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Accessible from the menu bar under "System > Preferences...", the modo preferences define the default behavior for a variety of options and functions in modo, further customizing the application to suit the particular tastes, needs and workflow of the individual user. The Preferences are organized into multiple categories that each deal with specific areas of customization for the application. Users can select any of the categories below to display the documentation that relates to that particular corresponding section.

  1. Data
  2. Defaults
  3. Display
  4. File I/O
  5. Input
  6. Rendering


Tag Defs

Item Tag Definitions--

The 'Item Tag Definitions' editor is used to provide user names, descriptions and tooltips for items, which show up in the 'Tags' subtab in the Item Properties viewport.  The 'Tags' themselves are four-character identifiers associating arbitrary strings.  Each item can have any number of tags, although only one of each type of tag.  The editor also allows the number of lines to be set (for a multi line tags like "Comment") and allows tags to be hidden from the user (for internal tags used by scripts/plug-ins).  The 'Item Tag' Editor (which is actually a viewport embedded into the prefs form) is intended for use mostly by scripting and plug-in developers. They can be helpful to users in that they allow arbitrary information to be associated to specific items layers, such as adding instructions within a scene that applies to a certain item.



Path Alias

Path Aliases--

Path Aliases provide users a means to easily move modo scenes between disparate computer hardware. Users can define an Alias that represents an absolute path on the local system. Any files within a scene that contain the defined path will use the Alias instead. When the scene file is moved to the next system, if the same Aliases are defined with appropriate paths, when modo comes across any Alias in the scene the provided path is used. For example--

Machine 1 path = "C:\Animations\LostSkeleton\Scenes\" This path is defined as an alias called 'LostSkeleton'. When any files are loaded into the scene from this directory, their path will simply be called 'LostSkeleton' internally.

Machine 2 path = "/Users/Lighting/Scenes/LostSkeleton" this path is also defined with the alias 'LostSkeleton'. Users can copy the files from Machine 1 into this directory. When modo opens the scene, when it comes across images saved in the folder 'LostSkeleton' the path alias defined on machine 2 is used to search for the images for loading. Only the Alias itself needs to be identical, the paths do not. Of course the content will need to exist within each locale as well.

There are also options available by RMB+clicking on the Alias and Path to 'Rename' an alias, to 'Change Path'. Users can also 'Duplicate' and 'Delete' aliases.




Channel Controls: This option toggles modo's ability to set keyframes on specific attributes within the viewport panels. When disabled it removes the keying fields, the default enabled state allows users the ability to set a keyframe directly next to the attribute (using the small circle control preceding each input field).

Channel Controls disabled
Channel Controls enabled

Default Settings--

Time System: The Time System determines how modo displays time in both the Timeline and input fields related to timing. This option determines the default 'Time Systems' for any new scenes as well. Users may modify these settings independently for each scene in the Scene item. (Users may also input alternate time styles into dialogues and modo will convert to the chosen format, such as entering 3.25s will display 00:03:06 with SMPTE format time system)
Frames- Indicates frames as sequential numbers, using standard numbering format.
Seconds- Indicates frames as a passage of time, using the "0.0s" format.
SMPTE- SMPTE time code specifies frames utilizing a shorthand method "00:00:00:00"; representing hours:minutes:seconds:frames
Film Code- Specifies frames by the length of the film in feet (linear measurement) using "0.0 + 0" format.

Frames per Second: Frames Per Second, usually referred to as FPS, is the number of still images that playback in sequence in one second of real time. Users can specify a frame rate using the dropdown menu applying standard definitions, such as Film (24 fps), PAL (25 FPS), and NTSC (29.97 fps). This option determines the default FPS value for new scenes. Users may modify these settings independently for each scene in the Scene item. Choosing the 'Custom...' users can specify alternate custom values using the 'Custom Rate' option.

Custom Rate: If 'Custom' is selected as the default 'Frames Per Second', users can define the custom value in this field.

Play Real Time: When the 'Play Real Time' option is enabled, modo will attempt to play back the sequence at the true speed, skipping frames if necessary. When disabled, modo will play back every frame in sequence as fast as the system can handle it, which may be faster or slower than the specified 'Frames Per Second' value.

Preserve Key Timing: When enabled, modo will retain the timing of keyframes when the 'Frames Per Second' (framerate) values is modified, adjusting their position in the timeline as necessary. When disabled frames will retain their timeline position, which will change their position in time. For example: An animation is timed with a keyframe at frame 120 of the timeline. At 30fps, the key appears at the 4 second mark. If the 'Frames Per Second' is changed to 24fps after the keyframe was set, with 'Preserve Key Timings' enabled the keyframe will be moved to frame 96 retaining its position in time at the 4 second mark. If disabled, at 24fps the keyframe will remain at frame 120, which will now be at the 5 second mark, in essence slowing down the animation speed by 20%.

Scene Range: This value specifies the default time duration for new scenes. Users can change the duration per scene in the Scene Item.

Auto Key: When items are moved in a scene, the auto key function can automatically create keyframes eliminating the need to manually create them. The different settings specify how keyframes are created, 'All' will generate keyframe data for all channels associated with the modified item, 'Animated' will only keyframe those values that have been edited or modified and 'None' disabled the auto keyframe functionality. This option determines the default Auto Key behavior for new scenes. Users may modify these settings independently for each scene in the Scene item.

Auto Update Existing Keys:

Time Snap: The time snap toggle when enabled will 'snap' the current time indicator as well as any keyframes to whole frame values. Do define sub-frame keyframes disable this option.

Slope Type: This option determines the default 'Slope Type' applied to new keyframes. See the Graph Editor for Slope definitions.

Channel Behavior: This option determines the default 'Channel Behavior' which specifies how a channel will act outside of the keyframed range. See the Graph Editor for information on Pre and Post Channel Behaviors.

Channel Interpolation: This option determines the default 'Channel Interpolation' method. See the Graph Editor for information on 'Curve' interpolation behavior.

Link Keys: When the 'Link Keys' button is active in the Graph Editor (its background will change to orange), associated keyframes will remain linked together in time, meaning that, for properties like Position, Rotation and Scale that each have associated X,Y and Z values, editing a single axis value, by moving it forward or backwards in time, will keep all the keyframe positions linked together as if all 3 were selected. When inactive, only the selected channels will be modified. This option determines the default 'Link Keys' behavior.

Rotation Order: Changing the order that rotations are applied can sometimes help to reduce or even eliminate gimbal lock (gimbal lock is when two axes rotate into a parallel angle and lose a degree of rotation). This option determines the default Rotation Order for all new items. Rotation order can also be adjusted on a per item basis in its associated Property panel when selected.





Initial Selection Type: This option simply determines the default selection mode when modo is first opened.

Max Undo Levels: The undo history is viewable within the 'Command History' viewport. The 'Max Undo Levels' controls the maximum number of steps backwards users can go in the history. The default value of '100' is generally very good at allowing users leeway to step backwards through the history. Increasing the value will allow users to go further back in time, so to speak, but will also increase memory usage. For memory intensive scenes, it may be beneficial to reduce this value to reduce total memory overhead.

Group Selection Cmds: When this option is enabled, modo will group multiple consecutive selection actions into a single undoable action. The grouping size is determined by the 'Max Sub-Commands Recorded' Value.

Max Sub-Commands Recorded: This option determines the maximum number of consecutive actions grouped into a single 'undoable' action when the 'Group Selection Cmds' option is enabled.

Default Material: This option determines the default material tag applied to newly created polygons. This will also be the default name that appears in the 'Polygon Set Material' dialog box when defining new material tags.

