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NewTek Ships New LightWave 3D® Version 9
The latest update to the award-winning 3D Application includes a robust new feature set, major core changes and new workflows.
CGIndia News

San Antonio, TX – July 13, 2006 -NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading 3D animation and video products, 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.

“LightWave version 9.0 changes the value proposition for 3D software – we significantly improved LightWave’s core strengths of incredible power and amazing speed with this release. When you consider this along with the entire LightWave feature set, NewTek brings an outstanding value to the market,” said Jay Roth, president, NewTek 3D Division. “The fantastic work that our development team has accomplished under-the-hood provides a foundation for the implementation of innovative new capabilities faster and more effectively as we build the future. Throughout the LightWave v9 development cycle users will see the capabilities of the software further extend… and quite dramatically.”

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. LightWave now has arguably the most comprehensive toolset for matching real camera lenses, an addition that will greatly enhance the ability of visual effects artists to match 3D elements to live footage.

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 has always been a very easy tool to learn and use, with super fast modeling and outstanding lighting and rendering capabilities," said, Nicholas Boughen of Rainmaker Animation and Visual Effects. "With LightWave v9 NewTek has pushed the envelope beyond anything I've seen in a single upgrade before. The new node-based materials editor makes shading virtually unlimited. Camera tools allow you to recreate any camera in the world and many cameras that can't exist. APS exceeds sub-pixel displacement and now that modeling tools are migrating into Layout, modeling tasks in LightWave will be virtually unlimited. The render engine is much faster and more capable than ever. And you still get 999 render nodes for free, making LightWave the greatest value by an order of magnitude. No wonder so many studios render using LightWave."

LightWave 3D version 9.0 Features:


  • 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

  • Modeling:

  • 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)

  • OpenGL:

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

  • b>Pricing and Availability
    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: or call NewTek Sales at 1-800-368-5441, overseas callers dial +1-210-370-8000. To locate a NewTek Authorized Reseller link to

    About NewTek, Inc.

    With headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, NewTek is a leading provider of full-featured video editing, live production, presentation, animation and special effects tools including LightWave 3D®, winner of the 2003 Primetime Emmy® Engineering Award, TriCaster™ and VT[5]™. NewTek launched the desktop video revolution in 1990 with the release of the legendary Video Toaster®. The company's products are used worldwide on projects ranging from home video to feature film. Recent television and film projects using NewTek production tools include The DaVinci Code, Garfield 2, Fantastic Four, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D, Sin City, The Aviator, Aliens of the Deep, , Battlestar: Galactica, Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight. Recent game titles include Doom III, Unreal Tournament, and Age of Mythology. Website:

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