Lightwave by NewTek LightWave 2015 Upgrade for 5 Seat Lab Pack (EDU Pricing, Download)

Lightwave by NewTek LightWave 2015 Upgrade for 5 Seat Lab Pack (EDU Pricing, Download)

Lightwave by NewTek LightWave 2015 Upgrade for 5 Seat Lab Pack (EDU Pricing, Download)

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Product Highlights

  • 3D Animation and Composition
  • Features Importance Sampling
  • Improved Edge Rendering
  • Streamlined 3D Model Integration
  • Genoma 2 Rigging Development Kit
  • Updated Bullet Dynamics Engine
  • Compatible with Autodesk Maya
  • Viewport Rendering (VPR)
  • 64-Bit QuickTime Support
  • For Mac and Windows OS
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  • 1Description

NewTek's LightWave 3D 2015 3D modeling and animation software is an update on the already powerful LightWave 11 with new features and a faster, more efficient workflow. This electronically downloadable upgrade is priced for educational institutions that wish to upgrade five copies of any previous version of LightWave to LightWave 2015. LightWave 2015 is compatible with Windows and Mac OS (see specifications for more info).

The 2015 version of LightWave has a number of improvements and features. One new feature to improve image quality is Importance Sampling. This feature improves the quality of rendered images by prioritizing ray concentration, removing noise and splotches that can occur in areas of highly differing light intensities. NewTek also made improvements in Lightwave's edge rendering. Intersecting edges can now be drawn on the same or separate objects for more creative control over cel rendering. In addition, sub-division patch borders can now be made visible on the final rendering with one click to easily show off your model's mesh topology.

Another improvement streamlines the placement of 3D models. One of the more demanding tasks to accomplish in any modeling software is to make your 3D models fit into an existing photograph or other two-dimensional plate. To mitigate the difficulty, LightWave has a Match Solver that can calculate the correct camera position and angle to match the photograph, allowing your 3D models to retain correct perspective when applied onto a two-dimensional background.

LightWave 2015 features the Genoma 2 rigging development kit (RDK) for quickly rigging characters and models by using presets. Custom preset rigs can also be made to any degree of complexity to fit into your character animation workflow, including the use of Math Expressions and Scripts.

LightWave software is designed to be self-contained, so you can create models, animations, and rigs and work with them through to the final rendering without having to switch programs. However, LightWave can also be used in conjunction with other 3D software packages like Autodesk's Maya, allowing it to add its feature set to another established workflow.


64-Bit QuickTime Support
Quicktime is now available to those using 64-bit versions of LightWave. Loading and saving QuickTime movies can be implemented just like any other file format LightWave supports.
Textured Falloffs
Falloffs in Modeler now offer Texture Editor support, allowing you to use any image, procedural or gradient to affect your modeling operations.
Per Surface Clip Maps
Clip maps were always available on a per-object basis. Now, in addition to object based, per-surface based clip maps are now available both in the layered Surface Editor and Node based surfacing.
Camera Overscan
Overscan cameras without affecting the zoom factor. This allows you to render extra areas by specifying either pixels or a percentage of the original frame size.
VPR Alpha Channel Rendering
VPR (ViewPort Rendering) now renders alphas and can be saved when using file formats that support alpha channels.
Spline Control Movements
Modeler splines can now be converted for use with spline control, allowing you to use Modeler to accurately place your spline paths.
Enhanced 3DConnexion Support
3D input can now be customized for the way you work. 2D and 3D viewports can be set up to operate uniquely, with complete control over any input axis. It also includes different modes for navigating in either first person or model view.
Improved Interchange
Updates to LightWave's interchange toolset include Alembic 1.5, FBX 2015, Unity 5, GoZ Multi-Tool Support.
Motion Blur for Displaced Geometry in VPR
VPR now supports motion blur on deformed geometry, allowing you to preview your renders closer to final render.
Includes a new comprehensive API in the SDK that allows third-party renderers to utilize FiberFX data in their rendering engines.

General Features

LightWave offers two surfacing systems to the user. A fast, simple to use layer based system, and a flexible and powerful nodal system. Each offer different workflows to suit the user. For quick results, the layered system is conducive to fast visualization and concept design. For those who like to dig deep, the nodal system offers more creative freedom.

