Animation companion for Modo 202?

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  01 January 2007
Animation companion for Modo?

Hi folks!

Is to find an animation software with good and easy to use cloth/softbody capabilities, relatively efficient and easy way to do muscle+tendon movement. I value the ease and speed of use over others, so for example functional basic muscles win over more robust but troubled solutions. Modo is the modeling & texturing-tool. Rendering will take place in either the anim soft or some other, for instance Lightwave. So will need renderer/export capabilities.

Modo + Cinema 4D R10 + Mocca 3 module
Would get good anim tools, muscle-tools too and great and easy cloth but a lacking renderer. Last bit could be fixed with Vray plugin once it's done but that's in unknown future. Other downside is total price. Effects would have to be done in other software also.

Modo + Softimage XSI foundation
I hear great animation tools, mental ray, some type of cloth, particles, fluid.. but muscles? And is the cloth comparable to Cinema's? Syflex-cloth would definitely rock but is expensive/only in XSI Advanced.

More ideas, comments? Motionbuilder for instance: great but way too expensive. Poweranimator?

And why not Lightwave? I have Maestro for Lightwave but would need additional cloth-system and muscle-system to make character animations(the level I go for) in Lightwave feasible for me. I had bad experiences using cloth+character back in LW8.

Modeler/animator mostly when doing 3D. Background with 3DS Max and Lightwave, studied some XSI 4 years ago. Back then rigging characters in XSI was difficult enough(for me) to be scary. Currently using Lightwave 9.0 and Gmax. I'm no tech-wiz, certainly not the type to write my own scripts nor happy to do complex setup-combo just to get some tiny thing working. So ease of use is important.

Currently playing with demo of Cinema 4D R10 and Modo 202. Got Silo also to look into.

I went through some threads in time order and with search. Sorry if I still manage to bring up something recently discussed. And sorry if this should go into some other discussion area. Good thing for this here is that Modo users usually know tons about other software too.

Thanks in advance for any pointers and opinions!

- Sleepy

Last edited by CGmascot : 03 March 2007 at 11:08 AM. Reason: fine-tuning the goal describtion
  01 January 2007
Hey Sleepyghost.

Have you looked at Messiah:Studio? Can handle just about everything you are looking

Here are a few links to get you motivated:

And a sample from that movie:

One of many free rigs available:

And dont forget these:

Also, you can hang around in the CGTalk forums dedicated to Messiah as well!

Your other options are far too expensive, but then, I wouldnt know what expensive IS for you. Sure they are all good at what they do. Also, your results with a software equally depends on how much time you are willing to give.

Totally agree with you on Motionbuilder being way out of reach. That leaves only a few (well, for me, only one) option left. And that's Messiah. It really is that powerful. But not complicated. Of course when you're ready, Messiah can handle complicated stuff just as easily.

Hope I've helped a bit, and that you find the right solution.


  01 January 2007
Originally Posted by khurrum_j:
Hope I've helped a bit, and that you find the right solution.

Yes, you did help
At first I overlooked Messiah as too technical for my sorry little head, but the more I read and watch videos the better it looks. And, you are right, it is a great deal cheaper option too. That Cinema+Mocca3+Vray-combo especially, even with 'competetive sidegrade', would cost closer to 2000 euros. Then again I was, am, prepared to go that high - would rather not to, though. I would be a poor man then, again.

Just downloaded Messiah:Studio demo. Will get to know it. If it suits me I can retain Lightwave as my effects & render-tool. Would be a happy union. LW 9.2 update should bring more joy to rendering too.

Thanks Khurrum!
  01 January 2007

You're very welcome.

Its a known issue with software companies. Those other companies are spending crap-loads of money on advertizing (which is a good thing), thereby getting the larger share of consumer interest. However, consumers are extremely cost- / feature-conscious now as compared to 10 years ago. So, we ARE at the stage of small, focused companies garnering interest in their software/code.

With that trend, its become much easier to choose your desired platform. If you hop on over to the Messiah forum, you'll notice a lot of them are coming from a focused software background. They might use Modo/Silo/ZBrush (Particularly good with Messiah)/Mudbox for their modeling/scultping. And get their setup/animation & even rendering done inside Messiah. Right tools for the right job.

One thing of particular importance:

If you really want to get to grips with Messiah fast, then I'd strongly suggest completing ALL of the tutorials that comes with it. It might take you some time, but not very long. But thats what I've personally noticed. The tutorials are an amazing place to really whet your appetite for the software, and you'll be up and running in no time. A lot of people dont like to read the manual. But for me, Messiah docs are not only focused, they are short, very interesting and very funny! You'll know what I'm talking about when you've gone through them.

All the best.

Sorry for the long post !


  01 January 2007
Thanks again, Khurrum.
I agree with what you said.. that is my understanding(though less educated than yours) about the field as well. And indeed, "Right tools for the right job".

I am still a bit divided though - the main thing being cloth. And for me, well, I would hate not being able to dress my characters. I read several threads last night on creating cloth with Messiah. And it seems like a very big issue still. Clothilde in Cinema's Mocca-module on the other hand gets high praises in reviews. Note I wrote "reviews", haven't combed the forums for user opinions on that yet. May be that there is no such thing is a good & easy to use cloth engine in existence. But I won't know it's usefulness and true capabilities until I test them myself, I suppose. Need to dress a character, animate it and see what happens. Same thing with Messiah, I need to test it quite a bit before moving forward.

