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.