from Both Sides of Source Position

The Thicken tool has a new Both Sides option. When this is enabled, the geometry is thickened in both directions instead of one. For more information, see Thicken.

Topological Morph Creation

The Topological Morph Creation tool allows you to create morph maps on multiple selected meshes or parts, based on the geometry of a source mesh or part. For example, if you generate your morph shapes as separate meshes instead of morph maps, you can merge them all into morph maps using this tool. For more information, see Topological Morph Creation.

Topological Vertex Map Transfer

The Topological Transfer command can transfer UV, morph, color, vertex normal, and weight in selected vertex maps, and can be applied to multiple surfaces at the same time. For more information, see Topological Vertex Map Transfer.

Vertex Bevel for Curves

All curve types except Bezier can now be used with Vertex Bevel. For more information, see Vertex Bevel.

Modo VR

Mac and Linux Support

In addition to Windows, Modo VR is now supported on Mac and Linux. For more information, see Modo VR Requirements.

Performance Improvements

Improved Animation Playback

The surface calculation code has been rewritten for Modo 13.1, and face polygons have been migrated to use a new API that processes polygons in batches, improving performance significantly in some cases.

Reduced Event Storms

The way events are handled throughout the application has been significantly improved. This has major benefits for many aspects across Modo, but especially animation.

Threading Improvements

Low-level threading optimizations have been added, which improve all threaded workloads. The speed of mesh evaluation for interactive work has improved, for example during animation playback, and modeling.

Procedural Modeling

Array Value Saving

The values of array channels are now saved into the scene file (.lxo).

Curve Fill Update

The Curve Fill mesh operation can use open curves as guide curves for the topology. For example, if you need an edge in a certain place on your filled curve, you can specify a guide curve, and Modo will place an edge along the length of the guide curve. For more information, see Using Guide Curves.

Curve Rebuild Spans Mesh Operation

The Curve Rebuild Spans mesh operation allows you to procedurally rebuild sections of a curve without altering the existing points. For more information, see Rebuilding Curve Spans.

Curve Sweep Mesh Operation

The Curve Sweep mesh operation provides a streamlined workflow for procedurally extruding geometry along a curve. For more information, see Curve Sweep.

Lace Item

The Lace Item is a collection of commands designed to streamline the process of building laces in Modo. For more information, see Lace Item.

UV Flip Mesh Operation

The procedural UV Flip mesh operation allows you to horizontally or vertically flip UV orientations for an entire map or a selected area. For more information, see Procedural UV Flip.

Rendering and Shading

AxF Import and Shader Support

Modo now supports the import and shading of a subset of AxF shaders, allowing you to get full quality materials on your surfaces when using the AxF material.

The importer supports the following:

SVBRDF material type, including Base Color, Normal, Specular Color and Lobe, and Anisotropy rotation texture effects (AxF 1.0)

Improved SVBRDF material specular calculations to use GGX normal distribution function (AxF 1.5)

For more information, see AxF Material.

ProRender Alpha Render Output Support

A dropdown has been added to the PView viewport that allows you to select between Final Color Output and Alpha Output.

In Options, you can now save a layered image of all render outputs by clicking Save Layered Image.

For more information, see PView Viewport.