View Full Version : Modo 601: Beginner Stuff and how to make a spiral vase!

08-29-2012, 07:08 PM
First of all, I'd like you all to know that I'm a beginner at using the 3D modelling software called "Modo". Modo is an innovative software brought to us by Luxology as an alternative to the industry standard 3D Studio MAX, Maya, Cinema 4D, et al.

I first started 3D modelling in 2001 using the software called "Worldcraft" for half-life mods. I was a total novice back then, but it helped me get a good grasp of how modelling works.

I went serious with 3D modelling as a hobby in 2006 with the help of several architects (even though I was a pharmacy student back then). At that time, I used 3D Studio MAX because of its intuitive user interface. I've been using it ever since. I ran the software in my laptop and later in a proper PC. To my disappointment, however, it gave me several headaches as the software became bloated with useless features. (in conjunction with the Vista bloatware trend)

I've had enough of it. I clearly needed an alternative. Lo and behold, this is where Modo comes in.

All right, if you are reading this thread, chances are you want to learn how to model stuff in 3D. What you need are: computer with mouse, Modo software, the content package that come along with the software*, imagination, patience, and of course, passion! Let's learn how to use Modo! For this lesson, we're gonna make a vase.

First, we'll have a looksie on the program.
Okay! That looked intimidating :O

The first concept we need to learn is that 3D has 3 dimensions. And they run the the x, y, and z axes(yes, that's the plural form of axis). So, instead of the usual Cartesian Plane we learned from high school, x axis being the length and y axis being the height, we add a z axis.

So, on the screen, which we call "view port", we see two grids. Imagine the black grid as tiles of the floor. It's composed of the x and z axes. The light gray grid on the other hand is what we call the "work plane". Currently, it's sitting along the y and z axes. So, imagine yourself in a room filled with tiles. Like a bathroom... no, wait. That sounded creepy >.>

Anyway, we want to look around our... uhm... bathroom. So to do that, we press and hold the Alt key. You'll notice the cursor change in appearance. Just simply drag the cursor inside the view port and you'll notice the view rotate. And as you rotate the view downwards, you'll notice that our work plane is at the same plane as the "floor" grid. :O

If we want to pan the view, simply hold together the Alt key and the Shift key. Drag the cursor on the view port and voila! To zoom in, just press the Alt key and the Ctrl key, and drag the cursor on the view port. Try to get the hang of it ^_^


The work plane automatically snaps to the plane where you are "looking" at. It's a very useful tool because it's where we "work" with our objects.

All right, let's try clicking the cylinder button in the left pane. Then drag it on our view port. As you can observe, as we drag it to get the size we want, we form a circle at the work plane. But we want a cylinder, right?


You may notice 3 arrows in the middle of our circle. Click and drag upwards the dot in the center. This will give the cylinder its height.


You can also try messing with the object's dimension in the left pane. The measurements can be in millimeters, meters, and even inches. It will automatically convert them for you. Nifty, huh? If you want the object to automatically be positioned at the center of the view port, simply press A key. A stands for automatic. Makes sense, huh?

Okay, so we want to make a vase. But to do that, we need our cylinder to have an opening or mouth. So, what we'll do is select "Polygons" button on the top pane. This way, we can highlight the polygon face that we want to edit. In this case, we want to select the top part of our cylinder.


Next we want to make a smaller circle on top so it'll give the thickness of our vase. So to do that, we want to "Bevel" it. Bevel starts with B. What does that mean? You've guessed it right! We'll press the B key!

Once you've pressed it, drag the highlighted area sideways. This will allow us to increase or decrease the size of that circle. Dragging it up and down will change the height of the circle. For now, we just want to reduce the size of the circle. Press the spacebar to exit the bevel mode.


Okay, now we want that circle to form an opening. So what we do now is make another Bevel. So, we press B again. This time, instead of dragging the highlighted area sideways, we drag it downwards. Makes perfect sense >.>

But we want to drag it just a bit. But don't press the spacebar yet.


But we want the opening to go all the way down, right? Press the Middle Mouse Button or if your mouse has a wheel, just go ahead and press it. It will replicate the bevel we just did. Do it a couple of more times until its deep enough. When you've decided it's deep enough press spacebar to exit Bevel Mode.


