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A 3D modeling application with the ability to effortlessly switch between organically sculpting high-polygon models and controlling hard-edged surfaces.
Release Date: Dec 19, 2012
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Buy Silo 2

$79.99

About the Software

Available for an incredible low price exclusively on Steam, Silo 2 is a focused 3D modeling application with the ability to effortlessly switch between organically sculpting high-polygon models and precisely controlling hard-edged surfaces. It can be used for anything from creating 3D characters for video games and movies to quickly exploring 3D architectural ideas.

At Silo's heart is an innovative, robust, and 100% customizable polygon editing toolset, suitable to both organic and hard-surface modeling. This polygonal base mesh is used to drive subdivision surfaces if desired: just hit C and V to navigate between subdivision levels and the base mesh at any time. Those coming to Silo from other applications will find that, despite having fewer tools, Silo isn't lacking any functionality. Instead, basic modeling tools such as Tweak, Cut, Bevel, Extrude, and Slide intelligently adapt to the task at hand based on context, drastically cutting down on the time spent switching or hunting for tools.

On top of this core toolset we've added non-destructive brush-based displacement painting (especially useful for high res meshes or directly editing subdivision layers), advanced uv unwrapping, and the unique Topology Brush which lets you literally draw a new edge flow onto a 3D surface. Intuitive, advanced selection tools including Tweak, Loop, Ring, Path, Grow/Shrink, and Soft Selection are key to a fast, fluid workflow.

Silo is currently being used at top studios worldwide as both a stand-alone design tool and as a versatile element of a multi-software 3D graphics workflow.