Default Part: This option determines the default name used for new part tags. Name appears in the 'Polygon Set Part' dialog box.

Default Texture Map: This option determines the default name used for new and auto-generated UV maps. Name appears in the 'VMap List' viewport.

Item Index Style: Scenes cannot have multiple items with identical names (much like program files in the same folder), when this occurs, modo will automatically rename the item, be it a shader tree layer, item layer or vertex map, appending a numeral to the end of the defined names in a style determined by this option.

Use OS Color picker: When enabled, modo will default to using the operating system specific color picker, duplicating the behavior of pre-501 versions. When disabled, modo will use its own internal color picker.

Max Recents in Categorized Lists: Many 'Add' menus, such as 'Add Layer' in the Shader Tree or 'Add Item' in the Item list have a 'Recent' menu at the top of the list to hold the most recent items added during the present modo session. Users can adjust this setting to determining the maximum number of recent entries in the menu.

Max Recents in Searches:

Reset "In the Future...": Messages: Many pop-up dialog boxes in modo provide a function to dismiss them in the future. For example, when welding pairs of points consecutively, users can dismiss future popups of the same dialog box using the 'In the Future' setting in the pop-up itself. Users can use this button to reset all these types of pop-ups to their factory installed state (meaning, if they have been dismissed permanently, this will bring them back).

Automatically Check for Updates: This option can be used to determine how often modo checks the Luxology server to see if a newer version is available. Users have the option to disable this action with the 'Never' option, or checking 'Every Launch', 'Daily' or 'Weekly'. When a newer build number is encountered, modo will alert users to the new version. modo will not update itself, it is up to the user to download the new version from their Luxology user account and install separately. Installation instructions are included in the Getting Started section of the documentation.

Automatically Submit Usage Statistics: Usage statistics of modo sessions can be submitted to Luxology that helps us to determine application stability and in the case of instability, help us in determining the source of the problem. If users wish to help out in the efforts to improve modo, they can opt to submit this information to us 'Every Launch', 'Daily' or 'Weekly'. Selecting the 'Never' option disables the function completely. The information collected and submitted is the modo build version, the current OS, the last 10 commands run prior to any crash/hang, the duration of the last session and if it ended successfully or terminated in a crash/hang event. No personal information is collected. We hope you'll help us in our efforts to improve modo, but we also understand should you choose to opt-out.




Users can use the 'Auto Save' option to systematically save an alternate file at a specific time interval, with options to save multiple versions. This can be a helpful for users who tend to forget to save their files regularly and want some insurance against system crashes. modo may 'hiccup' slightly as the file is being saved, which some users find undesirable. It can also take some time to save large files which may cause a slowdown in workflow. Users should note this is not the same as using the 'Save' command, as the file is saved in an alternate location and is therefore a separate file. In the event of a unexpected exit, users can recover the last Auto Saved version from the defined 'Backup Directory' location.

Enable: When this option is enabled, modo will automatically save a backup scene file and associated texture maps that have changes, such as images for sculpting or painting, at the specified location and interval.

Time Interval: This option determines the length of time in minutes between each auto-save operation.

Backup Directory: Users can use this option to set the directory location for auto-save files. This location can be different from where users save files using the menu bar command "File > Save/Save As"

Number of Revisions: With this setting, users can define the number of revisions they with to auto-save. Having multiple versions can be useful in reviewing how a file progresses or as insurance against file corruption.



Image Paint


Default Image Format: Users can use this option to determine the default format when saving modo generated bitmap images. Users can select alternate format types in the file save dialog, this option only determines the default when users enter the 'Save as' dialog.

Enable Image Antialiasing by Default: modo provides an image antialiasing function to smooth the rendered result of bitmap images. In certain instances, especially with lower resolution images, images may appear soft of fuzzy when rendered. By default, modo always enables this option found in the Image Map properties. Users can modify this behavior with this option having antialiasing always disabled by default. Of course users may also override the default value on a per image basis in the image map properties itself.

Default New Image Resolution: When creating a new blank image for painting or baking, this value defines the default resolution. Users can also change this at the time the image is created.

Threaded Painting: This option, enabled by default, threads the painting and sculpting tool into multiple processes, providing better performance. It is possible, however, in some dual or single core systems this setting should be disabled.



Mesh Items

Mesh Items--

Auto Create Item Masks: When this option is enabled, an 'Item Mask' is automatically generated for each new item layer that is created in the Items list.

Auto Create Preset Item Masks: When this option is enabled, an 'Item Mask' is automatically generated for each new mesh preset item that is added to any scene. This can be especially helpful to limit shader tree layers to the specific preset should there be material tag naming collisions (i.e. identical named material tags between existing layers and the preset).

Auto Create Item Transforms: When new items are created in the item list, by default, they do not have specific transform channels in the channels viewport ('Position', 'Scale' and 'Rotate'). Enabling this option instructs modo to create the 3 basic transform channels for all new items.

Auto Hide Child Items: Users can create hierarchies of elements in a scene, and relate elements under 'Group Locators' for organization. The 'Auto Hide Child' option, when enabled will allow users to toggle visibility of all related child layers when any parent layer is toggled. When disabled, layer visibility in a hierarchy is toggled individually per layer.

Create Instances as Bounding Boxes: By default, modo displays instanced items as full wireframe representations of the source item. When this option is enabled, modo will instead display only bounding box representations of instanced items. This can improve display performance for heavily instanced scenes.

Save Vertex Maps Selection to Scene: When this option is enabled, any selected vertex maps will remain selected when the file is closed and later re-opened. When disabled, all vertex map selections will reset with no maps being selected when the file is re-opened.

New Patch Display Level: Determines the default Patch level for Subdivision Surfaces items. Higher values produce smoother results but generate more geometry. Users can manually adjust the Patch display level for each Item in the Items Properties.

New Curve Display Level: Determines the default amount for how smoothly Curves are displayed in the 3D viewports. Users can choose between 'Course', 'Medium' and 'Fine'.

New Curve Display Angle: The 'New Curve Display Angle' defines the default value that controls how curves are quantized for display and freezing. This is analogous to the patch resolution for subdivision surfaces.

New Spline Patch Display Level: This option determines the default 'Spline Patch Level' for Patched surfaces. Users can manually adjust this value in the Item properties.

New Catmull-Clark Display Level: Determines the default Catmull-Clark Subdivision Surfaces subdivision level. Higher values produce smoother results but generate more geometry. Users can manually adjust the subdivision level for Catmull-Clark surfaces in the Items Properties viewport.

Default Primitive Polygon: Certain Primitive mesh objects (such as the 'Sphere' and 'Torus') have an option that sets the type of polygons the tool generates. The 'Default Primitive Polygons' option defines the default state for these values.

3D Editing--

Flatness Limit: This value determines the threshold at which a polygon is considered to be planar or non-planar. Higher values will designate less and less polygons as being non-planar. Users can use the Statistics panel to select these types of polygons automatically.

Vertex Deletion: This setting determines what action modo takes when all but two vertices of any given polygon are deleted-
Remove Line Polygons- This option will remove the remaining 2-point polygons that result from the action, but retains the vertices from surrounding polygons if shared. This option is the default value and is recommended for most users.
Keep All Polygons- This options retains the 2-point polygons (also known as line polygons). The remaining 2-point polygon does not render, but can be used like a polygon or an edge, and can be extruded and extended into a full polygon.



Scene Export

Scene Export--

Author/Copyright: These values, when defined, are embedded within saved and exported files (where supported).

