Creativebloke Book Review : In the Trenches with modo by wes McDermott


Luxology’s modo is my weapon of choice in the 3d world, it’s speedy interface, exceptional modelling tools and out of the box renderer do more to make me look good than any other of my software tools and I love it and the community of modonauts quite a bit.

Now 3d isn’t easy, and one of the issues I have with modo is that some of it’s tools are fairly impenetrable, also as it’s a newish app, tutorials are only now reaching saturation and can suffer from over complication which can be hard to decipher for your own needs.

Oh also the documentation for modo isn’t great the reference which comes as a searchable local website is really useful, but the PDF of the manual isn’t intuitively ‘diggable’.

Thankfully Wes McDermott a artist with UPS (which actually looks like a killer job) seems to have suffered with these issues as well and has written this book to answer a lot of the ‘how do I do that’ questions.

It uncovers a lot of the new tools in modo 401 which you (me) don’t allow ourselves time to fiddle with, (Item snap who knew), it also brought home to me how important the middle button is.

All the major topics are covered by going through the basics of modelling, lighting, rendering, etc but tend to focus on the elements you new to know to get something out in a hurry.

Wes’s job needs his workflow to allow his models to be exportable to other apps, and to be fair why not. If i had had this book a couple of months ago it would have taken away a lot of worry I had working on a FBX export project, the downside to this approach is that a lot of modo’s unique qualities are left undiscussed especially with regard to procedural textures, but since most models need to go somewhere it’s an understandable rational.

This has instantly become my quick reference for modo and will probably live in my pack, thankfully it’s not too heavy, and McDermott’s writing style is clear, friendly and quick to read. There is also a ton of content to go along with the book which is available online, for the price this book is a steal and if you use this link you help fund

While it may not be in depth enough on every topic, uv’s for example only look at the unwrap mode it’s by a margin the best modo book out there if you want to get up and running.