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Tool Pipe

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Tool PipeThe 'Tool Pipe' is a very powerful component inside modo that allows the combination of tools and tool modifiers. It is also useful as a simple view to the currently active tool combination. There are many settings available through the Tool Pipe interface via context menus on the specific tool pipe components. The Tool Pipe also acts as a list that shows all the tools in the current preset combination, with the action tool at the bottom. The selected tool in the list is the haul tool, and selecting it again asserts the haul state if it has been cleared.

Within the Tool Pipe, tools can be made visible or invisible, enabled or disabled. They can also be removed, renamed, or reset. Tools required by downstream tools cannot be disabled. The attributes are shown as sub-tree lines.

E column = checkmark denotes if entry is enabled
V column = controls visibility; RMB+click for 'Invisible'- no handle, Basic' for Basic Handle, 'Advanced' - advanced handles provide additional controls (if applicable) and 'Preference' defaults to the user Preference setting.
A column = determines if tool is 'A' auto-activated or 'M' manually activated. With auto-activated tools users can instantly start hauling in the viewport when selecting the tool, with manual, users must first click in the GL viewport to activate hauling for a tool.
Tool column = Displays the tool or functions name.
Preset = Displays the preset to which the function belongs to.


Working with Tool Pipe Presets--

Tool Pipe ContextThere are several options from the Tool Pipes RMB context menu.

Apply Tool: Users can fire any tool by right-clicking on it in the Tool Pipe and choose the 'Apply Tool' command. This is a good alternative to using the tool interactively in the 3D Model View.

Reset Tool: Will revert all the tool's attributes back to their default state.

Remove Tool: Will simply remove the selected tool from the Tool Pipe.

Swap Tool

Swap Tool: When 'Swap Tool' is invoked, a dialog window pops open allowing users to replace the existing tool with any other tool or function available to modo.

Save Preset: Allows the current state of the Tool Pipe to be captured as a preset for loading during later sessions. Many of the default modo tools are simply tool presets such as Element Move which combines Element falloff and the Element Action Center with the Move tool.

Load Preset: To reload presets users can use this context menu, create a custom button on the interface or assign the preset to a keyboard shortcut.

Auto Activate: This is a useful toggle. When active, a tool will become active immediately upon clicking its button or pressing the hotkey. All of the transform tools in modo are set to Auto Activate and this is why their handles appear immediately. Geometry creation tools such as the Cube or Bevel tools are not Auto-Activated so they require an initial click in the 3D viewport by the user. This allows the user the opportunity to set values on the Property viewport prior to activating or simply applying the tool.

Lock: This option will keep the current state of the tool properties as the default setting each time the tool is reactivated. For instance, if you use the Cube tool to drag out a 1 meter cube and then activate the Lock flag, whenever you activate the Cube tool the numeric properties will be setup for a 1 meter cube. Without Lock on each time you complete the Cube tool will set the values for the next activation.

Auto-Drop: This option is most useful for painting style tools such as Mesh Paint or 3D painting operators. With most tools when you release the mouse the tool is still active and will allow you to edit the current values. For instance, if you activate Bevel you can click and drag repeatedly in the 3D view to edit the same Bevel settings. If you Shift-click you will start a new bevel. If the same were true of Mesh Paint each time you clicked the previous mesh placement would jump to your mouse rather than creating a new mesh. With Auto Drop active each new stroke is a new Mesh Paint. If you set the Bevel tool to Auto Drop you could quickly click and drag multiple times to create complex bevels.

Select Through: This is a highly useful option for a specific workflow where users do not want to drop tools to change their current selection. In the default mode modo uses any click away from a tools handles to "haul" the primary values. If you set the tool to Select Through you will no longer have "hauling" behavior but will get selection events instead.


Tool Pipe Presets--

Tool Pipe PresetsThe 'Tool Pipe' presets view simply displays all the available presets organized by tool task.







comment balloon Comments (4) RSS Icon

Dino Zanco April 13, 2012 at 1:52 AM

Understanding the tool pipeline:

Dino Zanco April 29, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Important detail:
Pressing "Esc" on your keyboard clears the tool pipe.

Hannes Grebin December 29, 2012 at 2:40 AM

here is an old video shwoing how to save presets and bind them to a key:

Thanks to Richard Yot for pointing out!

Ray Craighead February 2, 2015 at 4:00 PM

If this is such an important feature in MODO why does "Tool Pipe" produce no result when searched in help?


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