When I returned to the world of 3d modeling after a long absence, one of the most helpful books I found to help get me back into the swing of things was Antony Ward's Game Character Development in Maya (2004).
Besides providing an excellent foundation to the state of computer graphics at that time, the book also introduced me to Ward's easy to follow teaching style and his whimsical pinup models. Wanting to know more about his work led me to discover his preferred modeling tool: a low-cost program named Silo.
The product of a three-man development team called Nevercenter, Silo is a powerful, compact, uncluttered and easily customizable subdivision modeling program that became very popular among indie modelers and game developers. Despite its popularity and perhaps due to its ultra low price ($159, often discounted to $109), work on Silo slowed to a crawl as Nevercenter turned to mobile app development and the company hasn't published any updates to the software in several years.
Like most users, I've assumed Silo is abandonware and haven't thought about it seriously except to confirm that it loads on the Surface Pro.
This morning I spotted a teaser for Ward's next tutorial, Getting Started with Sculpting in Silo (see below). I'd forgotten Silo even had sculpting capability, and the promised emphasis on interface customization and optimization for the Wacom Cintiq tells me I need to dive deeper into this tool on the Surface Pro and other Windows 8 tablets.
When the video is released I'm going to go try to follow it on the Surface Pro and identify any potential pitfalls. If you've already got Silo 2.2 up and running as a modeling/sculpting option on your tablet pc, I'd love to hear about your experiences. In the meantime, if you're interested in learning 3d modeling and sculpting, you'll find few capable, lower-cost options than Silo.
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