Silkkinen Shampoo Breakdown

Hola! Today is a big day in my new “Modo life” again. It’s a pleasure to show you some new stuff that I have made with Modo. My first modo training case was a still image, so now it is obvious that we need to move ahead and make some movement.

This isn’t character animation or nothing special with organic materials. It’s more technical playing with “recoil” and “soft body” elements. Recoil plugin comes with Modo 601 version, so of course it must to check out. This work is more than playing with simulations, I also try to learn basic lightnings and rendering setups and they are big part of this job. There is also some network rendering problems and some findings about that.

Learning objectives

  • Still learning Modo’s workflow and UI
  • Spline Effector with replicators
  • Recoil and Soft Bodies
  • Lightning
  • Technical animation
  • Rendering & Network Rendering
  • Sounds (This is just for fun and not in modo)

Feelings about modo (Still)

I still want to say couple words about my feelings with Modo. It’s great. That’s two words :) Seriously it is.

First I thought where the heck is all particle tools that found in blender. How I can blow particles in to the air with wind or something. Yep, I don’t find them but I understand how in Modo to made all those effects with much more control in this work. There is soft bodies that use all those “nature power tools”, but particles isn’t there yet (I can also be wrong with this section). I guess in Luxology they are going to make much of these kinf improvements on the next releases, particles, dynamics and etc.

Breakdown of the Silkkinen Shampoo Ad

At the beginning of…

I started to think about what to do next and decided that I wanna make some fictional TV ad. It’s easy way to start with that because I have done TV-commercials before I started to do some 3D. I choose enough easy subject for the modeling because it isn’t main part of this job at this time. So I chose shampoo bottle and simple leaf, that’s it!

Of course you need to design your own shampoo label, so here it is. And there is also diffuse map for leaves. That’s all texturing in this case, phew…

And if you check out those ingredients in label you can see some very weird compinations :)

Spline Effector and Replicators

This part was firstly very confused for me. There is differences between programs and how all things works. But after I realized the logic of these elements everything works fine.

I found good video about basic usage of spline effector, Spline Effector – Basics by Matt Cox. But in my case I found better solution with setting Curve to Spline Effector.

Motion Blur

Motion Blur can be tricky part in any case if you do not know what you’re doing. There is strenghts and weaknesses in differents styles to make this nice effect to your image. Many says that “you got best result with rendering motion blur in 3D program”. That could be true, but we lost much of control if we just render it to final image, because we can’t adjust it anymore. Next problem with Motion Blur is compositing. If I had Nuke, compositing Motion Vector would be much easier. There is also good commercial plugin for After Effects called ReelSmart Motion Blur, that handle very well those Motion Vectors. But I do not have those so I need to choose rendering that Motion Blur to the image. If you know some good and cheaper way to get good results I am interested about that.

There is good information about Motion Blur in web, like: How to Add Motion Blur to your 3D Animation in Post Production by Creating 2D Motion Vectors in Maya <- there is good explanations about this topic. And other good tutorial about this is A Focused Look Motion Blur In After Effects in AEtuts.

So I chose to render Motion Blur in Modo even it takes some more render time and controlling it afterward could be a problem. But let’s move on… Here is some test with motion blur length values. I think result was enough good for this training. Remeber that your “antialiasing” value affects your blur quality. So if it’s too low you get some noise around edges.

Depth of Field

Thank god DOF is a little bit easier than Motion Blur in compositing part. It’s fast pass to render and it’s easier to control afterwards. So I put it to own “Render Output” in modo and composited that in After Effects. I use Lens Blur filter in After Effects to get that DOF into the image.


Rendering this project was tricky part in many section. There was problems with rendering format and network rendering.


There is still many holes in my rendering skills but every project teaching me a lot. One hole is EXR format and how to use it properly. I used it before a little bit and saw that there are much more control with this format afterwards. I rendered this project with OpenEXR 32-bit float format. I guess technically It was not necessary to render this job with so high depth (32-bit) and full hd resolution size, except as for training.

I found that OpenEXR can be very good format, but if you wan’t get all benefits from it you need to buy ProEXR version. That 95$ could be too much for many users from just one plugin. One good thing that you can get with Pro version is multilayer feature. This means you can render all passes to the same file and use them all in After Effects easily. Otherwise if you just use that free version OpenEXR (it is delivered with After Effects CS5 and higher version by default) you need to separate those passes to the own files and it means more hand work. There is also more benefits in Pro version. Check out those links below to get more info about it.

You can find more info about OpenEXR and ProEXR file format:
OpenEXR Wikipedia

Network Rendering

I almost lost my nerves with modo’s “Network Rendering”. This feature is very buggy at the moment and I really hope that Luxology fix those problems at next patch. I got it to work with somehow, but there is still problems with stability. You can read more about these problems from Luxology’s forum topic and check out my solution “Modo 601 SP2 Network Rendering Problem and How to Fix it”. But after all I rendered this with Modo’s Network Rendering tool. I had to reset those slave machines many times and repeat that whole process that I described in that video.


Sound planning is always fun part if you have totally free hands in project. I made that background song with Reason and compositing all sounds in Reaper. That bird sound I got from web site. Thanks to my girlfriend to get her voice there :) (I really like her voice). That speak line is almost “gibberish” language, because it’s talking about “how to get shampoo from silk flowers” ;) Hehe, silk flowers… My goal was only to plan believable sounds for this fictional ad.


Now I understand more basics about Spline Effector and using replicators with it. I understand more about Network Rendering. I also achieve more about the lightning setups and how to use different lights in the modo. There is still so much to lear from modo… In next job I try to learn something new again and I will choose subject with keeping that in my mind.

PS. Remember that this is just a fictional ad. I do not have that shampoo to sell :)

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