You are here: The Modo Interface > What is a Viewport

What is a Viewport?

The Modo interface is made up from a collection of frames called viewports. A viewport is just an empty container whose contents is determined by the options of the viewport Widget (see Layout Controls). Selecting the 3D Model View option changes a viewport to a 3D openGL view with its own functions and settings, but it is still just a viewport. From the Widget, you can subsequently select other options, such as Shader Tree, and the 3D view now becomes a Shader Tree Viewport, which is the identical size as the previous 3D view. This is because you control the sizes of viewports by clicking and dragging on their edges (the small dividers between the frames). Viewports are dynamic and react to the size of the frame they exist in. They even change how you interact with the contents to accommodate specific window sizes, see the example below:

Dynamic View A

Dynamice View B

Cynamic View C

The same Shader Tree Viewport dynamically changes to accommodate different frame sizes allowing access on smaller screens.

Modo uses several different viewport types, Forms are the most common. Forms are generalized containers that can be either a button, a toolbox, or a menu. The content of these viewports can be modified through the Form Editor. The next most common are the GL Viewports, which display 3D content (named as such because they use the prominent open source graphic library named OpenGL). These viewports cannot be modified outside of the customization option available within the viewport itself (and the Preferences settings). Other viewport categories include Data Lists which contain lists of information regarding various Modo items, these include the Item List and the Shader Tree. You interact with the various items in these views, but associated attributes for specific items are viewed in another frame called a Property viewport. Property views are available for various functions including Items, Render Settings and Tool Properties.

Viewports don't have to exist within the frame of the interface itself either, Modo provides both Window and Palette viewports that float above the standard interface. These windows work in the same fashion as normal embedded frames, but their visibility can be toggled on and off with the ` (backtick). The only difference between a Window and Palette is that the windows retain the operating systems controls to individually move and minimize the viewports.

Viewports can be visualized like children's blocks, they can be stacked and arranged any way you see fit, but better than blocks, they can also be scaled, divided, and removed providing the most adaptable and customizable interface of any 3D application.


3D (OpenGL) Viewport

UV Viewport

List & Info Viewports

Item List

Shader Tree

Vertex Map List


Clips List

Clip Browser

Properties Viewport

Info and Statistics

Command History

Utility Viewports

Assembly Viewport

Color Picker

Display Viewport

Gradient Editor

Graph Editor

Groups Viewport

Preset Browser

Creating Your Own Presets

Preview Viewport

Render Display

Tool Pipe