- Homepage: Newtek Lightwave
- Current version: Lightwave 2019 from January 2019
- builtin renderer of lightwave
Lightwave is well known for it's usage in a lot of features movies as well in tv shows. It is a full animation and rendering package. They always had a good volumetric renderer and environment lighting since a long time. They are working hard on the next release.
After a long time where most users and experts expeced a slow death of Lightwave, it raises from the ashes. The new release offers new interoperability workflows and has a new shader building tool where you can build your own shader with the usual node technology. They now have a OpenVDB worflow similiar to the possibilities in Houdini. It is now possible to do round edges in rendering without modeling as well as convex or concave shading to create used surfaces. With the texture caching system it is possible to use very high resolution texture files. And of course like all other renderers, they have implemented Nvidias Optix Denoiser. Additionally a despike tool which removes fireflies can be activated. And finally physical sun and sky can be used.
Newtek improved instancing a lot. Even in UI you can see hundreds of millions of polygons using the new OpenGL possibilities. Surface distribution of the instances are possible to plant flowers on a landscape or stones in the mountains. They have a new crowd system with neigbour avoidance. One of the very best features: Python is now integrated as scripting language and its not only a script add on but have full api access. ZBrush interaction has been improved. Lightwave can now read maya geometry caches and matches exactly maya cameras exchanged via fbx. This way lightwave can be used easily for visual fx in maya projects. They have a fracture tool and implemented bullet dynamics. Finally they improved sampling with unified sampling. Seems to be a promising release.
Lightwave is a famous complete 3d application that offers great render powers to the user. It was used for some tv series like "Jimmy Neutron" as well as for the famous "Stargate SG1", "Stargate Atlantis", "Voyager" and others.
Version 10 introduces a lot of new and improved features. One of the most important ones is the new highly parallelized Core architecture. They make heavy use of graphics hardware for viewport display, support linear workflow offer FBX, collada Zbrush data exchange possibilities. Additionally, they implemented bullet rigid body dynamics. Their viewport display technology looks like a cool progressive rendering as it is implemented in houdini or most hardware renderers.
Last update: 01.2021