Award winning, production-proven VFX and Animation tools for 3D artists LightWave 3D combines a state-of-the-art renderer with powerful, intuitive modeling and animation tools included in the product package. Among them, free cross-platform render nodes, support for Windows and Mac UB 64 and bit operating systems, free technical support and more. LightWave 3D is a complete 3D production solution for feature film and television visual effects, broadcast design, print graphics, visualization, game development and Web. Unlike other software packages, LightWave 3D offers artists and studios a complete end-to-end solution right out of the box. Robust polygonal and subdivision surface modeling, unique. Interchangeable layered and nodal texturing, along with powerful dedicated node material shaders.
Award winning, production-proven VFX and Animation tools for 3D artists LightWave 3D combines a state-of-the-art renderer with powerful, intuitive modeling and animation tools included in the product package. Among them, free cross-platform render nodes, support for Windows and Mac UB 64 and bit operating systems, free technical support and more. LightWave 3D is a complete 3D production solution for feature film and television visual effects, broadcast design, print graphics, visualization, game development and Web.
Unlike other software packages, LightWave 3D offers artists and studios a complete end-to-end solution right out of the box. Robust polygonal and subdivision surface modeling, unique. Interchangeable layered and nodal texturing, along with powerful dedicated node material shaders. Powerful animation and rigging tools. Eye-popping volumetric and dynamic effects systems. A production proven, award-winning GI Global Illumination render engine - built in.
Key Features and Benefits Modeling LightWave 3D set the standard for polygonal, subdivision surface modeling a decade before many of the other 3D software packages included even basic polygonal modeling tools. While others were basing their pipelines on clunky spline-patching workflows, LightWave 3D artists were quickly and efficiently modeling with smooth subdivision surfaces interactively.
Surfacing LightWave 3D offers two surfacing systems to the artist. A fast, simple to use layer-based system, and a very flexible and powerful nodal system. Each offer different workflows to suit the artist - for quick results, the layered system is perfect for fast visualization and concept design. For those who like to dig deep, the nodal system offers ultimate creative freedom.
These systems can be used independently of each other, but unique to LightWave 3D is the ability to mix them together. You can use the layered surfacing to achieve results quickly, then choose any of the surface properties to use in a nodal context. This allows you to create extremely complex results very quickly. The node system also includes easy to use physically accurate material shaders for glass, metal, skin and carpaint, allowing you to achieve photoreal results quickly.
Rigging The rigging tools in LightWave 3D are fast and flexible and again offer artists choices in workflow. LightWave 3D pioneered a very powerful and easy to set up automatic joint influence falloff system.
This means that you can either choose to setup industry standard weight maps for your characters and rigged geometry or you can elect to bypass that often time-consuming weight mapping process for quick visualization and concept design animation workflows by using the automatic joint falloff that is built in to LightWave 3D 's animation system. This allows you to quickly and easily swap out geometry in rigs with zero weight map hassles. But you always have the choice to work with weight maps for that added control when your project requires it.
Animation LightWave 3D includes powerful procedural, nodal, and keyframe animation tools. An easy to use and customizable keyframe graph editor allows you to quickly place and edit keys, time scale, filter, and even manipulate your animations with expressions.
Bake your animations per keyframe or with frame stepping and create motion clips to blend together within the non-linear motion mixer. You can even bake animations to Autodesk geometry cache or industry standard MDD files to simplify the scene for rendering or for export to other animation packages. For facial animation LightWave 3D includes an efficient blend-shape system called Endomorphs which includes all of your morph targets within your base object.
Virtual Studio Tools LightWave 3D 's development team is bridging the gap between real and virtual worlds, by bringing together the broadest array in any application of new devices with which to interact with the set and characters inside LightWave 3D 's virtual stage and model shop.
Device support ranges from economical mice, tablets and game system controllers to the sensor arrays and custom cameras and devices used let directors, lighting grips and camera operators walk a real set and fully capture their data into the virtual set modeled in LightWave 3D Applications range from propelling your camera on an architectural flythrough using a 6DoF mouse to puppeteering your characters live on stage using Playstation Move controllers, to recording every camera move shot for shot for a major motion picture, a technique pioneered on the film Avatar.
Instancing Instancing allows vast duplication of objects in a scene with very little overhead. With instancing huge 'virtual' polygon counts can be achieved allowing the artist to populate their scenes with incredible detail, yet retain reasonable render times and memory usage.
While instances can be thought of as clones of the original source objects, they do not need to look identical. They can be randomly scaled, positioned, rotated and even surfaced entirely differently from the source, allowing for a huge variety of uses. Effects Bullet Dynamics - A fast, production-proven, open source physics engine that is used in many high profile, effects-driven films and real-time game engines.
