NewTek Releases LightWave 10.1

NewTek, a manufacturer of 3D animation and video products, announced LightWave 10.1, the latest version of its Emmy Award-winning 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering software, is now available. With powerful advanced modeling and animation tools designed to integrate into any production pipeline, LightWave 10.1 offers a new off-axis stereoscopic camera rig option, improved Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR), advanced import and export capabilities, including MDD and integrated Autodesk Geometry Cache support, a new Skin Shader node, and more.

“We’re using LightWave 10.1 for everything — from lighting and shading, to working on material from other pieces of software, as well as just producing everything in it — from start to finish,” explains John F. K. Parenteau, managing producer at Pixomondo Los Angeles in Santa Monica, California. Pixomondo is currently using LightWave in the creation of Steven Spielberg’s new TV series Terra Nova, slated to premiere this fall. “LightWave provides a very fast turnaround for us. It has become a great tool, particularly with its new capabilities,” says Parenteau.

LightWave 10.1 enhances creativity with new stereoscopic features that provide access to all major stereo camera rigs, and the ability to dynamically correct for toe-in distortion in the animation pipeline. Additional stereo enhancements include interactive OpenGL off-axis adjustment of the right and left camera planes, click-and-drag convergence point adjustment in the viewport, and the ability to disable the anaglyph representation of the stereo camera in OpenGL. Also in LightWave 10.1, interocular and convergence points can be dynamically animated over time to track stereo changes within a shot.

The LightWave VPR allows artists to directly interact and easily adjust lights, textures, volumetrics, and more, within the viewport. Artists can also use the VPR to view updates, quickly deliver realistic, environmental walkthroughs, and perform virtual location scouts. LightWave 10.1 extends the functionality of the VPR with the support of clip maps in the VPR render, the addition of object and distance dissolve, and improved nodal shaders like the new Skin material node that works with the VPR. The Skin Shader node uses a proprietary model for subsurface scattering for an easier method of replicating realistic skin textures.

LightWave 10.1, with integrated Autodesk Geometry Cache Support, gives artists the ability to include or exclude models, morphs, animations, cameras, and lights, upon export. Other workflow features in LightWave 10.1 offer the ability to import joints as LightWave bones for greater compatibility with other programs; multi-threaded mesh evaluation optimization and sub-d mesh freezing acceleration; linear color space workflow improvements, including new support for .ICC/.ICM monitor profiles; and more.