Blender vs Modo

Hey guys,

From what I can read, both Modo and Blender appear to be fantastic 3D packages. I’m looking for a package that do hard surface and organic modeling equally well. And it needs to be a great renderer for photographic quality renders. And it needs to work on a MAC laptop. I’ll be honest, from my current POV, Modo seems to be the best all-around package, but I’m here so you guys can tell me why I might be wrong…:wink:

I have not used either package yet.

I don’t care for a feature to feature comparison, in fact I’m focused on modeling, sculpting, texture painting, posing, and rendering stills only. I want to be able to model anything! I don’t plan on doing any animations at this time.

Only Modo and Blender seem to have it all, and work on the Mac. I don’t want to buy ZBrush for organic modeling and posing, and another app for hard surfaces, and rendering. I’m very stubborn that I want a package that does it all, but I don’t have the funds or desire to get Maya.

Download a trial of Modo and download Blender, and root around a bit. Feel what they are both like for yourself and see what decision you come to. There are benefits to both packages and depends on the specifics that you are looking for - just in general, I think Blender would satisfy your needs, but this depends on your time using 3d. Check out the galleries for both sites, see what the users are doing.

I think it’s just up to you if you like Modo enough to buy it or not. Blender is free, so even if you get Modo you can still use Blender with no additional investment.

Check out the forum gallery
Blender has two renderers: BI and Cycles( physically accurate )
Cycles is new and still a WIP but it can produce some really amazing renders.
Blender + Sculptris are an amazing team(and both free)

Sintel( rendered in BI )

Quoted for agreement :slight_smile:

Same question I have some time ago. Personally I decided to choose Blender. Fits almost all my needs, runs on any platform I need, no license hassle, no cost for upgrades, I have instant access to all the newest cool things via builds, etc.

But hey, lately is up to you. Modo have a 30 day trial, can try both Modo and Blender and see what is working best for you. Even if you will choose Modo, you can keep Blender alongside.

Also try some Blender tutorials to see haw is working. There are a lot on the net. I recommend the latest from CGCookie about how to Rendering a Sports Car in Blender Cycles. You can achieve beautiful results in no time.

Modo is an fantastic modeler and I’m envy about their nice texture painting tool. The rendering engine is also great. And with Modo 601, they got some new stuff like proper animation and rigging tools, RealFlow support etc.
However, Modo is still not as ‘complete’ as Blender. There are missing features like a smoke or fluid simulation, a audio layer for animation, no node based material editor (Modo’s shader tree is not so optimal IMO) etc.

Eventually, Modo is the only commercial 3dpackage I would recommend ( look at Max and Maya2013 for example. Their new ‘feature set’ is ridiculous for that price tag).

Rob what do you need Modo for? When it comes to modeling texturing sculpting and specifically rendering Modo is I think in quite many areas more mature and complete than Blender. Cycles is cool but Modo renders blazing fast and has ALL materials included. A lot of compositing stuff can be done in Photoshop.

Fluids and smoke yes are not in Modo but that is something of a special thing which is why I ask why you want to use Modo. It is a highly usable tool for general modeling and product rendering.

If Blenders Modeling tools are good for you maybe consider VRay for Blender or Thea as external render engines to save money as well.

What kind of mac laptop are we talking here?
General System Requirements for modo 601 (Minimum)

  • 2 GB RAM minimum
  • 2 GB available hard disk space for full content installation
  • Mouse or pointing device, including pressure sensitive tablets or 3DCONNEXION 3D mouse
  • OpenGL 2.0 accelerated graphics, at least 1280 x 800 resolution
  • Internet connection required for product activation and to access online videos

Well it all depends on what you want to do I guess, what type of work do you want to do, Characters, environmental or maybe archviz?

If it is the latter then I would suggest Modo because Blender currently have no CAD tools or proper scene units (cm, inches etc) but if it’s just for character modeling or creating environments (or pure hard surface modeling) Blender is about the same level as Modo except it has fewer tools to play with.

But as Craig Jones said, just download a trial of Modo and try it out for yourself, there is no better way to find out if it fits you.

Hope it helped.

I appreciate all the feedback guys. i recognize that both tools have more power under the hood then I’ll use. I think it’s for that reason alone why it’s so tough for me to decide which app I need to invest my time toward.

I don’t want to learn both apps…just lazy that way. Plus the reality is, if I put in enough time to any app, I know i can get some good models and renders.

I think in the end, the decision maker is going to be which app sculpts and paints most similar to ZBrush? I know I could buy ZBrush, but it goes back to that stubbornness on wanting it all in one package. Blender and Modo can model anything as they are now.