Bullet features 3D rigid body dynamics originally created by Erwin Coumans. LightWave 3D features the Bullet dynamics engine directly in Layout so that it can be used with the new Fracture tool in Modeler to create compelling physics-based animation.
Things like collapsing buildings, explosions, and even natural placement of items in a random pattern, would otherwise be difficult to do by hand. Hypervolex - Allows you to create beautiful smoke, flame, liquids, explosions, nebulas, clouds or any other volumetric effect that you can imagine. With real-time interactive support within LightWave 3D 's VPR, you can experiment and adjust volumetric effects to your heart's content. All calculated at beautiful, final render quality directly within the LightWave 3D interface.
Particlefx - A robust, fully-featured particle engine within LightWave 3D The flexibility of ParticleFX allows a wide variety of looks; from explosive effects to slow moving smoke-like behaviors. Particle emitters can be stand-alone, or attached to objects to emit particles from their vertices, polygon normals or surfaces.
ParticleFX works seamlessly with HyperVoxels to allow the rendering of particles in any way imaginable. Fiberfx - If you need hair, fur, feathers, or scales then the FiberFX tools included with LightWave 3D are just what you are looking for.
Styling and guide creation tools are included so that you can get your fibers looking just as you envision. FiberFX is known for its visual quality and its consistent look in various different lighting environments. FiberFX includes a beautiful and speedy pixel shader mode and for complex scenes where you need fibers to be ray traced in reflections or refractions you have the option of a more detailed volumetric mode. Flocking - LightWave 3D 's flocking system is based on 3D computer models of coordinated animal motion, things like flocks of birds, herds of animals or schools of fish.
Use the Flock controller, which calculates crowd avoidance of neighbors, target alignment, and cohesive attractions, to create realistic natural motions, with ease. Rendering Network Software Renderer - LightWave 3D includes one of the world's most amazing render engines at no extra cost. Everything comes down to the final rendered image and with LightWave 3D you don't have to buy extra rendering software to setup a complex render and shading pipeline.
LightWave 3D has everything you need to achieve the most amazing results at the highest quality. VPR produces results which are similar to a final rendered image and often at a fraction of the time. VPR also has the advantage of being able to render in any viewport and with any view type, which demonstrates the versatility of the renderer. VPR provides with instant results and a shockingly fast interactive rendered view of scenes and objects with interactive lighting, nodal shading and full support for instancing, fibers, and volumetrics.
Linear Colorspace Workflow - Linear Colorspace Workflow is the process of ensuring all scene assets that are fed to the renderer are in the same colorspace as the render engine. The resulting rendered image also needs profiling for the target display it will be viewed on in order to look correct. This process can be quite complex in other software. In LightWave 3D , it's as simple as turning it on, and choosing the output profile.
You have complete control over which assets are profiled, along with pre-defined presets to make setup a one-click process. Stereoscopic Rendering - LightWave 3D offers all three major stereo camera rigs including parallel, toe-in, and off-axis rig types. Artists have the ability to dynamically correct for toe-in distortion in the animation pipeline and preview the stereoscopic effect interactively in OpenGL with a simple click-and-drag convergence point adjustment in the viewport.
The interocular and convergence points can be dynamically animated over time to track stereo changes within a shot. Scripting Python is an industry standard programming language prevalent in most CG pipelines.
The inclusion of Python in LightWave 3D allows even further integration into studio pipelines, as those familiar with Python can quickly begin writing tools for LightWave 3D Interchange LightWave 3D has extremely robust interchange tools tested and production-proven by top Hollywood studios. This allows easy dataflow back and forth between LightWave 3D and the other major 3D animation and effects software packages.
LightWave 3D offers a complete pipeline from model to render but the sky is the limit with your pipeline setup, and can solve problems and offer unique solutions for any mixed software pipeline. For example, rig and animate in Maya and then export your geometry cache files directly into LightWave 3D where you can build your environments, add effects, and then render the entire project in LightWave 3D Another example would be quickly rigging in LightWave 3D and exporting the rig to Motionbuilder where you can apply motion capture files and then import the final character performance into Maya or 3ds Max.
It's your pipeline with your unique needs. LightWave 3D can be a powerful tool to solve a large number of production problems and help streamline your project. This production-proven text-based scene file format set the standard which other professional software packages have eventually followed.
Because of this simple, well thought out ASCII scene file format and the way that LightWave 3D references separate object files you never run the risk of a large all inclusive binary scene file corrupting your assets. Additionally, LightWave 3D 's text-based scene file format allows for amazing flexibility and customization within complex pipelines when coupled with the powerful Python scripting language. The way that LightWave 3D references separate object files is also extremely powerful and flexible in a pipeline.
This means that the modeling team can be updating the object files as the design progresses and those objects are instantly updated across all scenes in the production.
Or you can try different looks on your character rigs with a simple object replace with none of hassles that you might encounter in other software packages.