LightWave Product News from Siggraph!
The LightWave development team has been busy over the last few months.
ChronoSculpt is an amazing looking new product from the LightWave Group that gives cg artists the ability to edit cached animation files and to sculpt over time. It does not appear to create new geometry, but it can throw a massive amount of polygons around with blazing speed. Using ChronoSculpt’s streamlined, uncluttered environment artist’s can retime clips, move pieces around, fix pieces in place and globally change the shape of the cached geometry so it looks like animation was applied to a different object. Character animators can use it to fix penetration issues with cloth sims, correct deformations on the mesh, and sculpt in another layer of detail (blending shapes over time) after the main animation is done. Chronosculpt can also be used to save morphs or blend shapes. This is a new, standalone app that promises to fit into any CG pipeline supporting Alembic, .MDD, or Autodesk Geometric Cache files. This will be an incredible time saver. The price for ChronoSculpt is $399 ($299 during Siggraph), and the Windows pre-release version is available for download now. The Mac version is coming soon and a Linux version is planned.
LightWave 11.6 was announced yesterday with a short list of new, but very welcome tools like native Raycast and Compound Nodes and an easy to set up Spline Control and the fantastic Jovian color picker has been integrated into LightWave 11.6 as well.
New file formats are supported as well. LightWave users can now load and save Alembic scenes files, DPX image, several LUT format files, and several object file formats for 3D Printing.
LightWave 11.6 PreRelease is available to download now in the user account page at http://Lightwave3d.com
There is special Siggraph pricing on New LightWave licenses and upgrades.
NevronMotion is a new plugin for LightWave that adds retargeting and motion capture via a Microsoft Kinect directly in LightWave. Some of us are a disappointed that they decided to make this a plugin instead of just including it in LightWave 11.6, but they are a business and need revenue. The LightWave community is mildly divided over this since LightWave has been a complete, all-in-one solution since version 6 (during the LW 5 cycle, NewTek sold HyperVoxels 1.0 and some surface shaders as plugins), not to mention that Rob Power made it sound like Kinect support would be included in 11.5 during a Kinect+LightWave tech demo at NAB this past April. Still, plans can change and at $299 ($199 for the show price) it’s still cheaper than some other solutions that do the same thing and they don’t work inside LightWave. If you combine this with LW 11.6’s new CgFX shader support, you could do some pretty cool live digital puppetry right inside of LightWave.