Recently, we had the chance to sit down and talk with Ellery Connell about his experience with Modo. Ellery is a 20 plus year veteran of 3D modeling. He’s also a teacher, speaker, and author (where he literally wrote the book on 3D design).
About three years ago he brought his many talents to Foundry. We wanted to learn more about his journey to Modo and where he sees Modo being useful to the enterprise business.
We caught up with Ellery below. Scroll for his thoughts on 3D design, Modo, and how he creates a great 3D asset.
Q: Tell me a bit about your background and how you got into 3D.
A: I started studying 3D back in the early 90’s with an application called Swivel 3D. It was very simple and limited but allowed me my first glimpse at creating renders and short animations. I used a number of other applications during the 90’s before landing on Lightwave as my first “modern” 3D application. Over the course of the next few years I used Lightwave, Maya, and a number of other applications before discovering Modo back in version 102. After using Modo for less than a month I decided to use it to model a commission for the cover of the 4th book in the Star Trek: Titan series. I have always been a big fan of learning on live projects and that gave me a good chance to dive into Modo and the modeling toolset.
After working freelance for many years I started work on a Master of Fine Arts in animation and visual effects. I worked on that degree until 2009. I had always been drawn to education and taught 3D at the University of Wisconsin and Arizona State University. During my time teaching, I developed classes in game design, product visualization, animation, visual effects, and a number of other areas where 3D visualization comes into play. While teaching, I developed training for Video2Brain and Lynda.com. I also wrote the book 3D for Graphic Designers that focuses on bringing 3D skills to fields where 2D applications have always been the prevailing tool. This was a start of what I like to think of as “democratizing 3D” which is a concept that I still champion today!
Q: Tell me a bit about the tools you now use to create an asset.
A: Today my asset creation process revolves largely around Modo along with a few other tools. As Modo has grown over the years I have found that it fills more and more of the parts of my workflow. In the beginning it was just modeling, animation. Now I do most of my 3D work exclusively in Modo. In addition to Modo I use a number of 2D applications (Photoshop, Illustrator, Affinity, Substance, etc) in the process of preparing materials, post processing. Of course, for rapidly iterating on color, texture, or material (or creating tech packs), I use Colorway.
Q: When you are thinking through creating a design, what are some of the things you would take into consideration before the build begins?
A: When planning a build I typically look for a starting point for overall form. If we have a physical sample I do a simple 3D scan and create a simple base meshContinue reading