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SketchUp into modo

Luxology launches beta importer. By Ko Maruyama
Google and offered in two different flavors (one free, one pro), the allure of the software has most notably been it's ability to interact with Google Earth.  Now, Luxology hopes to offer users more reasons to become interested in SketchUp by offering a plugin which reads .SKP files in modo.

Previous users of modo software have included visualization firm CITYSCAPE in London.   Working with the architectural firm Herzog and deMeuron, the design firm used the software to render environment and architecture for plans on the Tate Modern 2.

Luxology's modo was employed to offer speed while working with the models and renders.  "modo excelled in surfacing, lighting and rendering, and its speed and flexibility allowed us to rapidly evolve the look of the structure as per requests made by the architects," said Andrew G. Morgan, Head of R&D for Cityscape. "In addition, modo`s fast and accurate renderer can cope with real-world lighting and surfacing effects such as global illumination, energy conservation, Fresnel, reflection and refraction without the long render times typical of alternate solutions."

With the new software available for modo 301 users, SketchUp modelers will have access to that same quality of speed and rendering by using the file importer.  All of the SketchUp unites and layers remain intact after import and material and texture properties are imported (with the exception of texture alpha).

The new importer works for both Mac and PC and reads files that are produced by both the regular SketchUp software and the SketchUp Pro ($495) software.

This will be useful to people who are interested in joining multiple sketchup models and scenes together, and especially those who want to take advantage of the new features in modo301 as well.

The plugin is still in beta stages, and available for free to registered modo 301 users.  After the plugin is released, the importer for modo will be $99.

If you have modo301 already, you may want to investigate this right now.  If you don't have modo - you may want to check it out.  Luxology offers a free download so you can demo the software.  

If you want to find out more about the free 3D modeling software that is SketchUp, head over to Google to find out more and to look through their model libraries as well.

Additionally - for your sketchup edification,  check out my friends over at THE SKETCHUP SHOW.  You can subscribe to their RSS or iTunes feed ( or support them by purchasing their training on their great DVDs ($129 for both) :

For rants, ramblings and general announcements - check out a chaotic blog in the BlogZone:

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:product review, news, 3D plugin, sketchup, luxology, modo301

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