Rendering Preferences

The Rendering preferences contains all settings that determine the rendering behavior of Modo.

To access these preferences:

On Windows, open System > Preferences.

On Mac OS, open Menu > Preferences.

Color Management

Default OCIO Color Config

This option controls the default configuration type for new scenes. Each separate configuration controls which color spaces are available for use by items in the scene. Each type contains a different set of profiles. You can also designate a config for individual scenes manually in the Scene Item.

Default 8-bit/16-bit/Float Colorspace

These options designate the scene-default profile assigned when reading and writing the associated bit depth of image for any items that have their colorspace control set to Default. You can also designate colorspace profiles individually on the Image Map item in the Image Still subtab.

Default Numeric Colorspace

This option allows you to set a default colorspace to use when displaying images. It defines the colormapping assigned to UI elements, including the Properties Image Still tab Color > Colorspace. The default value is set to sRGB. The following formats are available:




Rec. 709











Default View Colorspace

These options control the colormapping assigned to user interface elements, including the Color Picker Viewport, Color Swatches, the Render Display window and the interactive Preview Viewport.

Affect Modo Color Swatches and Picker

When this option is enabled, the Default View Colorspace option adjusts the display of individual color input fields in the Properties form to match the colors of the Render display.

Affect System Color Dialog

When this option is enabled, the Default View Colorspace option adjusts the display of the Color Picker viewport pop-ups and windows to match the colors of the Render display.

Apply Color Correction Profile to Legacy LXO files

Enable this to apply the default color correction profile to pre-Modo 801 .lxo files. These files pre-date the use of OCIO. Consequently, it may be desirable not to use Modo's default color correction on loading the files as they may already have been corrected using an alternative method. For this reason it is off by default.

Note:  Modo normally initializes scene files if OCIO color configurations are not stored correctly in the file.

Final Rendering

VDBVoxel Cache

Cache Mode

Fully optional, but can be used to speed up the display of VDB sequences. There are three options: None disables the cache functionality, Fast stores a limited data structure that allows for faster display, although less accurate, and Full stores the entire VDB file in memory for faster access, but requires the most RAM.

Cache Size

Defines the amount of dedicated RAM to be used for the stored data.

Final Rendering

Automatic Render Threads

When enabled, Modo determines the number of threads automatically based on the number of CPU cores and other factors, such as Hyper-Threading support.

Render Threads

When Automatic Render Threads is disabled, you can manually set the number of render threads, which reflect Modo's ability to simultaneously calculate rendering information, each calculation taking place as its own thread. The greater the number of threads, the faster scenes render. However, there is a point of diminishing returns, where overhead of thread management outweighs benefits of the extra threads. Generally speaking, the best performance is obtained when the number of threads equals the number of total cores, virtual or otherwise.

Geometry Cache Size

This value, set as GB (Gigabytes or 1 billion bytes) determines the maximum amount of system RAM Modo uses to parse scene geometry for rendering. When the amount of geometry exceeds this value, an error message is displayed. You can increase this value to render geometry-intensive scenes, such as those using fur and subdivision surfaces with Micro Poly Displacement. For 32-bit systems, this cannot exceed the maximum amount of addressable RAM, apart from that needed by the system itself, typically around 3GB. For 64bit systems, the amount can be much greater, depending on the amount of available system RAM.

Use Network Render Nodes

When enabled, Modo seeks out additional online Modo workers, and use the network attached systems for additional rendering power. For more information on the setup and use of network rendering, see Network Rendering.

Render With Network Nodes Only

When enabled, this setting prevents the master system from rendering any buckets or frames, and manages the process of distributing the data to the worker systems. This still ties up the Modo process on the master system, but reduces CPU overhead there, allowing you to work in other apps while rendering in Modo.

Note:   As the scene being rendered is still loaded on the master system, memory use may still be high, depending on the scene.

Send Whole Frames to Network Render Nodes

When this option is enabled, Modo sends the entire frame to the network workers for rendering; calculating the IC, evaluating the scene and returning a completed frame back to the master system.

