Monday, January 3rd, 2011 Posted by Jim Thacker

NewTek ships LightWave 10

LightWave 10’s linear workflow: now used in production by at Eden FX and the UK’s Darkside Animation.

NewTek is shipping LightWave 10, the first full-point update to the software in over four years. The release adds a new interactive preview renderer, support for stereoscopic and virtual film-making, and linear workflow.

The new edition has been a long time in the making: LightWave 10 comes almost two years after NewTek released version 9.6 of the software, and previewed its next-generation CORE architecture. With CORE itself still some months off, version 10 will come in for intense scrutiny in the 3D community.

From the press demo we saw before Christmas, it is clear that the software has evolved significantly since the previews shown at Siggraph earlier this year – in no small part due to the involvement of Rob Powers, founder of Avatar’s virtual art department and NewTek’s new VP of 3D development. We’ll post the highlights of our interview with Powers tomorrow: for now, check out the full list of new features below.

NewTek, a worldwide leader of 3D animation and video products, releases NewTek LightWave™ 10—the latest version of its Emmy® Award-winning 3D software. LightWave 10 delivers a whole new set of capabilities for 3D producers and studio pipelines. Now, 3D artists have the ability to focus on the creative process with tools that provide immediate feedback—whether they work alone or in a multi-software studio.

LightWave 10 leverages new technologies developed in LightWave CORE, and showcases NewTek’s commitment to the creation of tools that support the artistic process. With LightWave 10, artists have the ability to interact directly in the viewport and see changes to lights, textures, volumetrics and more, to view updates to their stereoscopic work in real-time and to deliver realistic environment walkthroughs in ways never before possible. With data interchange tools that enhance pipeline integration and a fresh user interface, LightWave 10 is the most artist-friendly, production-ready version of LightWave ever. Developed through continued collaboration with 3D artist members of the LightWave HardCORE community and key Hollywood studios, LightWave 10 delivers the benefits artists count on.

“We upgraded to LightWave 10 with its linear color space workflow because it lets us achieve photorealism so much faster. It helps bring out all the qualities of the rock solid LightWave render engine,” said Stefan Bredereck, supervising artist EdenFX. “With LightWave, we achieved the needed results super fast, and we accomplished even the most challenging tasks, LightWave 10 speeds things up even more. The new features make it a very valuable tool for our studio.”

LightWave 10 New Features and Benefits include:

  • Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR)
    Render in real-time, with the ability to limit the render region, for maximum performance
  • New Anaglyph Stereoscopic Preview
    Real-time interocular, ‘red-blue’ anaglyphic separation delivers the ability to view changes as they happen
  • Virtual Studio Tools
    Supports InterSense Virtual Camera Tracking System (VCAM) and 3Dconnexion 3D mouse, allowing interaction with models and scenes in real time
  • Linear Color Space Workflow
    Supports custom Look Up Tables (LUTs) for more realistic lighting, and to maximize compositing flexibility
  • New Data Interchange Tools
    Support for MDD, Autodesk® Geometry Cache, FBX® and COLLADA™ make it easy to move data from one application to another
  • Updated User Interface (UI)
    Interactive channel sliders, added control for custom colors, and numerous workflow enhancements deliver a more dynamic user experience

“Our goal with LightWave 10 is to deliver workflows that best serve the artist and support their creative discovery process, allowing them to interact with their 3D content like never before,” said Rob Powers, NewTek vice president of 3D development. “Technology should serve the artist, and not the other way around. This is how the Virtual Art Department (VAD) worked, which my team innovated on ‘Avatar.’ It helped transform filmmaking to serve the director.”

Pricing and Availability
LightWave 10 is now available.
For a limited time the upgrade price from LightWave v9 to LightWave 10 is US $495 – and includes membership in the LightWave HardCORE community with immediate access to preview builds of LightWave CORE.
For a limited time a full license for LightWave 10 is US $895 – and includes membership in the LightWave HardCORE community with immediate access to preview builds of LightWave CORE

Download a 30-day trial of LightWave 10