Luxology's modo 601 is Now Available

"modo 601 is our most significant release ever. With new feature and work flow enhancements, modo now offers an end-to-end production solution that is both powerful and highly usable by artists and designers."
-Brad Peebler, President and Co-founder of Luxology

With one of the most exciting product release events I've ever seen, Luxology thrilled everyone this week by announcing the release of modo 601, the newest and most mind-boggling update to their stellar 3D modeling, animation and rendering program. Luxology started tweeting each new feature of modo 601, along with a link to a new video on that feature, at their website. Over a period of 3 hours, Luxology built their twitter postings so that the modo 601 new features just got better and better. More and more people joined the #modo601 feed so that by the end there was almost a frenzy of excitement. Twitter posts were flying down the screen. I mean, I already knew what they were going to announce and I was still thrilled. It was a brilliant and innovative promotional idea that fits with the company's philosophy of excellence.

"modo is going to finishing downloading before I can watch all of these videos"
– posted by TwistedSheep on #modo601 twitter-feed

Unlike some other CG companies, Luxology doesn't like to promise things that come at some dim time in the future. So, many people came to the twitter presentation thinking that they'll just get a glimpse of what modo 601 will be when it's released later in the year. Instead, Luxology chose to make modo 601 available at the time of the presentation so that some users (like TwistedSheep) had already purchased the new version and were downloading while the presentation was still happening. I suspect that I was not the only one who expected to attend for a half hour or so, and ended up staying with the modo 601 twitterfest for hours.

Hat's off to Luxology for creating such an innovative and exciting way to release their new, wonderful software, and for providing such an attractive upgrade/side-grade price during the first two weeks of modo 601's release (see 'Pricing and Availability' at the end of this article). This is how it should be done.


Part of modo 601's new character animation toolset

Now, gushing aside, let me tell you just how incredible this new version of modo is. Not only is modo 601 the much-longed-for "character animation" update, but it includes so many important improvements and updates to rendering, modeling and texturing in modo, that the "character animation" aspect is nearly overshadowed. Here's a quick list of the additions to modo 601. You can read about all of the features at the beautifully designed Luxology modo 601 overview page here.

  • Modeling: modo's Pixar Subdivision surface modeling now includes the ability to crease individual vertices and control display resolution while rendering at full quality. Soft and lazy selection options enable rapid, yet precise, isolation of model components while modeling.
  • Rendering Work-flow: The Preview Renderer can now be used for final image production, as it will progressively render an image to the desired resolution at full quality. A comprehensive render pass system, plus new interactive image processing and comparison tools, speed image refinement.
  • Dynamics: Rigid and soft body dynamics, based on Version 2.79 of the Bullet Physics engine, are now a standard part of modo and provide realistic simulations of mechanical and organic motion.
  • Character Animation: modo offers a range of character animation functionality, from easy-to-use posing tools, to the creation of fully articulated character rigs that can be manipulated through a full-body inverse kinematics solver and a general purpose system of layered deformers.
  • Retopology Modeling: Focused tools and a new dedicated retopology modeling layout simplify the rapid creation of clean models on top of imported geometry.
  • Rendering and Shading: New photo-realistic rendering capabilities include volumetric rendering, render booleans, hair and skin shaders, and rounded edge control for hard surface models. Cel, contour and halftone shaders offer enhanced non-photorealistic rendering opportunities.
  • 3D Paint: The multi-purpose paint system in modo 601 is extended to paint, scale, erase and smooth vertex (weight) maps on meshes.


Yazan Malkovich demos new sub-surface scattering shader

I also highly recommend watching the new modo 601 feature videos, which lay out the benefits of each new feature. You'll learn more about why this 3D software is so powerful and innovative, plus they are often funny, so you'll laugh, too.

You may recall that I reviewed modo 501 last month and found the program to be so well-designed and imaginative, compared to other 3D applications, that I've devoted all of 2012 to learning modo. I'm so excited about this new version of modo, that I'm dropping everything to get a review to you as quick as possible. Look to the end of March for my review and, I hope, an interview with Andy Brown of Luxology on the new release.

Pricing and Availability

modo 601 is available immediately for both Mac OS X and Windows at $1,195 (USD), with an upgrade price of $495. Existing modo owners can upgrade for $395 for the next two weeks. Also, for a limited time, users of Maya, 3ds Max, SoftImage, Houdini, CINEMA 4D, and LightWave 3D are offered a crossgrade to modo for just $795. modo 601 is available from Luxology and its network of authorized Luxology resellers around the globe.

For more info, please visit:


Editor's Note: Be sure to check out the following


Ricky Grove [gToon], Staff Columnist with the Renderosity Front Page News. Ricky Grove is a bookstore clerk at the best bookstore in Los Angeles, the Iliad Bookshop. He's also an actor and machinima filmmaker. He lives with author, Lisa Morton, and three very individual cats. Ricky is into Hong Kong films, FPS shooters, experimental anything and reading, reading, reading. You can catch his blog here.

 

 

 


March 3, 2012

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