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Modo Luxology 601 - Rigging

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Never used modo, but you can know it doing a quick test. If your software guide shows that it can rig, just be sure that it could export the rigged mesh  properly.

To do this download one of the sl wiki avatars rigged and use it's dae imported in modo (use the collada dae or the fbx rigged avatar from that zip). Then from modo export its collada using its exporter , try to upload in SL and see if its standard exporter is fitting SL.

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As far I can tell they aren't compatible, I don't know the reason, maybe I am doing something wrong ,I did test on top that was rigged , I try to upload in sl that top, skin weights was good as shown here:



Then I open in Modo and export without any changes and I try to upload but the skin weights were grey out as shown here :




Looking forward to see if anyone has successfully upload a rigged model from MODO

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Try also inspecting the dae file as Text and check the bones if they're  properly exported there.Some software expot the rigged mesh but then need manual tweak from text mode in the dae file ( for istance max).

Other softwares are just not compatible cause of the way they save the informations.SL needs the informations in the skin rather than into bones.

on open collada there is no alternative exporter for modo just checked the open collada site

look maybe for a third part plugin they are quite often a good medicine in these cases. look for istance also at some problems that blender has with fbx and somehow solved by some third part projects.

Why is all this difference between softwares and nobody wants to uniform the way they work? Easy just the whole world problem it's called marketing.

If I make a software I want that it keeps spreading forcing other to buy it even just to keep watching or working on models.

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After much experimentation I've gotten modo to export fitted mesh in SL-readable form, although it is hardly straightforward. A kit is linked below.


The critical breakthrough came when I realized that if Modo notices an empty weight map when it's importing an FBX, it doesn't bother to load that map at all. This is a problem: if SL is missing even an empty weight map that it expects, it won't recognize your mesh as rigged, and it is seemingly impossible to make a weight map from scratch within Modo that SL will recognize as bound to the skeleton. To correctly import the default avatar I hand-edited the FBX so that those empty weight maps had at least one zero value in them. If you do that then Modo will include them, with their proper names and properly bound. Those modified FBX files (in ASCII format) are included in the link in case you want to try that yourself. Note that for the male version of the FBX I also had to add deformer clauses, because for some reason those were missing (so I doubt that this FBX file could have been used to upload a rigged mesh in any application).

Also included in the file are two DAEs, made using this toolchain, for the male and female default avatars. If you upload them you can see that the process does actually work.

This file comes with many caveats and is has only been tested in Modo 10.0v1. I cannot provide a lot of support: it's provided as-is / use at your own risk.

1. Exporting using the modo DAE exporter doesn't work for rigged meshes. Instead you need to export to FBX and use the Adobe converter (here) to convert the FBX to DAE. You can most easily export an object by selecting the mesh in the item list and using "export selected layers" from the context menu.

2. Modo's "bind" tool (and many other tools) don't work either. To actually rig something to the skeleton you need to transfer the weight maps using Vertex Map->Transfer... from Modo's main menu. To use the transfer tool you must have the source and destination meshes visible (and all other meshes invisible), the destination mesh selected, and the weight map you're transferring selected in the 'lists' tab. Invoke Vertex Map->Transfer..., choose the matching weight map from the source, select the "weight map" type (even if it's already selected! there's some kind of bug in the popup I think), select local coordinates and distance binding. You have to do this for every weight map you need in the destination mesh, usually 2-4 different ones. I have included a python script that transfers every weight map wholesale, but this is usually overkill and it takes a lot of time, so use at your own risk. Fortunately modo has very nice weight map painting tools that you may want to take advantage of to tune the rigging weights.

3. Meshes that don't have any polygons in them will have their empty weight maps destroyed, I believe on saving. In the file above I have included some template meshes that have a little ground plane, just to keep the weight maps from disappearing. I suggest copying your polygons from somewhere else and pasting them into a template mesh, and then deleting the ground plane in that mesh. Then you can move the polygons around to where you want them (but see below).

4. Modo, or perhaps the exporter, has some problems keeping track of mesh positions if the mesh itself has been moved in item mode. I strongly suggest leaving the mesh objects at the origin and moving only the polygons.

5. In a similar vein, sometimes different units cause problems on import/export. The skeletons and meshes in the linked files have been moved around to the point where they actually work, and I suggest not trying to move or resize or rotate them further.

6. You can move, resize, and rotate the elements of the skeleton (although you must have "enable deformers" checked in the viewport properties to see the meshes follow along). I don't have much experience with getting animations or poses into Modo so I can't help you beyond that.

7. Using the default "duplicate" on a mesh will also duplicate the skeleton, which isn't recommended. Instead use the "duplicate..." option in the context menu of a mesh, and make sure all three options are unchecked. Then you'll get a duplicate mesh bound to the original skeleton.

The following notes apply to all modo-derived meshes, not just rigged ones.

8. The Modo->FBX->Collada conversion chain will split the faces of a mesh based on the material tag of the polygon. Remember you can only have eight unique faces, so you can have at most eight material tags. Each individual material tag type can have its own UV (but see #10 for UV issues). Since this is often inconvenient when it comes to actually texturing a model, I generally use the part tag or a selection set to filter groups in Modo's shader tree to actually apply surfaces, and reserve the material tag for face splitting.

9. Surface smoothing, which is to say, vertex normals, are a property of the shader tree's material item in modo (in the material property tab, "smoothing" and "smoothing angle").

10. SL will only recognize one UV map per object. You can have as many as eight separate UVs for baking textures to faces, but when it comes time to export these UVs must be layered on top of each other in one unified UV.

11. When it comes to actual surface textures, I have the most luck with the following:
a. The render output "Diffuse Shading (total)" for SL's diffuse layer, with the gamma turned up to 2.2.
b. The image map type "Normal" for SL's normal layer. Optionally you can use the image map type "Roughness" for the alpha channel of the normal layer.
c. The image map types "Specular amount" and "Specular color" for SL's specular layer, "amount" in the alpha channel.
d. I have been unable to figure out a way to make Modo composite these amount/color layers natively, so I do it post-rendering in GIMP.
e. Finally, you will want to tune the "glossiness" and "environment" values in SL, although glossiness can be omitted if you used a "roughness" layer.
f. All three layers can be changed and applied using LSL scripts, specifically llSetPrimitiveParams function family. PRIM_TEXTURE, PRIM_NORMAL, and PRIM_SPECULAR are the flags involved.

12. The default avatars in the LXO file have been UVed in accordance with points 10 and 11, so you can get an idea of how that works.

I hope this is helpful. This kit is freely distributable. The only non-original items in the kit are the avatar base meshes, which are freely available at:


I can be contacted at ariel.erlanger at gmail dot com, but as I said above I will not be providing much support. Good luck to all modonauts!

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  • 6 months later...

Bind tools etc... do all work in MODO, I will post a detailed video over the next week.

I am using MODO 10 and FBX Converter for the .DAE into SL

You basically follow the general workflow for binding (Setup mode) adjust weights... you can use the copy weights script which is a bit slow but does save going through one by one doing the tranfser (hopefully this gets updated in MODO soon!)

I found a few "gotcha's" which i will detail in the video. But nothing major... basically unclicking a few options.


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