modo 601 tips and tricks: portal lights


Among many of our favorite new features in modo 601 is the addition of a new light type. The portal light allows us to gather light information from our environment, and channel it into an interior space. Check out this video and we’ll go over how to use it!

new topics:

  • Introduction to the portal light
  • When and why to use the portal light

More in this series:

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, and in 2010 co-founded EvD Media with Josh Mings of, and the two collaborate on the podcast.

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  • Reza Bassiri

    Thanks for your Tutorials Adam! There are a lot of “instructors” out there, but no one explains as well as you do, clearly! Cheers!
    As a user of 501 I don’t have portals, but do get that “underwater” splochiness in my renders, (I am a newbie). How can I reduce / get rid of them? thanks

    • Adam

      Hi Reza,

      This is a big issue in 501 and earlier, and the only real way to deal with it is to either (a) use more lights in the scene, or (b) crank up your GI samples to 1024 and hope for the best.

      Now that 701 is out, you should definitely consider an upgrade!


  • nonstop_paul


    A really cool use of a Portal Light in modo601. Where it gathers an pushes light onto a camera plane for effect with a pinhole camera. I liked it…although i couldn’t see a practical use for it yet.



    • adam

      haha, Yazan is a genius. Super fun!

  • Bob deWitt

    It’s good to see Portal ‘lights’ implemented in modo. They have been a useful addition to interior lighting setups in Maya for a while now and make getting clean interior renders much easier in that program by reducing the need to crank outdoor light intensities up so much that areas near the windows are easily ‘blown out.’