Cool things in Modo no one knows!


Hi Guys ,

Please post your tips and tricks about Modo in this thread!


Please ask questions not in this thread but at the forum.

  • right click on vert/edge/poly in 3d viewport to quickly switch to the appriopriate (vert/edge/poly) mode
    • shift-click on the tab on the modo’s toolset to display tab under the mouse without switch to it permanently
    • drag and drop an image into 3d viewport to set it as backdrop image for this viewport


Tip: Try when rotating the viewport to use the rmb instead of the lmb and while rotating the view release the mouse button.
Your model wil now continue to spin until u click it again.
(Its a nice featsure in my opinion)

Pazur: Damn nice tips! simple featsures but they really help the workflow!


To easily move between verts edges or polys, simply right-click on them (without an active tool). Or right click on an empty space to bring up the quick select.

Make sure that when you activate a tool (or tool preset) that you look at the information window below the viewports (in the default preset) it will tell you what mouse buttons / ctrl / shift etc… does for that particular tool.

When creating geometry shift-left click will reset and continue the tool, which makes modeling very fast, but be careful it’s really easy to forget that you’re holding the shift key down :slight_smile:

Overlapping geometry can sometimes happen, if you do things like cut and paste, and if you paste something down twice and/or you manage to create some extra geometry that you don’t want, doing a vertex merge and a polygon unify will cleanup situations like that

Quite a number of the “tool buttons” that you see on the default layout, are actually tool presets, on quite a number of them if you look in the command history at the command that was actually fired when you clicked on the button, there may be arguments fired with it. If you select that command, then look at the input window it will show you all of the arguments. You can then erase all of the arguments and hit enter to refire the command, and modo will ask you what you want to set. Vertex Merge is a good example of this, the default is good for 99% of the time, but if you input vert.merge in the command entry, modo will give you more options.

  • when using “lasso select” use the RMB to select components in raycast mode and the MMB to select also points/edges/polygons on the back of the object.

  • holding down the control key and clicking on a primitive creates the respective primitive without the need of “drawing” the object


Tip: Hit the “t” key to switch to the (Element move tool).
When active u can freely drag poly’s, edges and points without having to select them.
This one is VERY powerfull. Also dont forget to look at the extra info on the bottom of the screen in the tool tips area.


i think this is one of the best things about modo,

double clicking on an edge will select proper edge loop


All the falloff types work with the Weight Tool, so it’s possible to use them to get a smooth falloff with subdiv edge creases.


Arrow keys

up grows selection

downs shrinks selection

Side keys

Alternate/next loops selections

these work great with the double click selection kursad mentioned. :wink:


Pressing the “/” key gives you one 360 spin of your model.


ok ,double click on an edge,as said before selects an Edge loop :bounce: then use the arrows to select the next loop up or down…then go to your Perspective view from the dropdown choose refection then give it a spin using Alt right mouse…Whoooaaa…fun…
:hmm: …well i liked it :shrug:


The “spikey” tool isn’t just for creating spikes, it’s also a great way of splitting your polygons directly in the middle.

Along with that, doing a “vertex bevel” is a great way of creating a new circle of geometry surrounding a vertex allowing you to retain the shape of your geometry

The combination of the two will allow you to add a quick hole in a polygon.


If, like me, you are not a fan of trackball rotation (and it’s tendency to rotate wildly off axis) you can toggle it off. This, plus using the Maya keymaps makes it much easier to move around.

I never could understand how LW and Alias users put up with breaking their workflow by having to mouse up to the right-hand corner simply to rotate, pan and zoom the camera around! :wink:


pressing pad “0” is going to maximize or minimize any window (3d, layers, tools, etc)


you can drag and drop images from explorer windows to viewports as background images


Turning on view->show falloffs will cause the vertices to colour coded by the influence a falloff has on it.


Do not fear the “advanced” mode, simply select system - preferences - tool handles and change selected and unselected to “advanced” for more feedback and more control per tool. You’ll notice changes in things like UV controls as well


To change the flatness of the Perspective view go to
System->Preferences->Display->OpenGL - Flatness of Perspective
I usually have it set to 55 - 60% when I model characters.


Script to export really simple rib file


open(fileOUT, “>” . $ARGV[0]);

my @fgLayers = lxq( “query layerservice layers ? fg” );

print fileOUT "WorldBegin

foreach my $layer (@fgLayers) {
****my @polys = lxq( “query layerservice polys ? all” );
****foreach my $poly (@polys)
********print fileOUT "Polygon “P” [
********my @verx = lxq( “query layerservice poly.vertList ? $poly”);
********foreach my $vert (@verx)
************my @pos = lxq( “query layerservice vert.pos ? $vert”);
************foreach my $f (@pos)
****************print fileOUT "$f ";
************print fileOUT "
********print fileOUT "]

print fileOUT "WorldEnd



The Gooch shader and Toon shader are editable ARB shaders. The shader parameters are found in the Resources directory (for Mac people this is inside the Application Bundle. Use Show Package Contents on the modo icon). You can open the Gooch.arb and Toon.arb with any text editor and fiddle with the values to customize the shader.