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modo 501 with Pixar Subdivision Surfaces

modo 501, featuring Pixar subdivisional surfaces, is now out.

modo 501, featuring Pixar subdivisional surfaces, is now out.

The new release lets you reder a window-selected region.

The new release lets you reder a window-selected region.

Speed improvement.

The image above takes 3065 seconds to render in modo 401. When rendered in modo 501, the same image with the same dimensions takes only 1147 seconds, the company revealed.

The difference in modo 401 and modo 501 may be a single digit, but if you upgrade from the former to the latter, you can expect to see 30-40 % increase in rendering speed, according to Luxology. In addition, modo 501 also promises improvements in texture baking, depth of field, bump mapping, and fur simulation.

“We’ve done a lot of research looking into speed gain in CPU versus GPU. I was hoping to find speed gains in the GPU. We don’t find that to be true immediately,” noted Brad Peebler, Luxology’s CEO, in the video launching the new release.

Many believe GPU’s parallel processing can improve rendering operations. However, R&D in this area is a territory Luxology must tread carefully; the company has an ongoing partnership with Intel to find ray-tracing optimization methods using the CPU. The speed gain in the current version comes from what Peebler describes as “a massive update to the ray-tracing acceleration structures” in its rendering engine and “memory use [optimization].”

modo 501 features Pixar subdivisional surfaces, which lets you create dramatically deformed edges without altaring the original model's egometry.

modo 501 features Pixar subdivisional surfaces, which lets you create dramatically deformed edges without altaring the original model's egometry.

Back-facing gradient function in modo 501 lets you create realistic reflections in transparent consumer goods.

Back-facing gradient function in modo 501 lets you create semi-transparent labels seen from the opposite side.

In modo 501, you can paint textures onto your model (similar to how you might apply textures in, say, Autodesk Mudbox or Blender) — a useful method to add effects, such as rust and oxidation, in your model without additional modeling work. Consumer product artists will find the back-facing gradient feature especially useful in mimicking, say, how a product logo looks when seen from the opposite side of a transparent bottle.

The new release features Pixar subdivisional surfaces (different from modo’s standard subdivisional surfaces), which are much more effective in applying deformation to edges (called “edge weighting”). This allows you to create dramatically new look in your model (for example, rounded edges) without the need to modify its geometry.

Today, the company rolled out the new version, modo 501, available for both PC and Mac. This version marks the introduction of 64-bit Mac OS support.

For more, watch modo’s video demonstrating Pixar subdivisional surfaces.

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About Kenneth

Kenneth Wong has been a regular contributor to the CAD industry press since 2000, first an an editor, later as a columnist and freelance writer for various publications. During his nine-year tenure, he has closely followed the migration from 2D to 3D, the growth of PLM (product lifecycle management), and the impact of globalization on manufacturing. His writings have appeared in Cadalyst, Computer Graphics World, and Manufacturing Business Technology, among others.

4 comments

  1. There’s a misleading error in theRender-Time of the Office-Image!
    The Numbers are not meant to read as as 1 – point-147 (that would be Realtime – and you could bet that Pixologic had annouced that a bit differently ;) but it is actually One Thousand and Onehundredfourtyseven seconds – quite a difference, no?
    Still fast.

  2. Polyxo, yes, indeed — 1.147 second would be so close to real-time that we might as well call it “instantaneous update.” I used a comma to separate the numbers — not a decimal point. I was merely following the editorial convention to insert a comma at the thousand-mark, but perhaps removing the comma would prevent further confusion.

  3. Thanks Kenneth,
    using a Comma (or also a Point) for dividing thousands and hundreds might be confusing for other Europeans as well…

  4. Polyxo: Commas are gone! Happy to abandon convention to avoid confusion in this instance. :-)

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