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New release: modo 501

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Luxology has pushed modo 501 out the door in time for the holidays. I'm imagining that many loved ones of 3d artists are cursing their luck as they had already purchased a Cintiq or something else of lesser value than this release.

As you can imagine, there is improvement and new features across the board and there's no way I can summarize all that for you in a concise way. Luckily, I can copy/paste the press release on it instead:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., – December 16, 2010 – Luxology® LLC today announced the immediate availability of modo® 501, the latest version of its award-winning, artist-friendly 3D content creation software. modo 501 offers substantial improvements in modeling and sculpting functionality, rendering speed (30-40% faster), ray-traced viewports and an introductory release on 64-bit Mac OS X. modo 501’s enhanced toolset delivers increased productivity and performance for 3D artists working in a variety of disciplines, including media and entertainment, game development, engineering and architectural design visualization, and CGI for print.

“We love 3D and are pleased to see the 3D market growing across the board. Part of Luxology’s contribution is to continue to develop modern 3D software applications that are open and artist friendly,” said Brad Peebler, president and co-founder of Luxology. “A key part of this effort is to listen to our users and create products that match their needs. modo 501 delivers this with a community-inspired set of new features and workflow enhancements that make an actual difference in daily production.”

“modo has always been my 3D application of choice when the rubber hits the road,” said Wes McDermott, 3D artist and multimedia developer for UPS, and a modo 501 beta tester. “With modo 501, Luxology continues to refine modo into a powerful, full-featured 3D application with vital core enhancements and new features, all while placing the power into the artist’s hands.”

modo 501 combines a powerful, real-time subdivision surface modeling engine with an artist-focused set of tools that harness modeling, sculpting, animation and rendering technologies to expedite the creation of world-class 3D content. modo 501’s new and improved features include:

  • Rendering: Ray-tracing speed is optimized with an average 30-40% performance gain. Depth of field and bump mapping quality are also improved. The Preview Renderer now progressively renders to near final quality and can prioritize updates in areas where users scrub with a mouse or pen.
  • User Experience: The new RayGL™ viewport option lets users model in a ray-traced environment, effectively merging modeling and rendering. The modo documentation has also been overhauled and provided with a better search engine and a community commenting feature.
  • Modeling: modo 501 now supports industry-standard Pixar Subdivision Surfaces, and new “One Click” modeling tools have been added to accelerate common modeling operations. Procedural geometry tools make their debut and new snapping and alignment tools enhance precision.
  • Sculpting: Sculpting tools in modo now work on multi-resolution meshes, facilitating both coarse and fine adjustments to surfaces as needed.
  • Texturing: New Occlusion texturing options make it easier to create worn edges, corroded crevices or rust stains under overhanging stairs. modo now offers the ability to work with large disk-based, tiled-image map formats, letting users work with images that are much larger than the available system memory. A large collection of new 2D and 3D procedural textures are included, such as monster skin, dirt, rusted panels and etched wax.
  • Fur: Styling tools have been enhanced and modo renderings can now exhibit stray hairs, plus a range of kinky and frizzy looks. A new “billboard” capability provides efficient visualizations of trees and leaves.
  • Animation: A new, node-based schematic viewport lets users view, create and edit re-usable rigs in a visual manner.
  • Software Developer Kit (SDK): Improvements to the modo SDK enable third party developers to introduce new items and tools into the modo workspace. Luxology is working with leading developers to create a new generation of plug-ins that will extend modo even further.

“modo 501 is all about richer visual feedback and faster response as well as exciting new tools and content,” said Peebler. “The latest version of modo offers an even more fluid content creation experience and is optimized for even the most demanding projects.”

“This release is really all about the user’s experience,” said Chris Hague, freelance 3D illustrator and modo 501 beta tester. “I think it’s that specific focus that draws me to modo and makes Luxology such a special company.”

Pricing and Availability

modo 501 is available immediately with dual licenses that support both Mac OS X and Windows. The software sells for a suggested retail price of USD $995 and existing modo users (any version) can upgrade for $395. modo is offered by Luxology and its network of authorized Luxology resellers around the globe. To see a tour of modo 501’s features, and an extensive image gallery, please visit Luxology’s website at www.luxology.com .

About modo

modo is an innovative 3D modeling, animation and rendering software designed to accelerate the creation of world-class models and ultra high-quality renderings and movies. modo’s modern workflow and advanced toolset easily deliver enhanced productivity for 3D artists working in design visualization, package design, game development, film visual effects, video production and graphic arts.

About Luxology

Based in Mountain View, Calif., Luxology® LLC is an independent technology company developing next-generation 3D content creation software that enhances productivity via artist-friendly tools powered by a modern underlying architecture called Nexus®. Founded in 2002 by Allen Hastings, Stuart Ferguson and Brad Peebler, Luxology is home to some of the top 3D engineering expertise in the industry. More information on the company, its licensable Nexus technology, its flagship product modo® and a gallery of artists’ images from the active modo community is available online at www.luxology.com.

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