NewTek LightWave 3D Helps Artist Create Graphics, Animations More Efficiently

NewTek announced the release of LightWave 3D 2019, a new edition of the production-proven graphics and animation package that refines the artist’s workflow to make creation of complex, photo-real animation and imagery faster and more efficient. Leading the list of improvements are the new integration tools with Unreal Engine for real-time data transfer to the game engine. The system performs automatic discovery to make the workflow entirely seamless.

“Game engines have become the predominant real-time rendering and visualization tools for 3D, far beyond their use in video game development,” says Dr. Andrew Cross, president and CTO, NewTek. “We recognize the importance of this trend, which offers so many advantages including the increase in productivity for 3D artists, vast savings of time and resources, and limitless new ways to create and visualize. Imagine everything from video games to virtual sets, animated TV series to feature film pre-vis, interactive architectural visualization, and more all in real-time.”

Another major advance for the 3D artist is the new Metamorphic system, which brings multipurpose animatable mesh sculpting and painting to Layout. Fully multi-threaded for fast operation, Metamorphic includes a wide range of brush options and controls, multiple animation modes, nonlinear interpolation, motion blur support, and much more.

LightWave 2019 includes additional enhancements for animators. Among these is a new ‘Limited Bones’ mode for the character animation system. This provides the ability to match the number of bones able to affect a given point to the game engine in use. The new mode also has real-time optimizations to more closely match the performance that game engines expect from a bone system. Modeler’s enhancements for game development include new UV and UDIM tools, as well as support for smoothing groups, which allow for fine-tuned control of the contouring of models.

Additional Highlights:

  • Improved FBX Interchange and added FBX attribute support
  • Shading Model Customization Tools
  • New Shape Primitives and Tools
  • OpenVDB Creation
  • Shading and Rendering Enhancements
    • Edge Shader Node simulates beveled or rounded edges without geometry
    • Patina Node adds wear and dirt to surfaces to give your world that lived-in look
    • Procedural Shader Node wraps classic LightWave procedural textures for Node Editor
    • NVIDIA OptiX™ Denoising for still images (requires NVIDIA graphics card)
    • Despike can reduce or eliminate artifacts for a render that has “fireflies”
    • Scientifically-accurate Physical Sky shader and SunLight light type.
  • Workflow and UI:
    • Display Scaling Options for high-resolution monitors and multiple monitor setups
    • Expanded Layout Undo System
    • Popup Menus now support mouse wheel, navigation keys, search, and more
    • Node Graph controls for grid size, snap to grid, grid brightness and color, Tidy Nodes
    • Online Documentation adapts to the screen format of any device
    • “Managed portal” licensing option for large facilities. Purchase by special arrangement.

Availability & Pricing
LightWave 3D 2019 for Windows and Mac OS is available now for USMSRP $995. Registered owners of any previous version of LightWave 3D can upgrade to LightWave 2019 for US$395, through March 31, 2019. International pricing may vary.

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