How about Open Sourcing Silo?

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View Poll Results: Would YOU be interested in buying and Open Sourcing Silo?
Yes. I'm interested in developing it and have some time to spare. 5 25.00%
Yes, but I'm not a developer, so it has to be as a tester. 12 60.00%
No, I think this would turn a stable program into a mess. 2 10.00%
No, I think that Open Sourcing this project is a bad idea. 1 5.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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  01 January 2014

Originally Posted by the3dgm: ... What Silo needs, and has needed, is about a half dozen additional commands like the ability to chamfer, bend, etc and then refining what is already there. Just my thoughts.

This is excactily what I had in mind. A Silo 3.0 "Polygons Reloaded Edition" with the same tools, plus additional tools for doing effective Polygonal / Subdivision modeling.
I'd strip away the whole sculpting part of the application as everybody is using specialized applications for that anyway. I've just started to learn how to use the sculpting tools in Modo 701, and I rarely need to use the GoZ button anymore.
It's actually that good. Combine that with Modo's unmatched UV / Texturing tools and you have a really nice package there.

I actually went on and upgraded my 401 license (previously updated from 301 EDU) and the licensing model for Modo is something many companies could learn from. They give you the ability to upgrade for the same price from ANY old version to the latest at the same price, without any stupid subscription that costs you like $2K a year just to get some add-ons you don't really need, just so you can upgrade to the latest Main Release when it arrives without paying for a new license.

Take Maxon as an example. If you skip the C4D subscription, updates are much more expensive, and if you're more than two releases behind, you'll have to buy a brand NEW LICENSE AT FULL PRICE! Now that's customer loyalty for you!

I paid around $180,- for the Modo 401 -> Modo 701 upgrade during a Christmas special.
That's 40% off, so the price isn't all that bad to begin with.
$999 for a single commercial license with unlimited (and extremely easy to set up) network render slaves. Plus, the license is bound to YOU as a USER, wether you use it at home, at your friends house or on a laptop on the beach. You just can't have the same license open on two machines on the same network without entering slave-mode on one of them.

Now that's LICENSING with STYLE!

Wow, that was quite a digression!

But anyway, I was thinking in the same terms as the one I quoted.


1. Stabilize / clean up existing functionality and remove unneeded bloat.

2. Add the missing functionality in terms of modeling tools.

3. Update the UI with a more user friendly (that means Icons are Optional) and modern look and feel, following common UIG's (UserInterfaceGuidelines) for 3D applications, with a high degree of customizable parameters. For example, assignment of hotkeys can be done from a list of action history, and stored as user config files along with the other configuration of the UI etc. For the actual workflow, I'm thinking in lines of a central "Hotbox" kinda thing (for those who know Maya), but implemented in a more Modo-like pop-up Pie-Menu style, so that the user can have the whole viewport for modeling or choose a more traditional "Button layout" with or without icons and hoover help as configurable options.

4. Implement new UV tools based on the existing ones and a texturing module that supports both OpenGL, and DirectX based render pipelines (GLSL/HLSL/CG), including a node based material editor.

5. Introduce a render preview window that plugs into your renderer of choice, to quickly see if the textures / materials are as they should. Also a possibility to use game engine renderer to check out the looks after that kind of tessellation. These could be selectable via a drop-down in the render window and produce different versions of the same scene, with a "history row" in the bottom part of the window, showing the cached renders from your current session, with the ability to store all or export each .EXR to a permanent disk on file. Conversion options included off course.

6. Create "state-of-the-art" documentation for the product and tools with both text and videos describing how to utilize each tool most efficiently, in addition to the standard PDF based documentation.

I believe there is a need for such an application, that can be used as the first and second stages of a production pipeline or as a complete tool for product visualization artists, without any form of animation, rigging or sculpting tools, but "just" a basic but Professional subdivision modeler that only renders through existing established renderers, be it Open Source solutions such as Lux Render and Yafaray or commercial suites such as Mantra, MentalRay, Arnold, V-Ray and Maxwell to name a few.

"Fortune favors the prepared mind"
- L. Pasteur
  01 January 2014
Wow, Modo sounds really good. No wonder its the standard. I especially like how the licensing is handled. I seriously hate having a license semi-permanently tied to a computer.
  01 January 2014
Originally Posted by trancerobot: Wow, Modo sounds really good. No wonder its the standard. I especially like how the licensing is handled. I seriously hate having a license semi-permanently tied to a computer.

What do you mean by "standard"?

  01 January 2014
If I'm wrong, correct me. I'm not in a position to argue about it, as I can only base the statement on what I've read, rather than first hand experience.

I was under the impression that Modo was as widely used as Zbrush when it comes to modeling tools.
  01 January 2014

I'm one of those individuals that doesn't believe that the source code of Silo will be released any
time soon, if ever. On the other hand, if some good programmer has the enthusiasm and free time to
do something about an abandoned 3D program, there is Misfit Model 3D. I've nothing to do with this
software...except for testing it for a couple of months on Windows 7 (and custom. all the hotkeys).
It's very basic compared to Silo, no sub-D, more like MilkShape3D. OpenGL, very stable and simple.
Sorry for bad english.
  02 February 2014
I'm not sure what would really be achieved by taking sculpting out of silo. I use sculpting from time to time as it has a nice feel and it is nice having it along side standard modelling - plus the brushes can be used on UVs which can be pretty nice.

For me, there are just a few tweaks but hardly any additions which would really improve the program (one of the main ones being to get rid of the little yellow blob that appears if you try to do a sticky-key extrude too fast).

I have been using Silo recently instead of Maya and it turned a few heads. I have been recommending it but with a caution that there are glitches/ bugs and it isn't being developed any more.

Last edited by John Keates : 02 February 2014 at 05:14 PM.
  03 March 2014
Hi guys,
Though I like the idea, I don't think Silo3D will be open sourced, at least not any time soon (Nevercenter even has a promo sale on, obviously they're still shifting units).

There is a very similar open source application already out, called Wings 3D which is a subdivision modeller. While development on it ceased completely for a few years, a new version came out in November and the project is being actively developed again. Wings3D is what got me into modelling, and Silo felt, to me at least, like a bit of a spiritual successor to Wings. There's a lot of overlap between the two feature wise.

If you want to contribute to an open source 3D project, I think Wings is the way to go. I think there's only one active developer working on the project at the moment, so any additional resources will be welcomed.

With an active community of developers, I really think Wings could become the Silo successor you were hoping for.
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