Absolute Path: When this option is enabled, modo will write all link references (such as those to images, MDDs and IES files) as Absolute Paths referencing their location to specific areas of a disc drive when saving files. When disabled, modo uses relative paths to locate linked files.

Merge Reference Items: When utilizing Scene Reference items, users can enable this option to embed the referenced items into the scene file when saving, instead of having them remain external entities.



Tool Stacks

Tool Stacks--

Default Action Center: Users can use this option to determine the default Action Center when modo is first opened.

Default Action Axis: Users can use this option to determine the default Action Axis when modo is first opened.

Default Brush: Users can use this option to determine the default Brush Tip that will auto select when utilizing any sculpting or painting brush. 'Last Selected' will obviously return the Brush to its prior state.

Default Snap: Users can use this option to determine the default Snap state. This is especially useful when utilizing the 'X' snap toggle keyboard shortcut. Users can define their default state and whenever pressing 'X' during a modeling operation, this will be the state modo enters into for snapping.

Default Constraint: Users can use this option to determine the default Constraint type when modo is first opened.





Tidy Layouts: modo's interface is made up from a collection of viewports. Viewports always have a frame users can use to resize the window. When multiple viewports are nested within each other, multiple viewport frame borders become unnecessary, the 'Tidy Layouts' option, enabled by default, removes these subsequent viewport frames providing a few pixels of additional screen real-estate as well as a cleaner UI. However, user may wish to disable the setting to better see how viewports relate to one another for the purposes of interface customization.

UI Images--

Sort By: This option determines how images are sorted in UI viewports such as the Clip Browser function. Images are sorted 'Alphabetically' or they are sorted by 'Age' with the most recently imported images appearing at the top of the list.

Maximum Images (per group): Determines the maximum number of clips (stills or animations) that can be loaded into a Clip Browser.

Image Cache Size: Determines the maximum amount of RAM dedicated to holding all user interface thumbnails, such as those generated for imported images, image inks and brush tip images.

Thumbnail Size: Determines the pixel resolution for auto-generated user interface thumbnails.

Clear Images From...: Users can open this menu to choose from multiple user determined options to remove images from in the user interface. Once a particular command is invoked, images in that functions 'Clips Browser' will be removed from display, clearing memory.

Clear All UI Images: This option will clear all latent images from the various Clip Browsers for the tools, i.e. the Image Ink browser, Brush Tip Browser, etc.


3D Info

3D Information Overlays (aka 3D viewport HUD)
Each 3D viewport displays a variety of information as a HUD (heads-up display) directly in the viewport. Users can control what information is viewed by these toggles-
Morph Map- Displays the name of the currently selected morph map, if available.
Current Selection- Displays selected element information, based on the current mode (component, item or otherwise).
Reference Item-
Selected Channel Count- Displays the number of currently selected (active ) channels in the 'Channels' viewport useful for keyframing.
Deformers Enable State- Displays current state of 'Deformers'. Animated Deformers can be enabled in the 'Viewport Options'.
OpenGL Polygon Count- Displays the number of GL polygons, including those added by Subdivision Surfaces.
Grid Size- Displays the real-world measurement equivalent of the current grid divisions.
Current Tool- Displays current tool information as well as info for 'Falloffs', 'Action Centers' and 'Snap'.




Users can customize the colors of many aspects of modo related to the 3D viewports (application specific viewports don't have directly editable color schemes). Users should note that modifying colors in 'Preferences' will not modify the actual default viewport colors. In order to apply a color scheme to a viewport, users will first need to adjust the colors in this section, then use the 'Save to Scheme' function and assign a new name using this dialog box-

Color Scheme Dialogie

Once a scheme name has been set, users will need to switch back to the particular 3D viewport they wish to apply the scheme to. Presets can be applied on a per-viewport basis, determined by its 'Active' status. Active viewports are separated by the thumb changing to an orange color (the thumb is the small dimple in the upper left corner of a 3D viewport). Users can set any viewport as 'Active, by simply LMB+clicking anywhere over the viewport window. Next, invoke the menu bar command "View > Viewport Color Scheme" and select the previously saved scheme from the drop-down menu list. The following elements of modo can be customized--
Background- The viewport background color when GL Background option is set to 'None' or 'Gradient'.
Grid- The main ground plane grid visible in every 3D perspective viewport.
Work Plane- The adjustable construction plane.
Wireframe- Default 'Uniform' wireframe draw color, can be over ridden by individual item Draw options.
Color Wireframe- Default 'Color' wireframe draw color, can be overridden by individual item Draw options.
Background Item- Inactive mesh color, also considered Background or Unselected.
Instance- Instanced item duplicates.
Solid- Geometry display color when using the 'Solid' GL viewport display style.
Patch Cage- When SubDivision display cage option is enabled, this determines its color.
Discontinuous Pair- Color referencing discontinuous edges in UV mode.
Selection- Element selection color for all selection types, Component, Item and otherwise.
Selection Fill- Fill Color of Selected Elements, can be set different from selection itself.
Child Highlight- When a Parent item is selected, child items can have a custom color referencing their relationship to the selected item.
Assembly Highlight- Highlighted mouse-over color of Assemblies.
Lasso- Color of line drawn when drag selecting elements with a lasso.
Handle- Unselected action area of tool.
Active- Selected Action area of tool.
Axis X/Y/Z- Colors for constrainable tool handles for each axis.
Guide- When using Snapping > Constrain to > Guides, this option determines guide color.
Cage- Color for Spline/Curve Cage edges.
Label- Item Label as determined by 'Display' options.
Range Cool- When "View > Show Falloffs" is enabled, determines cool range of falloff.
Range Warm- When "View > Show Falloffs" is enabled, determines warm range of falloff.
Unsnapped- When snapping elements, a small pre-highlight displays when elements are in close proximity, defined by this color.
Selection- Color for on-screen informational text display of selected elements.
Info- Color for on-screen informational text display.
Weight Values-
Selection Rollovers--
Generic- Generic selection roll-over pre-highlighting color.
Face- Geometry face roll-over pre-highlighting color.
Subdivision- modo Subdivision surface geometry roll-over pre-highlighting color.
Catmull-Clark- Catmull-Clark geometry roll-over pre-highlighting color.
Topo Faces- Polygon faces while using the 'topo' display mode option.
Topo Vert- Vertices while using the 'topo' display mode option
Topo Edge- Edges while using the 'topo' display mode option
Topo Back Edge- Rear facing polygon edges while using the 'topo' display mode option





Texture Resolution: This values (set as powers of '2') determines the largest bitmap texture size displayable in modo 3D viewports before modo will resort to mip-mapping, which is a method of subsequent resamples of an image at a lower resolution that enable faster image drawing to the 3D viewport. Higher settings will increase image quality, but require greater video ram.

Flatness of Perspective: This option determines the amount of perspective in the 3D perspective viewport. Similar to the 'Field of View' option in the Camera options panel. The higher the value, the flatter the perspective, the lower the value the more distorted and extreme the perspective becomes.

Enable Displacement in GL: This option determines if displacement effects are displayed in the GL viewports as actual polygon displacement. When disabled, displacement will simply display in the 3D viewports as a bump map.

Grid Visibility: This option determines the default visibility state of the ground plane grid visible in 3D viewports. It is enabled (visible) by default.

OpenGL Point Size: This option determines the size of the on-screen display of vertices, specified in screen pixels. The default value is 3. Consequently, it also controls the selection hit area for selecting vertices.