From financial and workflow-point of view I would really want Messiah to be "the" animation tool for me, to cover all areas of animation. Rendering is just a plus.

Thanks for the long post, I don't mind I better get into studying and testing. Too bad responsibilities like work interfere

- Sleepy
  01 January 2007
From a price standpoint, I would also suggest either Messiah, or XSI Foundation. I own both. Personally, I like software that navigates & mouse clicks similarly to the Operating System you are using. Messiah just had too wacky an interface (in my opinion), which was the killer for me.

XSI Foundation is fantastic, and the cloth it comes with is better than Lightwaves (only thing I can compare to). The Renderer is REALLY good (though complicated), and the animation capabilities are deep. Be prepared to study though. There are so many ways to do things using this software, I get confused sometimes on the best approach. I upgraded from 4.0 to 5.0, but I'm holding off on version 6-- 5.0 does everything I need it to do.
  01 January 2007
just wondering if there was any news on Modos animation ...
  02 February 2007
Hey HarverdGrad, thanks for the suggestion and info.
I am still considering XSI also. The technical aspects of it scared me 4-5 years ago, but it may be easier now. And for sure it has better cloth than Lightwave - most animation software do, probably Anyway I will know where to go after running through the demos for some time.

Brenly, as far as I know animation is still a long way in coming to Modo. News, peeks into new stuff and such on Luxology forums mostly advertise the coming sculpting tools. I guess they will make Modo first the "all it can be" software in modeling&sculpting&texturing&rendering and then, maybe, go for animation. But that is just my take.
  02 February 2007
that sounds good .. Id like to see Modo become the absolute no1 modeller first before taking on the animation giants ...
  02 February 2007
Originally Posted by Sleepyghost: Hi folks!

Modo + Cinema 4D R10 + Mocca 3 module
Would get good anim tools, muscle-tools too and great and easy cloth but a lacking renderer. Last bit could be fixed with Vray plugin once it's done but that's in unknown future. Other downside is total price. Effects would have to be done in other software also.

- Sleepy

I would disagree. 1. The Renderer is fine, it's just a little slow on GI stuff, but it's still a good renderer. VRay isn't all THAT great so don't bank on it. But I suppose it depends on what you do.

The Muscles in the Mocca Module are not that great. Theyre still kinda primitive at that point. Nothing like a Maya system. But overall it's not that expensive. It'd be like 1000 Euros for Cinema + Mocca 3. If you didn't need Cloth, you could get by with Just the Core Package which is like 684 Euros I think.

Just thought I'd point these things out. Good Luck in your search.
  02 February 2007

Thank you for the info and pointers. Yes, I know the prices and most discounts I can get.

Regarding the muscle-system.. could well be that I'm just a victim of good marketing from Maxon Good to know they are not that special - also a little bit sad. I can't compare to Maya, got no experience there and really I'm still only begun testing Cinema. I've done muscles only in Max(with CS) some years ago and some tests in Lightwave. Messiah:Studio seems to have solid ways to muscles.

Whatever I go for I would need cloth or a very good work-around.

Anyway this is a long process.. searching and experimenting with demos.

  02 February 2007
Well i would suggest the first pipeline, ie Modo + C4D.....but at this time, have u tried the C4D modeler set ? no one can imagine what it has become by time, fast and accurate...give it a REAL try...
...for the muscle system it's at its beginning and can't be simply compared to Maya or whatever more affirmed...but works good, easy to set up and the Mocca 3 set responds better....
...for the renderer it definitely needs a revision, just for the GI (which is anyway good) while on the other aspects it has a wonderful balance between time and appearance....
Bye bye

  02 February 2007
Originally Posted by OneDeadPixel: Well i would suggest the first pipeline, ie Modo + C4D

Cheers OneDeadPixel. No, I haven't truly tried C4D modeler set yet, just played around. Will do more later, probably. But as I found Modo's approach very appealing and also rest of it to my liking and easy to get into, and as I ordered it a few weeks ago, I reckon Modo will fill modeling&texturing part of the pipeline for me.

Thank you for all the info on C4D, good to know. I am still considering C4D for animation. The decision making process will take some time, I'm sure.
  02 February 2007
Have you looked into Carrara 5 Pro? I know it is from DAZ, but it is a great program and has a number of features. It has a limited modeling, but with Modo it would work great.
Brian Weston
  02 February 2007
Originally Posted by Sleepyghost: But as I found Modo's approach very appealing and also rest of it to my liking and easy to get into, and as I ordered it a few weeks ago, I reckon Modo will fill modeling&texturing part of the pipeline for me.

Well this was a suggestion mostly based on my usual workflow and so i told you...i was a LW user for some years, and only from version 8 i re-discovered, now i'm usual to its feeling and even i've deeply tried Modo i can't leave C4D again...but for the animation side i can suggest it without doubt, esepcially now at version 10 which has gained some real benefits..
One thing that i can add is that you have to look further every software's capabilities...try to find something that can exchange datas with other software for almost every aspect in a comfortable is animation and compositing which are crucials...a software with an astonishing animation set has also to give you possibilities to export animation tracks and sequences that can be used in compositing softwares without banging your head.

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