These systems can be used independently of each other, but LightWave allows you to mix them together as well. You can use the layered surfacing to achieve results quickly, and then choose any of the surface properties to use in a nodal context. This allows you to create complex materials quickly. The nodal system also includes easy to use, physically accurate material shaders for glass, metal, skin, and car paint, allowing you to achieve photo-realistic models

The rigging tools in LightWave are fast and flexible in order to offer artists choices in workflow. LightWave pioneered a powerful and easy to set up automatic joint influence falloff system. This means you can either choose to set up industry standard weight maps for your characters and rigged geometry, or you can elect to bypass that often time-consuming weight mapping process for quick visualization and concept design animation workflows by using the automatic joint falloff that is built into LightWave's animation system. This allows you to quickly and easily swap out geometry in rigs without weight map hassles. Weight maps can still be used if your project requires extra control.
LightWave includes powerful procedural, nodal, and keyframe animation tools. A customizable keyframe graph editor allows you to quickly place and edit keys, time scale, filter, and even manipulate your animation with expressions. Bake your animations per keyframe or with frame stepping and create motion clips to blend together within the non-linear motion mixer. You can also bake animations to Autodesk geometry cache files or industry standard MDD files to simplify the scene for rendering or for export to other animation packages.

For facial animation, LightWave includes an efficient blend-shape system called Endomorphs which includes all of your morph targets within your base object. Endomorphs can also be sculpted in ZBrush using the ZBrush GoZ interchange tools included in LightWave.

Virtual Studio Tools
LightWave can take advantage of a broad array of devices with which to interact with the set and characters inside of LightWave's virtual stage and model shop. Device support ranges from mice, tablets, and game system controllers to sensor arrays, custom cameras, and devices used to let directors, lighting grips, and camera operators walk a real set and capture their data into the virtual set modeled in LightWave. Applications range from propelling your camera on an architectural flythrough using a 6DoF mouse, to puppeteering your characters live on stage using PlayStation Move controllers, to recording every camera move shot for shot for a major motion picture, a technique instituted on the film "Avatar".
Instancing allows vast duplication of objects in a scene with little overhead. With instancing, huge 'virtual' polygon counts can be achieved allowing the artist to populate their scenes with incredible detail, yet retain reasonable render times and memory usage.

While instancing can be thought of as clones of the original source objects, they do not need to look identical. They can be randomly scaled, positioned, rotated, and surfaced entirely differently from the source, allowing for a wide variety of uses.


Bullet Dynamics
Developed by Erwin Coumans, Bullet is a fast, open-source physics engine that is used in effects-driven films and real-time game engines. Bullet features 3D rigid-body dynamics, soft-body support, and collision shapes including sphere, box, cylinder, cone, convex hull, non-convex polygons, and triangle mesh.

LightWave features the Bullet dynamics engine directly in Layout so that it can be used with the Fracture tool in Modeler to create compelling physics-base animation. Things like collapsing buildings, explosions, and even natural placement of items in a random pattern, would otherwise be difficult to accomplish by hand.

In LightWave 2015 Bullet has some new dynamic constraints:

  • Point-to-Point: Also known as a ball socket joint. Allows items to be connected to one another.
  • Hinge: Restricts rotation to one axis, perfect for things like doors. A motor can also be applied, allowing for powered movement.
  • Slider: Allows movement to rotate in one axis, while sliding along that axis. Great for simulating mechanical movement.
  • Cone Twist: A hybrid point to point constraint, that restricts movement within a cone angle, useful for rag doll limb movement.
  • Spring: As the name suggests, this constraint is good for simulating car suspension and other mechanical properties.
  • 6 Degrees of Freedom: A general purpose constraint that combines many of the other attributes, allows locking of translation and rotation in all axis.


Hypervoxels allows you to create smoke, flame, liquids, explosions, nebulas, clouds, or any other volumetric effect. With interactive support within LightWaves VPR (see render features below), you can experiment and adjust volumetric effects in real-time. All volumetric effects are calculated at high-quality directly within the LightWave interface.
ParticleFX is a robust, fully featured particle engine within LightWave. The flexibility of ParticleFX allows for a wide variety of looks from explosive effects to slow moving, smoke-like behaviors. Particle emitters can be stand-alone, or attached to objects to emit particles from their verticles, polygon normals, or surfaces.

ParticleFX works seamlessly with HyperVoxels to allow the rendering of particles in many different ways.

FiberFX creates fibers like hair, fur, feathers, and scales. Styling an guide creation tools are included so that you can get your fibers closer to the way you envision them. FiberFX maintains visual quality and consistent look in different lighting environments. Included with FiberFX is a high-quality fast pixel shader mode and a more detailed volumetric mode for more complex scenes that contain fibers that require ray-tracing in reflections or refractions.
LightWave's flocking system is base on 3D computer models of coordinated animal motion, things like flocks of birds, herds of animals, or schools of fish. Flocking can be used with LightWave's instancing system or HyperVoxels.

Use the Flock controller, which calculates crowd avoidance of neighbors, target alignment, and cohesive attractions, to create realistic natural motions with ease.


Network Software Renderer
LightWave includes a render engine that can set up complex render and shading pipelines.
VPR (Viewport Preview Renderer)
LightWave's VPR is an interactive render engine that enables the user to experiment with lighting, textures, volumetrics, and shading right in the LightWave viewport. VPR produces results which are similar to a final rendered image at a fraction of the time. VPR also has the advantage of being able to render in any viewport and with any view type, which demonstrates its versatility.
Linear Colorspace Workflow
Linear Colorspace Workflow is the process of ensuring all scene assets that are fed to the renderer are in the same colorspace as the render engine. The resulting rendered image also needs profiling for the target display it will be viewed on in order to look correct.

