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Double Negative Uses Luxology’s modo to Make John Carter’s Alien World a Reality

Quick Turnaround Times for 3D Modeling, Painting, and Texturing Assignments Help VFX House Meet Big Studio Expectations for Just-Released Space-Epic

LONDON, UK — March 20, 2012 — Award-winning international VFX studio Double Negative didn’t have to leave Earth to go to Mars, they just designed it in-house with the help of Luxology®’s modo® software. Tasked with the creation of costumes and expansive alien worlds for “John Carter,” two artists looked to modo’s flexible modeling, painting and UV texturing tools for the key detail and texture displacement work that was needed to bring the environments and props on that red planet to life.

When this popular book series hit the big screen, fans wanted to see their favorite scenes and characters depicted accurately. With modo, they were able to get the key details people associate with characters like Tars Tarkas right. To do this, Double Negative artists Robin Konieczny and Jonathan Opgenhaffen utilized modo’s texture and poly modeling tools on wrapped chest pieces like Tars’ and Sarjoka’s baldrics, a series of metal chest plates and complex leather straps. They were pleased to find that modo’s integrated tool set also allowed for a set piece to be modeled, UV’d and textured in total before it was moved onto to other programs in the design team’s pipeline.

“modo is an underrated program in our business,” said Robin Konieczny, Double Negative Senior Artist and Environmental Build Lead. “It’s a constant choice in my workflow, as it allows me to model and texture quickly. This was especially helpful when I was modeling and UVing intricate structures like the Gates of Iss.”

For Barsoom’s environments, Robin and Jonathan used modo’s SubD modeling tools to shape favored assets of the Thark Ruined City with little to no texture distortion. SubDs were chosen for their ability to depict organic surfaces and cut hours of smoothing time off of any multi-res sculpting; and because of modo’s artist-friendly modeling framework, they were able to easily jump back and forth between the software’s poly and SubD tools anytime a need arose.  

When a full scale 3D environment wasn’t necessary, modo was used for 2.5D matte painting and the formation of low-res buildings that achieved the effect of a layered cityscape without taking precious hours of production time. For an aerial shot of the Ape Arena, the speed of modo became an essential force that helped one artist quickly set up a 3D scene and determine the appropriate parallax and projection geometries that were requirements for a final stereo shot planned for Nuke.

“modo's speed allowed me to quickly get through what could have been a very long and difficult process,” said Jonathan Opgenhaffen, Lead Matte Painter at Double Negative. “It also allowed me to really focus on the artistic side of the process (my favorite), and on other important pieces of detail work, like maintaining continuity between my shots and setting up my matte painting work with lighting passes and modo’s rapid render preview.”

“modo is going to perform for you whether you are using it on a building, a character or even a gigantic upside down pyramid like we did here,” added Konieczny. “It’s dependable, fast, and fun. Not all software can boast as much.”

Disney’s “John Carter” is in theaters now.

About modo

modo® is the unique, artist-friendly 3D software from Luxology that combines modeling, sculpting, painting, rendering and animation functionality in a fused workflow. modo is at the center of a worldwide community of artists and designers working in game development package design, film and broadcast, architectural and design visualization, advertising and education. modo accelerates the creation of world-class models, animations and ultra high-quality renderings, while providing a highly intuitive working environment that encourages “artistic flow.” Ready-to-use content and intuitive online documentation flattens the learning curve. modo 601 runs on PCs and Macs (32 and 64 bit) and smoothly integrates into existing tool pipelines. 

About Luxology

Based in Mountain View, Calif., Luxology® LLC is an independent technology company developing next-generation 3D content creation software that enhances productivity via artist-friendly tools powered by a modern underlying architecture called Nexus®. Founded in 2002, by Allen Hastings, Stuart Ferguson and Brad Peebler, Luxology is celebrating its 10 year of innovation. More information on the company, its licensable Nexus technology, its flagship product modo® and a gallery of work from the active modo community is available online at

About Double Negative

Double Negative is Europe's largest provider of film visual effects. Through steady and constant growth, we have always sought to retain the creative drive and involvement of our artists throughout every project, and continue to ensure that they have a close collaboration with clients. This approach ensures films both small and large receive the same high standard of creative and technical service. It also makes for a winning combination that has resulted in Double Negative being recognized with several awards including our Visual Effects Society award-winning work on “Inception” and “Sherlock Holmes,” and our BAFTA and Academy Awards victories for “Inception.”

Former Projects: “John Carter,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” “Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists,” “Tree of Life,” “Attack the Block” and “Paul.”

Current Productions: “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Man of Steel,” “The Bourne Legacy,” “Skyfall,” “Snow White and the Huntsman,” “Rush,” “Battleship,” and “Total Recall.”