LightWave 2020 is a complete 3D modeling, animation and rendering solution. Its native renderer is unparalleled and serves as the centerpiece in the production pipeline of many facilities both large and small. Render nodes are free and set up is quite straightforward.
LightWave Modeler excels both as a subdivision surface and a polygonal modeler, fast, efficient and again, straightforward in functionality. In addition, an industry leading node-based texturing and shading system allows you to create any look you desire – quickly and easily.
Lightwave is the perfect combination of power, speed and value. It is versatile enough for any application from award-winning visual effects to stunning hi-res print graphics, dynamic video games, powerful motion graphics and more.
Lightwave offers modeling, animation, dynamics, volumetric rendering, particle effects. A motion picture quality rendering engine with unlimited render nodes making LightWave the centerpiece of the most cost effective 3D production pipelines in the world.
Features in LightWave 2020:
Real-time Collaborative LightWave to Unreal Engine
LightWave 3D enters the Real-Time Age for interchange with this workflow link between the Unreal Engine and LightWave 3D, focusing on LightWave driving Unreal changes iteratively. Multiple LightWave seats are able to connect to the same Unreal Editor simultaneously to enable real-time collaboration between artists. The bridge uses NewTek’s proven NDI network discovery mechanism for easy automatic configuration, and can be limited to single project use in Unreal, or installed as a general plugin for use in all Unreal projects.
Improved FBX and New Interchange Bridge
Work with industry standard FBX data on a whole new level via the new Interchange Bridge.
- Interactively choose what to import / export and how.
- Add to existing FBX files from Layout and Modeler.
- Build LightWave 3D assets from many FBX files.
- Easily revisit FBX files via workspaces.
- Support for:
- Vertex Caches
- Morph Mixer
- Vertex Maps
- Smoothing Groups
- Animation Layers
- Animation Baking
- Mesh Freezing
Shading Model Customization Tools
The ability to pull materials apart and build them to your tastes is new to LightWave 3D 2019. There is access to Fresnel Functions, Material Components and Material Integrators. The Material Tools Group has been updated with new nodes to support this capability.
OpenVDB Content Creation
New for LightWave 3D 2020 is a set of node tools that allow OpenVDB content creation. You can now create OpenVDB grids from meshes, particles, and even the shape primitive distance estimator. The tool kit allows for live Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) operations, grid filtering including level set tracking, smoothing, dilation and erosion. Solvers are included that allow for fluid simulation and smoke and fire effects.
Metamorphic is a multipurpose animatable mesh sculpting and vertex map manipulation plug-in for LightWave 3D 2020 that works in Layout, and takes full advantage of the new capabilities of the modifier stack.
- Freeform animated sculpting
- Built-in undo/redo system
- Fully-multithreaded sculpting using all available CPU cores
- Pen pressure support for brush size, strength and hardness (Windows only)
- Nodal brush texture support
- Three modes of animation
- Non-linear interpolation of sculpt animation keyframes
- Supports converting sculpt animation keyframes to Endomorphs
- Predictive corrective morph sculpting that works after deformers with built-in driver/driven controller
- Full Motion Blur support
- Support for scaling many UI elements for HiDPI and large-screen displays
- Independent scaling options for multi-monitor setups
Bone System Improved for Game Development
The new Bone Type option, Limited Bones, allows the animator to set a limit in Layout on the number of bones. That affect a given point to match the limit in the target game engine. And engages real-time optimizations to more closely match the performance game engines expect from a rig.
Shading and Rendering Enhancements
- Edge Shader Node. For simulating beveled or rounded edges at render time, to give more realistic results without increasing geometry.
- Patina Node. This node can add Wear (a convex shader) to a surface, or Dirt (concave) based on a radius and offset.
- Procedural Shader Node. This node encapsulates a chosen legacy system LightWave 3D or third party procedural texture and exposes it with the typical nodal inputs and outputs.
- Image Caching. LightWave now uses smart caching with very high-resolution images, allowing artists to use them for textures and other uses, regardless of the memory in the computer system.
- New Compositing Buffers. The new Rho buffer is for extracting lighting and shading information from the direct and indirect buffers.
- NVIDIA OptiX Denoising. A new Noise Filter option uses the NVIDIA OptiX library for AI-accelerated noise reduction when rendering still images.
- Despike. This new Renderer option is a tool for reducing or removing “fireflies” in renders.
- Physical Sky. An Environment plugin to replicate physically accurate skies and create otherworldly skies, with equal ease.