Selected Point Size: To make it easier to see their on-screen display, selected (highlighted) vertices can be displayed larger in the 3D viewport, an amount determined by this option. Scale is based off the original 'OpenGL Point Size" option.

Viewport Fit Factor: Users can automatically frame the view of all the elements of a scene to the bounds of the active viewport by using the menu bar commands "View > Fit All" or "View > Fit Selected" (or keyboard equivalents 'A' or 'Shift+A' respectively). This option determines the scaling of the fit. '1' is essentially 100%, fitting the bounding box of the elements to that of the viewports shortest length. The default of '1.5' gives a little breathing room around the elements and ensures the view fits into view regardless of bounding box size.

Topology Vertex Backface Culling: When enabled, this option disables the display of vertices for rear facing polygons while using the topology display mode. This can make it easier to distinguish foreground vertices when editing.

Weight Value Precision:


Selection: When viewing a selection through an opaque surface, this option determines the opacity of the selection highlighting through the surface (kind of like an X-ray). Especially helpful in differentiating front and rear facing selections.

Handles: When viewing tool handles through an opaque surface, this option determines the opacity of the handle itself, making it possible to see the handles through the surface (kind of like an X-ray).

Popups: This option determines the transparency of popup and popover menus in modo, making it possible to still see background elements when making option changes in a menu.

Topology Polygons: This option determines the transparency of forward facing polygons while in the topology display mode.


Selection Rollovers: Pre-highlighting of elements in a scene helps users to make better selection, making it clear as to what elements will be selected when the mouse button is clicked. The 'Selection Rollover' option determines how the highlighting occurs-
None- No pre-highlighting of elements in the scene.
Manual- Pre-highlighting of elements is based on the current mode (vertices, edges, polygons, items, etc.).
Closest- Pre-highlighting the nearest geometric component element regardless of mode.

Mouse Regions Trigger Selections: With this option enabled, users can automatically switch between component modes (vertex, edge, polygon) by simply RMB+clicking over the target element. Can be combined with 'Closest' selection rollover to aid in determining the proper element to click on.


VBO Mode: VBO stands for 'Vertex Buffer Object', a method of working and displaying geometry in OpenGL. VBO's offer substantial performance gains over the older immediate mode rendering method, but may also cause problems with older video cards (or video cards with lacking drivers). modo will try to determine the best mode when set to 'Auto', depending on the video cards driver. Users can also manually enable/disable the option with the On/Off options to increase stability.

Only Draw Selected Procedural Outlines: When this option is enabled, modo will only draw the surface outline for procedural geoemtry (such as the 'Gear' item). When disabled, modo will draw any individual triangles that make up the surface.

Viewport Rotation--

Trackball Rotation: This options determines the default navigation rotational type. Trackball style navigation is a common way to rotate the view of a scene, as if the viewport itself was a giant trackball, allowing multiple axes rotation based on the mouse's viewport position. Disabling this option limits viewport rotations to only two axes. This setting can be over-ridden on a per viewport basis.

Override Viewport-Level Trackball Option: When enabled, this option disabled an individual viewports ability to over-ride the Viewport Rotation preference setting, in essence locking all viewport rotation options to the same preference setting.

Backdrop Item--

Include Backdrops in Viewport Fitting: When using the 'Fit' function of a viewport, enabling the 'Include Backdrops' option will account for the size of any visible Backdrop items when calculating bounding box size for the fit action.

Display Backdrops in Uniform Size:

Pixel Size: When importing bitmap images for use as Backdrops, the 'Pixel Size' option determines the measurement of a single pixel in an image upon import, allowing users to place backdrop images scaled to real world size. For example, if 'Pixel Size' is set at 10mm, then a 512x512 image will import at 5.12 meters in size.

Item Drawing--

Default Size for New Scenes: Determines the default drawing size in the 3D viewports for non-mesh items, such as Cameras and Lights. Users can also adjust the scaling values manually in the 'Display' viewport.

Default Size for Current Scene: Determines the default drawing size in the 3D viewports for non-mesh items added after a scene is created; such as Cameras and Lights when added to a new scene. Users can also adjust the scaling values manually in the 'Display' viewport.





RayGL Resolution: When RayGL in-viewport render preview is utilized, this option determines the resolution of the rendered image, initially based off the on-screen size of the 3D viewport. Lower resolutions will update more quickly. There are three options-
Full- Renders at the same pixel resolution of the viewport.
Half- Renders at ½ the resolution of the viewport.
Quarter- Renders at ¼ the resolution of the viewport.

Ray GL Updates: This setting determines the way that the RayGL preview updates (or renders) while working in a 3D viewport- There are three options-
Delayed- This option will update the viewport preview when the mouse button or tool handle is released.
Lazy- This option will update the viewport each time a pause is encountered, regardless of mouse or tool state.
Synchronous- This option will continuously update the viewport, as best as the system is able to process the data, reducing resolution as necessary to keep up.

RayGL Quality: When RayGL in-viewport render preview is utilized, this option determines the quality of the rendered display.
Final Render-
Extended Refinement Passes-

RayGL Toggles: For memory or calculation intensive scenes users may wish to disable certain effects from being considered in RayGL processing. The various options can be toggled independently -Shadows, Reflections, Refractions, Global Illumination, Displacements, Fur and Fur Low Density. The final setting users can enable reducing the polygons count of fur texture layers without disabling fur entirely.



Tool Handles

Tool Handles--

Large\Small Points: Determines the visible size, in pixels, of manipulator handles displayed on tools (such as those on the Curve drawing tools).

Large\Small Points Hit Size: Determines the hit range, or area where a mouse click will affect the particular tool handle. Typically this value will be larger than the handle size to make it easier to select a particular handle, but making it too large can make it difficult to select a specific handle in a tight cluster.

Handle Line Width: Determines the width, in pixels, of the lines drawn for tool handles, such as the widgets for Move, Rotate and Scale.

Handle Line Hit Width: Determines the hit range, or area where a mouse click will affect the particular tool handle. Typically this value will be larger than the handle size to make it easier to select a particular handle.

Handle Scale--

Standard: Users with very large or very small screens may prefer to set the default size of the tool handles larger or small using this setting. Handles will stay consistent in size regardless of viewport scaling. Users can also interactively scale tool handles by pressing the '-' and '=' keys. (easier to remember as '-' & '+' [minus and plus] though)

Small (% of Standard): Some tools have a smaller secondary handle. Users can adjust its size here based as a percentage of the "Standard' amount.

Plane Handle Ratio: Many tools have additional plane handles, that constrain actions to two axes simultaneously. Users can adjust the plane tool handles size based on the 'Standard' amount.

Draw Style--

Selected Tool Handles: Determines the default drawing behavior for tool handles-
Invisible- No handles display in the viewport.
Basic- Basic tool handles display allowing users to constrain certain function when used, based on the particular tool.
Advanced- When present/available, additional controls or handles will appear on screen to aid in setting certain options for a tool or item. For example, when selecting the Camera item with and any tool with 'Advanced' handles, additional controls become visible for setting 'Focal Distance' and 'F-Stop'.

Unselected Tool Handles: Depending on the tool, additional handles may display in the viewport, especially those related to setting falloff positions and sizes. The 'Unselected Tool Handle' option determines the drawing options for these types of additional handles.

Auto-Haul Display: Some tools can be enhanced with additional on-screen controls. For example, advanced in-viewport sliders can specify Bevel 'Shift' and 'Inset'. This option determines whether or not to draw such additional helpers.
Off- Disables display of additional on-screen tool Auto-Haul Displays.
Basic- Displays only basic tool handles.
Advanced- Displays only advanced tool handles when available.
On- Displays on Screen Auto-Haul handles defaulting the settings of the preset itself as determined by its options in the Tool Pipe.

