Why are the simple things not in Modo


I am coming from Maya and I have to say I love the tools in Modo…but some of the things that are in here are just driving me nuts…they just make no sense.
1 Why can’t i just duplicate an object…and why is it so damn hard to work with all those layers…it seems like Modo is only made for scenes with two maybe 3 objects in it…not for doing anything with hundreds of objects. The whoel turning layers on and off thing is way too tedious for someone working with environments
2 There are no spline modeling tools that I can find…the patch tool is the most unintuitive tool I have ever seen
3 The action center idea is REALLY BAD…all i do it click off the object and screw everything up…there should be set centers for the objects that you can move only by hitting a button and not by accident…and there is no way I know of know to reset a center to the center of the object
4 Why do i a have to go in and out of a tool to select something new and use the tool on it…and holding the tool button down is not acceptable either
5 Snapping modes need hotkeys and there needs to be some way to make an object “live”…so that you can draw on it with curves and snap other objects to it
6 Is there a object mode or is it only those funky layers
7 How the hell do I make all my tools autoactivate like they would in maya without using all of them and then setting them to auto

I think modo is a great app with alot of potential…but if you want studios to use this very expensive tool then you are going to have to take a look at how enormously different this workflow is from maya and figure out a way to bridge the gap…right now I can see studios using lightwave making the move…but XSI and Maya people would have much too much of a learning curve at this time to migrate to modo. I really want this app to work for me…but if things really do work like they appear to me now…that might be impossible for my studio and myself…perhaps a maya to modo doc is in order


you dont really need a maya to modo doc. just spend some time with the application.
as for the whole layer editor. i agree. i would rather have an object oriented setup, in a single editor than having several separate editors that focus on different types of object properties. you would see objects/ groups/ selection sets/ morphs/ different atributes. and be able to see properties for multiple objects and not just a single object at a time.

instead of showing objects by clicking on them. youd do the opposite.( more info below )

i did this mockup a few days back but never uploaded it. i was in fear that the LWers would jump on me and kick my ass for suggesting this. ;).
its a combination of what a layer system is like, and an object manager that youd get in mirai/maya/xsi/ etc. ( except maya and xsi separate object managers and layer editors too. unfortunately ). i still dont understand why these applications separate these similar concepts. and add a few different options to either editor.

Hiding/ Icon row 1
in this picture you can see a group of cubes. and i actually forgot to give the cube group an eye icon too. because you should be able to hide entire groups with ease.
anyway. as you can see. the eyes work in a way that if you got the entire object showing you see a full open eye. when you have a selection set/s showing the full eye is replaced by a 1/2 shut one.

with this setup you could easily transfer attributes between objects, manage selections/ objects/ groups/ morphs if need be… or even topology brush items if you wanted ( ill get back to this one )

Sensitivity/ Icon Row 2

you could control if an object/ or group/ or part ( selection set ) is selectable or not. this is great if you have all parts of an object showing, but you only want to affect the faces on the mouth area, and not be able to select anything else. ( if you create faces around borders of parts they would be unassigned, so you could make sure that the faces get to the right part you want. )

Shading/ not in picture but it would be Icon Row 3

shading would control the obvious. either wireframe, or shaded.
this would only be available per object, and not for sub object parts.( not sure how you would even start coding something like that )
anyway, this would make it easy to do stuff like, work on teeth, while seeing the head around it. ( for this i would actually suggest that Modo gets a transparency option for material shading, because the wireframe would be a bit much over an object that your working on. ( like having the wire display for head, and then when your working on the teeth you would see the wire for that too. after a while it becomes a bit much.

usability of geometry manager

each icon row would have 3 ways of being manipulated.
1.) if you left click, you toggle the object on or off.
2.) mmb would enable the entire row of objects. ( would disregard sub objects, unless you middle clicked on a subobject icon )
3.) if you right click, every icon will turn off, EXCEPT the icon that you right clicked on.

there would be a way to drag drop objects onto others, so you could make groups and or parenting.
arrows would be able to be used here so you could navigate through it.
you should be able to use the mouse to almost raycast selection of items in here too. ( would be useful for stuff that will follow below, and deleting a number of selected objects on the fly, or applying materials to selected objects/groups/parts. )


dam my post seems like a work around compared to what you have listed up there. :wink:

1 Right click on selected layer click duplicate, click the w key to move it so u can see the one under it. rename objects in the list by clickin on the name. move the layers up or down by dragging and dropping in the list.
You can even drag them under other layers to keep a heirarchy of sorts.

3 I had trouble with these also, when i wanted to move an object then i figured out that it wasnt T to transform as I wanted, but w to move the slected object.

4 I agree

7 If you want to make auto primitives ctrl click it and a quick primitive will be made.

Middle mouse button is more interactive way of making an object.
select primitive middle mouse click viewport set size, right mouse click adjust segments etc.


thanks ambient for the great suggestion…I would still really like to hear from one of the luxology guys to respond to the other questions


One thing i always wanted for LWs Layer Editor was a way to turn toggle multiple Layers like in Photoshop just by holding the LFT+pushing down the Layers palette. Very simple and fast!


