SILO – THE LIT­TLE MODELLER THAT CAN

Af­ter gar­ner­ing pop­u­lar­ity with its ‘mod­el­ling zen’ ap­proach, Silo quickly be­came a sta­ple for many. But then it went quiet…

3D World - - CONTENTS -

What’s the lat­est with this box­mod­elling soft­ware?

B ack in the late noughties, Nev­er­center’s Silo was quickly be­com­ing a mod­el­ling sta­ple on mul­ti­ple plat­forms for many. But just when it seemed they were do­ing well, with an in­creas­ing user base and recog­ni­tion, it sud­denly went very, very quiet. Un­til Septem­ber 2017, when the lights came back on with a bang and a fresh re­lease. Where the hell have they been? Af­ter hold­ing our horses to see if the lights were back on for real, we re­cently reached out to Thomas Plewe, cre­ator and founder of Nev­er­center – cre­ators of Silo, cam­era soft­ware and games. And of course, our first ques­tions were: Where have you been? What the hell hap­pened?

The an­swer con­tained less drama than we sus­pected. In ad­di­tion, the #Pc­mas­ter­race may be pleased to hear we might be able to blame Ap­ple for Silo’s lengthy ab­sence. As Tom puts it: “We’ve al­ways been about cre­at­ing tools we want to work with our­selves, in our own projects. We’ve been lucky in that we’re a tiny com­pany which earns enough money to al­low us to work on our own terms, on our own time, rather than be­ing a hard mon­ey­mak­ing ma­chine. On a whim, we’d just cre­ated a tool called Cam­er­abag when the App Store opened. And the re­sponse we got was over­whelm­ing. It quickly reached #1 on the App Store sales charts. It won ma­jor awards. At the time, it was the only ap­pli­ca­tion ca­pa­ble of do­ing old-type cam­era em­u­la­tion and other im­age en­hance­ments. This shifted our fo­cus from Silo, slow­ing down its devel­op­ment, while we were able to work on im­age pro­cess­ing stuff, in­clud­ing a desk­top ver­sion of Cam­er­abag, which also did very well. We also got – and get – to en­joy having full au­ton­omy over what kind of soft­ware we cre­ate or work on. When the photo-tool mar­ket calmed down, we saw the rise of the in­die game-maker scene, and we dipped our toes in there as well, win­ning yet an­other award. Th­ese com­bi­na­tions kept putting Silo on the back burner.”

When point­ing out Silo’s back burner­ing was a fairly long one, it turned out the ap­pli­ca­tion was never out of use at Nev­er­center, as it was one of the in­ter­nal cre­ative back­bones at the com­pany dur­ing their long, dark teatime of the pub­lic mod­el­ling soul. The in­come from Cam­er­abag al­lowed the team to pur­sue an­other passion, namely cre­at­ing 2D in­die games for An­droid and IOS, in­clud­ing the award-win­ning Shibuya Grand­mas­ter, and

Bear Win­ter. Nev­er­center also started work on their own game en­gine, for a hith­erto un­pub­lished golf game. Silo was the sole modeller used to cre­ate the graph­ics for it, and one of the things it taught the

Nev­er­center’s Silo is a box modeller, and a box modeller only, with a fast, easy work­flow

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