NewTek announced NewTek LightWave 11, a new version of its professional 3D modeling, animation and rendering software. LightWave 11 fits into any studio pipeline seamlessly, offering support for Autodesk Geometry Cache and FBX, including pixel-perfect camera matching with Autodesk Maya cameras. It also supports the Unity game engine and Pixologic GoZ ZBrush workflow, making it ideal for all production environments, including smaller specialized studios and individual artists.
Expanding on the workflow of LightWave 3D software, LightWave 11 is a complete out-of-the-box pipeline that puts modeling, rigging, effects, dynamics, animation and final rendering at the fingertips of 3D artists. LightWave 11 was unveiled to guests of the NewTek “VFX Minds” event held at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in North Hollywood on Thursday evening. Industry icon Ron Thornton of Red Earth VFX Studios attended the unveiling and sees many creative possibilities for artists working with LightWave 11 software.
“My career in television began by building physical models for the BBC’s Doctor Who. Thanks to LightWave’s power and ease of use, I was able to quickly transition to the world of 3D for Babylon 5,” said Thornton. “LightWave is the one tool that allows artists to be artists instead of technicians. The advances in LightWave 11 are impressive and artists around the world have reason to celebrate.”
LightWave offers many new technologies, such as the Virtual Preview Renderer (VPR) for onscreen real-time rendering, and Anaglyph Stereoscopic Preview for real-time interocular, ‘red-blue’ anaglyphic separations.
Some of the new feature enhancements in LightWave 11 include:
- Duplicate a vast number of objects in a scene with very little memory overhead
- Create huge polygon groups with great detail while retaining reasonable rendering times
- Scale, position, rotate, and surface randomly cloned objects for realistic detail
- Animate realistic motion of grouped objects such as such as birds, fish, insects, animals, aircraft, spaceships, and more, using a new motion modifier
- Calculate crowd avoidance of neighboring objects, target alignment, and cohesive attractions with the motion modifier
- Pre-fracture objects that are ready for destruction with a new Modeler tool that is designed to complement Bullet Dynamics in Layout
- Animate explosions with or without using dynamics
- Control the density of fractures by applying weight maps to objects
- Deliver physics-based animation with the Bullet Dynamics engine in Layout and the new Fracture tool in Modeler
- Collapse buildings, create explosions, or quickly place objects in a natural-looking random pattern
Virtual Studio and Interchange Tools
- Support for new controller types, including the Sony PlayStation Move, allow users to easily control and record the item results with a LightWave channel
- Import and export model and texture data to Pixologic ZBrush software with GoZ technology
Additional LightWave 11 features include new render buffer capabilities, Python scripting functionality, FiberFX enhancements and user interface improvements.
LightWave 11 is expected to ship Q4 2011 for a suggested retail price of $1,495. Upgrade pricing from earlier versions of LightWave will be $695. Educational pricing is also available.