Luxology has released modo 601, a new version of its 3D content creation software. modo 601 includes character animation, built-in dynamics, volumetric rendering, and better tools for modifying the level of detail in models.

modo 601’s new features include a range of character animation functions from easy-to-use posing tools to the creation of fully articulated character rigs (such as below) that can be manipulated through a full-body inverse kinematics solver and a general purpose system of layered deformers.

Rigid and soft body dynamics, based on Version 2.79 of the Bullet Physics engine, are now a part of modo and provide realistic simulations of mechanical and organic motion.

For retopology, modo 601 offers focussed tools and a new dedicated retopology modeling layout (below) to simplify the rapid creation of clean models on top of imported geometry.

New photorealistic 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 better options for non-photorealistic rendering.

The multi-purpose 3D paint system has been extended to paint, scale, erase and smooth vertex (weight) maps on meshes.

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, makes refinement faster.

modo 601 is out now for Mac OS X and Windows at $1,195 (around £755) with an upgrade price of $395 (£249) until March 15, when it goes up to $495 (£312). For a limited time, users of Maya, 3ds Max, SoftImage, Houdini, CINEMA 4D, and LightWave 3D are offered a crossgrade to modo for $795 (£502).