MODO indie packs powerful, industry-leading 3D modeling, sculpting, and animation tools into an affordable package that's perfect for developers and freelance game artists.
User reviews:
Positive (30 reviews) - 90% of the 30 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Dec 11, 2014

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“Modelling tools are best in class”

“One of the best tools that a 3D artist can have”
Creative Bloq

“The best modeling tool on the market, and has been since its first release”

About This Software

Attention: We have a new version of MODO indie, but have released it as a new product on the Steam Store. See MODO indie 901 here!

MODO indie packs powerful, industry-leading 3D modeling, sculpting, and animation tools into an affordable package that's perfect for developers and freelance game artists.

The fastest, most advanced polygonal and subdivision surface 3D modeler anywhere, MODO indie delivers amazing creative flexibility for crafting detailed 3D game content -- free of individual commercial restrictions and without breaking your budget. Whether you're creating vivid character models, stunning level designs, fully-fledged cut scenes, or more, MODO indie has everything you need to take your game assets to the next level!

Speed. Scope. Flexibility. Power. Community. MODO indie delivers.

MODO indie's flexible modeling tools are ideal for precision modeling of hard surface objects and environment structures, and for freeform organic sculpting of virtually any shape. The integrated multi-res sculpting and animations tools work alongside traditional modeling and UV toolsets to offer a superior experience for game artists. The combination of modeling, sculpting, animation, rendering, and UV tools in a single application delivers a uniquely powerful content creation toolset.

What devs are saying about MODO

"MODO is perfect for indie developers in so many ways. Aside from the fact it’s super intuitive, I've not known a package where you get so much bang for the buck. Not only can you use it for in-game assets, but you can do all your promotional and high end art in the same package." - Steve Wilding, Mad Atom Studios. (Monkey Slam)

"MODO is just a life saver, I came from a 3ds Max/Maya background and I always felt like I was fighting to get anything done. From the start, MODO has always felt comfortable and made sense to me as a user." - James Guard, Epsilon Studios (Farrah Rogue: Zero Hour)

"MODO is pretty much the center of our art pipeline... It’s definitely my favorite tool. I have used MODO for many years, but I am still discovering new possibilities and tricks every week. For a modeler I think it’s one of the most powerful tools there is." - Tor Frick, MachineGames (Wolfenstein: The New Order)

Features and Benefits

MODO indie Includes Features For:
  • Powerful 3D modeling that’s intuitive and fun
  • Dynamic sculpting tools for expert tinkering
  • Powerful animation and rigging tools to bring your 3D models to life
  • UV Editing tools make texturing objects in 3D a breeze
  • Texture baking lets you package everything quickly for export
  • Materials setup and painting gives you great artistic flexibility
  • High performance rendering
  • Easy export OBJ and FBX output to game engines

Key Features and Workflows Explained

MODO indie contains the industry-leading modeling toolset found in MODO 801. Leverage professional quality tools and streamlined modeling methods to produce the best 3D models out there. Easily create 3D-based details with instancing and bake to textures that standout from the rest.

Spend less time sending models back and forth between applications, as MODO indie also contains powerful sculpting tools. Do you already have models created in another app? Don't worry, we have that covered too! MODO indie is better at high resolution data exchange with other sculpting apps than most applications out there. Exchange models with almost 1 to 1 accuracy using vector displacement maps and convert to multiresolution.

Paint on a 2D plane or directly on the surface of your 3D model. From connecting to texturing, MODO indie’s robust painting tools can be leveraged to improve the speed and quality of almost every stage of the workflow.

UV's were never fun until now. MODO indie comes complete with UV tools that allow for both accuracy and precision. Create that perfect, low-distortion UV map for when painting textures in 2D. Or create an efficient and compact UV map to capture extra detail for 3D painting and baking workflows. It's all about flexibility with MODO indie and, more importantly, keeping technical tasks fun!

Too many polygons, no attention paid to surface topology? This and other things can lead to odd, unrealistic animations in your games. The solution is to “retopologize” the model. MODO is known as the retopology tool of choice for professional game developers, and again MODO indie also includes all of these powerful features.

