Here is a preset that you can easily add to Substance to ensure you are exporting with full PBR materials for us on the VNTANA 3D CMS Platform:  

If you’re not using Substance materials, please follow the below guidelines to prepare and export your Modo file.

Export Guidelines

Advanced Export Process

Welcome to the Modo Export Guide! Please follow the below steps to export either a .FBX or .GLB file for VNTANA’s Platform using real-time rendering.

.FBX is recommended for consistent exports.

Note: Steps 1 – 2 will need to be followed for both file format exports.
Steps 3 – 4 are for FBX exports only.
Steps 5 – 6 are for GLB exports only.

1. Mesh Components

Set all mesh components Object Type to “Mesh”.

An easy way to identify the object type is by the geometry icon color:

  • Grey denotes Static mesh
  • Blue denotes Mesh
  • Pink denotes a mesh instance

To convert to Mesh, select the asset in the scene hierarchy

Then, right click on the selected asset and select
Change TypeMesh

Setting the geometry component to “Mesh” will ensure the geometry is exported.

2. Baking

In order to export complex materials successfully, we must bake out the maps per component. The texture maps rendered during the bake operation are Diffuse, Normal, Roughness, and Metallic.

Note: Baking will be required if complex materials are used (i.e. Blending Textures, Recoloring, Texture Transforms, and/or Blending texture against a materials input value).
If complex materials are not used, please proceed to the desired file format recommended material section.

A) Select the mesh component:

Select the mesh component for baking from the Scene Outliner.

B) Bake Texture Channel
Then right click on the same component and select Bake Bake Texture Channel from the context menu.

C) Apply Bake Settings
A dialog menu will open. Use the below settings for baking:

  • Use Current UV – only use if the component has UVs laid out that are not overlapping.
    • If “Use Current UV” is not enabled, the UV name will be the name of the UV channel to be created.
  • Generate Atlas UV – will atlas our UVs ensuring no overlaps.
  • Packs UVs – packs into 0-1 space.
  • Add Image Maps to Shader Tree – will place bakes in the Modo Shader Tree.
  • Bake – Baking will not occur if not enabled. This can be useful if you are seeking to layout the UVs.
  • Channel – select the channel to bake out. Using this tool, we can bake out our Diffuse, Normal, Roughness, and Metallic maps.

Once all settings are applied, select OK.

D) Save Location:

A dialog window will open.
Input the location to save the folder to and select OK.

Modo will perform the bake operation on the desired channel.
Once baking is completed, we will see a new folder in the Shading Tree called “Baked” that contains an item with the components name.

Modo will save each channel after each bake within this item group.

E) Adjust Layer Effect:
Once baking is complete, change the Layer Effect type to the same type listed in the new component name within the Bake item group.
Object_1_rough (component name) = Roughness (layer effect)
Object_1_metallic (component name) = Metallic (layer effect)

if you are using tiled materials and do not want to atlas your objects. You can create a plane in the viewport and assign your material to that. Baking from the plane will create a Tiled texture based on texture transforms and blending effects applied. Apply the textures in the same way outlined below.
After each bake ensure to rename the plane to avoid saving over previous bakes.

3. FBX Exports – Apply Baked Textures to Materials

Once the bake process is completed the baked textures will need to be applied to a new material or to the previous material within the scene. If applying to the previous materials you can drag the baked textures into that material.

Use either the Principled Material or Physically Based Material for accurate exports.

Principled Material

If using the Principled material, ensure the metallic map is read correctly adjust the Specular Amount to 100%.

If you drag these textures into a previously created material it is advised to save a copy with all previous material inputs deleted. This will ensure there are no export issues caused by hidden material inputs.

Physically Based Material

If you are using a Physically Based material, change the Metallic texture component to the Specular Color layer effect.

If the metallic map produced by the bake is a color other than black, adjust the Specular Amount to 100%. Physically Based Shaders use the Specular Color multiplied by the Specular Amount to determine Metallic shading characteristics.

4. Export as FBX

After the materials have been applied, a .FBX can be exported.

A) Embed Media Setting:
Within the System Preferences, navigate to FBX I/O and enable “Embed Media”. If Embed Media is not enabled, the textures will not export.

B) Game Exporter:

Use the Game Exporter to Export As a FBX. This exporter ensures the maps export correctly.

5. GLB Exports – Material Configuration

If exporting as a .GLB the baked textures from steps 1 – 2 need to be applied to materials before exporting. Below are the texture preparation and material creation steps.

A) Combine Roughness and Metallic

Before we create the material, we must first combine our Metallic and Roughness Maps in an image editing software (i.e. Photoshop).

Since these maps have no color information, we can put them into a color channel per the glTF spec:

  • Ambient Occlusion – Red
  • Roughness – Green
  • Metallic – Blue
  • Alpha – Alpha

After you have packed the texture, re-import the texture into Modo and duplicate it as many times as you plan to use it.

B) Add glTF Material

Add a glTF material to the material stack. This can be done by clicking Add Layer from the Shader Tree menu.

This can be found by navigating to Custom Materials glTF Material

The glTF Material will be added to the Shading Tree above the current selection. Move it above the scene material.

C) Change the Layer Effect

Now we can change our Layer effects to:

  • glTF Base Color – Diffuse Color
  • glTF Roughness – Roughness
  • glTF Metallic – Specular Color/ Metallic
  • glTF Normal – Normal

D) Enable Swizzling

In our Metallic and Roughness channels enable “Swizzling”. This will ensure a packed texture per the glTF spec is exported.

For the Roughness, enable Swizzling and set the channel to Green:

For Metallic, enable Swizzling and set the channel to Blue:

6. Export as GLB

After all, materials have been set up a .GLB can be exported.

Navigate to File Export As and select .GLB from the drop-down menu.
Select Save. 

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