This process can be quite complex in other software. In LightWave, it's as simple as turning it on, and choosing the output profile. LWF in LightWave supports standard sRGB as well as ICC Color profiles. You have complete control over which assets are profiled, along with pre-defined presets to make setup a one-click process.

StereoScopic Rendering
LightWave offers three major stereo camera rigs including parallel, toe-in, and off-axis rig types. Users have the ability to dynamically correct for toe-in distortion in the animation pipeline and preview the stereoscopic effect interactively in OpenGL with a simple click-and-drag convergence point adjustment in the viewport. The interocular and convergence points can be dynamically animated over time to track stereo changes within a shot.


Python Support
Python is an industry standard programming language prevalant in many CG pipelines. The inclusion of Python in LightWave allows further integration of LightWave into studio pipelines.


3rd Party Software Compatibility
LightWave has robust interchange tools that allow easy data flow back and forth between LightWave and many other major 3D animation and effects software packages. LightWave offers a complete pipeline from model to render, however, LightWave can also fit into a mixed software pipeline. For example, rigging and animation can be done in Maya, and then export you geometry cache files directly into LightWave where you can build your environments, add effects, and then render the entire project in LightWave. Or simply model and texture your geometry in LightWave and export via FBX to another major software package. Another example would be quickly rigging in LightWave and exporting the rig to Motionbuilder where you can apply motion capture files and then import the final character performance into Maya or Max.
FBX is one of the standards for 3D file interchange. FBX files can be imported and exported witha few button clicks with support for bones, weight, geometry, textures, UV's, Camera, and Lights.
OBJ Geometry Export
OBJ import and export has been improved allowing for large OBJs to be saved much faster than before. OBJs textured with image maps or numeric values in other packages will come in texutred, but nodal or procedural textures will not translate in either direction. Autodesk's Maya reverses diffuse and ambient, so make sure you save OBJ files for Maya using the switch provided on the OBJ tab of options to ensure that your textures are transported correctly.
MDD Geometry Cache
MDD is a proprietary format developed by NewTek and is widely used in many 3D packages to provide an easy way to move animated characters, dynamic situations, and geometry deformations between packages. The MDD Multi-Baker allows users to select multiple objects at once to bake and allows the user to export the geometry to OBJ in one step.
Autodesk Geometry Cache
Lighwave also includes integrated support for Autodesk Geometry Cache files as an alternative for geometry and deformation baking. This makes it simple to transfer files to and from Maya or any other 3D software that supports these formats. This allows LightWave's efficient workflow and renderer to be integrated easily within almost any pipeline setup to help users meet budgets and schedules.
ZBrush GoZ Support
GoZ is an interchange technology from Pixlogic that allows applications to send model and texture data to and from ZBrush for sculpting detail on a base mesh. The GoZ implementation in LightWave and Modeler is fully featured. It allows you to exchange model data, along with all the associated texture maps. The Modeler implementation even lets you use ZBrush for sculpting Endomorphs for things like facial morphs.
Unity Game Engine Support
LightWave can now save scenes for Unity to enable a seamless transfer between the two programs with an automated FBX file export system which is updated every time your LightWave scene changes.

Other Features

ASCII Text-Based Scene Files and Object Referencing
The LightWave architecture has robust and efficient ASCII based scene file format. This text-based scene file format is a standard which other software packages follow as well. LightWave uses ASCII to reference separate object files so you don't run the risk of a large, all-inclusive binary scene file corrupting your assets. Additionally, LightWave's text based scene file format allows for flexibility and customization within complex pipelines when combined with the powerful Python scripting language.

The way that LightWave references separate object files allows a modeling team to update the object files as the design progresses. As the updates happen, those objects are instantly updated across all scenes in the production. Additionally you can try different looks on your character rigs with a simple object replace with none of the hassles that you might encounter in other software packages.

Table of Contents
  • 1Description
Windows System Requirements Hardware:
Intel Core 2 or AMD Athlon II Processor (or better)
4GB minimum System RAM for 64-bit OS
2GB minimum System RAM for 32-bit OS
Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)

Operating System:
64-bit: Windows Vista through Windows 8.1 64-bit edition
32-bit: Windows Vista through Windows 8.1
Mac System Requirements Hardware:
Intel Processor
4GB minimum System RAM
Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)

Operating System
Snow Leopard 10.6 or better
Display Minimum Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8400 series or ATI X1600
Minimum Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels.
Installation Requirements Storage: All systems require 750MB of available hard drive space (excluding content); complete library is approximately 3GB.
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