NewTek’s LightWave 3D Group has announced the release of LightWave 11.5, the latest version of its award-winning 3D modeling, animation and rendering software for artists and designers. A no-charge upgrade to LightWave 11.5 is available to all registered LightWave 11 customers via the LightWave 3D website.
LightWave 11.5 includes new features and functionality that enhance creativity and streamline productivity for everyone—from individual artists and designers to large animation or visual effects studios.
“Leveraging the rich collection of new tools in LightWave 11.5 allows us to continue to deliver movies on time and on budget,” said Scott Wheeler, vfx supervisor at Rogue State and LightWave beta team member. “No other software gives us the scalability to do small team projects while still being capable of handling major studio effects movies quite like LightWave. It’s a must have in our CG arsenal.”
Among the product’s new features and enhancements are:
- Soft Body Bullet Dynamics: Includes soft body dynamics for effects such as cloth, rubber, jelly or other deforming properties. Bullet meshes are now also reactive to bone deformations and wind forces can be added for rippling effects.
- After Effects and ZBrush Interchange Tools: Offers a new LWtoAE button that allows you to select elements in a scene and see them in Adobe After Effects, including animation, lights and camera settings. The After Effects Camera can also be exported to LightWave to take advantage of the Camera Tracker in After Effects and to provide pixel-perfect matching between the two programs. GoZ technology for Pixologic’s ZBrush allows you to send models to and from LightWave with automatic node flows for textures and normal maps. ZBrush styling tools can also be imported into LightWave and attached to objects for interactive creativity.
- New Interactive Modeling Tools: Provides new functionality and architectural advancements in Modeler 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 which emphasize the system’s power and lay the groundwork for future third-party modeling tool development.
- Fiber FX: Respects soft bodies, offers improved Z-buffer support, and adds bundling around guide chains to create advanced fiber braiding and twisting effects. FiberFX now also supports curve poly types, the sketching of curves in Modeler, and rendering directly in FiberFX without using the Strand Maker conversion.
- Genoma Character Rigging System: Introduces 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 using Genoma.
LightWave 11.5 also expands its suite of Virtual Studio Tools for virtual production and adds support in the Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR) for depth-of-field (DOF) motion blur, node-edge rendering, and stereoscopic 3D. Additionally, it provides new functionality for Flocking and Instancing and offers many new workflow enhancements throughout the software.
LightWave 11.5 is now available and priced at $1495. LightWave 11 customers can upgrade to LightWave 11.5 free of charge; upgrade pricing from LightWave 10 or earlier versions is $695. Educational pricing is also available. Visit www.lightwave3d.com/buy to purchase or locate an authorized LightWave reseller. You can also download a free 60-day full-feature trial of LightWave 11.5 at www.lightwave3d.com/try.