MCAD Tech News (#324)

22 Mar, 2012 By: Cadalyst Staff

Luxology Launches Modo 601 and New CAD Loaders

Updates take the content creation solution to a new level of support for the 'CAD to ad' workflow.

By Nancy Spurling Johnson

"Modo 601 is our most significant release ever," said Brad Peebler, president and cofounder of Luxology, about the recently released version of the company's flagship modeling, rendering, and animation software. Modo 601 includes character animation, built-in dynamics, volumetric rendering, and enhanced retopology modeling tools. The product is now a full pipeline solution for professionals working in media and entertainment, advertising, engineering, and architectural design visualization, according to the company. Peebler added, "With new feature and workflow enhancements, modo now offers an end-to-end production solution."

This interior, rendered with eight portals, shows off improved lighting capabilities in modo 601.
This interior, rendered with eight portals, shows off improved lighting capabilities in modo 601.

The company also launched the brand-new CAD Loaders for importing CAD data into modo 601. If you work with XT, IGES, or STEP files, you now can import data easily and accurately to create photorealistic images and animations in modo 601.

Different Sort of Company

Luxology was founded in 2002 to build the modo software solution, but also to create layers of code that could be stripped out and integrated by other software developers, Peebler said at a media event hosted by Luxology in San Francisco last fall. The result of the latter effort is Nexus, which today is the underlying architecture of PhotoView 360 for SolidWorks, the rendering functionality in MicroStation, and other solutions.

Luxology is one of those companies that seems to genuinely care about its customers. At the media gathering, Peebler explained how his firm aims to make things as easy and affordable as possible for its customers. For example, "When you buy modo, you get it for Mac and PC; you can download it as many times as you want. We trust our users, we don't worry about piracy. We want to make it easy for our customers."

A lot of issues that users face today are the result of vendors' fear, Peebler continued. Incomplete software integration, interoperability problems, and other barriers to sharing data exist because of vendors' worries about piracy. "It works against users. We don't punish users for skipping a release or force them to upgrade," Peebler said. Read more »

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Nancy Spurling Johnson is Cadalyst's editor in chief.


Learning Curve AutoCAD Tutorial:
Taking Another Look at 3D

FlatShot isn't the only way to generate 2D views from 3D models — try the Solid View, Solid Draw, and Solid Profile commands as well.

By Bill Fane

It was a warm and sunny December morning, just after Christmas. Captain LearnCurve, his gorgeous wife, their kids, and the grandkids were relaxing on the beach ...

Wait a minute! You live in Vancouver! How could you be relaxing on the beach in December?

... relaxing on Po'olenalena Beach, in Hawaii.

Oh. That would explain it.

Suddenly an iPhone rang out and Rod, the Captain's son-in-law, answered it. It seemed that Rod and Joanne's offer had been accepted, and the two had only to trace out their signatures on the iPhone screen to become the proud owners of a condominium in Maui. That's it! This month's topic!


Yes, it's obvious! Using your screen to display something else — 3D to 2D

I say again, huh?

Don't worry, I'll explain. My previous Learning Curve column introduced one method for generating 2D working drawings from a 3D model. In it, we learned that the FlatShot command is a fast, simple way of producing flat 2D working views from a 3D model. After a bit of manipulation, we were able to quickly generate 2D views of a 3D model. Read more »

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Bill Fane is a Cadalyst contributing editor, a registered professional engineer, and a close personal friend of Captain LearnCurve.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events


Lead the Way with Better Design
March 29, 2012
9 a.m. PT
In this free, virtual event, attendees can learn how the latest Autodesk software can help users bring ideas to life. Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen will be on hand to discuss Autodesk's software for building information modeling, digital prototyping, and digital entertainment creation. Read more »

CIMdata 2012 PLM Market and Industry Spring Forum
March 29–April 25, 2012
Various cities
CIMdata's 2012 PLM (product lifecycle management) Market and Industry Forum provides insights into the current PLM economic climate and trends. During the forum, CIMdata will provide its perspective on PLM trends and the future of PLM. Read more »

2012 Americas HyperWorks Technology Conference (HTC)
May 15–17, 2012
Detroit, Michigan
HTC will highlight industry trends in enterprise simulation and showcase how manufacturers are enabling innovation through simulation. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at


Cast Your Vote in Cadalyst's New Poll
Do you wonder how much time your CAD peers spend working in 3D? Simply scroll to the bottom of the Cadalyst home page and vote in the latest Cadalyst poll to find out! You can even bookmark the results page and come back later, to see how the results change as more voters weigh in.

CADspeed Blog Post:
Mobile CAD: Discover Three Cool New Features of AutoCAD WS v1.4

This blog post discusses the three major additions to the mobile AutoCAD application, including 3D support, plot from mobile, and GPS integration. Read more »

Bentley Systems Reports 10% Growth for 2011
Rebounding AEC market and heavy infrastructure investments in China contribute to $523 million total revenue. Read more »

Employee Buy-In Is Key to a Successful BIM Transition
A productive, positive workforce of new Revit users starts with communication, training, and a dose of reassurance. Read more »

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Prioritize Your CAD Crises
Which workplace crises are giving you the most grief? Here's an easy way to focus your problem-solving efforts. Read more »

A Mobile CAD Reality Check, Part 2
Phones and tablets won't take the place of your workstation, but they can make field operations more efficient. Read more »

Circles and Lines Tutorial: 2D Views Now Linked to 3D Models
New AutoCAD 2012 tools make documentation easy. Read more »

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