Handle Snapping--
These are the default values, in pixels, for the distance from a snapping target where the cursor first gets snapped.

Inner Range: Determines the actual snapping range.

Outer Range: Determines the range to highlighting elements for snapping to.



Alembic I/O

Save Animation: The Alembic 'Save Animation' option, when enabled, will export the entire animated frame range in the Alembic file. When disabled only the current frame is exported.




COLLADA Export--
For user convenience, the 'Absolute Path', 'Merge Reference Items', 'Unit System', and 'Up Axis' settings are included in both their original locations on the 'Accuracy and Units', and 'Scene Export' panels, as well as in the COLLADA Export panel. Changing any of these settings in the COLLADA Export panel will also change the value globally, such that the new setting value updates in the original preference group panels as well.

Absolute Path: When this option is enabled, modo will write all link references (such as those to images, MDDs and IES files) as Absolute Paths referencing their location to specific areas of a disc drive when saving files. When disabled, modo uses relative paths to locate linked files.

Merge Reference Items: When utilizing Scene Reference items, users can enable this option to embed the referenced items into the scene file when saving, instead of having them remain external entities.

Unit System: Users can choose their preferred measurement units system based on several options. Once set, this is the measurement input method modo will use for all numerical input values (this value is also exported in the COLLADA scens Asset tag)-
SI- The International System of Measurement (abbreviated 'SI') is the modern form of Metric, complies to universal base units.
Metric- A universal system of measurement based on powers of '10' -millimeter, centimeter, meter, kilometer.
English- A historical measurement system based on Imperial Units -mils, inch, foot, yard and mile
Game Units- An arbitrary unit of measurement (defined by the 'Meters per Game Unit' setting).
Unitless- An arbitrary decimalized unit of measurement based on cubic meters, essentially 1 unit = 1m.

Default Unit: This option is dependant on the 'Unit System' and determines the default unit used when no unit is specified.

Meters Per Game Unit: When utilizing the arbitrary 'Game Units' systems, users can use this value to determine the scale of a single unit. This allows users to work with even whole numbers. So if a 1m equivalent is really 1.375 real world meters in modo, users an simply enter 1.375 here and then specify units normally in the numerical input fields.

Up Axis: This option determines the major axis that is considered the default up direction for modo. 3D programs typically use 'Y' as up, where CAD applications typically use 'Z' as the up direction. When importing geometry, if it is always 90° off, changing the up axis to match the originating application may resolve the issue. This can also be set on a per scene basis in the 'Scene Item'.

Save Hidden Items: Saves items that are hidden in the Items list (meaning that the eye icon is toggled off for visibility).

Save Cameras/Lights/Locators: This controls whether or not Cameras, Lights or Locators are saved with the scene.

Save Triangles as Triangles: Saves mesh items that are constructed of triangles using the COLLADA <triangles> element, instead of the more general-purpose <polylist> element.

Bake Matrices: The COLLADA format can represent modo's stack (or layers) of multiple transform elements, such that more than one rotation, position, or scale can be applied to a single item in series. For compatibility with other applications, Bake Matrices will reduce such a transform stack down to a single transform by pre-multiplying the results before export.

Save Vertex Normals: Enables the saving of normals for each geometry vertex.

Save UV Texture Coordinates: Enables the saving of one or more UV texture coordinate maps for each mesh item.

Save Vertex Colors/Weights: Enables the saving of the 'Color' and 'Weight' vertex maps.

Save Animation: This option enables or disables the output of animation channels. When Save Animation is disabled, all item values are sampled at the first frame of any animated channels.

Sample Animation/Sample Start Frame and Sample End Frame: Creates a keyframe value at every frame within the range specified by the Start and End Frame settings. This option is useful when exporting to applications that do not know how to interpolate all of the animation channels in a given file.

Z-near and Z-far: The Z-buffers on 3D graphics cards have limited resolution, and so these settings describe the closest and furthest points that may be displayed for a given scene. Z-near and Z-far are not applicable for the types of rendering performed by modo, but can be useful for interactive 3D applications where this information can be used to optimize the resolution of the hardware Z buffer.

Save modo Profile: This option provides a human-readable form of virtually all of modo's items and their internal channels and animation envelopes, and also allows the modo COLLADA importer to re-import assets with the same modo-specific items and their channels and envelopes. A full description of the modo profile is beyond the scope of this document, so please refer to the Collada I/O documentation included with the File I/O SDK for additional details (available in modo's help directory as part of the SDK).

Save Maya/3ds Max/Okino/XSI Profile: Determines whether or not application specific tags are exported or not.

Formatted Arrays: This option breaks up long lists of values into related groups on separate lines, which makes the output text easier to read.

COLLADA Import--

Import Units: This option, when enabled will read and apply the 'Unit's' information from a COLLADA file to the imported modo scene.

Import Up Axis: This option, when enabled will read and apply the 'Up Axis' information from a COLLADA file to the imported modo scene.




FBX Export--

Save as Text Format: When this option is enabled, modo will generate human-readable TXT formatted FBX files. However, keep in mind TXT readable files can be many times the size of binary encoded FBX files, the format generated when this option is disabled.

Save with Edge Smoothing:When this option is enabled, an FBX specific command is used to compute geometric normals upon export. It is known to increase export times on large meshes, and therfore should remain disabled unless the users is certain it is necessary.

Save Cameras: When this option is enabled, modo will export all camera items to the FBX format.

Save Lights: When this option is enabled, modo will export all light items to the FBX format.

Save Locators: When this option is enabled, modo will export all locator (aka Null) items to the FBX format.


Image I/O

Image Cache--

Limit Image Load Size: When this option is enabled, modo will limit the size of large bitmap images when imported an rendered, based on the setting of the Maximum Image Load Size. As large images are loaded they will be resized so they take about the same memory as a square image with the given dimensions. This can be useful if you're editing a model that's been textured with very large maps and don't need to see them in detail. The preference should be used with caution, however, as it will affect rendering.

Maximum size that an image will be loaded: Determines the maximum pixel length for any image imported. Images larger than this setting will be resized to fit the specified value.

Image Tile Cache Size: Amount of space dedicated to holding resized images in memory. The more images loaded and resized, the more memory will be necessary to hold them all.


Quality: This option determines the image/compression quality of images saved from modo into the JPEG format (jpg file extension). 100% is maximum quality possible with JPEG, lower values will reduce the file's overall size, but also degrades image quality.

JPEG 2000--

Compression Rate: This option determines the image/compression quality of images saved from modo into the JPEG 2000 format (jp2 file extension). 100 is maximum compression possible, Low values will increase the file's overall size, increasing the value toward 100 will decrease the file size but also degrade image quality.

OpenEXR Export--

Compression: When saving OpenEXR images users are provided with a number of different compression offerings, from uncompressed, to Lossless, to lossy compression types. It is best to test setting for the intended purpose to make sure the format chose is compatible with the intended target.


Compression Level: PNG format uses a lossless compression scheme similar to ZIP. Value span from 1 to 9, with 9 being the greatest amount of compression. Compression amount won't affect the visual quality of the images, but will affect compression and decompression performance, which can be useful when playing back image sequences.

Windows Media Video--

Windows Media Video: Users can use these setting to determine the compression template settings for saving movies and rendering viewport previews.




