Lightwave 3D 11 Adds Instancing, Flocking, Python Scripts

Posted by at 4:14 pm on December 6, 2011

Newtek has announced LightWave 3D 11, an upgrade of the developer’s rendering and animation suite. A number of new features have been introduced, such as instancing, which can create mass copies of objects without crippling system resources. Each copy can be randomized in terms of attributes like scaling, position, and surface complexity.

The software similarly includes flocking, which can be used to simulate the motions of fish, birds and other large groups. A new modeling tool, Fracture, allows users to “pre-fracture” objects so they blow apart properly when interacting with Bullet dynamics. FiberFX has been given a new volume rendering mode called Stroke, and takes advantage of instancing technology.

Python support has been added as an option for custom scripting, and GoZ interchange can be used to shuttle models and textures back and forth with Pixologic’s ZBrush. The Virtual Studio Tools will now let users configure third-party controllers, such as SpaceNavigator mice, or the PlayStation Move. The suite’s user interface has meanwhile been smoothed over, with a focus on the node editor, and incorporating off-axis model editing.

Rendering enhancements target areas like shaders and the Render Buffer; in many cases the software should also be substantially faster, such as loading scenes. Lightwave 3D 11 is currently only available to registered Lightwave 3D users as a pre-release beta, but should reach the public by the end of the month. A copy of LightWave 10 is $1,495 new.

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