Use MODO indie’s's shader tree to develop high quality materials and aid in the creation of in-game textures. Full GI, ray-traced reflections and render outputs let you take your textures to the next level. You can even use MODO indie to composite your shader mask layers together for even greater precision, or use advanced shaders like the occlusion shader to create painterly effects and add dirt/grime.

Quickly bake textures and visually get a feel for how your assets will look in context without having to jump into the game. Render layered shader mask outputs to streamline the baking process and provide you with more options to control your texture painting.

Leverage MODO indie’s powerful rendering engine to preview surfaces and adjust lighting and shader setups directly in app. This allows you to easily visualize complex materials, such as fur, without the need to export to your game first.

Ready to make your detailed 3D models come to life? MODO indie’s dynamic 3D animation framework is highly customizable to any size gaming project, and it’s packed with extra features that build on traditional animation techniques in exciting and powerful ways.

MODO indie’s modular node-based rigging system makes it simple to create, edit, and reuse complex character rigs, using a nondestructive and nonlinear toolset that’s fully integrated to give you the flexibility you need.

Professional 3D authoring tools can sometimes take a career to learn and afford. With MODO indie, everyone can learn the basics of game content creation without breaking the bank. MODO's exceptional community of learning resources helps indie studios and independent content creators around the globe grow their 3D skills.

MODO indie vs MODO SE

Based on your feedback and success of MODO Steam Edition we have added features and made numerous improvements in what is now MODO indie. If you previously purchased MODO Steam Edition from the Steam storefront we want you to know that we appreciate your business and all owners of MODO Steam Edition will receive a FREE upgrade to MODO indie.

To better meet your needs as an independent artist MODO indie now includes:

  • MODO indie has no commercial restrictions for individual use. You are free to use your creations for paid commercial products, for your own personal projects, or even as a learning tool
  • We’ve upped the FBX and OBJ poly output limit to 100k
  • Dynamics, animation, and rendering capabilities have been added
  • Affordable subscription option now available

Differences between MODO indie and full MODO

  • Project file (.lxf) linked to Steam account / cannot be shared with other users
  • OBJ and FBX export limited to 100k polys
  • Bake and render resolution limited to 4k
  • Command eval options unavailable
  • Command, scripts, and command history panel results unavailable except “undo” and “history”
  • Python editor, third-party scripts, and third-party plugins unavailable
  • OBJ and FBX export only
  • Can import all formats but can only save in .lxf format
  • Image save formats limited to .png, .jpg, .tiff and .exr

MODO indie + MARI indie Bundle!

Why not double your creative might by pairing MODO indie and MARI indie together in your solo 3D game asset pipeline? Read more about MARI indie’s incredible 3D painting and texturing capabilities here! Monthly subscription or perpetual license bundles available.

Have More Questions?

Check out our in-depth MODO indie FAQ right here!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 7 and 8 (only 64-bit supported)
    • Processor: Intel Xeon/Core 2 Duo, Quad/Core i7 or AMD Opteron/ Phenom processor(s). Must support SSE2 instruction set.
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 accelerated graphics, at least 1280 x 800 resolution
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Mouse or pointing device, including pressure sensitive tablets or 3Dconnexion 3D mouse. Internet connection required to access Steam.
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7 or later (only 64-bit supported)
    • Processor: Intel processor(s), Core2Duo processor or higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.0 accelerated graphics, at least 1280 x 800 resolution
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Mouse or pointing device, including pressure sensitive tablets or 3Dconnexion 3D mouse. Internet connection required to access Steam.
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Positive (30 reviews)
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22 reviews match the filters above ( Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
61 of 69 people (88%) found this review helpful
45.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
As a user of MODO SE since near its release early this year, I think that MODO indie was a much needed upgrade and with good timing at that. Many aspects of MODO have been improved, although not without a larger price tag (The Foundry also offers a subscription-based deal, similar to MAY LT, which may prove to be better for some people). MODO indie is the successor to MODO SE (which is no longer supported, although still usable), and a worthy one too. With it, MODO indie brings some very sought-after features that were missing or lack-luster in MODO SE.

