Monday, May 4th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Hurleyworks ships Advance Placement 1.0

Hurleyworks – aka developer Steve Hurley – has released Advanced Placement 1.0: an interesting LightWave plugin that emables users to paint instances of an object into a scene complete with built-in dynamics.

Rather than simply positioning objects across a surface, a user can, for example, paint instances onto a sloping part of the terrain and have them settle naturally under gravity.

Novel instancing and physics tools
In development for over a year, Advanced Placement is designed as “an artist-friendly tool for physics-based placement of items and their instances in your LightWave scene”.

Rather than use the instancing tools introduced in the 11.x releases of LightWave, Advanced Placement uses its own instance generator, which is capable of instancing geometry, lights, cameras and nulls.

Instances can be emitted from geometry or combined into compounds. The result can be exported as native LightWave instances, or converted to a single mesh.

The plugin also features its own physics engine, including a unique system for recording and playing back physics simulations interactively.

Hurley notes that due to the additional memory requirements, “if your project requires tens of thousands or millions of instances, AP may not be the right tool for the job”.

However, for tasks like scene layout, the plugin looks to provide an intuitive way to get natural-looking results.

Pricing and availability
Advanced Placement 1.0 is available now for 64-bit LightWave 11.6.2 and above, running on Windows or Mac OS X. The MSRP is $199, but the plugin is currently available at a $50 launch discount.

Read more about Advanced Placement in the release thread on the NewTek forums

Visit the Hurleyworks website