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NewTek Ships New LightWave 3D Version 9
Posted Jul 13, 2006 Print Version     Page 1of 1

NewTek, Inc. today announced the availability of the latest release of LightWave 3D version 9.0, the next generation of the Emmy-winning 3D application. The new release is the first in a series of major rewrites and restructuring of LightWave 3D's core with the addition of comprehensive new features such as a node-based materials editor, optically correct cameras, adaptive pixel subdivision, Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces, sub-surface scattering and vast render speed improvements. "

The most noticeable changes for v9 are the addition of a node-based materials system that adds new shading models to LightWave, such as Oren-Nayar, anisotropic, and sub-surface scattering; the greatly improved rendering speed for today's high-demand scenes; and the enhancement of subdivision surfaces in Modeler and Layout, including Adaptive Pixel Subdivision, which gives the user a variety of capabilities for film-quality displacement mapping, normal mapping (including ZBrush support) and level-of-detail control at render time.

Among the changes that contribute to enhanced workflow in Layout are faster OpenGL performance and additional OpenGL hardware shader support, building on the initial implementation in version 8.5. For many scenes this provides a very accurate preview of the look of the final image or animation in real time, without the need to create test renders. The GUI has been enhanced to allow far more user configurability than in the past. Users can adapt the look to fit their needs and preferences to provide the best workflow for the ways they use LightWave.

LightWave 3D version 9.0 features include the following:


  • Implementation of BSP/KD Tree Algorithm to achieve improved speeds as scene complexity rises
  • Complete replacement of the original ray tracing core
  • Improved multi-threading with dynamic segmentation to insure maximum use of available CPUs
  • Typical speed improvements at 2.5x over LightWave version 8.5 for today's increasingly ambitious high-polygon count production scenes

Adaptive Pixel Subdivision

  • Adaptive subdivision of a mesh based on distance from camera and visibility
  • Choice of Adaptive Sub-division methods--Per Object, Per Polygon and Per Pixel
  • Highly optimized mesh, tied to render resolution when using Per Pixel
  • Visibly similar to micro-poly displacement


  • Added Catmull-Clark Subdivision Surfaces
  • Subdivision level can be controlled via numerical values, envelopes, expressions, motion modifiers, textures, procedurals, gradients, and more
  • Edge Selection
  • Edge Weights
  • N-gons (polygons greater than 4 sides) for subdivision surface modeling

Node Editor

  • New Shading Models
  • Normal Maps from ZBrush
  • 2 Supported Branches can be imported and exported
  • Math Animation Nodes
  • Animated Gradient Node Work how you want to work: Layers in Nodes; Nodes in Layers; Layers Only; Nodes Only
  • Full support of native controls and envelopes
  • Available in Layout and Modeler, and maintains context when switching between the two
  • Full SDK Support for third parties to create nodes (including shading models) and for third party renderers to interface with and query nodal shaders.

Advanced Camera Tools

  • New rendering technology renders scenes using arbitrary camera lenses and warps. This allows for some fantastic effects, such as:
  • Camera plane deformations
  • Arbitrary projections
  • UV map generation
  • True orthographic rendering
  • Space warp simulations
  • Lens distortion duplicating physically accurate real world lenses or non-existent "imaginary" lenses
  • 360 degree panorama rendering (one camera)


  • Preview lighting scenarios within the UI
  • Less need for preview renders
  • Hardware shading of procedural textures


  • Timewarp - Time Re-mapping and Warping Shader
  • CCTV Shader HV Deformer: HyperVoxel Particle Displacement Shader
  • Stress Map
  • Sketch Image Filter
  • Pixie Dust Volumetric shader
  • Relativity 2 Quaternion Rotations
  • Mesh Editing in Layout
  • Native 64-bit support
  • Multiplatform
  • Dual and multi-core support

LightWave v9 is available now for US$795 for a single user license. LightWave v9 upgrades for LightWave owners are US$395. For more information or to purchase, visit: http://www.newtek.com.

To locate a NewTek Authorized Reseller link to http://www.newtek.com/dealers.

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