Q&A: Gunmetal Finish in modo

26 Oct, 2011 by Adam OHern in modo, Tutorials
Tags: , , , , ,

modo file: gunmetal.lxo

This week Scott asked how to create a ‘gunmetal’ finish in modo from scratch. We tried to give him the ol’ “use a preset and tweak it!” method, but he wasn’t having it (and I don’t blame him!). Today we’ll look at a simple method for creating a relatively convincing gunmetal material, complete with semi-worn edges. It’s not a complete how-to for full ‘production quality’ materials, but it should be a good starting point!

Be sure to post your results in the comments!


  • basic material settings
  • incidence gradient for reflection
  • occlusion layers as layer masks and group masks
  • noise layer on ‘multiply’ mode

About Adam OHern

Adam O'Hern is an industrial design consultant, designing products ranging from laptops to power tools, classroom toys to bathroom fixtures, and pro audio gear to guitar tuners. In 2008 he founded cadjunkie.com, and in 2010 co-founded EvD Media with Josh Mings of SolidSmack.com, and the two collaborate on the EngineerVsDesigner.com podcast.

Adam on google+

  • http://cadjunkie.com adam

    In case anyone wants to see what Scott was able to come up with using this tutorial (and you should!), you can download his material assets here.

  • Stephen Lukes

    Not sure if you have discussed this, but what rendering program do you think is best for SolidWorks. I’ve seen and heard some good things about Modo, as well as KeyShot and the new Showcase by Autodesk. If you have, can you post the link? Thanks in advance!

    • http://cadjunkie.com adam

      Hi Stephen!

      All of the above options work well, depending on what you want. For the average industrial designer, I’d say Keyshot 3 + animation is probably the best blend of functionality, affordability, and simplicity.

      If you want more control than Keyshot can give you, modo is my top pick, but it’s overkill for most designers, and the learning curve can be quite frustrating if all you need is a quick render.

      I have been given the Showcase pitch, and frankly I wasn’t impressed. It has some cool ideas, but overall I find it lives in this in-between land where it’s too complex and expensive for casual use, and too limiting for really serious users. Just my two cents.

      Keep in touch, and let us know how you get on!


      • Stephen Lukes

        Thanks! Very helpful! :) Any plans on doing another full project? Maybe some complex surfacing in Solidworks? That would be awesome! Loving this site!

  • Scott Schneider

    This is AWESOME! Just what Im after.

    Thank you Adam!

    • http://cadjunkie.com adam

      No worries, Scott! Keep in touch, my man!