LightWave I/O--

Load SubPatch as Subdiv: When this option is enabled, any geometry generated in LightWave using 'SubPatch' geometry smoothing technique will automatically convert to modo's standard Subdiv when imported.

Save Subdiv as SubPatch: Conversely, any geometry modeling modo as a Subdivision Surface can be converted to LightWave's Subpatch mode upon export to LightWave format.

Content Directory: LightWave supports a content directory structure to ease in moving scene files around. When loading scene dependant on Content Directories, it is helpful to specify the LightWave equivalent path prior to loading and saving the file to aide modo in locating the appropriate assets (namely image maps) into and out of modo.

Save Flat Transforms: Saving full modo scenes to LWO object files means saving out all the meshes to mesh layers. Typically the item transformations applied in modo are not applied to the mesh, so it will be positioned as if the item mode rotation, scale and positioning were all reset. Turning this option on freezes all the layers of item transformation, so the entire hierarchy will be exported as if modeled in that pose.  Sometimes this behavior is undesirable if users will be rigging the layers later.

Texture Conversion: This option attempts to reproduce the LW texturing in the Shader Tree. Use this if exporting textures unchanged back to LWO is not important.




Wavefront Object Export--

Save Meshes as Groups: Determines whether the export utilizes the 'G' group tag when enabled or 'O' object tag when disabled to define geometry sections within the file.


3D Mouse

3D Mouse--

Navigation Style- The 3D Mouse provides two main navigation styles which users may select based on preference-
Camera Walkthrough-  Moving the puck moves the viewport's camera as though you were moving the camera itself.  Pushing the puck to the right moves the camera to the right (and thus the scene appears to move to the left).  Can be thought of as similar to playing a first-person video game.
Object Orbit-  Moving the puck moves the viewport's camera such that you seem to be moving the item in the view.  Pushing the puck to the right moves the camera to the left (thus making it appear that the object is moving to the right).  Twisting the puck rotates the camera around the object, as though the object was spinning around in front of you.  The center of rotation is determined by the "blue dot" (aka "Auto Rotation Center"), which appears at the center of the viewport when you start manipulating the puck.  If the item under dot fills >80% of the view, the blue dot represents a point on the surface of the model that is tracked in 3D space until you release the puck (at which point the blue dot will re-center at the center of the viewport when you touch the puck again).  If <80% of the view is filled with the object, the object's bounding box center is used as the center of rotation.

Orthographic View Style:
World Space- The translation axes of the puck move in world space, irrespective of the current orthographic view.  Thus, pushing left/right on the puck always moves on the world X axis, even if the orthographic view is showing the Left or Right (and in which case you won't appear to see any movement, since you're moving perpendicular to the view).  Best used/demonstrated with the Model Quad view

Screen Space- The translation axes move relative to the current view:  left/right moves on the horizontal axis, and up/down moves in the vertical axis.  Pushing in/out will change the view's zoom

Screen Space (Swap Y and Z Axes)-  Pushing the puck left/right will move left/right just like in Screen Space mode, but pushing the puck forward/backward (like a mouse on a desk) will move the screen up/down, while pulling up/down will zoom in and out.  Basically, the Y and Z axes are swapped.

Use Modifiers to Toggle Styles: When enabled, 'Alt' toggles between the two 'Navigation Styles' as long as it is held down.  Similarly, 'Shift' and 'Ctrl' will toggle between the two 'Orthographic View Styles' as long as they are held down.

Speed: This is a global speed modifier, a scaling value applied to the 3D mouse's input values to make the mouse move faster or slower.  This is not capped to 100%, so you can set it to 200%, etc. if you want it to go faster.

Swap Y and Z Axes: Will switch the Y axis with the Z axis, useful for people who think of the screen as lying in a desk (usually CAD/architecture users) vs. those who think of the screen as vertical (usually video-centric users).

Focus on Viewport Under Mouse: When enabled, the 3D mouse movement will apply to whichever viewport the mouse cursor is currently over (that can accept 3D mouse input, of course).  If disabled, the user must first interact with the viewport (by clicking in it with the mouse or by rolling the mouse wheel) before the 3D mouse will switch focus, this is indicated by the orange color of the 'thumb'.  In both cases, if the mouse is not over a view that can accept 3D mouse input, the last view that can accept such input continues to get input.

Lock Horizon: Maintains a level horizon when navigating (this is different than just disabling the Z axis rotation).

Lock Axes--

Dominant Axis Only: Only the axis that has the most force applied to it will be used, all others will act as though they are idle.  Useful if you only want to move on one axis at a time, but don't want to have to keep toggling the 'Lock' buttons.

Invert Axes--

Invert All Axes: A simple script that toggles the state of all of the Invert buttons.  There are similar scripts (and buttons) to lock all the translation or rotation axes.

Advanced Thresholds--

Translation/Rotation Threshold: The 3D mouse has a range of 0-100%.  Thresholds allow the user to require a certain amount of force on an axis before it will register as movement.  If set to 10%, you need to push the mouse harder before you see any movement, at which point the remaining 10%-100% range will be expanded to be the new 0%-100% range.  Useful for new users that keep accidentally moving on multiple axes at once, and can be thought of as training wheels.  However, it also can make the puck feel unresponsive due to the extra force required to see any movement, and may keep users from becoming proficient at controlling multiple axes at once.  Most users should leave these at 0%.

Advanced Speeds--

Translation/Rotation Speed: Per-axis speeds, should the user want to change the speed of an individual axis.  The global speed control is applied on top of these values.

Advanced: Non Linearity--

Global Exponent Multiplier: Globally scales the non-linear exponents in the same way that the global speed scales all speeds.  So, it provides an easy, high-level way to further adjust all of the exponents at once.

Translation/Rotation Exponent: Determines the non-linearity of the 3D mouse movement.  The original linear implementation made it difficult to do both well-controlled small movements and larger movements.  With non-linearity, more of the 0-100% input range of the 3D mouse is used for fine control, but coarse control is still available by simply pushing the puck further.




Mouse Input Presets: Users coming to modo who are familiar with another 3D application might find themselves unable to switch into modo mode. The 'Mouse Input Presets' are meant to adjust the mouse navigation controls to mimic those of the chosen application reducing users navigational stumbling, making it easier for switching back and forth between the other program. A variety of options are available representing a number of popular 3D programs.

Convert modo 103 Key Maps: This legacy option converts modo 103 keymaps to the current version. User would need to load v103 keymap configs using the 'Config Import' function found in the file menu prior to running this option.

Input Device: This option determines how modo interprets input commands, users can choose either a 'Mouse' or 'Tablet' as the main form of input. Tablets typically use an absolute positioning based on a stylus' position on the tablet surface, whereas a Mouse uses a relative position based only on the initial position of the cursor. Users using a Tablet with relative positioning should set this option to 'Mouse'.

Allow Modifier Chording: When enabled, modifier keys can trigger 'Chording', when disabled, only mouse buttons can trigger chording. Chording is the use of multiple mouse buttons simultaneously. It should be noted that chording has been widely recognized as a key contributor to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repeated stress injuries. Luxology recommends that users avoid chording to prevent unnecessary muscle strain.

Numeric Enter as Tab: When enabled, pressing the 'Enter' key on the numeric keypad will function the same way as pressing the Tab key does, by advancing the cursor to the next logical data field.

Open Pies Immediately: This option determines whether there is a slight delay to the opening of Pie Menus when disabled, or if the menus open immediately when enabled. For users not accustomed to Pie Menus, the delay may be helpful in eliminating menus from popping open unexpectedly on errant key presses.

