Luxology has begun shipping the latest version of its Modo 3D content creation software for Mac and Windows. Modo 401 has a focus on rendering and animation enhancements, according to the company.

Rendering enhancements include caustics, dispersion, blurry refraction, volumetric lighting and Pixar-patented deep shadows. The new Instance Replicators allow dense amounts of surface detail like welds, rivets, trees and barnacles to be rendered with trillion polygon detail, says Luxology.

Light linking and support for multiple environments provides precise control over how each part of a scene is individually lit. Modo 401 also supports stereoscopic rendering and will render on up to 32 cores across a network of 50 workstations.

Animation improvements in Modo 401 include inverse kinematics, dynamic parenting, channel constraints and modifiers.

Modo’s new animation capabilities facilitate the creation of sophisticated rigs in Modo 401 that can be driven with a few simple inputs. For example, a tank model can be rigged to track and turn accurately across undulating terrain while maintaining realistic tread and wheel movement. Pre-built animation assemblies provided with modo 401 allow users to apply animation to their models automatically.

Luxology says that the Preview renderer boasts extremely rapid updates and progressive rendering capability. Modo 401 ships with over 1,500 pre-built assets including profile curves, realistic surface finishes, fur presets, 3D props, vegetation, animated rigs and professionally designed lighting environments that light a scene in two mouse clicks.