Note:  This option only works for saving individual frames, not when rendering to a movie container.

Network Render Group

The Network Render Group is an identifier that allows you to pool the resources of like-named systems for network rendering, giving you a degree of control over how the network resources are allocated. For example, if there are 24 systems available on a network for rendering via worker mode, an administrator could give twelve of them the Network Render Group name "Klaatu" and the other twelve the group name "Barada". When any network rendering jobs are submitted on a system named "Klaatu", only the 12 systems with the same group name can be utilized for network rendering, leaving the other 12 available for rendering only within the "Barada" group.

Network Job Size

This setting determines the number of buckets distributed to the worker machines. The general rule is to take the total number of worker cores for rendering and multiply it by two, producing double the number of total buckets to be distributed. Depending on the scene makeup and network speed, the default 200% value (2x) may not be optimal for load balancing across the network. If the master machine tends to sit idle, it may help to increase this setting.

Send and Accept Assets for Network Job

In Modo 501 and earlier, network rendering files were propagated by way of a shared network folder, where all workers could access the scene and its assets. You can now enable the Send and Accepts Assets for Network Job option and Modo sends the scene and any assets directly to a worker instead, using networks sockets. This avoids the permission issues caused so often by a shared network folder. When enabled, it is not necessary to specify a Network Shared Directory.

Network Shared Directory

When using network rendering with the Send and Accept Assets for Network Job option disabled, you need to define a folder (directory) that each worker across the network uses to read and write to. Once a folder has been determined, use the Network Shared Directory option to specify this location.

Discover Render Nodes via Bonjour

With this option enabled, Modo seeks out systems connected to the same network, that are placed into worker mode and use those systems for network rendering.

Discover Render Nodes via Host List

With this option enabled, Modo connects directly to systems listed in the Host List for network rendering. In instances where Bonjour fails to connect networked systems, the Host List is a way to bypass Bonjour and connect to systems directly if the IP address is known.

Default Output Gamma

When adding new render output layers to the Shader Tree, this value determines the default Gamma setting for the item. You can override this value by adjusting the Gamma value within the render output item itself.

Color Picker Stops

This option sets the default Stops value for the Color Picker viewport. Stops are basically an exposure control that allows you to more easily view and select high dynamic range colors.

Affect Color Control Swatches

When this option is enabled, the UI advanced color selectors are affected by the Color Picker Stops value.

Default Field Rendering

When rendering animations that require interlaced frames, this option determines the default field rendering state for new scenes. You can adjust the setting individually, per scene within the render item. Most modern broadcast mediums do not require the use of interlaced frames, so unless you are certain you need them it is best to leave this option at the default Off value.

Bake UV Border Size

When Baking a texture, or applying the Expand UV Seams command, this option determines the amount of expansion around the UV border. The default value of 3 pixels is generally fine in most instances. When generating very high resolution images, or in cases where texture seams are visible, you may benefit from increasing this value.

Max Render Slots

Determines the maximum number of frame buffers (renders) saved on disc in the Image Browser. Once this value is exceeded, the oldest render is deleted, unless locked. If all frames are locked, then they are treated as if all are unlocked once the maximum number is met. This option is not affected by images loaded into the browser.

Frame Cache Size

This option controls how much of the rendered image is loaded into memory at once. Rendered images are organized internally as a set of tiles, so with this option, you can adjust the balance between faster redraw speed and lower memory consumption. Setting this option to a value that is smaller than the amount of memory necessary to display the rendered image can result in some tiles being purged when zooming or panning, which can greatly affect redraw speed (depending on storage speed and how many tiles need to be reloaded as the image is drawn in the viewport).

Write Buckets Directory

When you enable the Write Buckets to Disk function in the render item's settings, this option determines the specific directory where these files are written. For more information on the Write Buckets to Disk function, see Render Item: Frame.

