Informatix will release version 5.1 of its Piranesi software for '3D painting' later this month, the company has announced. This is the first new release since Informatix was bought by Selective Software Holdings, and the first time that Mac and Windows versions have been released simultaneously.

Piranesi 5.1 adds tools and effects such as lock highlighting and stroke recording. The new image cutout cursor can be used to position entourage more accurately, reducing the amount of time spent tweaking cutouts. Another useful enhancement is the ability to draw filled shapes and create arbitrary shaped planes.

Piranesi 5.1 provides access to the Google 3D Warehouse of 3D models, providing a link to SketchUp files that artists can use as cutouts. Piranesi 5.1 also has full support for SketchUp 7 files.

The new version will enable users to save and load colour palettes, so they can now download palettes from the internet, in Photoshop or other formats, and load them directly into Piranesi.

Piranesi 5.0 enabled users to automatically record styles used in a session. Piranesi 5.1 can record paint strokes as well. This means that users can ‘play back’ the same strokes in different views, maintaining a given theme or corporate look.

Both Piranesi and Vedute can now read FBX files. This mean that Revit users can now easily work with Piranesi.

Piranesi 5.1 is a free upgrade for owners of version 5.0, which costs £395 plus VAT.