modo 501 image by Adam O’Hern
Sunglasses Modeling
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Sunglasses Modeling

Video Tutorial for modo 501 by Adam O’Hern

This new series of video tutorials by master modo modeler Adam O’Hern is ideal for designers or anyone interested in hard-surface modeling techniques in modo 501. It starts at the very beginning, covering everything from the overall modo user interface to the most commonly-used tools and techniques for hard-surface modeling and rendering in modo. A rapid prototype of the glasses are produced as part of the tutorial.

video by Adam O’Hern

Rapid overview of the modo Sunglasses Video Tutorial, narrated by Adam Ohern.

Step-by-step instructions walk the viewer (that’s you) through the process of modeling and rendering a pair of whimsical sport glasses from reference images and using a head mesh as an underlay. Every step is fully-documented and repeatable, and each video progressively introduces modo tools and techniques in an understandable (not overly lengthy) session. modo files are provided for each phase of the project so you can start at any stage of the project.

video by Adam O’Hern


In addition to the emphasis on modeling and basic rendering techniques in modo, there are two “bonus” videos that lead you through advanced rendering, and printing an inexpensive rapid prototype of the glasses at the Shapeways website.

This video tutorial was developed for modo 501. Users of later versions of modo will find the tutorial useful, but will have to adapt some instructions to new techniques found in more recent versions of modo.


Purchase the Sunglasses Modeling Video Tutorial

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Sunglasses Modeling Video Tutorial


12 video segments. .LXO files for each video, so you can begin / restart at any stage along the process. Render / print-ready final .LXO file. .AI and .PSD art for logo and backdrop assets. Full written transcripts for each video (in English). Total running time: 1 hour 5 minutes.

Experience Level:

All levels

Software Compatibility:

modo 501

Product Format:

Videos are 1280 x 720 QuickTime (H.264).
All files delivered via electronic download.


Upon purchase your Training Video and associated files will be available for download through your Registered Training page. The Training Video is licensed to each individual and is not a studio-wide license. If you have a coupon code, please enter your code in the next step.


Detailed Descriptions of Video Tutorial Segments

photograph by Adam O’Hern

“As an industrial design consultant, I’ve found myself designing for corporate design offices and design consultancies with widely varying needs. In the last two years alone I’ve used modo to help design laptop computers, educational toys, power tools, a commercial robot, pro audio gear, home appliances, and commercial bathroom fixtures, just to name a few.

Designers always ask about this mysterious “modo” that has become so integral to my visualization pipeline, and usually ask how to go about incorporating it into their own workflow. My closest friends in the design world have asked me how to go about learning modo, and until now I’ve had to send them to a variety of tutorials around The Foundry and the web, and then custom-tailor the information specifically for the needs of an industrial designer.

I created this tutorial series specifically for current and aspiring industrial designers who want to use modo for hard-surface modeling and rendering in real-world product design studios. This is to be the first in a series of training resources specifically tailored for industrial designers like me.“

– Adam O’Hern, Industrial Designer

photograph by Adam O’Hern

Video Segment 1

Project overview

Adam provides a summary of the sunglasses project over a fast-motion project overview.


Video Segment 2

modo User Interface Introduction

This is Adam’s “universal” modo intro, which he uses in all of his tutorials. It’s freely available to the public.

Topics Covered

  • modo 501 default layout
  • Keyboard shortcuts that will speed your workflow
  • 3D Viewport navigation
  • Creating a unit primitive
  • Drawing primitives: the basics
  • Selecting geometry

Video Segment 3

Project Setup

Topics Covered

  • Import / Rename
  • Scale / Position
  • Duplicate
  • Set Projection Type
  • Making (=) Modifications to Properties Values
  • Creating a Group Locator

Video Segment 4

Frame Construction

Topics Covered

  • Creating a New Mesh
  • Single-Poly Cube
  • Copy / Paste Polys
  • Move and Rotate Vertices
  • Bridge Edges
  • Edge Extend
  • Action Center > Origin and Scale to Align Verts to Symmetry Plane

Video Segment 5

Modeling the Temple Arms

Topics Covered

  • Linear Falloff Basics
  • Action Center > Element
  • Hide and Unhide Geometry
  • Edge Slide
  • Slice

Video Segment 6

Connect Temple Arms to the Main Frame

Topics Covered

  • Linear Falloff + Ease-Out
  • Tools > Basic > Thicken
  • Using the [tab] key
  • Introduction to Subdivision Surfaces:
    A Basic Explanation for Industrial Designers
  • SubDs versus NURBS

Video Segment 7

Using Pixar SubDivision Surfaces

Topics Covered

  • What are PSubs?
  • Creating the ‘Cut’ Between the Temple Arm and Frame
  • Tools > Duplicate > Mirror

Video Segment 8

Importing temple Logo from Adobe Illustrator

Topics Covered

  • Prepping AI art for export
  • Geometry > Freeze curve elements

Video Segment 9

Modeling the Lenses

Topics Covered

  • Using [D] to SDS subdivide
  • Action Center > Local
  • Falloff > Radial

Video Segment 10

Basic Rendering

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to Preview Render
  • Render Settings
  • Camera Settings
  • Directional Light Settings
  • Base Material Settings
  • Environment
  • Enabling Ray GL
  • [M] to Assign Materials
  • Drag / Drop Material Presets in Poly Mode
  • Render Window Tour

Video Segment 11

Bonus: Advanced Render Setup

Adam shows he produced the final renderings for the project using the advanced rendering and lighting features of modo. This video is not a “how to” video; it is an opportunity to watch a master user of modo get the desired final look.


Video Segment 12

Bonus: Export

In this bonus video, Adam goes through the process of uploading a COLLADA file to, including specifying the color and finish. After approving the project online, he receives the completed Sunglasses model by return mail.


modo 501 image by Adam O’Hern
modo 501 image by Adam O’Hern



Adam O'Hern

Recently we had a chance to interview Adam O’Hern, an industrial design consultant based in Santa Monica, CA. He specializes in corporate visual brand language development, and has worked on products ranging from laptops to power tools, audio gear to bathroom fixtures, lab instruments to lint rollers, and classroom toys to medical robots.

Find out more »


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