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LightWave 11.5 first release under new LightWave 3D Group

LightWave 11.5 is the first release under NewTek’s new LightWave 3D Group division as the company focuses on re-establishing LightWave 3D in the broader 3D community

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As the end of January came The LightWave 3D® Group, a relatively new division at NewTek, Inc., announced that LightWave 11.5 is now available for shipping. LightWave 11.5 is an award-winning 3D modeling, animation and rendering software for artists and designers. A no-charge upgrade for the 11.5 release is available for free to all registered 11 users.

New in LightWave 11.5

Both a great hard surface 3D rendering program and an excellent soft surface intergrated 3D software package, LightWave 11.5 extends its feature and tool sets in several directions in response to current customer needs and future trends.

A popular choice in visual effects (VFX) studios, LightWave 11.5 includes new features like its 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.

Also included are Interchange Tools for supporting Adobe After Effects (AFX) cameras and Pixologic’s popular ZBrush, stereoscopic and depth-of-field (DoF) motion blur in the Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR). There are also many workflow enhancements.

01 - LightWave 11.5 is now shipping. The new Genoma character rigging is being shown in the image above. (image courtesy of NewTek. All rights reserved.)

“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, visual effects 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.”

Pricing and Availability

LightWave 11.5 is available now and priced at 1,495.USD for a new license. Upgrades start at 695.USD. Educational pricing is available and there is a 60-day full functioning trial version which you can download here.

On the Mac users must have Snow Leopard (10.6) or higher on a 64-bit Intel Mac with 4 GB of memory minimum. Minimum graphics are an NVIDIA GeForce 8400 or ATI X1600.

Architosh Analysis

LightWave is a program we don’t hear much about anymore and we hope that changes under the new organization and move to California. A dedicated LightWave group, focused exclusively on that one product, should help focus efforts a bit better and being in Burbank, California, a “studio city” means that one of LightWave’s core constituencies–broadcast and film VFX studios–is very nearby. We were hoping to see this product’s rendering technologies expand out a bit and target other markets–like product design rendering. Perhaps in LightWave 12 we will begin seeing some of that happen.

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