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Instance Item

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Instances are virtual duplicates of a mesh item in MODO, meaning they do not add any additional geometry to the scene. Instances are merely containers that reference the original item at render time. As such, Instance Meshes can only be edited at the Item level. Component level edits must be applied to the original item, where changes will propagate to all instances.

Instances can be created in several ways. When in 'Items' mode, many of the duplication tools allow for instance creation. The simplest method is to RMB+click on a Mesh Item in the Item list and choose 'Instance' from the drop down menu, creating a new Instance Item at the bottom of the items list. The link between Instances and the original always remains live. If you wish to convert an Instance Mesh into a standard Mesh Item (removing the link between the Instance and source) you can RMB+click on the Instance in Item List and choose Change Item "Type> Mesh" or simply use the 'Convert to Mesh' button in the items properties.

Instance Item PanelName: This data field displays the current item name. Users may easily change it by LMB-clicking within the field and typing the new name.


Position: An Item transform that allows the user to numerically position the item in XYZ space. By default, Position transforms originates from the Center position.

Rotation: An Item transform that allows the user to numerically set the rotation of the item. By default, Rotation transforms originate from the Center position.

Order: Allows the user to set the order that rotations are applied to the camera item. Changing the order that rotations are applied can sometimes help to reduce or eliminate gimbal lock.

Scale: An Item transform that allows the user to numerically set the size of the item. By default, Scale transforms originate from the Center position.

Reset: Resets the selected transform values to (0,0,0) returning the items back to their default state.

Zero: Resets the chosen transform property values to '0', leaving the 'Center' position and Item position intact.

Add: Transform Items are the channel groups associated to an item that store its transform values, controlling its position, rotation and/or scale. By default, new items do not have any transform items associated with them (even though they are visible here within the Properties panel). This is useful as an optimization as only the necessary transforms are added on an as-needed basis, reducing scene overhead. There are several ways to add them. One is by simply transforming the target item with one of the various transform tools (or by editing the values input fields). This action will cause the particular transform item to be added automatically to the 'Channels' viewport list. The 'Add' function here can also be used to add the selected set of transforms to the Channel list while keeping the default 0,0,0 values (a necessary step for 'Referencing', in order to override the channels, they must first exist).

Mesh Instance--

Render: This drop down menu allows the user to select from 3 choices, when set to 'Default', the user can enable/disable mesh item using the visibility column (eyeball icon) of the item list. When the mesh layer is visible, it contributes to the final rendered scene and when invisible, it will not. On some instances the user may prefer to fix this state, setting the mesh as 'On' (enabled) or 'Off' (disabled) regardless of visibility. Also useful for workflows that auto toggle visibility, saving the user from manually enabling mesh layers for test renders.

Dissolve: The 'Dissolve' function controls the visibility of an item layer, at 0% the item renders normally, utilizing the shader tree settings, values above 0% would fade the visibility of the item layer ramping toward 100% where the item would be completely invisible.

Allow Deformations: When the 'Allow Deformations' option is enabled, users can apply Deformers to the Instance independant of the source Mesh. When disabled, the instance would inherit any deformations applied to the source.

Convert to Mesh: By pressing this button, users can convert an mesh Instance into a fully editable Mesh, removing the link between the instance and the source. Keep in mind that doing so will also increase file size.

Tip icon

TIP: While Instance Items derive all mesh information from the original, users can create custom material and texture settings for an instanced item utilizing 'item masks', which can in turn be specified in the material group item.



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