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.