You know, it's a very rare thing when a tool comes along that totally changes the way you work. That happened to me a long time ago in the 2D world, but I never really expected it to happen in 3D. I guess I got somewhat set in my ways and just assumed that there were certain things or difficulties I would just have to live with. In fact, there were things I simply wouldn't try in the past due to the time and difficulty involved. Now that I am using Modo, I don't worry about those things any more.
Just as an example:
There are some aspects of subdivision modeling that used to be a real pain! Dealing with cloth was one of them. It may seem like a small thing, but anyone who has messed with cloth probably knows how quirky it can be. Not the model itself, a sleeve is simply a cylinder, but getting the detail right for colliding with a body was murder. Usually I would end up having to just subdivide the whole thing and end up with a level of detail that the cloth calculations took forever.
Now, with Modo there are some OPTIONS! Just the ability to easily cut, move and add edges alone has made cloth work so much quicker. even to the stage where I can actually experiment. I can keep the resolution of the cloth at levels where the calcualtion can be super quick, so I can tweak the model, try it out, tweak some more and try it out again. Not limited to editing cloth objects, but designing them as I go! This has opened up new doors to what kind of costumes I can and am willing t do on my characters. Not only that, I am free to quickly add definition, just where needed on both the cloth and the body of the character to get the collision just right. These were things I would just avoid doing in the past! Now it's simple. In my mind, the idea seemed simple in the past, but I couldn't actually do it. Now the tools are available that make both possible and quick. Speed is everything to me.
There's even another level to it though:
I don't always want to calculate cloth on a character in every scene. In many cases, it's good enough to have the cloth look like it was calculated, but put a bit more detail to it. Manipulating geometry like this was a bit of chore before, but something so simple as the ability to grab and pull, at any time, a point, an edge, or a whole poly suddenly makes editing a garment blazing fast. Every try to fit a belt or strap onto a character? When you see that little cut-through, being able to pull an entire face, or the edge nearest it really takes the pain out of the work.
Doing wrinkles in cloth by hand, especially those that don't just perfectly follow the contour of geometry has never been easy, or under time constraint even possible, before Modo. Now I plan and design characters knowing I can do that! That's the biggest gain probably. No longer limiting what I am willing to make because I dread having to model it. In fact, I've been able to actually experiment to a large degree, designing and modeling at the same time. My current project is going to be far beyond what I have done in the past just because of Modo. the stumbling blocks have been removed.
Speaking of freedom to experiment, there's something else I want to show...
More to come