Unfortunately, there are many little workflow things that are different and will cause users to get accustomed too. Users will need to adopt to the Modo workflow instead of the other way around. I am starting to get accustomed to how things are done in Modo, but there are still these little bumps with workflow that doesn’t translate well from experiences with other apps and is causing some headaches. Eventually, I will get it, but it is something I would had hope Luxology would have addressed prior to the release to make workflow more assessible to non-LWs and I would hope it will be something they will address in the future, but by then it might not matter.



AW dude you made my day, after seeing that cool un-Mirai mock up :wink: . Like always good suggestion.


  1. agree. It had be nice, if i could say extrude a polygon from a box with action center:local turn on, than without exiting the tool, select other polygons to extrude. They can also extend this to the element move tool, so i can select multiple type of element and move them without leaving the tool.

Is it me or the extrude tool doesnt work properly in many ways? they seem to create inverted polygons when you use them. Also create a box, select all the polys, hit “X” to extrude, set action center to local, technically it should extrude all the polygons locally…but it doesnt. workaround for now, is use the bevel tool, with zero inset.

A collection mode would be nice, instead of holding shift to add to selection you can turn on collection mode, to collect all selection and when your done right click to tell the app your done with collecting. Making selection/and selection jumping between diferent element type is probably something you do alot…so it should be comfortable and relaxing, just as navigations should be also.


I agree with you 100% on these points. Sometimes it is frustating: when I select a few faces, move it… i have to press W again to be able to select more faces.
Yeah, I also move the pivot by accident, very annoying! I can see the benefits of this feature, but the user should be able to turn it on or off.

About point 6: that’s how Lightwave modeler was built, it has pros and cons I think. You don’t have to select your object to do operations on it, TAB is the most useful example. If you have used Lightwave before than you will understand. I agree that the layer editor can be improved alot. Maybe a feature with a thumbnails to quickly see what’s in the layer.

Actually, I picked up the workflow quite fast (also Maya user). Partly thanks to the Maya style cam navigation! But yeah, still a large gap to fill.


to ambient-whisper : you know what you should do !!! hire a bunch of coders, programmers and built your own modeller…I assure you that I will be the first purchaser…i really like the way you take the ideas from other softwares, mix them up and come up with something cool… btw, post some more of your cool models and update your web site…and one more thing… come back to Quebec :slight_smile:

to lux guys: listen this guy, because I love modo as much as you do and I want it to have more solid base on modelling so in the future it is gonna be the coolest modeller… there are lots of good modellers around nowadays but this guy (a.w.) has ability to see and explain the pros and cos of a modelling program more than any other modeller I think…so…listen :)…actually hire him…


i hate to sya this again, but i do not agree with most of you , but i do understand your struggle,
for exampel, there is no duplicate, because there is copy paste. i hated maya because it did not have copy paste, you i think you would understand what i mean.

“The action center idea is REALLY BAD…all i do it click off the object and screw everything up. spacemunky”
well because you are coming from maya, and you have not seen the real benefit of it, until then you will hate it. in modo there are multiple action centers, one of them is pivot action center. if you do not like default move tool, which is automatic action center, change move tool action center to pivot as your defaul move tool, really easy. and then you do not mess it up easily. i persoanlly hardly use pivot poitn, and in maya after even 4 years it was on my way rather then being helpful

you can assign snapping modes to hotkeys or incorporate them with you tools, because it is a toolpipe item

i do not think that some of your argument is valid, you are rather frustrated with the way it works, and i persoanlly do respect that.
you are telling nothing make sense in modo generally, but to me it makes more sense than maya ever did. so lets make sure that our own personal opinions are personal opinions, because there are alot of people outthere who are happy with it. but that does not mean luxology should not you listen either
as a maya user to i do understand all of your comments, just let you know


this is all a great dialogue…but can annyone address the issue of making mulptiple objects in Modo…not just a few but enough for a complete scene…i would hate to have to make small objects or even worse…portions of objects in modo just to bring them in maya…I mean I can’t even find a standard duplicate in Modo that works at all like i would expect it to


You aren’t making a complete scene, you are modeling. The problem is you are expecting it to work like Maya.


In windows standard is
Ctrl-C Copy
Ctrl-V paste

Same in Modo

or that right click in layers like i said above.

double click on and object if you have multiple and only want a spefic one
w move

then theres clone under geometry /create etc


i can safely say that I am so disappointed in Modo’s ability to construct and environemental model that its sickening…I now understand why Lightwave has never achieved the disemination of Maya/Max/XSI. When building an environment in Maya you routinely have a thousand nodes…can you imagine trying to do that with this layer system. It is now apparent to me to my disappointment that I will have to go back to Maya with my tail between my legs and grin and bear the crap that is maya modeling…CAN SOMEONE PLEASE MAKE A MODELING APP THAT WORKS>>>HINT HINT>>>AMBIENT


