MDD workflow


I’m planning to add Modo 501 to my pipline mainly as renderer. I do my animation stuffs in Blender so my plan is to import animations as MDD point cache and render them out.

My question is, is there anyone having same type of workflow using MDD from what ever software you use and rendering out with Modo?

I’m interested because rendering stuffs outside host program can get easily confusing.

For example, you have ok mesh with ok animation imported into Modo. You have set proper material, texture and maybe UV inside Modo and then suddenly I have to add some more detail or edgeloop for some reason. Now you have to go back and fix what ever you have to with your animation software and re import to Modo and do all same things again. Yes, maybe UV is easiest one to exclude from list since in my case Blender has so nice UV tools, but what about assigning materials? It’s not bad if there is few object to deal, but story is different when you have multiple objects or single object where will be polygon level material assigments. Is there any magic style solution for that kind stuff?

Another one, how to deal massive amount of objects? It’s sure easier to handle objects if you combine objects before export so you have to deal 1 object than 15. But it might not be ideal on host software and again, you have to combine objects every time you want to export. Yes, in perfect world you only export once and all good, but I’m sure everybody knows it’s hardly realistic :slight_smile:

So those are my first impression about exporting stuffs from A to B using MDD. If someone want to share thoughts or experiences, please join here and let me and all know!


I think the answer is writing a batch processing script for each side.

I have no knowledge to script such a tool.

If you modify your model in modo and change the topology or point order then you’ll need to get that mesh back into blender and into your rig so that the mdd can be re-exported.

Luckily though, you won’t (shouldn’t) have to take the mesh back into modo, the mdd will match the point order once you have the right import/export settings sussed out.

this means that you can re do the UVs and assign and setup materials in modo without fear of wasting work.

Doing a batch to get your data to modo shouldn’t be particularly hard (you should only need a very basic understanding of python and the blender (and/or modo) API.

Just try some python/blender tutorials and ask for help when needed in the python sub forum… it’s easier than you might think.

I have to ask, though. Is Modo’s renderer that much better that it is worth all this trouble?

With the existing Blender options of Internal, Lux, Yafaray, RM compatibles, and POV-Ray what does Modo bring to the table that we don’t already have?

I never really use it, but know many that swear by the speed of its GI and love it’s progressive interactive rendering.

…but the main point of it is modelling.

I guess if you own modo and do a lot of modelling in it that blender would be a fine companion for creating animations then back to modo for a final render…

As far as I know, Luxrender is not ideal for animation render. Sure they produce great stills anyway.
Yafaray has no official Blender 2.5 support? Might be good when it’s ready tho.
Pov-ray, is it still there?
With RM do you mean Renderman?

Modo’s already fast renderer is getting more speed when 501 comes so it’s quite attractive. And like Michael W mentioned, it’s preview render will speed up your render set ups!

V-ray might be a better investment if you want a better render engine…

I’ve been testing V-ray for Blender and it’s very promising, but still under development. Andrey is doing superb job there, but any how it’s one man project and you never know what might happen.