Luxology’s ‘s intentions continue to come more into focus with each reveal. I think it is pretty clear that Luxology is intending to move more into the ArcViz space as well as offer significant motion graphics capabilities. In their latest reveal, they’re showing basic IK relationships between objects and path constraints. It’s not Character Animation (CA) like the bigger packages offer, but it is a clear start on the way to a full animation system. Will 401 replace Maya, C4D, Lightwave, etc? Probably not, but it is clear that they are trying for an all-in-one solution that can be used for a variety of paratical animations, including technical animation and architecture fly-throughs.
Still not addressed from my point-of-view is the model-creation side. It feels like (despite some clever enhancements in the Modelling “reveal”) that Lux has stagnated here. Very little has been said about sculpting or texturing. That being said, Modo’s creatiion capabilities may be more restricted to traditional box-modeling (SDS) approaches as the performance of the sculpting solution is very limited when compared to more advanced solutions like Zbrush and Mudbox. Similarly, I don’t see Modo 401 (yet) challenging Bodypaint’s more complete model painting environment.
So, 401 is shaping up as a bit of a risk for Luxology. Not really the top modeler (though a very good one), not really a full animation package (though some interesting starts on basic object animation, hair and fibers), and a decent rendering system (though not quite as nice as a full nodal system.) It’s a lot of middle, but I’m still waiting for Modo 401′s killer app to reveal itself.