Features

  • Zen Workflow - Silo's careful design and its focus on pure modeling allows it to have a free, uncluttered feeling which is simply not possible in larger applications. Whether you are working to precise specifications or sketching out your thoughts, it is much easier to do so in a calm, focused modeling environment. This benefits professionals who are coming to Silo to escape slower, more complex software. It also benefits hobbyists and students, who are able to learn everything they need without having to deal with anything they don't need.
  • File Formats - Silo supports import and export of .sia, .sib, .obj, .3ds, .dxf, and .fac, as well as the export only of .stl, .pov, and .rib.
  • Advanced Polygonal Modeling - Silo offers a comprehensive set of interactive, context-sensitive tools for rapid polygonal modeling. The workflow is focused on having a few powerful, intelligent tools, rather than a separate command or option for every conceivable function. Additionally, "sticky key" functionality allows tools to behave differently if a hotkey is held down. Key modeling tools include Break, Tweak, Cut, Bevel, Slide, Scale, Extrude, Polygon Tool, Edge Tool, unlimited Undo and Redo, and more. Modeling can be performed with or without manipulators, including the Universal Manipulator which combines rotate, scale, and translate into a single manipulator.
  • Comprehensive Selection Tools - Robust selection tools are the key to great modeling, and a quick look at the Selection menu shows Silo's development has focused heavily on this area. Some highlights? Multi Select mode allows users to select vertices, edges and faces without changing selection modes. Tweak selection allows a user to grab, move, and deselect a component with a single click. That and many other tools work with Soft Selection, which smoothly distributes changes throughout a shape. Paint, Area, and Lasso selection types are supported. Select Visible and Select Thru functions are both available - by default, use the left mouse button for Select Visible commands, and the middle mouse button for Select Thru. A separate Undo is available for cycling through recent selections.
  • Subdivision Surfaces - Subdivision surfaces offer a smooth, high polygon shape, and are easily accessible in Silo. Using default shortcuts, simply press c to subdivide as many levels as you want, and v to unsubdivide. Modeling can be performed in real time at any subdivision level with updates shown directly on the subdivided shape. Edges can be creased to keep them sharp at all subdivision levels.
  • Unparalleled Customization - Designed to fit into any pipeline, Silo is the most customizable modeler available. That includes complete customization of the mouse, keyboard, and graphical interface, allowing it to closely emulate other applications a user may be familiar with, or perform tasks (such as assigning up to 40 different commands to a typical mouse with keyboard modifiers) which no other application can. Favorite tricks include assigning undo/redo, grow/shrink selection, and to the scrollwheel, or simply putting frequently used commands on the right mouse button with modifiers. Silo's button pages allow users to create their own multi-page interfaces, and assign any command to any image. The interface and color scheme are also highly customizable. Customizations can be easily imported, exported, and shared. Even the Primitives menu can be customized with frequently used models or settings.
  • Advanced UV Editing - Silo offers multiple types of unwrapping, including LSCM, Planar Region, XYZ, Per Face, and By Neighbors, which heals UVs based on the UVs based on the surrounding area. Different unwrapping methods can even be used on parts of the same mesh for optimal results. UVs are preserved during modeling operations, so modeling and UV editing can be freely interchanged with little to no cleanup. (This is particularly useful when a last-minute modeling change needs to be made to a "finished" model.) Clutter is significantly reduced by allowing regular geometry editing tools (such as Break, Merge, Tweak, Slide, and Soft Selection) to be used to edit UVs wherever it makes sense. Even the displacement brushes, particularly the Smooth brush, are very useful when applied to smoothing out UVs.
  • Displacement Painting - Finally, brush-based displacement painting has been well-integrated into a traditional modeling environement. Silo's brushes integrate seamlessly with the rest of the modeling toolset. If the model is subdivided, the brushes will affect the subdivided shape directly, otherwise they will affect regular geometry. As with UVs, displacement is preserved where possible during modeling changes, so the brushes can be used alongside other tools as the model develops, rather than solely at the end of the process. Painting is smooth and natural, and works well with tablets. Displacement maps and normal maps can be generated and exported from any subdivision level, or even from two completely separate objects.
  • Retopology - With the popularity of displacement painting in Silo and other applications, as well as the common usage of 3d scanners, modelers are frequently asked to create a new, well-formed model with a high-poly shape for reference. This process is frequently known as retopologization, and Silo's Topology Tool provides an innovative solution by allowing users to directly draw new topology onto an object using a pen-like tool. Silo also offers Surface Snapping, which effectively turns every tool into a topology tool by snapping edited geometry to an underlying shape, and the Surface Tool, which allows users to quickly in interactively draw out and tweak strips of polygons.
  • Scene Editor - Complex Scenes can be easily managed in Silo via the Scene Editor, which displays the scene in a tree-like structure and allows layer-like editing of objects and groups. Selection, display mode, locking, and visibility can all be quickly modified from the editor.
  • Numerical Editor - Silo offers precise numerical control of the position, rotation, scale, size, distance, and angle of selected geometry via the Numerical Editor.
  • Snapping - Three powerful snapping modes are available in Silo. Grid snapping snaps to the customizable workgrid, Component snapping snaps to the vertices, edges, and faces of an object, and Surface snapping smoothly snaps to the surface of unselected objects. These snapping modes affect nearly all geometry editing commands.

Support and Resources

Help, tutorials, and videos for Silo are all maintained online on the official Silo website. You can find hours of training videos on their tutorials page and other content on the Nevercenter 3D Modeling Wiki, which offers many resources for modelers using any application. The Silo user forums are also a great place to search, share, and find answers to your questions.

System Requirements

    Minimum:

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB
    • Hard disk space: 20 MB
    • Video Card: Graphics card supporting 1024 x768 x 16-bit color and OpenGL

    Recommended:

    • Memory: 1 Gb
    • Video Card: 32 bit color compatibility
    • Additional: Three button mouse or mouse with scroll wheel
Helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
155 products in account
30 reviews
22.4 hrs on record
Silo 2 is a pretty neat modeler, although unfortunately, nothing else. Still, I find myself really enjoying working in it, as it's a lot easier to use than most commercial software out there. The basic interface is pretty self explanitory, and isn't cluttered with things you won't need, however, you can pretty much customize it to your preference, so migrating from other software won't make you feel that out of place. I've used the demo first, for 30 days, and only had 1 crash happen, so far, It has been pretty stable for me.