You aren’t making a complete scene, you are modeling. The problem is you are expecting it to work like Maya.
hes trying to model objects. not like in maya, but like everywhere else. :slight_smile:

i kinda like the way clay handles this area ( “kinda” because there are obvious disadvantages to the current system as well ). when you start a new object it makes a new “layer/object container” for you. but while your modelling that layer you can duplicate and array. and make new objects within that object if you choose. but new objects from the create menu are always put into their own container. makes managing a bit easier.

i would still like to see it how mirai/xsi/ and others handle this area though. just because it makes each object separate, unless you choose to merge them into one object. it might seem like you would end up with too many objects in the “layer editor” but if you merge objects into groups its nice.

actually that doesnt really bother me " the layer part" but the fact that you cant control them as well as you should be able to does. like being able to see sub-objects for each layer. every separate surface could be a different selection set defined within the layer editor.

the current method is slow and unfriendly. because you choose your “layer”. then you have to hover all the way to the info+statistics, look for polygons, expand, look for selection set, expand, look for group, and press + to add.

if we seen the selection set if we expanded the “object/layer” that we are working on, then this would be much easier because we would have to do so much less hunting. plus if lux added all the stuff i mentioned in another post ( like the mouse commands to enable rows/ disable everything but selected/ and toggling, then navigating and managing in the layer editor would be faster too. ).

i dunno. maybe im wrong. but personally i feel this entire setup could be simplified by a lot, and make it more flexible.


sorry to dissapoint you man, i dont have THAT much money to go around, plus i suck with code. :(. i have faith in lux though. otherwise i wouldnt have bought modo :).
Silo wasnt all that great at 1.0 either. its safe to say now though that its evolved a Ton since.



I really don’t expect that type of functionality from a pure modeler. what you want is scene management (what maya appearantly does well for you)

I really don’t see why the elements of the environment you want can’t be made in modo then arranged in maya.


No he is trying to model it like in Maya or any other full 3d application. He isn’t just modeling he is trying to set up a full scene. I’m pretty sure that Luxology has mentioned that Modo is a modeler. If someone is too dim to notice that they don’t have the full 3D set of tools like animation, rendering and dynamics then that is their problem.


i tell you this,
modo is a modeler, and an enviroment is a place where you put your “models” together. in that sense it makes sense modo to not to have kind of modelling enviroment maya gives you. you can make enviromental works in modo no proplem, but the way modo works is this, modo assumes that you will be putting all those models together in your rendering and animation package (in this case maya). it would be same argument for zbrush, do not even try making enviromental work in zbrush like you do in maya.
in modo there are alot of workarounds, if you are passionate enough i am sure you will find alot of great stuff, but until that you will be a disappointed user, and it is catch 22 right there. sorry about how you feel.
i agree with some people about layer stuff it can be extended beyond what it is currently. but at least it is a great start and i personally use layers like crazy, for sketching, for storing, for keeping old versions, for multiple parts, for keeping things in order, for keeping junk part which i am not sure, and for tracing etc

i know some would hate me saying this again, but when time will come, modo will be your primary tool, you will appreciate it more until then it is catch 22 (it is a great movie btw)

only things that are bugging me in modo are bugs themselves currently, in my humble opinion


when you model an environment theres a few ways to go about it.

you can model everything separately. and see how it works together later. if things dont work out then youll have to go back and fix.

OR, you can model a scene within the modeller how it will be setup in the final scene, with all objects placed correctly so you KNOW things will work, and not have to fix a ton of things later.

some people dont like to work mathematically, and rather do things as they go.

i dont see why both approaches wouldnt work. ( actually they work just fine in the current setup, but it might be a bit more work on the users part )


ok so i was able to test drive modo for 5/6 solid hours, yes i’m sad i know, a friends attempt at sellling me on becoming a windows :smiley: users, but fingers crossed luxology has placed porting to linux on the list of todo’s, even if at the bottom. Anyway my point is i only had so many hours with the app and skimming the docs. Some of what i say could be wrong or just a difference of opinion… they’re like a-holes after all, everybody has got one :slight_smile:

for this the universal standard of ctrl+x/c/v cut/copy/paste then w to move or the clone tool which duplicates with offset… sparing you the move after a ctrl+x/c/v

i didn’t attempt any spline/patch modelling as i’m not that familiar with those methods at this point

i disagree here, this is a power-tool if used by someone that understands howto apply it, to make this clearer you should check out the modo demos, the one in particular that comes to mind is brad working with the old man head, there are others also

not sure why you find holding down a key for a second(s) while you make your selections unacceptable… If you want to add to your current selection then also hold down the shift key also AFTER pressing nad holding the w (whatever edit tool key). this possibly could be a problem for tiny hands :slight_smile: if your edit tools are spaced out from either shift

this is where modo comes in strong i think, it being fully customizable, you can just assign snap commands to keys/key combos… check your command window as your’re toggling snap then from their you can click and assign a key, i would not use a different key for each snap mode but for ex;
ctrl+key = vert snap
shift+key = geo snap
alt+key = grid

i find working with layers easy, but initially i agreed with this for the most part, more so now after seeing amient-whisper’s mock up, good stuff homie. With this an additional object mode for easier selection and manipulation of a single object

not a maya guy so i dont get what is meant here

  hope this has helped.