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NewTek ships LightWave 11.6, NevronMotion, ChronoSculpt

Friday, November 1st, 2013 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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ChronoSculpt, NewTek’s new application for sculpting animation caches to refine simulations or character animations by hand. Pre-released in July, the software is now officially shipping, along with LightWave 11.6.

NewTek has officially released the three products it announced at Siggraph earlier this year: the 11.6 update for LightWave, new LightWave motion-capture add-on NevronMotion, and ChronoSculpt, an entirely new application.

Sculpt animation caches with ChronoSculpt
For non-LW users, the most interesting of the three will be ChronoSculpt, an innovative tool for sculpting animation cache data, enabling users to ‘paint out’ simulation errors or refine character animation by hand.

We wrote about the software when it was pre-released in July, so we won’t cover the same ground again.

However, it’s worth noting that since ChronoSculpt imports data in formats including Alembic, OBJ, MDD and Autodesk Geometry Cache, it works with pretty much any modern 3D package.

NewTek has posted videos showing it exchanging data with Maya and with Modo, which are worth a look.

ChronoSculpt is available now, price $399. Since our original story, the software has been released on Mac OS X as well as Windows, with a Linux version in development.

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LightWave 11.6 introduces a number of new features to the 3D software, including the new Spline Control tool for animating objects like tentacles, tails and cables, and spline instancing (shown above).

For LightWave users, the free 11.6 update adds a number of smaller, but nice-to-have, features, including a new Spline Control tool for animating objects like tentacles, tails or cables.

Raycast Motion uses raycasting technology to make an animated object aware of its surroundings; and the Compound Node feature can simplify complex networks down to a single node.

Games artists also get support for Nvidia’s CgFX shader format, making it possible to preview assets accurately within the viewport, rather than having to guess how they will appear in a real-time engine.

There are also new import and export options designed for 3D printing work; while artists creating stereoscopic content get support for Nvidia 3D Vision, 3D Vision Pro, and HDMI stereo devices.

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New plugin NevronMotion streams mocap data from a Kinect into LightWave, and edits or retargets existing data.

Finally, NevronMotion is a new $299 plugin for LightWave that extends the software’s Virtual Studio Tools for ingesting and editing motion capture data.

It handles standard mocap data formats, is capable of retargeting motion-capture or layering mocap and keyframe animation, and of baking out animation to character rigs.

It also works with the Kinect, including preset rigs for Kinect and other mocap formats, enabling users to stream motion-capture data directly into LightWave.

While data captured on a Kinect won’t rival that of a dedicated mocap set-up, it has been used in commercial short-form work; and provides a useful way to capture reference data.

Read more about ChronoSculpt on the NewTek website

Read more about LightWave 11.6 and NevronMotion in NewTek’s press release

Watch more videos of all three products on NewTek’s YouTube channel

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