Lightwave : Award-winning 3D modeling, animation and rendering

by Kelly Dove

Kelly DoveLightWave 3D Group Unveils LightWave 11.6 -- Artists and designers can animate in new ways, streamline real-time and stereo virtual production, previsualization and game development, support 3D printing, and more

The LightWave 3D®Group, a division of NewTek revealed LightWave 11.6, the newest version of its award-winning 3D modeling, animation and rendering software for artists and designers at SIGGRAPH in July. LightWave 11.6 software offers modeling, rigging, animation, effects, dynamics, and near limitless render nodes in an award-winning integrated LightWave render engine—providing studios and artists with everything they need to create an affordable and powerful end-to-end production pipeline.

LightWave 11.6 complements features introduced in LightWave 11.5, including the Genoma character rigging system with modular presets, predator and prey Flocking capabilities, per-object Instancing control, and soft-body Bullet Dynamics with support for FiberFX. With the new features and enhancements in LightWave 11.6, artists and designers have the ability to:

Spline Control tool

Animate in New Ways: With the Spline Control tool, nulls or other objects act as nodes in a spline to control or deform objects such as tentacles, tails, whips or even elevators. Raycast Motion utilizes Raycasting technology to make an object aware of its surroundings in an animation; the Compound Node allows users to simplify and customize complex networks down to a single node.
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Streamline Real-Time Virtual Production, Pre-Viz, and Game Development: Use NVIDIA CgFX shader technology to create 3D assets for virtual production, pre-visualization, or game development and view assets within LightWave OpenGL exactly as they will appear in the final real-time display engine. Users can also place Normal Maps on 3D objects to make lower-polygon objects or characters display as higher-resolution objects, and create custom CgFX shaders or use existing CgFX shaders.

3D printing

Output to 3D Printers: LightWave Modeler now includes new import and export options to support the popular STL and PLY file formats. VRML is also supported and offers surface color data for 3D color printing of objects with texture maps. Also included is full control of the export format used, whether in ASCII or binary, the up direction, and units for export. New geometry clean up tools specifically for 3D printing output are also included.

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