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Anyone use "Silo" (a low-cost 3D modeler)? - Printable Version

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Anyone use "Silo" (a low-cost 3D modeler)? - Carlos Camacho - Aug 16, 2005 06:08 PM

I'm thinking of upgrading my Strata 3D license and I noticed they have a bundle with Silo, a 3d modeler. Anyone use it? This gallery shows some nice images:

The price seems pretty good, and it could serve as a good tool for game model design/texturing. The main link:


Anyone use "Silo" (a low-cost 3D modeler)? - skyhawk - Aug 16, 2005 08:46 PM

the real question, how easy is it to use?

Anyone use "Silo" (a low-cost 3D modeler)? - Frank C. - Aug 16, 2005 09:42 PM

There's a 30 day demo and a "Learning" version available...

It seems ok after a quick run-through, but like most 3D apps the interface is a little whacky and unlike anything else out there. This is definitely one app where you need to memorize key shortcuts to get any real work done - the HUD GUI is useful if a little clunky, and the context menus help a lot if you don't know the key shortcuts...

It has all the basic goodies needed for low-poly and subdivision modelling - extrude, bevel, bridge, etc. and reminds me of Wings in a lot of ways though the interface is cleaner with real Mac menus - a lot of the default key shortcuts make no sense but you can change all those if ya like.

Nice little subdivision modeller, but the UV tools are currently lacking. Version 2 looks promising though, and the price is good. I might be tempted to pick this up once the next version comes out, but I can see easily spending a week tweaking the key shortcuts and HUD button sets.

Anyone use "Silo" (a low-cost 3D modeler)? - AnotherJake - Aug 19, 2005 11:29 AM

I tried out the demo. It seems like they're on the right track, but there are plenty of issues left to work out - Like there's a bug where if you save as .obj the .mtl file gets saved in your home directory because they used a \ instead of a /. I realize this is a very minor bug and can be fixed in an instant, but I found it in just a few minutes of use. That shouldn't have been missed with even minimal quality assurance testing.

I found it to have a decent interface which was pretty easy to get used to since I've used Maya. Some of the tools don't operate as I would expect though - Like smoothing a polygon doesn't produce extra subdivisions automatically. However stuff like the extrude face command works as expected. I wasn't able to find an option to keep the faces separate though, but I only used the program for a half hour or so.

Overall I would say it is a promising product but I'm not convinced it's worth $110 yet.

Anyone use "Silo" (a low-cost 3D modeler)? - Frank C. - Aug 19, 2005 04:03 PM

Nayr Wrote:I'm hooked on blender Grin
Blender's new transform widgets are awesome...

I did some more direct comparisons between Silo, Blender and Wings, and although Silo basically has the same functionality of Wings, with a better subdivision scheme and a cleaner-look, I still like Wings better. Some often used tools are hard to find in Silo's default config (like normal scale/move) and Wings blows it out of the water with selection handling and general workflow.

Blender beats both of them for subdivision surfaces though - it has mixed selection and direct iso-line editing (like Silo) and the best creasing options of the lot. It also has the best UV tools. Silo has the best snapping constraints, though Blender is pretty good in that regard and will also snap to grids for live edits (not sure Silo can do that). Blender is also on top as far as numeric input goes. Silo's input dialogs are BRUTAL - they need to fix those, especially on the Mac version.

Blender falls a little flat during the initial modelling stages though - it really needs better per-face normal based scaling, and real ngons (the fgons are useful but they aren't generated automatically so splitting a quad causes havoc). Stuff like Inset and a usable bevel tool are also MIA in Blender.

My choice right now for low-poly and/or subdivision modelling would be to make the initial mesh in Wings, then do the final tweaking in Blender. If Silo 2.0 fixes the obvious problems it might be worth another look, but it's amazing what these free tools are capable of once you give'm a fair chance.

Anyone use "Silo" (a low-cost 3D modeler)? - Carlos Camacho - Aug 19, 2005 06:52 PM

Now that is very good information to have. Thanks so much!