First and foremost, the import/export polygon (yes, POLYGON, not triangle!) limitation has been hightened exceptionally to a grand number of 100k polygons (200k triangles), from the previously measly 7k that it used to be. In addition, the commercial restrictions that made MODO SE previously only a Steam Workshop-oriented tool has been lifted, so you can sell your creations fullstop. AS well, it can be used for any range of game engines that supports the file formats that MODO indie exports to (restricted to .obj and .fbx). Speaking of the Steam Workshop, MODO indie does not include the feature that was present in MODO SE (of exporting directly to Dota 2). But this is, if anything, is a minute inconvenience since Dota 2 supports .FBX files just fine, and TF2 and CS:GO both handle .OBJs, if you follow some simple tutorials around the web (those who still have MODO SE can still use the previous method of exporting directly to Dota 2).

Now, with the new commercial restrictions lifted, another restriction was created in its place. It shouldn't affect people too much, but it may prove troublesome to those who are a team of developers who want to share their files between seperate instances of MODO indie. A new file encryption was implemented to the save file formats to restrict any files to a particular Steam ID/Steam account. Since I am a solo developer, this does not concern me. But it may prove to be an issue for people who would want to otherwise share their work. The proprietary file format MODO indie introduces (.lxf) is also not compatible with the full verison of MODO if one chose to upgrade and continue their work on that version.

Despite this, other key aspects of MODO (the full version) have made their way into MODO indie, which were also quite sought-after by users of MODO SE. These being animation (rigging as well), dynamics, and better rendering capabilities.

With all that said, if you haven't already bought MODO SE, you may want to wait for MODO indie to go on sale. It's definitely more expensive, but also has more going for it. The choice is yours!
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33 of 45 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
95.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
I owned Modo SE and got a free upgrade to Indie, so I am feeling good about Modo. I purchased Modo SE on sale based on a .FBX export option upgrade rumored to be in the pipeline. Within six months I was pleasantly suprised. I'm impressed with the new features added for use with Modo Indie. This version offers more freedom of use in other game engines that import .fbx files like Leadwerks (available on Steam). I should state I have not used the Modo Indie version and have some more learning to do to make a more comprehensive review of the product. Ahh, still basking in the warm glow of a free upgrade of this magnitude.

My review up till now is more of a testament to The Foundry and their commitment to the software and thriving community.

The Modo Indie version is closer to the Modo full version, which I have been eyeballing for a year or two. Due to its price I put purchasing full version on the back burner. Most of my experience with 3d modeling is with Blender and so far I find Modo better, but the control is much different. The help guides are great and got me acclimated to the interface quickly. Modo is not going to make models for you. There is possibly going to be a steep learning curve, based on your own experience with the processes involved to get your desired results.

Modo is a proven product and I would have purchased Modo Indie even with some of the limitations compared to the full versions. Now I'm looking into MARI Indie for purchase.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
604.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
The nicest xmas gift for us! It's a great leap forward to invite the individual developers and/or hobbist into the 3d modelling and animation world. As a lightwave user i was prepared to buy MODO as the right low poly and subpatch modelling tool, because LW's modeler wasn't (really) upgraded for ages... And now there's the chance to rent it or buy the indie version for a very correct price. With some limitations, but nothing unfair.
So if you are indie developer or 3d enthusiast amateur, this is your 3d package.
Clear ui, very good and modern modelling tools (hey Newtek, time to wake up!!!), good renderer, and plenty amount of good categorized learning stuffs/tutorials, and content.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
395.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 7, 2015
Hello everyone!

As a 3D application, Modo is currently the most well-designed and efficient 3D application that you can possibly find out there. And because it has been put so well together, it blossoms and gets better every year while other apps out there are stuck with poor user-interface, navigation, etc.

