Modo vs. Max

Thank you all for the responses. This was so helpful and I really appreciate your time.
And you are fantastic zeOrb! That wall of text, along with other replies actually made my day. :slight_smile:

@KitatusStudios, That time difference is A LOT! I’m going to get hands on 801. :slight_smile:

@syntaxterror, I will probably be accused for that as well if I spend 3.7k on a laptop, don’t really like it to sleep outside. So I upgraded the PC with ~1.5k. But I hope you get what you want. :slight_smile:

Workplane (doesn’t help much), action center (you can edit the Axis in 3ds too), falloffs etc … don’t make 3ds max a ‘win95’.
If these were the groundbreaking features that makes you feel like you’re in the future then good for you.

Why bother saying that if you don’t show what/how you’ve done it?

I’ve been using Modo as a freelance artist for 5+ years, but I’m not here to praise it as others are doing a good job of that. One thing that modo 801 lack is fast animation deformers. Hopefully this will be address in 901. 901 will further refine the modeling process, focusing on the little things that we do day to day. 901 Also has Disney’s GTR BRDF, it’s similar to GGX in UE4.

This is only a sneak peek of 901 , a full feature list will be provide closer to the launch date late May:

901 renderer getting a huge update also:

I actually have Modo but haven’t installed it, just haven’t taken the time to try to learn it.
But based off the new 901 features video, there’s tools in there that Max has had for a very long time, that makes me wonder what standard tools is it still missing. There’s still amazing things in Modo like Meshfusion, but for example a new tool was something like the Cut tool in 3ds Max, or the Make Planar tool, stuff like that that have been around for a very long time that Modo is just now getting.

It’s wrong. Cut tools and make planar already exist in MODO, it just a new iteration of old tools.

Now that modo 901 has been out, what would you guys say is better faster and more efficient for game modeling?
3dsmax 2016, maya 2016, or modo 901 ?

Modo 901 has integrated mesh fusion which I do find handle for game dev. You can also bake normal maps that are compatible with UE4,Source,Unity with Farfarer Vertex Normal Toolkit(it’s free).

I’ve used 3D Studio since the days of DOS (Yay to the Shaper and Lofter) up to 3DSMax 2011 for all sorts of general work, it truly is a mammoth package that takes years to understand all of it. Then I left the last company I worked for and have gone freelance, now found myself thinking, do I really need that massive tool set in Max for what I need now. I also work on both Mac and PC and just need to get the jobs done rather than spending hours upon hours translating skills from one app to another.

So I dipped my toe into Modo Indy (monthly subs on steam), ran through the starter tutorials and got up to a speed where I could use it for commercial projects in about a week. Thats pretty fast imo.

Now as I use it daily I’m getting a few crashes, maybe once a day and often get the “Command Disabled” dialog box popping up for things that worked 5 seconds ago. I put this down to the Modo Indy version so will need to get the full 901 license and go from there. Have no choice now as I am 50% through a client project. But I don’t think I will regret it. It seems a very capable package and the renderer is quick and gives great feedback when tweaking. In max I used VRay mostly with the realtime renderer and spent days tweaking light rigs, render settings etc. Modo seems to get me where I want much faster when it comes to final output.

The only area that has caused me the most problems is applying materials. In Modo you have a shader tree where all the scene materials exist and are applied to polygon sets. This for me took the longest to understand and I am still learning it to be fair.

I haven’t done scripting in Modo yet as its disabled in the Indy version but look forward to having that in the full version. I was quite comfortable scripting in Max and wrote several plugins.

As for Modo Indy I like the following:

For modelling, Modo is great and actually fun. It has everything you need and supports SubD modelling very well.
Keyed animation so far has been an easy transition from Max to Modo.
Deformers seem pretty neat in Modo as do setting up visual helpers.
Dropping in environments for HDR lighting is a doddle
The renderer is fast, even for Blurry reflections and my animations so far have come out clean with a few simple tweaks.

Downsides I have discovered so far are:

Managing scene materials seems complicated. Texture locators and material groups get messy and can break the scene if you like to tinker around.
Crashes daily, maybe every 2 days
Hardly any 3D importers. Have to use other tools to create FBX from CAD data for Modo.
Bugs. Things just break.
Lack of support. Modo Indy is officially supported via a Steam discussion forum only, which hardly gets visited.

Keep in mind I have only been using it for about 3 to 4 weeks now so this isn’t an expert opinion on Modo but it is my opinion from using Max for many years and switching to Modo Indy for commercial projects.

