Modo to Blender Simple Key Config

I just wanted to share my custom Modo to Blender config for any Modonauts out there looking to try out Blender.

You can download it for free from my Gumroad

This is a simple keymap to make using Blender feel a bit more like Modo, while still retaining the vast majority of default Blender 2.8 keybindings so that tutorials are still easy to follow! It’s mostly just navigation and selection changes to bring things more in line with the Modo way.

This is for Blender 2.8 only! I highly doubt it will work as intended with 2.79 and below, but you are welcome to try or use this as a reference to create your own.

Some notable features are:

• Middle Mouse select through lassos

• Right Click Selecting Lassos

• Space bar to “drop the tool” functionality

• Modo Viewport Navigation style

• Paint Selecting while holding ctrl or shift with left click drag

• Custom Viewport Navigation Pie Menu with the buttons in the places they are in Modo

• Default render engine set to Cycles instead of Eevee to be more in line with default rendering behavior of Modo’s F12 box rendering and viewport preview render. (I found myself changing it from Eevee to cycles a lot, but instructions on how to change it back + a variant with Eevee as default are included)

• Backface Culling Enabled by default

• Clip distance set as low as possible as default, so stuff doesn’t get culled out of view when navigating the viewport, namely when getting very close to meshes


GPU RENDERING NEEDS TO BE ENABLED FOR CYCLES IN YOUR PREFERENCES . You will need to go into Edit>Preferences>System and either enable Cuda (Nvidia GPU) or OpenCL (AMD GPU) if you want to use GPU rendering in cycles. By default, this config will only use your CPU if you don’t select one or the other.

• I made this as a config instead of a keymap because as a config this will auto update itself with any new and/or changes in the official default keymap in Blender.

Keybinding Changes Notes:

While most of the changes are just navigation and are not worth mentioning if you have Modo muscle memory, here are some of the notable keybinding changes that you should be aware of:

• Since the WER keys had to be rebound to the move, rotate, scale tools, I rebound their default functions to be a double tap of either the E key for Extrude while in edit mode or a double tap of the R key to activate the tool handless rotate tool of blender. I did not do this for the W key which swaps your selection method by default because it just bugged out completely when sharing the first press with the active move tool.

• A lot of the space bar key combos have been changed to make everything work while fitting in most of default blenders functionality:

 1. Space bar: Changes selection method to just be "select".  This essentially replicates Modo's drop the tool functionality.

 2. Ctrl+Space: Custom Viewport Pie Menu with buttons in the same location as the Modo one

 3. Alt+Space: Play/Pause Animation forward

 4. Ctrl+Alt+Space: Play/Pause Animation in reverse

 5. Shift+Space: Search Menu Popup underneath mouse

 6. Shift+Ctrl+Space: Active tool sidebar list popup underneath mouse

 7. Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Space: Fullscreen active viewport with UI elements on

• Since I had to rebind the shift right click and drag to be the adding lasso select, I had to rebind the cursor moving function to activate on Shift+Right Click PRESS instead of Drag. Unfortunately this doesn’t feel as great as being able to drag it, and snapping doesn’t work with it, but it’s better than not having it at all.


• The active tool Box Select (The one activated in via the “T” left side bar) is basically disabled and doesn’t function. You can still activate the box selecting with the B key though.

• My paint select workaround involves temporarily activating a small circle select tool while holding down either ctrl or shift with left mouse button drag. This can sometimes cause some unwanted behavior in some very specific situations.

• Shift Right Click Press moving the cursor hotkey doesn’t work with snapping and can’t be dragged around, only place in one click jumps. IF you need the cursor to snap or need to be able to drag it around, you can active the cursor tool on the left side bar “T” tool bar

• While not a bug with the config I’m including, there is a reason why I am not including a Box Select instead of Lasso Select version. There is a bug in Blender where if any form of the Box select tool with the add or deselect modifier are bound to Middle Mouse, it will not let go when you release the middle mouse. This happens with the default tool and the original Heavy Poly Script. This is not an issue with Lasso Select bound to Middle Mouse.

There are probably a few more quirks, but for the most part it works surprisingly well!

Huge shout out to Brent Alleyne (@Brent3d) from Alleyne Studio for inspiring me to create this because of his old Blender Lightwave/Modo config he made back in the day for 2.7x. His config not only was a source of inspiration for me, but it served as a point of reference for how to create some of the functions in Blender to work like Modo. I would have never made this without him!

And another huge shout out to Vaughan Ling (@Heavypoly) from HEAVYPOLY for creating the Border_Select_Through script in his Blender Config that I used as the base for the Lasso Select variant in my config. I wouldn’t have been able to create this without him!


This is very interesting! I’m also currently using Heavypoly’s Select_Through script, so I’m curious to see how your variant works. Also, have you looked into Raycast Select by @Darcvizer instead of a tiny Circle Select?

Might want to pop into the Modo to Blender discussion to mention your config :smile:

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Great job! and thanks for the shout-out :+1:

Thanks! I meant to send you an email about it privately before I released it, but I figured you’d see it via the mention on here ;). I would have never even know this was even a possible if you hadn’t made yours back in the day! And It’s cool to see you posting on the E-cycles page too, small world haha.

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Thanks for the suggestions! It’s nice to see I wasn’t that only one that was interested in something like this.

The Heavypoly’s Select_Through script lasso selection variant I’ve included in my config is literally just my 3rd grade level of python coding swapping out all the border select stuff with the lasso version. Luckily the rest of the script just worked when I swapped them out!

I wish I had known about you a few months ago, would have saved me a lot of headaches lol. I’ll PM you sometime soon, I’m very interested in the scripts you’ve made