Modo does everything and does it extremely well. In most 3D application, the user is forced to use specific tools. In Modo, the user gets a tool that can be used creatively with any other tools creatively. The user can use the bevel tool on polygons or edges, sculpting tools to model, modeling tools to sculpt, painting tools to model, etc. Modo perfectly demonstrates the strength of a multi-specialized (polymath) software; the next gen way of modeling. The most important aspect of Modo is how efficient and ahead of its time it always is. Modo is all about saving you time while working at a high level of quality. Other softwares such as 3DS Max, Maya, Blender and Zbrush would have to be completely redesigned to be able to compete with Modo.

Modo is currently considered the best subd modeler out there because it does the following things extremely well:

- Workplane
- Subd modeling with catmull-clark
- Subd modeling with catmull-clark + Edge weighting
- Subd modeling with catmull-clark + Rounded Edge Shader + Edge Weighting
- Fall-offs (modeling modifier)
- Multi-res 3D sculpting
- Retopology
- UVing
- 3D painting
- Image projection for 3D texturing
- Rendering
- Baking
- Item/Scene management
- Camera navigation

And on top of doing so many things so well, The Foundry listen to the feedback that they receive from Modonaughts and they have people like Brandon (BladeEvolence) and Greg (Poly_Pusher) who directly talk with the community everyday! Modo Indie offers an amazing experience that only gets better and better. It's a smart software for smart creative people. The more creative the user is, the more powerful Modo becomes.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
157.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
For modelling this blows Maya LT out of the water. It combines the speed of Blender with the stability of a professional application. It has a few issues (lack of scripting support being my primary one) but overall it works very well.

Check out this Tor Frick's work if you need an example of what can be done in Modo:
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
109.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 1, 2015
As a long-term 3D Studio user going way back to the days of MS-DOS and up to 3DSMax 2011, I have a good grasp of the 3D toolset I use.

When I went Independent last year I needed a way to continue my 3D services but without (if possible) the heavyweight costs involved in keeping up with all the current software versions. I also use a Mac Pro as my main machine so that was important too.

So, I decided to give MODO Indy subscription a try and bought a months subscription. Straight off, the switch from Max to Modo was a bit strange, especially in how you use materials as that’s rather odd but following the starter tutorials I got up and running to a point where I could produce something of worth.

My first animation was a sample for a prospective client (who declined two other studios work), I used Modo to do it and was pleasantly surprised at how nice the rendering engine is. Applying post effects in the render window and sending that back to the 3D scene was such a time saving process. Blurry reflections are always a bit of a pain when producing animation as you can get render artifacts / noise but a few hours of tinkering and I managed to reduce it to acceptable levels while still rendering out to my budget time, the cycle of tweak re-render was quite quick and something that reduced my dev time right down. The client was very pleased with the first set of renders and it landed me the contract so my first commercial experience with Modo Indy paid off.

Looking forwards to getting my teeth into more of the tools I haven’t even looked at yet. I will miss scripting though as used that heavily in Max so after a couple more jobs it looks like I will be getting full Modo 901, and look forwards to that time.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
47.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 9, 2015
By far, my favourite modelling software. I've previously tried 3ds Max, Maya, and Blender, and out of all of them, this one has the best workflow and tools. Well worth the low cost! If you're still undecided, be sure to visit the Foundry website and grab the 30 day demo (also comes with free access to then head back here to get the Indie version once you're convinced.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
400.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 14, 2015
I've been Using Modo indie now for a while and I thought Its time that I stop my 3d modeling madness and write a review!
I’m an indie game developer/ 3D artist and I have been dabbling in 3D for over 10 years, 4 of which have been professionally. I started in 3D Studio Max, worked my way through Maya and struggled trying to navigate Blender3D. All of these 3D packages I have used at some point or another. They all have advantages and disadvantages. Over the last 10 years these applications have grown and matured. But after using all of these programs Modo Has stood out to me and has become an extension of my artist brain. I made the shift to Modo after working professionally with Maya while making product renders and animations. Modo's capabilities are a Godsend and have saved my butt countless times.

