LightWave 3D

LightWave 3D

Postby alhadrian » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:04 am

LightWave 3D is a 3D computer graphics software program developed by NewTek. The latest release of LightWave runs on Windows and Mac OS X.

LightWave is a software package used for rendering 3D images, both animated and static. It includes a rendering engine that supports such advanced features as realistic reflection and refraction, radiosity, and caustics. The 3D modeling component supports both polygon modeling and subdivision surfaces. The animation component has features such as reverse and forward kinematics for character animation, particle systems and dynamics. Programmers can expand LightWave's capabilities using an included SDK which offers LScript scripting (a proprietary scripting language) and common C language interfaces.

Features :

Lightwave is equipped with all the required dynamics such as hard body, soft body and cloth. Hard body dynamics equips the user to simulate effects like rockslides, building demolitions and sand effects, using realistic forces like gravity and collisions. Soft body equips the user with a tool that can simulate jelly or jiggling fat on overweight characters. This can also be applied to characters for a dynamic hair effect. Cloth can be applied to clothing for characters. This can also be used for hair to simulate more realistic hair movement. The CORE subsystem of Lightwave 11 includes a new rigid-body dynamics engine called Bullet.
Hypervoxels are a means to render different particle animation effects. Different modes of operation have the ability to generate appearances that mimic:
Blobby metaballs for things like water or mercury, including reflection or refraction surface settings
Sprites which are able to reproduce effects like fire or flocking birds
Volume shading for simulating clouds or fog type effects
[edit]Material shaders
Lightwave comes with a nodal texture editor that comes with a collection of special-purpose material shaders. Some of the types of surface for which these shaders have been optimized include:
general-purpose subsurface scattering materials for materials like wax or plastics
realistic skin, including subsurface scattering and multiple skin layers
metallic, reflective, materials using energy conservation algorithms
transparent, refractive materials including accurate total internal reflection algorithms
With LW 9, Newtek added Node editors to the Surface Editor and Mesh Displacement parts of LightWave. They also however release the Node SDK with the software, so any developer can add their own Node Editors via plug-ins, and a few have done so, notably Denis Pontonnier, who created free to download node editors and many other utility nodes for all of the sdk classes in LightWave. This now means users can utilise nodes for modifying images and renders, procedural textures, modifying the shape of hypervoxels, controlling motions of objects, driving animation channels, and use things like particles and other meshes to drive these functions. This has greatly enhanced the abilities of standalone LightWave. The node areas of LightWave continue to expand, with volumetric lights now controllable with nodes.
LScript is one of LightWave's scripting languages. It provides a comprehensive set of prebuilt functions you can use when scripting how LightWave behaves.
With LW 11, Newtek added Python support as an option for custom scripting.
Bullet Physics
From LW 11, Newtek have added Bullet (software) support.
Lightwave SDK
The SDK (Software Development Kit) provides a set of C classes for writing native plugins for Lightwave.

Main Sait -
Version Prices -
Tutorials - There are a lot of youtube tuts out there but I'll add one later when I get home.

Fun fact -> LightWave 3D has been used in many movies including : Pan's Labyrinth, 300 , Iron Man and Avatar ! other older movies include Titanic and Jurasic Park.
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Re: LightWave 3D

Postby Tyler (TJ) » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:21 pm

Thanks for the contribution alhadrian! It's always good to see members helping out and sharing information :)
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Tyler (TJ)
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