Luxology has released Modo 201, the second commercial release of its 3D modelling software. The upgrade enhances the application's modelling and painting tools, and adds a brand new rendering engine.

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 $895 (around £475), with upgrades costing $395 (around £210). The upgrade was also originally planned for an autumn 2005 launch, with the company working on turning the software into a 'comprehensive modeling, rendering and animation pipeline' by the end of 2007, as well as creating industry-specific configurations. The mooted Linux version has not been announced, with Modo 201 available for Windows and Mac OS X.