Of course, we want our vase to be sexy! So, first we select the Items button on the top pane. Then press the Tab key. This will make our vase smooth. This is because, it is now "subdivided", which means the polygons are made "smaller", therefore making it a lot more detailed.



On the other hand, the base of our vase is also round. We want it to be more flat. So, what we do is select the Polygons button on the top pane. Then we select the base of our vase. Press the B key to Bevel. Drag the highlighted area sideways. This way, the base of our vase becomes more flat.


Okay, so we want our vase to be a bit fancier. Why not make it look spirally? Like macaronis or something... >.>

First, we need to select Edges from the top pane. This way we can select the lines that make up our vase. Then we select a line. To select another line without deselecting the previous line, we hold the Shift key and select the desired line. Now, both of them are highlighted.


Okay, so we want to select the other lines around the vase. But we're too lazy. There's gotta be an easier way right? Good news! Just press the Up key. This will repeat the pattern until the selection goes around.


Well, we want to select it now vertically including the inside part of the vase. But that's just laborious. If only somehow, we can Loop the selection around. Hmmm... are you thinking what I'm thinking? Loop starts with L. So, if we press the L key...


Well, that worked! So, we want to squeeze that selected part. Press the R key to scale the selected part by dragging the highlighted area. You will notice that even the height was squeezed. Don't panic! That's normal. In order for the height to stay as the original, just change the value of Y in the left pane to 100%.


Now that our vase is corrugated. We want to twist the whole thing. So it must be deformed... So if I go ahead and select Polygons and double click the object so the whole vase is highlighted. Then we want to Deform it. So, press the deform button from the left pane. There, we will see a Twist Button. You might notice that the circle is aligned the wrong way so, make sure that the Y axis is selected in the left pane.


To twist it, just drag the blue circle in your vase and turn it as much as you want. You will end up with something like below.


This time we want to Taper the vase. So we go ahead and press Taper from the left pane. Go ahead and drag the vase. You will notice that only the bottom part is manipulated. To manipulate the top part, press Reverse.


To make it taper like an hourglass, go ahead and repeat the method above except you don't press Reverse. You should be able to manipulate the base. You will also notice two sets of arrows from the top and bottom. This is called "Falloff". Go ahead and adjust them to make the vase sexier. :D What I did in mine, is lower the top arrows so it'll be close to the base.


Okay, so now we want to put our vase above something like a "table". What we do is select Basic from the left pane. Select the box from the left pane. Remember what we talked about the Work Plane? Yip, we need to make sure we are looking at the "floor" so adjust the view port. Once the work pane is in the black grid. Just drag until you make a flat surface. Up to you, if you want to be precise :)


Next, we want to assign what kind of material the vase is made of. First, select the Layout tab at the top pane. At the bottom pane, select Materials tab. This will show you all kinds of material available for your use. Just select the drop down menu to look for other categories. I want it to be made of glass. So I went ahead and select it, then under that Artistic. I like the green one. So, I dragged to the vase and the vase changed its appearance. You can even have yours made of stone. ^^


To see a Preview of our work, just press the F8 key. As you notice, there's no background. Select the Environments tab at the bottom. There, you can select different kinds of environments. Let's put it in a kitchen because it makes sense. But you can go ahead an place it in a parking lot for kicks and giggles. Just double click it.


Press F8 to see a Preview. If you've decided it's already awesome enough. We know move to the final phase of 3D modelling! Rendering. Just select the Render tab from the top pane.


There, we will see another two view ports. They look identical except the one in left looks photorealistic. You can navigate the camera the same way as the original view port. Remember the Alt key and it's combinations?

If you're satisfied with what you've done, press the F9 key. This will give you the super sexy photorealistic image of our work! It may take a while because it's photorealistic... Go ahead and save it :)


08-29-2012, 07:57 PM
Canis this is awesome, i had no idea you knew this much about gaming and thanks to you i have learned alittle a lot about 3D work and i'm sure i want be the only one :) Thanks Canis

08-30-2012, 01:57 AM
I'm so proud of you!!! You spent ages in this thread and finally it's completed!!
The amount of detail is insane and I suck at computer stuff like this. I generally just stick to traditional art but for someone to be able to do this is pretty amazing. If any of the members are going to try out this tutorial you should definitely post your images below to let others see how you've done!! :)