Modo to Blender modeling questions

I’ve been using Modo for years but making the jump to Blender with the added pressure of figuring it out enough to use it professionally in another month or two. I really, really like it BUT I’m also in over my head.

My questions are, how do you take a low poly model and export as a smoothed, creased, rounded .stl file? The subdivision modifier seems like its purpose is for rendering quality and not smoothing out the actual surfaces for export to a 3D printer. If I go to edit mode, select my model and choose subdivide, 2 or 3 times, all that happens is my low poly model comes out as a faceted (not smooth) high poly nightmare. Clearly, I don’t know what I’m doing.

Ultimately, I’d like to transfer 75+ Modo files to Blender. Do I really have to go through each one and redo the creases, mark sharp, etc? Or is there an easy way to transfer files?

I’m including images of my Modo workflow and my attempt to get Blender to do the same thing. You can see that the results are wildly different.

Modifiers have to be applied to affect the geometry that will be exported. This is because if I have a curve modifier, the model can get deformed differently frame by frame, so it doesn’t know which one to export.

I guess this thread will be your friend…

OK, that’s a HUGE help! Thank you. That totally takes care of my low res .stl problem. My other unresolved stumbling block is how to get crease data to transfer and which file format to use. Any chance you can shed some light on that?

My modo user name is almost irrelevant since I hardly ever got a useful response to a forum post there. I gave it up a while ago. I guess everybody had already jumped ship to Blender. Ha ha. Wow, it’s so much easier to use, the add-ons are sick, you can’t beat the price. The Foundry really ticked me off charging so much for their video tutorials to learn THEIR software. Two thumbs up to the Blender community.

I am not sure if any format in Blender supports exchangable edge creasing/weights for subd modifiers. You might either need to add the creases to your imported models or model them from scratch in Blender.

You can use Shift -E to add edge creasing in edit mode, then make sure the subd modifier is using them. See the image (red edges have creasing weight).

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And now I know how to add creases. Yay!!! This has been super helpful. The only issue I now have is if there’s an exchangeable file format that supports creasing? Otherwise, I have a few weeks of file updating to do.

Alembic supports creasing.
There may be a slight disparity between the results due to the value range. When importing to Houdini I have to multiply the crease value.

I guess the issus is if the the Blender Alembic implementation supports the creases.

Alembic does support creasing! Ben_Morrison said it would and he was correct. My modo is old as dirt and the Alembic translator was unsupported. I got a friend with Modo 14 to output an edge-weighted model as .abc and lo and behold…SUCCESS

FBX may also work. Technically the format supports it, but it would depend on which version of the FBX sdk your version of Modo is using.

Blender 2.82’s FBX importer should support it.

While the title is FBX exporter, the patch author also mentions adding support for importing.

Days later and I’m still fighting with the creasing issue. .fbx and .abc seem to transfer OK but I wouldn’t call the results I get identical. I’m wondering if maybe the Modo edge-weighted crease doesn’t equate to a Blender crease? In Blender, is “edge crease” different to “edge bevel weight” and is “mark sharp” something entirely different? If I’m looking for a razor sharp edge, how do I go about getting one?

‘Edge crease’ is for subd.
‘Bevel Weight’ is for the bevel modifier
‘Mark sharp’ is for normals.

The difference is likely the scale of the crease value. I would guess the Blender value is the imported value divided by 10.
In Blender, crease is a 0-1 range where other software often uses a 0-10 range. If i recall correctly, the 0-10 range correlates to a perfectly sharp edge where crease weight == subd level.

I think that’s the answer I was looking for. Even at 1.0 crease and a viewport level of 4, I wouldn’t call it razor sharp. It looks like it has a 0.3mm radius. Top image is modo, bottom is Blender.

thanks… how do you display the value of edge creasing if you need to make changes after?

You’ll find the edge values in the Item Transform tab / N Panel in Edit mode.

a very basic question… When I have two distinct objects like a cube and sphere in one mesh layer, how do i select one of them quickly? eg: if I wanted to select the sphere in that mesh. In Modo, I could just double click on a face of the sphere and it would select the whole sphere.

With default keymap, either:

  • hover mouse over the mesh and press L key
  • select one vertex/edge/face and do a Select → Select Linked → Linked (Ctrl + L)

Both operations have options where you could specify selection delimiters if you want any.

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noob question, but what is the hotkey to toggle between vertex/edge/face mode in edit mode? is there a quicker way to select either one of them when in Edit Mode?

Don’t know about vanilla Blender but Interactive Tools For Blender has mode cycling option (you can bind a key to select through the modes) as well as remembering selections per mode (diiferent selections memorized for vert/ edge and face like in Modo)