- Physical Sunlight. A new Light Type that simulates a sun using state-of-the-art scientific methods.
Game Development Enhancements in Modeler
Enhanced UV and UDIM Mapping Workflow
UDIM tiled mapping:
- Turn Poly UV
- SelectUV Island
- SelectUV overlap
- Rectangular UV Grid
New view modes for working with UVs:
Modeler now supports the creation of smoothing groups within a mesh. Smoothing groups provide a way to create creases and hard edges, and more precisely control regional contours on your model.
New Primitive and Tools
Empty Volume Shape Primitive
LightWave 3D 2020 adds the new Shape Primitive, Empty Volume, which can be used for creating procedural surface shapes. In addition to being directly useful in scenes, the Empty Volume primitive is helpful in workflows that need to convert meshes to volumes or vice versa. Empty Volume can also provide for real-time Boolean operations in Layout.
New Tools for Shape Primitives
The Empty Volume shape primitive allows advanced users to write their own distance estimators for rendered SDF shapes and volumetrics.
Other new nodal distance tools include:
- Shape CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry)
- SmoothMin, a soft blending node.
Workflow and UI
Expanded Layout Undo System
The Layout Undo System has been expanded to many of the systems involving Transforms & Keys. Unlimited Undo is now available in:
- Graph Editor
- Scene Editors, both new and classic
- Dope Sheet
- Many Layout navigation tools
- Menus can now be navigated via keys (arrow, mouse wheel, home, end, etc.)
- Large popup menus can be navigated with filtering and searches
- Regular expressions can be used in filters
- FLAT MENU: You can now call up a flattened version of every entry that exists in the main menu with the keyboard shortcut CTRL Space. Doing so presents a list of all available commands in Layout or Modeler (with their associated keyboard shortcuts). As with other LightWave menus, you can type to narrow down your selection and the cursor keys and Enter can be used to choose the command you require.
Node Graph UI Options
- Tidy Nodes Command: A tool to make ‘cluttered’ node trees ‘straight’ and easier to read from left to right automatically.
- Background Grid: You can adjust the brightness and color of the grid in the Node Editor
- Snap to Grid: you can turn on this tool to make the nodes ‘snap’ to a user settable grid size.
License Server 2019 Option
A new licensing management option for large facilities, this is a specialized build of the LightWave 3D applications wherein licensing of LightWave 3D is controlled through a managed portal. Purchase is by special arrangement.
Changes in LightWave 2019.1 (Build 3127) – July 11, 2019:
- Cel Shading Improvements. Surfaces will now react correctly to light color.
- FBX Improvements. Transfer only animations, Drag-and-drop within the interface, Support principled material (not just standard) on import
- Hide all OpenGL non-renderable elements and gizmos. Simple toggle to clear all non-renderable items from the viewport for better scene visibility
- Workflow improvements to the Layers panel in Modeler. Freezing, Swapping and Moving all come to the 2019.1 Layers panel
- New Navigation options. Layout and Modeler have new navigation tools
- Node Editor – RGBA/XYZ splitter node/improvements. Individual RGB channels added as outputs on Image nodes
- NRC Improvements.. You can now attach render nodes to your farm from other machines in your network, and LightWave Scene files can now be dragged-and-dropped into the NRC window
- OpenVDB Improvements. Add particle system output to mesh to volume node based on the mesh vertices and add collision velocity to solvers
- Physical Sky Enhancements. An update has been made to the Physical Sky background shader
- Add Progress indicator to VPR. See how fast your renders are going
- LightWave Python Updates. Python updated and new PCore console added
- Workflow Improvements: ‘Reset Configs’. Refresh the configs without losing your custom menus and keyboard shortcuts
- Workflow Improvements: Separate Menu and Key Configs. New config files for menu and keyboard shortcut customizations
- Workflow Improvements: Tree Pane. Several improvements made to the Tree Pane element of the LightWave UI
- Unreal Bridge Improvements. Improved interchange performance.
Vertex Maps panel improvements. Delete multiple maps at once, filter maps and select by map
Homepage – https://www.lightwave3d.com
System Requirements for Windows:
- Intel Core 2 or AMD Athlon II Processor (or better)
- 64-bit System RAM: 4GB minimum
- Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)
- 64-bit: Windows 7 through Windows 10 64-bit Edition
Systems Requirements for macOS:
- Intel Processor
- 64-bit System RAM: 4GB minimum
- Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)
- Sierra 10.12 or better
Size: 311 MB