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GazzaMataz

Modo Vs C4D Modelling

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MoI has well-regarded meshing capability, and it is a relatively inexpensive and uncomplicated modeller.

 

There are also Mac-based solutions from companies like Ashlar-Vellum (Cobalt, Xenon, Argon) and PunchCAD (ViaCad and Shark). As with any software, you need to be able to trial an application to see if it fits your workflow.

 

Mark

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Cheers all. Spent the last couple of hours with the FormZ demo and am mightily impressed so far. They've taken the best of the Sketchup user experience and applied it to a serious modelling application (which makes it incredibly intuitive to use). The proof of the pudding will come with the quality of the exports to take downstream into other applications but loving what I'm seeing so far.

 

I was aware of the Mac version of Mol but much like Rhino I've been advised against it (not sure on the specific reasoning but the advise came from people I trust). The last time I looked at Mol was a few years back and I was really impressed with the quality of it's meshing on export (even models created with a multitude of Boolean operations worked reasonably well) so it's definitely still part of my consideration set. However serious CAD applications such as those from Ashlar-Vellum aren't really what I'm looking for. 

 

Back to FormZ the other decision I'll need to consider will be whether I require all the grunt that FormZ supplies or whether Bonzai will cover most of the bases I require. The differences between the two are very subtle and if judged purely on the modeling feature set the gap between the two is reduced even further.

 

Thanks again.

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Just checked out the Moi 2.5 demo and it isn't Mac native but runs under Wine. Not sure if this is the case with the forthcoming version 3 (still in beta and only available to existing license holders) so this is looking like a no go too. Also considering Moi and Bonzai are at very similar price points there's a huge gulf between the feature sets. Exporting from FormZ/Bonzai is looking good so far and from what I can see OBJ seems the best format. Having said that, when exporting heavy duty organic nurbs stuff you sometimes have to clean up the resulting Mesh a little with a few tactical 'melt' commands (to be expected I suppose). Probably user error though as I haven't fully explored the IO options.  :)

 

Apologies for hijacking the original thread but the conversations seems 'on point' for the original question.

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Spent at least 20 hours testing my three main options FormZ, Moi and Rhino (for Mac) since saturday. My first impressions are:

 

Rhino - Overkill for my specific needs (although I do have previous experience with Rhino so I can find my way round quite rapidly). I might have considered it more if the OS X version had the same unified, tabbed interface as the Windows version. Intuitive user experience is everything for me (one of the reasons I love C4D so much) and Rhino for Mac is like working with a CAD program from 15 years ago. On the other hand it is completely free whilst it's still in beta so if already understand curved surface modeling techniques, Rhino provides a great complement to C4D/Modo.

 

FormZ - Whilst FormZ 7 is a definite improvement over previous versions it's overall user experience is still very clunky with an over-reliance on managing a multitude of palettes. You can get good quality geometry out of it when you use the interactive 'poly mesh' tool for converting your smooth nurbs surfaces (I tweaked the expert options for 5º normal tolerance and quad/ngon export only options) but the OBJ export has issues and you need to use LWO. The LWO option exports usable UV's too but they may need tweaking depending on your texture tiles. The Nurbs toolset in FormZ is great and once you get used to it's idiosyncratic ways it has lots to offer (especially with it's great snapping features) but the Nurbs stuff is only 15-20% of the total feature set and everything else it offers can be done natively in C4D in a far more intuitive manner so you're potentially wasting a lot of cash on stuff you don't need. Bonzai of course is half the price but it's missing some of those killer Nurbs features.

 

Moi - So glad I spent a bit more time with Moi. The best thing it has going for it IMHO is the quality and instant usability (UV's are near perfect for most stuff) of the meshes it exports - leagues ahead of both Rhino & FormZ. On the downside whilst it's very easy to get into, a lot of it's deeper features aren't very intuitive and the documentation is pretty sketchy (searching the forum usually can often be the better route to answers). I was initially put of by the fact that the mac version runs in a Wine shell but in practise this works very smoothly with a far lesser overhead than running Parallels.

