Luxology has used the launch of modo 201, the second major release of the 3D modelling application, to announce that the company intends to turn the software into a full 3D suite by the end of next year. It unveiled its roadmap for the next few years at the Siggraph show in Los Angeles.

The first stage of this will be the release of modo 201 in the autumn, which will see the software released on Linux for the first time. modo 201 gains more advanced modelling tools, including click-&-drag mesh simplification. UV Unwrap and Solid Sketch tools are designed to make UV map creation faster, and a Mesh paint tool enables geometric details to be painted on existing mesh surfaces.

Other new painting tools include hot swappable brushes, inks, nozzles and falloffs. Parametric ink and real-time bump map painting are supported by the release.

Luxology has expanded modo's rendering engine to include support for optimized global illumination, physically-based shading options for energy conservation, fresnel effect, anisotropy and subsurface scattering; true micropolygon displacements and gigapoly rendering.

OpenGL acceleration offers advanced light and shading controls including per pixel shading, multi-texturing and real time bump mapping.

Modo 201 will cost $695 (around £390), with upgrades costing $295 (around £165).

Following this, Luxology will work on turning modo into a 'comprehensive modeling, rendering and animation pipeline', as well as creating industry-specific configurations.