If you want to buy this, try it out first, as some people don't seem to like it (but that's pretty common with everything anyways). You have to keep in mind, that everyone's preferences are different, so you have to find the right tool for you. There's a similar software called Voidworld, which is free, and was practically created to be a replacement for Silo, you can try that too and make comparrisons yourself. However, it's not as optimized, so it eats quite a lot of your resources, and might not run as good on your computer as on anyone elses (I practically couldn't use it, because it kept crashing, but I have a crappy laptop).

If you're looking for other, similar commercial software, you can also give Hexagon 2.5 a go (from Daz3D). It can do pretty much the same thing, with the addition of directly painting onto models, althought not as good in that field as 3D-Coat, as some parts of the UV need tweaking before you can begin painting (if you don't want to have streched textures on certain verticles). Unfortunately, that too, like Silo, is not being updated anymore. Still, don't let the lack of updates discourage you from software if you enjoy working with them. At the end of the day, it's all about what you like, and how you can utilize your tool anyways.

Also, If you're new to 3D modeling, make sure that you understand the basics. These are universal, and not exclusive to any kind of application. If you don't know your foundations, you might feel uncomfortable and let down, after a few failed attemps at translating your thoughts into a model.
Posted: December 20th, 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes No
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
75 products in account
3 reviews
23.8 hrs on record
Pro:
Good program for beginers and industry standards also used in Digital Tutors as one of the best easy and fast modeling programs out there, UI is clean and solid , the performance is great

Con:
Modeling Tool only, Poor coding within the program its self, the program is very hardware dependant and also crashes when any model is at 1mil polycount so be warned when modeling in this program, program is no longer supported | abandoned from the company

Overal:
Apart from the crashing when you hit 1mil polycount, this program is a decent modeling tool for the price its at, with all the others being extremly high cost. the program is good for people wanting to start in the industry for beginers or for artists wanting to freelance or sell there models online.

Important Side Note:
because its no longer supported | abandoned there is no support for it if you have any issues.
(excluding the 1mil poly count crash)

Side Note:
If you cant afford to buy any 3d software there are 2 free to use alternatives to get you started which are
Blender
Sculptris
you will need to research if there only for personal, commercial use or both
Posted: December 21st, 2013
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13 of 20 people (65%) found this review helpful
38 products in account
3 reviews
13.5 hrs on record
Silo 2 is a fairly decent program warned the lines of beginners than anything, however they may find a number of things to hold the lack of tutorials and support, overall it is a decent model program for its price.
Posted: December 10th, 2013
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
454 products in account
2 reviews
37.0 hrs on record
Silo is a modeling package that is designed to do modeling and nothing else. By focusing on just modeling however, it's able to make itself into an intuitive tool used for quick modeling and UV mapping.

The interface has some very smart, intuitive features (hitting a hotkey combo while hovering over a menu option will assign that hotkey to the menu option for example) that make using the program quick and easy.

With it being a smaller program with less community than, say Maya, 3ds Max, or even Blender, finding help on line for modeling beginners or Silo newcomers can be troublesome. Other issues include the fact that it can be fairly easy to crash the program if you're not careful.

However the ease of use the program brings to the table, not to mention it's incredibly fair price make it a program to look into if you're in the market for a affordable helpful modeling program.
Posted: January 17th, 2014
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
32 products in account
2 reviews
28.1 hrs on record
DO NOT BUY THIS!
If you test the trial version and most things work DON'T GET FOOLED!
As soon as things become more complex than a CUBE the software will crash on cutting polygons, boolean operations, YOU NAME IT!
And the worst part is that you can NOT fix your mesh, because it's the software that completely destroys it!
It's next to impossible to track down what action destroys your mesh in order to avoid using it since it's freaking random!
Save your money and your time!
Posted: January 27th, 2014
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