I just downloaded the 901 trial and I’m going to see how it is compared to max / maya, in case you guys didnt know the trial came out a few days ago

you need to try all the applications, if you really want to see which tool works the best for you

i always try to get into modo with each new version but it is very unstable and i also don’t want to install their licensing server and bonjour on my PC to run their software, so while the luxology team ist still as great at support as ever i dislike the foundry a lot and actually hope modo can find a new home at a more customer friendly place

3ds max is old and set in its certain not so favorable ways, i can’t really recommend even trying it at this point, if you have to deal with autodesk learn maya for gamedev, it will be a good choice for your career in the future if you are planning to work long hours at a big studio

before you try any of them (also for others who face a similar difficult choice) is to try Blender, as far as modeling goes it is the fastest if you learn all the important shortcuts (which aren’t a lot) and it is free, has a huge helpful community and does somethings a lot better than its paid competitors (somethings worse of course but none of the paid packages are great at everything) - to me it was far more stable than Maya or Modo, it offers a lot, too and with its latest version and the upcoming 2.75 will work even better with unreal engine 4

It’s soft of weird to hear about modo being unstable. I have 1-10 crashes in 3dsMax daily and in Modo I have 0 crashes after months of work.
What are you doing to get all these crashes?

I’ve heard that release version of 901 is currently unstable, but my 801 SP4 is free from this stuff

I’m a 701 user, been at it for around a year now. Modo is the best box modeller bar none, it’s quick / simple and easy to make structures at an awesome pace…

BUT! When it comes to game specific stuff, it kind of trips over itself (I’m not sure what’s been updated in 901) the .FBX pipeline caused issues (Animations, UV’s), normal mapping bakes were wonky, Farfarer’s Vertex normal kit is good but Maya LT does it better (Smoothing groups) the material based smoothing system in Modo isn’t great. Talking about smoothing groups, in Maya you can preview a smooth mesh by pressing 1,2 or 3… Simple as that!

Trying to do a proper alpha cutout for hair is a pain and there’s no proper node based shader tree implementation, the documentation presumes you know the UI inside and out before you use it. Some specifics like colour maps / Masks requires a convoluted workflow (although easy when you know how (Select diffuse co-efficient from shader tree > Click render and set pixel size > then bake render to outputs).

UV Mapping isn’t as accurate, I had a road (all quads) with a curb. Planar mapped it and messed around for ages in Modo, with Maya I clicked a button and that was the end of the story… The auto-rig / Human IK / animation system in Maya for me anyway is far quicker and simpler to get to where I need to go and finally Modo is quite expensive really… Especially for what it is…!

I understand 3DSMax is ridiculously expensive, but I’d try Blender and Maya LT well before I’d touch Modo…

Yeah, unfortunately The Foundry keeps raising the price of Modo with each release. It could easily wind up costing the same as 3DS Max at some point.

Well, compared to Max/Maya it’s much cheaper

Right now it’s less than half the cost of a new license. And Autodesk doesn’t offer upgrades anymore, whereas I can upgrade Modo from 701 to 901 for $500, even when Autodesk offered upgrades it was still expensive. And starting next year you won’t be able to buy a license of 3ds Max/Maya since it’s going subscription only, which means in the long run you would end up wasting a lot of money

Those Autodesk subscription fees need to be lower really. Yes I know its going to be cheaper for us on a year in year out payment but come on. I’m not sure if they have an Indie subscription, any idea on this anyone?

The new Autodesk subscription fees are pretty nasty for Indy developers - £145 per month Excluding VAT. Ouch!. I assume that will include free upgrades. In comparison the full suite of Adobe CC is cheaper per month at £68 Including VAT. So no idea what Autodesk are thinking as they are but one tool in a workflow.

@ZeOrb - I am using Modo Indy on a Mac. Quite unstable. Although today it has not crashed but its bugged out about 4 times. e.g. Flashing cursor in the rotation Z field, press delete key to remove a digit and the mesh gets deleted instead. Then it decides to think about a new material for 3 minutes before updating the live preview. etc. It just gets irritating when you are trying to soldier on to deadlines. My scene is around 800k polys and 200MB on disk so not the smallest of scenes.

I will give it a go in Windows tomorrow as have bootcamp on the Mac Pro and see if things are more stable.

I might give Maya LT another go, does it have a realtime viewport renderer?
EDIT: I see it has a DirectX 11 viewport 2.0, not the same but good for game artists.


Well Maya LT has been great for me so far, little disappointed with the 2016 release… It has a boat load of new tools (sculpting / rigging etc.) but has been quite buggy…

For $30.00 a month or $240.00 a year it’s worth a try, even if you go back to something else.

If you’re doing more than games you need the full version though

Yes, of course that goes without saying… Just, were on a game engine forum :D.

Cut Scenes

It’s not just games that these engines are used for.