Modo's modeling tools are nothing short of amazing, the developers really put time into designing a truly unique and extensive set of modeling tools that make Modo stand above the rest. Everything from extruding, beveling, cutting to filling holes are super-fast, and make producing clean topology an easy task. Modo also includes things like fall offs that allow you to create nice flowing geometry, adjustable work planes that allow you to model at any angle. Adjustable action centers allow you to manipulate geometry from any angle or location. It’s hard to describe how amazing these tools are. Did I mention the built in Sculpting and re-topology tools! I’m a big fan of Zbrush for digital sculpting and I would have to say that Modo's built in sculpting tools are pretty sweet. With the ability to paint your 3D models, sculpt details, rig, animate. Modo has the best preview render. It allows you to preview your materials and lighting all in real time. Everything about Modo Rocks!

I could keep going on and on about how great Modo is but I think if you’re a 3D artist or would like to learn 3D Modo Indie is a great Place to be. Every tool inside Modo that I use professionally on a daily basis is here in the Indie version. The only flaw I find with Modo indie is the ability to run scripts and render large images but hey if your doing work that needs massive renders then most likely you can afford to buy Modo Pro.

I definitely recommend Modo Indie to anyone who is looking for the best 3D package at an amazingly affordable price.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
132.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 29, 2015
Great program, but its terribly buggy. This feel likes beta software. In eleven hours of usage it has crashed far more than eleven times. Particularly while saving, needless to say its extremely frustrating.

They went to such great lengths to remove important functionality, instead of simply creating a limited commercial licensing structure. That it renders the software into nothing more then a toy.

I would wait for The Foundry to sort there stuff out before purchasing.

After a lot more usage I found the issue has to do with copy and pasting geometry between meshes. It seems to be completely unusable. Using this feature destroyed all the retopology I had done and forced me to start over and build the entire mesh Even cutting polygons out of an imported mesh seemed to be extremely unstable.

For personal use I would recommend Modo, as its a big step above the rest, however if you have deadlines for your work I would not trust Modo Indie.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
97.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
I don't write any reviews publicly, but this product has forced me to do an exception. :-) Short version of review is: Go for it, it is amazing.

Longer version of review is:

If you are interested in 3D modelling and you have some experience in it, go for it as it provides nice interface and functionalities (for example great selection modes), good UV editing, sample material assets for making your prototype look nicely, and many more. It will adjust your workflow significantly.

I have had problems with saving and exporting in the beginning as the application crashed during SAVE or EXPORT. But don't be afraid -> I know the cause and the solution. :-) The cause was that I am using Intel HD 4000 graphics, so you have to set the in the Display->OpenGL->Performance VDO mode instead of Automatical to Off. And it works like a charm.

Although I am using it on notebook, it has equal or slightly better performance as/than Blender 3D. Be careful, if you are used to Blender style editing, this is a little bit different, but you'll get used to it pretty fast.
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Recently Posted
1.0 hrs
Posted: October 1, 2015
Great software. Simple as that
Helpful? Yes No Funny
85.2 hrs
Posted: September 21, 2015
I've been using MODO Indie for over 80 hours now for some private projects I'm doing at the moment and I have to say that I am very impressed with it. For a low budget software solution for game development, it has been great. So far I've only had it crash once randomly. And with what features are there, I certainly recommend it to indies and small studios.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
297.2 hrs
Posted: September 20, 2015
Modo has many things going for it, some of trhe modelling tools are nice.

It also has many things not going for it, namely lag when using sDivs. Even Selecting and deselecting objects can take 10 seconds where it ramps the cup up to 25% ( single thread ) and the first stroke in sclulpting aways lags.

I used it on two PC's and same issue.

I wanted to use it to sculpt/paint and then retopo. But its not working out that way.
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0.2 hrs
Posted: July 1, 2015
This product does not seem to work, I tried importing fbx models and nothing shows up. No idea why, it says 'there were 1 wearnings' but does not say what it is. I even tried creating a simple cube model, saving and loading again nothing and no idea why.

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989.6 hrs
Posted: June 22, 2015
I'm glad to see more and more good 3d software on steam!
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18.0 hrs
Posted: May 19, 2015
When it comes to modeling there's just nothing that beats MODO. At least nothing that I've tried. Plus this is basically a complete package for any indie developer. I highly recommend it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny