NewTek’s LightWave is a complete and flexible 3D graphics and animation application proven for years in the film, television, and gaming industries. LightWave includes tools that other packages offer separately, such as soft-body dynamics, particles, hair and fur, and unlimited render nodes.
Hollywood has used LightWave for such films as AI: Artificial Intelligence, Armageddon, Behind Enemy Lines, Black Knight, Blade, Charlie’s Angels, Contact, Deep Impact, Devil’s Advocate, Driven, Dungeons and Dragons, Final Fantasy, Flubber, Goldeneye, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park 3, Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, Lost in Space, Pitch Black, Rollerball, Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, The One, The Sixth Day, The Time Machine, Titanic, Waterworld, and X-Men.
Many computer and video games have utilized LightWave, such as Anachronox, Asheron’s Call, Baldur’s Gate, Civilization 3, Daikatana, Deus Ex (2000 Game of the Year), Duke Nukem’, Everquest: The Ruins of Kunark, Halo, Homeworld (1999 Game of the Year), Icewind Dale, Kiss Psycho Circus, Quake III Team Arena, Resident Evil: Code Veronica X, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Serious Sam First Encounter (2001 Game of the Year), Serious Sam Second Encounter, Star Trek Elite Force, Star Trek: Klingon Academy, Ultima Online, and Unreal Championship.
NewTek’s LightWave 3D supports Windows 98, Me, 2000, NT 4 with 128 MB of RAM, and the Macintosh systems like the Power Macintosh Processor (G3 or higher), Mac OS 9 (with 384 MB of RAM), and Mac OS X (with 128 MB of RAM).
NewTek LightWave 3D for the Mac OS 9 and X native and Windows 98, 2000, Me, and NT 4.0 was $2,495 and is now (1/2003) $1,595. LightWave 3D includes soft-body dynamics, particles, and Sasquatch lite for hair and fur. An upgrade to LightWave 7.5 sells for (1/2003) $795.
NewTek has released LightWave 3D 7.5, an upgrade from version 7, which supports Macintosh and Windows platforms with features such as sliders that control animation settings, customizable to help animate characters, lighting rigs, and more. Forget about memorizing a long list of commands with Expression Builder (expression creator). Use Dynamic Parenting and Simple Constraints to make complex interactions between objects easier to animate. Motion blur and depth-of-field effects can be previewed. The Motion Mixer has been improved with new motion weighting and blending features.
NewTek LightWave’s Modeler has long held the title as the world’s best polygonal modeler. Game developers will find it to be a major weapon in creating efficient, yet great-looking models for fast, exciting gameplay. LightWave’s advanced UV mapping, weight maps, gradient controls, and motion and texture baking all contribute to a powerful arsenal for the game developer.
A few of NewTek LightWave’s new feature highlights include subdivision surfaces, inverse kinematics, and nonlinear animation.
Subdivision surfaces—With the press of the Tab key, your model changes from a 30-polygon faceted rough to an organically rounded, smooth, flowing sculpture (a head or a body, human, animal, or alien; a cool sports car; or a techno-organic spaceship perhaps). Subdivision surfaces provide modeling as complex as you need with great economy of effort and time. You model with simple polygons at only a fraction of the number the final model will need. You have complete control of your model but with a simplicity and ease you would never have expected when creating complex natural or engineered objects.
Inverse kinematics (IK)—LightWave lets you use virtual bones to quickly and easily make a skeleton for your character and use FK (forward kinematics) and IK to move the character. Forward kinematics: Rotate the upper arm, and the forearm, hand, and fingers must follow. Inverse kinematics: Put a “goal” just at the end of the fingers, and then if you want your character to reach for that M&M on the table, just move the goal toward the M&M and the character’s arm will move in proper fashion. These can be combined for realistic movement in any situation. And LightWave’s “Faster Bones” option makes animating a complex character quick and responsive.
Nonlinear animation—LightWave also includes a nonlinear animation tool, Motion Mixer. Previously saved motion cycles such as walking, running, jumping, etc. can be mixed and matched, stretched, and shortened as needed to produce just the movement and timing you need for your project. Animate once, customize endlessly.
LightWave 7.5 has a suggested retail price of $1,595.
Softimage 3D base retails for $1,495 and includes network licensing (server-based floating), floating operating system capacity (server-based cross-operating system floating license for Windows, Linux, and IRIX), unlimited instances of SOFTIMAGE|3D in interactive and command-line mode on same workstation with same license, unlimited command-line rendering on multiple workstations (Softimage renderer only), launch distributed rendering (with additional mental ray 2.1 stand-alone licenses) from the interactive application or from the command line, and SOFTIMAGE|SDK ClothExtreme (purchased separately).
Softimage 3D extreme retails for $2,495 and includes ParticleSuite, MetaClay, SoftBody, mental ray 2.1 renderer (single processor—mental ray license enables tools such as Render Map (for lightmaps), Photon Wizard (for radiosity and caustic effects), and more), Softimage renderer, network licensing (server-based floating), floating operating system capacity (server-based cross-operating system floating license for Windows, Linux, and IRIX), unlimited instances of SOFTIMAGE|3D in interactive and command line mode on same workstation with same license, unlimited command-line rendering on multiple workstations (Softimage renderer only), launch distributed rendering (with additional mental ray 2.1 stand-alone licenses) from the interactive application or from the command line, and SOFTIMAGE|SDK ClothExtreme (purchased separately).
SOFTIMAGE ClothExtreme provides SOFTIMAGE|XSI users with unmatched cloth realism, including collisions with geometric objects and self-collision. Fully integrated within the SOFTIMAGE|XSI workflow, it retails for $595.