Issue: SIGGRAPH 2008 - Day 3


LOS ANGELES – NewTek ( introduced the 9.5 Windows version of its LightWave 3D application at the show this week. The latest release includes FiberFX, a complete hair and fur solution, as well as a new lighting system and workflow improvements.

FiberFX is a proprietary polygonal fiber modeler for creating realistic hair, fur and feathers. It provides artists with a full suite of tools to model and style each fiber, create volumetric shadows, and render-in reflection and refraction.

The application’s rendering speed has also been improved with major upgrades to the radiosity sampling system and interpolated modes. New disk-based caches for radiosity include the Static Cache, for animations where only the camera moves, and the Animated cache, where any element of the scene can move. LightWave radiosity can now be rendered at reduced resolution and applied to the full size final render, providing a higher quality output with faster render times.

The tool’s IK and animation systems received improvements to their character animation controls. The lighting system is now a plug-in API, allowing third parties to create custom lights and lighting plug-ins. And V.9.5 now allows the import and export of FBX and Collada scenes and objects, improving compatibility with other 3D apps.

The new release is a free upgrade for registered V.9 Windows users. The V.9.5 Mac open beta program is currently available until upcoming final release.