We all know that Maya is a program of amazing depth for 3d, but lately it's been dragging me down; lots of crashes and unpredicability, especiallly when using it on a Mac laptop, had me on a quest for a better option. I decided to dig back into Modo, which I had tried a while back, to see whether it could work for my needs, which most of the time is modeling and rendering, very little animation. The good vibe I have had with the Foundry's Mischief made me optimistic about what Modo could achieve.
To run it through its paces on the modelling side, I picked up and starting modifying assets that I have for a book project that i keep coming back to. The interface is a little daunting, but so far the model or item selections and modifications are pretty powerful, though sometimes my external files need more tweaking than I would like. As I build more content in Modo in the future, I am sure this will become much more manageable.
The other big need for me is on the rendering side. Mental Ray in Maya produces excellent results, but often I need to see what the elements within the render look like right now, or make changes very quickly, which aren't features that Maya is very strong at, at least not on my system. I am still getting used to the toolset within Modo, but so far I am pretty pleased with the way that the render look overall; I will need to work on how to cut down the time. The render below took 14 minutes on my MacBook Pro with 8GB or RAM, and then took another 10 minutes to edit in Photoshop to make the image.