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Luxology's modo 501 Offers Pixar Subdivision Surfaces

Luxology announced support for Pixar's industry-standard Subdivision Surface (SDS) representation in the just-released modo 501.

Luxology announced support for Pixar's industry-standard Subdivision Surface (SDS) representation in the just-released modo 501. This new SDS geometry provides modo 501 users with several advantages including semi-sharp creasing, multi-res sculpting and greater file compatibility for transfer to other 3D applications.

"Luxology's focus has always been on making modo's modeling capabilities best in class," said Brad Peebler, president and co-founder of Luxology. "Our users have been requesting Pixar Subdivision Surface modeling for years and we are thrilled to be able to fulfill that need by including them in modo 501."

"It's great that modo has embraced Pixar's Subdivision Surface representation. We feel this is the most efficient way to represent geometry," added Bill Polson, Pixar's director of industry strategy. "We've worked with the modo engineers to verify the accuracy of their implementation and it seems bulletproof. All of our test cases have rendered perfectly."

modo 501 combines a powerful, realtime 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.

The price remains at $995 USD. Current customers may purchase upgrades from any previous version of modo for just $395.

For an online visual tour of new modo 501 features plus visit:

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.