Zen v801-140825

updated August 25, 2014

Kits, MODO, shortcuts, ui, workflow


  • MODO 801 or later highly recommended

Zen is a popular collection of MODO layouts, palettes, and toolbars to make your workflow faster, more fluid, and generally more awesome (it’s actually our most popular product). Its main feature is the ‘V’ key, which brings up Zen’s comprehensive hand-crafted tool palette. Tools are arranged in a logical, consistent, task-based way, and optimized specifically for use as a design tool.


  • Zen Layout: the ultimate layout for clean, un-cluttered MODO goodness
  • layout switcher: Also available from the ctrl+tab ‘layout switcher’ UI
  • one toolbox: You’re going to love the ‘V’ key. It brings up a single toolbox–the same toolbox found in every tab in the Zen UI–for clean, consistent access to a logical, task-oriented toolbox. Every tool in MODO is available under the mouse with a single keystroke.
  • consistency: Every tab in the Zen UI has the same ‘modes’ bar at the top, the same basic toolbars, and consistent access to the most-needed items and properties.
  • custom palettes: The ‘palettes’ dropdown provides access to custom-built UI palettes with logically arranged panels that not only offer access to the viewport itself, but to related controls and viewports as well.
  • improved tool props: The ‘k’ key pops up an expanded and improved Tool Properties palette, complete with tool pipe and mini command line for full control.
  • PSubs by default: All smooth primitives (e.g. sphere or taurus) are PSubs by default, and the ‘tab’ key toggles PSubs–not traditional SubD’s. Most users won’t notice the change; they’ll only know that things like edge weights work better with Zen. (Power users still have access to traditional SubD using shift+tab.)
  • Edge weight shortcuts: Quickly toggle edge weights on and off using the customizable edge weighting presets.
  • Super Mesh Cleanup: Fixes basically anything that might be wrong with a mesh in one single click.
  • Fix Symmetry: Fixes symmetry in a single click.
  • ‘Bling’ integration: If the bling plugin is installed, matcap dropdowns automatically appear at appropriate places in Zen.
  • lots more!


  • 140804: Launch for 801
  • 140823: Improved ‘Render’ tab in tools palette, added snapping toggle to modes bar, added many new options to the ‘palettes’ drop down.
  • 140825: Added ‘Select Open Edges’ to ‘Special’ tab in Selection palette. ‘Selection’ drop in modes bar now has alt+click to open static palette.
    • Wishlist

      Zen is very much a work in progress. Is there a feature you’d like to see in a future version? Let us know!

      • Scripts like ‘Super Mesh Cleanup’ and ‘Fix Symmetry’ will be broken off into a separate plugin.
      • More detailed tooltips across the board
      • Full documentation, including custom MODO training
      • Quick toggles for grid visibility, hide/show locators and cameras, etc
      • Easier ‘lists’ panel access
      • Overhauled/expanded custom icons
      • Optional ‘subpatch_keepsel.pl’ type functionality for tab/shift+tab