Recent Frames Directory

Modo saves its rendered results in the user-specified Recent Frames directory. These rendered image files can be selected, navigated, modified and saved from their proprietary Modo rendering format using the Render Display window. Rendered image files are persistent across Modo sessions until you intentionally remove them or the Max Render Slots value is achieved.

Default Output Pattern

This option defines the initial Output Pattern, an option to automatically name rendered frames in any new render output item that is created. You can override this for each output by editing the value directly in the render output.

Block System Sleep While Rendering

This option, when enabled, blocks the system from entering low power usage Sleep Mode when rendering. When disabled, Modo may stop functioning properly when the system enters Sleep Mode while rendering.

Auto Add

This option defines the initial default setting for the Auto Add option of the Render Passes functionality.

Host List

When using the Network Rendering function, the Host List is the list of possible target computer systems that can be used for rendering (The Host List option must be enabled in order to define hosts). This system can bypass the traditional Bonjour automatic node discovery, allowing you to manually enter a system's IP address and test it. This is done by finding the target system's IP address using the computer's networking tools. With the IP information in hand, use the Add Host button to open a dialog where the Host Name or IP address is entered and then press OK. Once you have entered a host's address, yo can test it with the Test Selected button, or test all addresses with the Test Hosts button. For any successful connections, you can use the Connect Selected button for systems that don't connect automatically. For more information on Network Rendering setup, see Network Rendering.



Use Secondary Irradiance Cache

The Secondary Irradiance Cache is used to increase the quality of the preview render, but it takes additional cycles to calculate the additional irradiance values and therefore slows down the preview. If you want to use preview like a final render tool and get the additional IC passes like you get when pressing F9 to generate a final render, this option enables it. Combined with Extended Refinement Passes, it acts more like progressive rendering engines, where Modo continues to improve the image quality as long as you allow it. Disable this option when you want the preview to be more responsive.

Extended Refinement Passes

This value determines the maximum number of rays when using the Extended Refinement Passes option for RayGL and Preview quality. Once Modo arrives at the number of samples as determined by the item settings, it continues firing rays for IC, MC, Reflections, Refractions, Transparency and Subsurface Scattering up to the number of rays set here. This option allows for interactive style rendering when using the Preview viewport.

Bucket Order

This option determines the update order of buckets. There are two options you can choose from.

Semi-Random - Updates buckets in a semi-random order, providing a more iterative update to the render.

Scanline - Updates the buckets in a left to right, top to bottom order, producing a more regular update pattern.

Start Paused

This option determines the initial state when a Preview viewport is opened. In some cases with complex scenes loaded, switching to a workspace with a Preview window, users might experience a temporary freeze as the scene is evaluated for Preview rendering, where Modo will hang. Starting Preview in the Paused state will eliminate this often unexpected hiccup in performance.

Preview Thumbnail

Determines the default rendering style for preview thumbnail icons when saving preset materials.

Render Subdivison Level

Use Subdivs Render Level

In a mesh item's properties, you can define a separate render level for Subdivision Surface geometry. This is a global override option to disable or enable this functions. The option must be enabled here for the associated function to work. When disabled, this value overrides the settings of the Mesh Item.

Use Catmull-Clark Render Level

In a mesh item's properties, you can define a separate render level for Catmull-Clark subdivisions. This is a global override option to disable or enable this functions. The option must be enabled here for the associated function to work. When disabled, this value overrides the settings of the Mesh Item.

Use Cage Mode

An option to disable the display and rendering of the subdivisions altogether without affecting their settings.

Render Proxy

Render Proxy Items (Initial Value)

Proxy items are a means to save individual item layers to external files, making the source scene file smaller. In order for proxy items to render, they need to be loaded into memory, which may slow the scene's performance down, depending on the scene size and other factors. By default, the Render Proxy Items option is enabled, so proxies are rendered. you can set the Render Proxy Items (Initial Value) to disabled, meaning that preview does not render proxies by default. This can also be changed directly in the Preview viewport under Options. For more information on proxy items, see Render Proxy.