SVG or Scalable Vector Graphics is a xml file format the provides an almost endless zooming without blurring and is widely used on the web for icons and user interfaces. Lets take a closer look at what this feature means for Modo users.
Getting Started with SVG
Loading SVG images into modo is the same process as loading regular images. Open the Clips/Image tab click Add Clip > (load image). This will bring up the dialog box that will allow you to choose your images from your local system.
We’ve gone ahead and renamed the clip names to make it easier to distinguish the two file formats. Now lets apply these images to some meshes; be sure your mesh has proper UV’s and each mesh has its’ material. For the following examples, we will use the generic plan mesh.
Vector vs. Raster Graphics
At first glance looking at the first figure, there are tiny differences beyond color profiles between the SVG image in comparison to the png. Where the real power behind SVG starts to shine is when you begin to zoom in on both meshes.
Using a simple camera zoom, you can see the differences between the two images begin to establish themselves. On the right we have our png image that has become very pixelated especially along the edges; which immediately limits our ability to get close-up shots without having to increase render quality and our anti-alias settings.
On the left, we have our SVG vector image that maintains it’s shaped and has no pixel distortion. We can take it a step further and zoom in, even more, to show just how little has been changed concerning quality of the SVG image.
The SVG file format is just an XML file that contains instructions on how to display geometric shapes, lines and colors. Though possible, many designers often opt to generate SVG’s in vector based packages like Adobe Illustrator over manually creating the XML file and adding properties.
The addition of SVG in Modo lends itself very well to print and product designers; who often have to render out images at a larger then needed resolution and 300+ dpi to maintain the quality and integrality of the design. Not to be outdone SVG’s can just as easily be used by texture artist to create decals.