NewTek has begun shipping LightWave 11.5, a major free update to the all-round 3D software.
The final feature list doesn’t differ radically from that announced at Siggraph last year, with key features including the new Genoma modular “instant-rigging system”, better interoperability with After Effects and ZBrush, updates to FiberFX hair and fur, and soft-body dynamics within Bullet physics.
Extra goodies, strong new modelling tools
However, the overview page on the NewTek website now fleshes out more of the details, and there are a few goodies we didn’t report on at the time, including more control nodes for edges in cel-shaded renders, and new Behaviors and Directors for the flocking system introduced in LightWave 11.
People who’ve been playing around with the release tell us that some of the less headline-grabbing features – particularly the new modelling tools – are also particuarly strong.
Whereas the reaction to recent LightWave releases has often been mixed, user responses so far are overwhelmingly positive. The official discussion thread on the NewTek forum already runs to 130 posts in under 24 hours, and threads on other industry forums are similarly enthusiastic.
LightWave 11.5 is available now for Windows Vista and above and Mac OS X 10.6 and above. The update is free to registered users of LightWave 11, while a new commercial licence costs $1,495.
At the time of posting, the demo version of 11.5 is “coming soon”.