Open Dialogues Under Mouse: This option forces new dialog boxes to always open at the current mouse position (such as the 'Save As' and 'Open' file dialogues). When disabled, dialog boxes will open in the same position as the last open dialog box.

Tooltip Delay: Defined in seconds, this option determines the length of time before the tooltip info display opens when hovering the mouse pointer over a button or function of modo. The default value is 0.8 seconds.

Mouse Wheel Acceleration: This percentage value determines the speed at which modo zooms in or out when using a mouse's scroll wheel. Higher values will zoom faster, while lower values will zoom more slowly.

Wheel Zoom at Mouse Cursor: When this option is enabled, zooming in any OpenGL viewport with the mouse scroll wheel will center the zoom based on the mouse's position over the viewport, when disabled, the mouse's position is disregarded and the viewport will zoom based on its center.

Invert Mouse Wheel Zoom: This option inverts the zooming behavior of the mouse wheel. Pushing forward on the wheel will push out instead of in.

Zoom Drag Axis: This option determines the directional behavior when hauling in a 3D viewport when zooming. The options are 'Left to Right', 'Right to Left', 'Bottom to Top' and 'Top to Bottom'.

Trackball Speed Multiplier: This option determines the rotation speed for using Trackball rotation when navigate in an OpenGL viewport. There are separate settings for both 'Mouse' and 'Tablets'.




Paint Selection--

Polygon Selection: This option determines the behavior of lasso or paint selection modes when selecting components in the OpenGL viewports.
Frontface & Wireframe- Default behavior is only forward facing polygons are selected, except when in Wireframe mode where both the front and back facing polygons are selected.
Frontface & Backface- Default behavior is front and back facers are always selected regardless of viewport style.
Frontface only- Default behavior is to select only front facing geometry regardless of viewport style.
Always Raycast- Probably means something important

Double Sided Selection: When this option is enabled, any polygons tagged with a material that is defined as 'Double Sided', users can then paint select these polygons from their back side. When disabled, users are unable to paint select polygons from the back.

Selection Hit Size: This value determines the area around a selectable (pre-highlighted) element where clicking the mouse will select it. This value is determined as screen size pixel scale.

Point Selection Priority:

Lasso Selection--

Ignore Shading Style: The typical behavior of polygon selection in modo is to select what is visible to the user, this means that when marquee selecting a sphere in Shaded display style, only the polygons facing the users are selected, but while in Wireframe display style the same selection will select both forward and backward facing polygons (as the rear facing polygons are now visible to the user, therefore selectable). When 'Ignore Shading Style' is enabled modo's selection mode will work identically regardless of the viewport display style.

Allow Partial Polygons Selection: In order to select a polygon when using the marquee selection style, users will need to completely surround the target with the marquee in order to successfully select the intended geometry. With the 'Allow Partial Polygons Selection' option enabled, all selectable geometry that is intersected by the marquee line, even by a tiny bit, will be selected.




Unit System: Users can choose their preferred measurement units system based on several options. Once set, this is the measurement input method modo will use for all numerical input values-
SI- The International System of Measurement (abbreviated 'SI') is the modern form of Metric, complies to universal base units.
Metric- A universal system of measurement based on powers of '10' -millimeter, centimeter, meter, kilometer.
English- A historical measurement system based on Imperial Units -mils, inch, foot, yard and mile
Game Units- An arbitrary unit of measurement (defined by the 'Meters per Game Unit' setting).
Unitless- An arbitrary decimalized unit of measurement based on cubic meters, essentially 1 unit = 1m.

Default Unit: This option is dependant on the 'Unit System' and determines the default unit used when no unit is specified.

Inch Scale Cutoff: When the 'English' Unit System is selected, the 'Inch Scale Cutoff' determines the cutoff where modo will display strictly inches as feet and inches. For example, when set to the default 36, 27 inches will display as 27", but 42 inches will display as 3' 6".

Meters per Game Unit: When utilizing the arbitrary 'Game Units' systems, users can use this value to determine the scale of a single unit. This allows users to work with even whole numbers. So if a 1m equivalent is really 1.375 real world meters in modo, users an simply enter 1.375 here and then specify units normally in the numerical input fields.

Light Unit System: This option determines the default Light Unit modo uses when specifying a lights brightness-
Radiometric- Measurement of the electromagnetic spectrum (which included visible light); defined by power of radiation.
Photometric- Measurement of brightness of light as perceived by human eye; defined by luminous intensity.

Color Unit System: Determines the color unit system used for specifying colors in modo-
Floating Point- Determines colors based on decimals, uses 0-1 range (and beyond for HDR colors).
Percentage- Determines colors based on percentages, uses 0%-100% range.
Integer- Determines colors based on 8bit value scale, uses 0-255 range (2 to 8th power = 256 values)
Hexadecimal- A computer numerical system similar to binary represented by 16 characters. 2bit Hex produces 256 values, similar to Integer color units. Widely used in specifying color on the web, uses 00.00.00-ff.ff.ff range.

Coordinate Rounding: This option controls how mouse input is converted, via the Work Plane, into 3D coordinates.
None-- This means that no coordinate rounding is done. Every mouse move gives unclamped coordinates (typically with lots of decimals). This option is basically the raw 2D -> 3D transform. Useful for working freehand.
Normal-- This option attempts to give clean, round coordinates based on the users view transform; so as the mouse moves, users can see values that are nice in your current unit system display in the information tab. The step size will get smaller or larger as the user zooms in or out. Users may need to move the mouse cursor 2-3 pixels to see values update.
Fine-- This option is similar to 'Normal' but optimizes for closer to one step of coordinate rounding from one pixel of mouse movement. Gives the user finer grained input, but can be difficult to hit exact values.
Fixed-- This option uses the 'Fixed Increment' preference to put a lower limit on both coordinate rounding and the grid. If the user sets the fixed increment to 10mm that means the grid will never get finer than 10mm, and all input will be rounded to the nearest 10mm even at high zoom. When zoomed out, however, the grid will show larger values but the step size will always be a multiple of the fixed increment.
Forced Fixed-- This option is similar to 'Fixed', but forces the size of the grid and the input step to match the increment exactly no matter the zoom level.

Fixed Increment: When the Coordinate Rounding is set to either 'Fixed' options, this value determines the Fixed coordinate rounding grid.

Factor or Range: This option determines surfacing and material value units, users can specify values as a percentage 0%-100% or as a float value 0.0-1.0

Coordinate System--

Up Axis: This option determines the major axis that is considered the default up direction for modo. 3D programs typically use 'Y' as up, where CAD applications typically use 'Z' as the up direction. When importing geometry, if it is always 90° off, changing the up axis to match the originating application may resolve the issue. This can also be set on a per scene basis in the 'Scene Item'.




Work Plane--
Users can favor certain planes when using the Work Plane, especially in instances where users don't want to lock the plane, but it would be helpful to have it face a certain direction, such as modeling a rough city, users could rotate the views but keep the Work Plane mostly facing upwards (like it was the ground) when creating new geometry.

Preferred Plane: When the 'Preferred Plane Bias option is set above 0%, uses can choose a preferred Work Plane. Based on the bias amount, modo will attempt to keep the work plane positioned at the preferred plane determined by its two major axes.

Preferred Plane Bias: When working with the Work Plane, modo tries to keep the plane perpendicular to the viewport window when navigating and rotating the view. Increasing the Plane Bias option will increase modo's favor of the Preferred Plane. Setting a very high value means modo would almost always favor the preferred plane.

