Friday, July 29th, 2011 Posted by Jim Thacker

LightWave 10.1 ships

LightWave’s stereoscopic camera rig types. Version 10.1 adds the off-axis rig.

NewTek has begun shipping LightWave 10.1, the latest update to its all-round 3D application.

The update was first announced at NAB, so little has changed since the original announcement, beyond the fact that 10.1 was then expected to ship in the second quarter of the year.

However, there is a new testimonial from Pixomondo LA, which you can enjoy below.

NewTek, a worldwide leader of 3D animation and video products, announced LightWave™ 10.1, the latest version of its Emmy® Award-winning 3D modeling, animation, visual effects and rendering software, is now available. With powerful advanced modeling and animation tools designed to integrate into any production pipeline, LightWave 10.1 offers a new off-axis stereoscopic camera rig option, improved Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR), advanced import and export capabilities, including MDD and integrated Autodesk® Geometry Cache support, a new Skin Shader node, and more. Artists count on the features of LightWave to deliver stunning results.

“We’re using LightWave 10.1 for everything—from lighting and shading, to working on material from other pieces of software, as well as just producing everything in it—from start to finish,” explains John F. K. Parenteau, managing producer at Pixomondo Los Angeles in Santa Monica, California. Pixomondo is currently using LightWave in the creation of Steven Spielberg’s new TV series “Terra Nova,” slated to premiere this fall. “LightWave provides a very fast turnaround for us. It has become a great tool, particularly with its new capabilities,” explains Parenteau.

New Features Provide Impressive Results
LightWave 10.1 enhances creativity with new stereoscopic features that provide access to all major stereo camera rigs, and the ability to dynamically correct for toe-in distortion in the animation pipeline. Additional stereo enhancements include interactive OpenGL off-axis adjustment of the right and left camera planes, click-and-drag convergence point adjustment in the viewport, and the ability to disable the anaglyph representation of the stereo camera in OpenGL. Also in LightWave 10.1, interocular and convergence points can be dynamically animated over time to track stereo changes within a shot.

The LightWave VPR allows artists to directly interact and easily adjust lights, textures, volumetrics and more, within the viewport. Artists can also use the VPR to view updates, quickly deliver realistic, environmental walkthroughs, and perform virtual location scouts. LightWave 10.1 extends the functionality of the VPR with the support of clip maps in the VPR render, the addition of object and distance dissolve, and improved nodal shaders like the new Skin material node that works with the VPR. The Skin Shader node uses a proprietary model for subsurface scattering for an easier method of replicating realistic skin textures.

LightWave 10.1, with integrated Autodesk Geometry Cache Support gives artists the ability to include or exclude models, morphs, animations, cameras and lights, upon export. Other workflow features in LightWave 10.1 offer the ability to import joints as LightWave bones for greater compatibility with other programs; multi-threaded mesh evaluation optimization and sub-d mesh freezing acceleration; linear color space workflow improvements, including new support for .ICC/.ICM monitor profiles, and more. Additional LightWave 10.1 features include:

  • Virtual Studio Tools—supports InterSense Virtual Camera Tracking System (VCam™) and 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator™ 3D mouse, allowing interaction with models and scenes in real time
  • FiberFX™—hair and fur shader now supports VPR and includes improved speed, stability and displacement handling
  • Linear Color Space Workflow—supports custom Look Up Tables (LUTs) for more realistic lighting and compositing flexibility, color space correction for HyperVoxels™, XYZ, Lab, RGB and CMYK data, and more
  • Updated User Interface (UI)—interactive channel sliders, added control for custom colors, and numerous workflow enhancements deliver a more dynamic user experience.

Pricing and Availability
LightWave 10.1 is now available. The update is available as a free download for owners of LightWave 10. For a limited time, the upgrade from any previous version of LightWave to LightWave 10.1 is US$495, and a full license is US$895. This special pricing will expire at midnight on August 31, 2011. At that time, the price will revert to US$695 for an upgrade and US$1,495 for a full commercial license.

Download the LightWave 10 trial