The LightWave 3D Group, a division of NewTek, is unveiling its new LightWave 11.5 at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles this week.
A complete 3D modeling, animation and rendering pipeline, LightWave 11.5 includes many new features to streamline productivity, including a new Genoma character animation and rigging system for Modeler, predator and prey flocking, Instancing, soft-body Bullet Dynamics and interchange support for Adobe After Effects and Pixologic’s GoZ Fiber Mesh.
“LightWave 11.5 elevates artistic freedom with innovative new features and workflow enhancements that are designed to streamline productivity,” said Rob Powers, president, LightWave 3D Group. “From fast interactive stereoscopic rendering in the VPR to physically accurate hard-body and soft-body Bullet Dynamics, LightWave 11.5 continues to reinforce its leadership position as an end-to-end pipeline.”
LightWave 11.5 is expected to ship by the end of the year at a suggested retail price of $1,495.
New features and enhancements include:
Genoma advanced rigging system for layout
Genoma is a new modular instant-rigging system that can be used to quickly rig a simple biped or quadruped for animation in Modeler without the need for specialized rigging tools. It offers modular rig presets that consist of skeletal parts such as spines, wings, arms, legs, hands and feet. Complete rigs for biped and quadrupeds can easily be customized.
New functionality and architectural advancements in Modeler allow for faster interactivity, performance and tool development. LightWave 11.5 introduces many new tools like UV Unwrap, Edit Edges, Place Mesh, Slice, Thicken and Heat Shrink that lay the groundwork for future third-party modeling tool development.
Soft-Body Bullet Dynamics
Bullet now includes soft-body dynamics for effects such as cloth, rubber, jelly or other deforming properties. Bullet meshes are also now reactive to bone deformations and wind forces can also be added for rippling effects.
Flocking is a specialized particle system that allows items to move in very organic ways, Flocking offers new prey and predator behaviors that allow flocks to chase other flocks or have flocking agents seek out and chase the closest prey. Neutral flocks do not chase or flee but still affect other agents for collision avoidance. Other new features include Plane, Pursuit and Arrive directors and the addition of node controls.
A new GoAE button allows users to select elements in a scene and see them in Adobe After Effects, including animation, lights and camera settings. Changes can be made using Camera Tracker in After Effects before returning to Lightwave. GoZ technology for Pixologic’s ZBrush allows users to send models to and from LightWave with automatic node flows for textures and normal maps. ZBrush styling tools can also be imported to LightWave and attached to objects.
Now includes Per-Object control of scale, stretch, offset, rotate and nodal controls, along with new Copy and Paste functions and Path Mode optimizations for greater flexibility and workflow.
ViewPort Preview Renderer (VPR)
VPR transforms how artists work in LightWave with fast interactive onscreen rendering. LightWave 11.5 now supports depth-of-field and motion blur effects and stereoscopic rendering in VPR.