Lock Preferred Plane: Users may also prefer to lock the Work Plane to a specific plane facing direction by enabling this option. Once fixed, rotating the viewport will have no effect on the position or angle of the work plane.

Locked Plane Offset: When the Work Plane is locked, users can additionally set an offset (from the origin), providing accurate control over the position and placement of the work plane when used as a construction plane.

Plane and Grid Increments: As users zoom in and out of a scene, the Work Plane grid adjusts the density of the grid divisions adding or removing subdivisions based on the Plane Increments. Users can modify this behavior using this option.



Final Rendering--

Automatic Render Threads: When enabled, modo will determine the number of threads automatically based on the number of CPU cores and other factors, such as Hyper-Threading support.

Render Threads: When 'Automatic Render Threads' is disabled, users can manually set the number of 'Render Threads'; which reflects modo's ability to simultaneously calculate rendering information, each calculation taking place as its own thread. The greater the number of threads, the faster scenes will render. However, there will be a point of diminishing returns, where overhead of thread management will outweighs benefits of the extra threads. Generally speaking, the best performance is obtained when the number of threads equals the number of total cores, virtual or otherwise.

Geometry Cache Size: This value, set as GB (Gigabytes or 1 billion bytes) determines the maximum amount of system RAM modo will use to parse scene geometry for rendering. When the amount of geometry exceeds this value, an error message will be displayed. Users can increase this value to render geometry intensive scenes, such as those using 'Fur' and 'Subdivision Surfaces' with 'Micro Poly Displacement'. For 32-bit systems, this cannot exceed the maximum amount of addressable ram (minus that needed by the system itself), typically around 3GB. For 64bit systems, the amount can be much greater, dependant only on the amount of available system RAM.

Use Network Render Nodes: When enabled, modo will seek out additional online modo slaves, and use the network attached systems for additional rendering horsepower.

Network Render Group: The Network Render Group is an identifier that will allow users to pool the resources of like named systems for network rendering, providing users a degree of control over how the network resources are allocated. For example- If there are 24 systems available on a network for rendering via 'Slave' mode, an administrator could give twelve of them the 'Network Render Group' name "Klaatu" and the other twelve the group name "Barada". When any network rendering jobs are submitted on a system named 'Klaatu', only the 12 systems with the same group name would be utilized for network rendering, leaving the other 12 available for rendering only within the 'Barada' group.

Network Job Size: The 'Network Job Size' setting determines the number of buckets distributed to the Slave machines. The general rule is to take the total number of slave cores for rendering and multiply it by two, producing double the number of total buckets to be distributed. Depending on the scene makeup and network speed, the default 200% value (i.e. 2x) may not be optimal for load balancing across the network. If the master machine tends to sit idle, it may help to increase this setting.

Send and Accept Assets for Network Job:

Network Shared Directory:

Default Gamma Output: When adding new Render Output layers to the Shader Tree, this value determines the default Gamma setting for the item. Users may over-ride this value by adjusting the Gamma value within the Render Output item itself.

Independent Display Gamma: When this option is enabled, users may specify an independent gamma value for the Render Display window. Users working in what is called a 'Linear Workflow' where images maps and render outputs are linearized for further down-stream compositing will benefit from previewing the images in the Render Display viewport with the final gamma, as opposed to the output gamma, streamlining the workflow.

Display Gamma: This option determines the default gamma amount for the Render Output display when 'Independent Display Gamma' is enabled. This option is independent from the 'Default Gamma Output' value, and only affects the display of images, not how they are saved or exported. Users may also over-ride this value in the Render Display window itself.

Affect Color Control Swatches and Picker: When this option is enabled, The Color Picker, Preset Swatches and UI color selectors are adjusted to take into account the 'Display Gamma' value, making it easier to ascertain accurate colors when using a gamma corrected workflow.

Color Picker Stops: This option sets the default 'Stops' value for the Color Picker viewport.

Affect Color Control Swatches: When this option is enabled, the UI advanced color selectors are affected by the 'Color Picker Stops' value.

Default Field Rendering: For users that render animations that require interlaced frames, this option determines the default field rendering state for new scenes. Users can adjust the setting individually, per scene within the Render item. Most modern broadcast mediums do not require the use of interlaced frames, so unless you are certain you need them it is best to leave this option at the default 'Off' value.

Bake UV Border Size: When Baking a texture, or applying the 'Expand UV Seams' command, this option determines the amount of expansion around the UV border. The default value of 3 pixels is generally fine in most instances. When generating very high resolution images, or in cases simply where texture seams are visible, users may benefit from increasing this value.

Frame Cache Size:

Write Buckets Directory: When users enable the 'Write Buckets to Disk' function, this option determines the specific directory where these files are written.

Recent Frames Directory: modo saves its rendered results in this user specified 'Recent Frames Directory'. These rendered image files can be selected, navigated, modified and saved from their proprietary modo rendering format using the Render Display window. Rendered image files are persistent across modo sessions until intentionally removed by the user or the 'Max Render Slots' value is achieved.

Output Filename Style: Users can use this option to direct modo on how many leading zeros to place after a filename (and before the prefix) when saving numbered animation sequences.

Block System Sleep While Rendering: This option, when enabled, will block the system from entering low power usage 'Sleep Mode' when rendering. When disabled, modo may stop functioning properly when the system enters 'Sleep Mode' while rendering.




Preview Draft Quality Settings--
When using a preview viewport, the following options determine the quality settings solely for the preview viewport itself. Users can throttle material and render setting values for more responsive preview performance.

Displacement Rate Multiplier: Sets the maximum Displacement rate for Micro Polygon Displacement.

Quality: Sets the preview 'Quality' as a percentage. At 50%, all 'Samples', 'Number of Rays' and other related quality setting will be cut in half reducing rendering quality, but increasing performance.

Antialiasing Samples: Sets the maximum amount of Antialiasing samples calculated for the preview.

Max GI Bounces: A general quality settings multipliers that throttles the total number of rays related to IC, Transparency, Reflections and Refractions. The default setting of 50% reduces the total number of rays specified by half.

Max MC Rays: This option determines the maximum number of Monte Carlo global illumination rays used to calculate indirect lighting.

Max IC Rays: This option determines the maximum number of Irradiance Cache rays used to calculate indirect lighting.

Other Settings--

Extended Refinement Passes: This value determines the maximum number of rays when using the 'Extended Refinement Passes' option for 'RayGL' and 'Preview' quality. Once modo arrives at the number of samples as determined by the item settings, modo will continue firing rays for IC, MC, Reflections, Refractions, Transparency and Subsurface Scattering up to the number of rays set here. This option allows for interactive style rendering when using the Preview viewport.

Bucket Order: This option determines the update order of buckets-
Semi-Random- Updates buckets in a semi-random order providing a more iterative update to the render.
Scanline- Updates the buckets in a left to right, top to bottom order producing a more regular update pattern.

Preview Thumbnail: Determines the default rendering style for Preview Thumbnail icons when saving Preset materials.

Render Subdivision Level: In any Mesh items properties, users can define a separate Render level for both regular Subdivision Surface geometry and Catmull-Clark subdisivions. There is also an option to disable the display and rendering of the subdivisions altogether without affecting their settings, called 'Cage' mode. These toggles are simply global override options to disable or enable these functions. These options must be enabled here for the associated function to work, when disabled, this value will override the settings of the mesh item.


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KristinaK February 13, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Could we get some fill-in on the network rendering for the help-system? "Send and Accept Jobs" and "network shared directory" are both left blank. Thanks!


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