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Silo Provides Adept Modeling Package for 3D Users

Nevercenter Ltd. Co. announced the upcoming release of its new subdivision surfaces modeler, Silo. Expanding the subdivision surfaces paradigm to new levels, Silo combines several new modeling methods with established tools in an interface that is fully customizable. In addition, Silo features a workflow based on speed and ease of use. Silo will go on sale later in August 2003 at

In a world already full of 3D software, Silo makes a place for itself by combining several key elements into one modeling package. Several different groups of users have been kept in mind, resulting in a program and tools equally powerful for character modelers, architects, videogame designers and product designers, not to mention anyone else who wants to quickly create and explore 3D objects and worlds. Silo's straightforward implementation allows anyone to pick it up and use it adeptly in a very short amount of time.

Silo's emphasis on ease of use and customizability leads to a simple, uncluttered interface, which maximizes the workspace area while still allowing easy access to all features. This interface allows users to optionally set their own images for buttons and place those buttons wherever they like on the screen. They then have the ability to set up several different "button pages" and toggle between them with a simple key press. All colors in the program can be set by the user as well.

Silo introduces new tools and concepts to 3D modeling, without making them gimmicky in the name of trying to make the program more "intuitive." At the same time, it incorporates the tools that have proven themselves most useful over the history of computer graphics, so the program will feel familiar, but more straightforward to experienced modelers. The concept of subdivision surfaces has been expanded to all geometry, for example, so users can subdivide or partially subdivide a line segment used to create a path extrusion or a lathe object. Moreover, Silo doesn't distinguish between polygon objects, subdivision objects and paths. Everything can be subdivided or unsubdivided at the quick press of a button, and if a sequence of edges forms a path or a profile, it can then be used as if it were a path or a profile for an extrusion or a lathe.

Another example of Silo's evolution of the modeling program is in its selection system. One or several objects selected in object selection mode will be the only editable objects in face/edge/vertex selection mode, providing an instant way of taking the desired objects into their own layer. Furthermore, one mouse button is mapped to select only what is visible, while another mouse button is mapped to select everything under the cursor. Groups are also supported, as well as hiding of faces and objects.

Below is a small sample of some of the features included in Silo:Object/Face/Edge/Vertex Selection ModesBoolean OperationsInteractive Bevel ToolInteractive Shell ToolNumerical EditorN-Sided Polygons With Support For Embedded HolesEdge and Face Loop Selection/EditingSubdivision and Partial Subdivision of EverythingInstances and Reference LoadingManipulator-Based Editing of Geometry and TexturesFully Customizable InterfaceImport and Export to Other File TypesEasy-to-Parse File Format

Nevercenter is a new private company based in Salt lake City, Utah devoted to the creation of 3D software and content.

Bill Desowitz's picture

Bill Desowitz, former editor of VFXWorld, is currently the Crafts Editor of IndieWire.