So perhaps the critical question is: How powerful are the sculpting and paint tools in Blender?

How powerful are the sculpting and paint tools in Blender?
Powerful enough if you know how to use it (for sculpting search forum- jeepster). There is also sculptris (free) and 3dcoat (cheap) if you want to shop around.

How much experience do you have BlenderRob, and what are you looking to do realistically?

BlenderRob, when you are concerned about painting and sculpting plus photorealistic rendering I think Modo will simply serve you well. All three aspects are extremely well developed in that software.

I also can understand your one application wish because to be honest till now there is no render option for Blender which is as tightly integrated and functionality finished compared to what Modo offers.

Modo is not cheap at all - but it is extremely powerful.

The big difference to Blender I found is that it has a lot of tools similar to other packages but not often are they are stable deep or powerful.

However first you cannot expect the same development depth and stability with open source as with a commercial package and secondly maybe more important Maya is great but do you need all the bells and tricks it offers?

So I mean it is first important to ask yourself if Blender can do what you need it do and if not look for something different.

In my area Blender served me extremely well and I had no need for Modo.

If you know how to use it correctly I would say that Blender’s sculpt tools are really amazing, haven’t tried out the sculpt tools in Modo but from what I have heard they are not much to cheer for, although for which one comes the closest to Zbrush I would say none of them…

All-purpose 3D software will never stand a chance against dedicated sculpting software, if you really want to use good sculpting tools, get a software for sculpting. I wouldn’t recommend Zbrush if you want an easy tool with a slight learning curve but honestly I think that Sculptris will suffice for most of your needs and it has almost no learning curve at all.

blender does not have as many tools but the next release will have Bmesh (complete rework of the modeling system in blender)
And that will be out very soon.

also consider that Blender support a lot of external renderer, like vray or Thea or yafaray and luxrender… so you have a lot of choice. :slight_smile:

Actually, I’ve heard that Modo’s sculpting was rather basic, even compared to Blenders. I’d be curious to know if that is/isn’t true. Also I don’t believe Modo has modifiers either. Not really a deal breaker, but probably a substantial enough feature to point out isn’t available.

There is a Blender thread on the Luxology forums that is kind of interesting - I always think it’s fun to read opinions on Blenders progress from users of other software.

I jumped the modo bandwagon with version 401 and haven’t regretted that step so far.
Although mostly being a hobbyist, I sometimes earn a little extra money with product visualization - and this is where modo really shines. Blender on the other hand has quite some flaws when working with models exported from CAD applications: Blender’s recalculating and averaging of vertex normals on every import, entering/leaving Edit mode or rendering is a real show stopper in that regard. And even the most sophisticated external render engine is useless, if Blender breaks the surface shading.

So, if working with imported CAD data is part of your workflow: I would choose the modo route.

Almost forgot to cite Luxology’s license policy, as someone above mentioned potential hassle in this regard:

"We make it easy to own and use modo. Our customer friendly policies are this way because we use software too and this is the way we would like to be treated. Check this out:

  • No annual maintenance fees for modo
  • No hardware lock (aka “dongle”)
  • modo includes licenses for BOTH the PC and Mac
  • At a new location and need modo? As long as you have access to the Internet you can download modo and your license and be up and running. Just delete it from that system when you are done."

The modo license is not tied to a machine, but to a customer. So, you can install modo on as many PCs (and Macs, same license!) as you want, as long as it is only used on one machine at a time. No version of modo for Linux available, though.

If you want the best choice and you love zbrush I would say with my eyes closed buy zbrush and also use blender. Blender might not be as complete or well refined as modo, but its still a very good appication with amazing amoutn of depth. Also Modo is certainly no zbrush . Why drool over the new zbrush features when you can get the real thing. With this way you get a very good all in one package that blender is, but also get something as good as zbrush , zbrush itself. Also getting zbrush is an one time investment , there are no paid upgrades , all future upgrades are free. No reason to wait for modo to integrate a new fancy feature and of course you will have to pay for its upgrades if I am not mistaken.

Zbrush is an amazing piece of software you can’t go wrong with it. And if you are not certain then there is demo of zbrush you can use and blender is already free so it should not take more than a few days to realise they are a deadly combination.

Saying that even if you want to go just blender and spend zero money, yeap Blender can help you make amazing art, it has its flaws but make not mistake about it, its a hugely powerful application that will take you years if not decades to fully explore.

you already know what you want to do…but you need someone to convince you that you are making the right choice???..hmmm…if you are starting out…regardless, use blender…it is free, if you do not stick with it, you have lost nothing but time.