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Source:  3Dup.com - The Computer Graphics Portal
URL:  http://3dup.com/news/view.vfx?nid=112
Category:  Software
Featuring increased stability, hair and fur cloning, nodes and workflow acceleration
3Dup.com - February 09, 2009 - 22:10
NewTek announced the release of LightWave® v9.6, a major update to its award-winning 3D application, LightWave 3D®. LightWave v9.6's new capabilities include improvements to animation, rendering and workflow, with FiberFX cloning, Layout snapping and automatic drag-and-drop file loading. More than 625 feature requests and reported issues have been implemented and resolved between 9.5 and 9.6. LightWave v9.6 is the fifth free update in the LightWave v9 series.

"The amount of work that NewTek has put into 9.6 is nothing short of incredible," said Matt Gorner, Senior Industrial Designer, Creactive Design, UK. "The stability, features and render speed make this release, without a doubt, the finest version of LightWave ever released, period."

"This LightWave update again illustrates NewTek's ability to quickly provide artists with the latest innovations to stay at the top of their games and do their best work," said Jay Roth, president 3D division, NewTek. "Now more than ever, LightWave's many benefits, including the ability to be used in tandem with other applications, make it a necessary part of the pipeline for those doing 3D projects of any kind."

Numerous visual effects projects benefit from LightWave's world-class capabilities, including the 2008 Visual Effects Emmy-winning "Battlestar Galactica" and National Geographic documentary "Inside the Living Body."

LightWave v9.6 numerous benefits to artists include:
  • FiberFX Cloning – Provides the ability to place multiple instances of hair on an object.
  • Layout Snapping – Allows the quick connection of one item to another, saving time and additional steps.
  • Drag and Drop – Allows an icon of an object or scene to be opened by dropping the icon into Modeler or Layout.
  • New and Improved Export Buffers – Enables multi-pass pipeline users to output more buffers (layers) in high dynamic range, rather than be limited to 8 bpc (bits per channel), for greater flexibility.
  • Multi-threaded Pixel Filters – Provides faster rendering of projects that integrate pixel filters.
  • Depth Buffer Normalizing – Allows 3D scene elements exported into film or video footage to automatically blend properly, even if moving relative to one another.
  • Ray Cutoff – Enables artists to decide at what point to cease ray bounces when rendering a scene with numerous reflections, refractions and transparency, significantly shortening render time.
  • Open to other render engines – Other rendering engines conforming to the LightWave v9.6 SDK can be used directly from within the LightWave interface.
  • Three New Nodes:
    • Car Paint: Greatly eases the creation of complex polished surfaces
    • Flake: A simple procedural texture based upon the flakes often seen in car paint
    • Curve: Allows the creation of complex gradients
NewTek LightWave 3D combines a state-of-the-art renderer with intuitive and powerful modeling and animation tools. Known for its fast workflow and ease of use, LightWave integrates well with other popular production tools for 3D and compositing, with support for a wide range of formats. Tools that may cost extra in other professional 3D applications are built into LightWave 3D, including unlimited render nodes, hard- and soft-body dynamics, hair, fur, cloth simulation and more. LightWave is enjoyed worldwide as a complete 3D production solution for visual effects in television, film, broadcast graphics, games, visualization, print and web.

More Information at www.newtek.com