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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lightwave 9.6 Is Released

LightWave v9.6’s new capabilities include improvements to animation, rendering and workflow, with FiberFX cloning, Layout snapping and automatic drag-and-drop file loading. More than 625 feature requests and reported issues have been implemented and resolved between 9.5 and 9.6. LightWave v9.6 is the fifth free update in the LightWave v9 series.
"This LightWave update again illustrates NewTek’s ability to quickly provide artists with the latest innovations to stay at the top of their games and do their best work,” said Jay Roth, president 3D division, NewTek. "Now more than ever, LightWave’s many benefits, including the ability to be used in tandem with other applications, make it a necessary part of the pipeline for those doing 3D projects of any kind.”
Numerous visual effects projects benefit from LightWave's world-class capabilities, including the 2008 Visual Effects Emmy-winning "Battlestar Galactica" and National Geographic documentary “Inside the Living Body.” 
LightWave v9.6 numerous benefits to artists include:
·       FiberFX Cloning Provides the ability to place multiple instances of hair on an object
·       Layout Snapping Allows the quick connection of one item to another, saving time and additional steps
·       Drag and Drop – Allows an icon of an object or scene to be opened by dropping the icon into Modeler or Layout  
·       New and Improved Export Buffers– Enables multi-pass pipeline users to output more buffers (layers) in high dynamic range, rather than be limited to 8 bpc (bits per channel), for greater flexibility
·       Multi-threaded Pixel Filters – Provides faster rendering of projects that integrate pixel filters
·       Depth Buffer Normalizing – Allows 3D scene elements exported into film or video footage to automatically blend properly, even if moving relative to one another
·       Ray Cutoff Enables artists to decide at what point to cease ray bounces when rendering a scene with numerous reflections, refractions and transparency, significantly shortening render time 
·       Open to other render engines – Other rendering engines conforming to the LightWave v9.6 SDK can be used directly from within the LightWave interface 
·       Three New Nodes  
o         Car Paint: Greatly eases the creation of complex polished surfaces
o         Flake: A simple procedural texture based upon the flakes often seen in car paint
o         Curve: Allows the creation of complex gradients  
Pricing and Availability
A free trial edition of LightWave v9.6 is available by download from www.lightwave3d.com/lwtrial. There are now more than 30 hours of free LightWave video training at www.lightwave3d.com, in addition to an extensive library of printable tutorials.

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