Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 Posted by Jim Thacker

3rd Powers ships five new LightWave plugins

Japanese developer 3rd Powers has released five new LightWave power modelling tools: Cage Deformer, Lattice Deformer, Meta Mesh, Boolean Tool and Heat Shrink Plus.

Real-time deformation, Booleans and retopology
There isn’t a lot of information on the firm’s website, but Cage Deformer and Lattice Deformer are pretty self-explanatory, and permit interactive deformation of models through a surrounding cage or lattice.

The former looks particularly interesting for character animation, with the demo video above showing it in use to create squash-and-stretch effects, either driven by an underlying rig, or via completely free deformation.

Boolean Tool is also just that: a real-time interactive Boolean tool, capable of some complex cutaway effects.

Meta Mesh is a kind of souped-up metaball modelling tool, and seems to join arbitrary geometry seamlessly, not just conventional blobby primitives.

And Heat Shrink Plus is a shrinkwrap tool along the lines of the toolset provided for Maya by digitalRaster’s NEX: useful for clothing or armour, or even for retopologising more complex models.

Pricing and availability
Prices range from $39 for Heat Shrink Plus to $199 for Cage Deformer, or you can get all five for $299. All work with LightWave 9.6 and above on Windows and Mac OS X.

Judging from the video above, at least some support gesture controls on Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet, too.

Read (a little) more about the new LightWave plugins on 3rd Powers’ website