 

At the moment I'm leaning towards Moi purely on the basis of it's superior meshing capabilities. I'm not finding it the most intuitive program to work with but I'm sure that it will click with me at some point (although I love it's tablet centric interface, ideal for working with a Cintiq). It also offers the best value for money as your only paying for a nurbs modeller to compliment C4D/Modo rather than yet another 'suite' product where 80% of your money is being spent on duplicated features. If AutoDesSys release a pure nurbs modeller (with an improved unified UI) it may be the kind of product I'm looking for, at the moment Moi seems to be the best option all things considered.

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I think MOI is a superb program and very easy to pick up. Great as a supplement to C4D plus reasonably priced. Check out my couple of tutorials on it, here at the cafe in the tutorials section.

 

3DKiwi

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I think MOI is a superb program and very easy to pick up. Great as a supplement to C4D plus reasonably priced. Check out my couple of tutorials on it, here at the cafe in the tutorials section.

 

3DKiwi

 

Just had a peak at your construction lines video (membership donation enroute) and it helped everything click into place for me. I'm a huge fan of the way that inferences work in Sketchup (inc inference locking) and Moi takes that concept up a couple of notches. In a strange way my intimate knowledge of the Sketchup way of doing things was getting in the way whilst assessing Moi but your video helped me to adapt that knowledge constructively. In many ways Moi is the perfect partner to Sketchup as it's workflow is very similar - accurate modeling through a fluid sketch like user experience.

 

It's also worth noting that I unfairly stated that the Moi documentation is lacking. I was using the wiki which is at least a year out of date but having downloaded the latest PDF it actually turns out to be highly approachable with lot's of specific examples for each tool.

 

I have a feeling that Moi will end up being a definite purchase when I come to the end of my demo period.

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Just had a peak at your construction lines video (membership donation enroute) and it helped everything click into place for me. I'm a huge fan of the way that inferences work in Sketchup (inc inference locking) and Moi takes that concept up a couple of notches. In a strange way my intimate knowledge of the Sketchup way of doing things was getting in the way whilst assessing Moi but your video helped me to adapt that knowledge constructively. In many ways Moi is the perfect partner to Sketchup as it's workflow is very similar - accurate modeling through a fluid sketch like user experience.

 

It's also worth noting that I unfairly stated that the Moi documentation is lacking. I was using the wiki which is at least a year out of date but having downloaded the latest PDF it actually turns out to be highly approachable with lot's of specific examples for each tool.

 

I have a feeling that Moi will end up being a definite purchase when I come to the end of my demo period.

 

Glad my video was useful. What I did when I started out with MOI was to work through every example and function in the documentation. Took me about 2 weeks to do the entire thing but by that time I had a good understanding of how things work.

 

Cheers

3DKiwi

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Final thoughts on this from me.

 

1. I'm completely sold on Moi as I love the simplicity of it's workflow.

 

2. The latest version of the OS X Rhino beta has implemented the unified window of it's Windows cousin (you need to activate it with the following command then relaunch Rhino "TestSingleWindowModeling") so I'm leaving it installed as it makes for a pretty fantastic file conversion/viewing utility (my main line of work is design/architectural visualization so I have to deal with a multitude of file formats). The Mac beta has at least another 12 months to go and whilst it's in beta it will continue to be free so no complaints there!

 

3. FormZ has a very designer friendly implementation of Nurbs that enables you to 'sculpt' with Nurbs in an interactive manner (very similar to working with C4D's mesh deform tools). It's visual boolean operations are ace too; but it's meshing capabilities aren't up to scratch so the exported geometry always renders with glitches in C4D. Moi comes to the rescue here. You can export from FormZ as IGES (so everything remains parametric), import to Moi and then use Moi to generate the final OBJ mesh.

 

Seeing as the office will be paying I'm now leaning towards getting both Moi & FormZ as they complement each other perfectly and by using them in tandem I can always be certain of getting great quality geometry into C4D. If budget is a consideration $300 for Moi is a solid recommendation, it's toolset may on the surface seem more limited than other Nurbs based applications but they're more than enough for most peoples needs.

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Thanks for all that info jonmoore =)

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