Tag Archives: LightWave 3D

LightWave 3D Group, 3rd Powers at SIGGRAPH with plug-in bundle

The LightWave 3D Group, a division of NewTek, and Japan-based software developer 3rd Powers have teamed up to offer a creative plug-in bundle featuring a new full license of LightWave 2015 and a complete suite of plug-ins for LightWave by 3rd Powers.

LightWave 3D software supports an end-to-end production pipeline in which to model, animate, capture, retarget, render and input/output to 3D, including 3D printing. It allows artists to control simulations with new bullet constraint types such as point-to-point, hinge, slider, cone twist, spring and six degrees of freedom (DOF).

Importance sampling offers users the ability to improve the quality of scenes lit by GI and HDR images or background lighting. Users can match plates and simply place or sync objects in photographs with the match perspective tool. The software’s Genoma 2 complete rigging development kit (RDK) enables rapid rigging of characters for animation without the need to set up complex rigs from scratch. It also supports the use of math expressions and scripts and includes new and improved human, feline and arthropod preset rigs.

LightWave 2015 includes edge rendering, patch border rendering, edge buffering, 64-bit QuickTime support and enhancements to the viewport preview renderer (VPR), as well as new features such as interactive dynamic parenting, textured falloffs in Modeler, fiber FX, a GoZ multi-tool and Unity 5 support. It also supports the latest interchange formats such as Alembic 1.5 and FBX 2015.

The LightWave/3rd Powers plug-in suite includes LW Brush, Cage Deformer, Lattice Deformer, Meta Mesh, Boolean Tool and Heat Shrink Plus.

More specs and a full-feature trial version of LightWave 2015 are available at www.lightwave3d.com/try_lightwave.

2D/3D crossgrade, upgrade pricing for LightWave 2015 until 7/31

The LightWave 3D Group is currently offering owners of other 2D and 3D software programs the opportunity to crossgrade to a full license of LightWave 2015 3D software for $695 (a $300 savings). Additionally, registered owners of LightWave 3D software can upgrade to LightWave 2015 for $395 (a $100 savings).

This crossgrade/upgrade offer ends July 31. Details of the offer are available here. Crossgrade pricing is available to all artists using other 2D and 3D software programs, such as Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max and Softimage, Houdini, Cinema 4D, Modo, Unity, Zbrush, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Flash. Crossgrade pricing varies in Japan.

LightWave 3D software offers tools for modeling, animating, capturing, retargeting, rendering and I/O to 3D, including 3D printing.

Genoma 2 Character Rigging

Some of the new features of LightWave 2015 include:
• Bullet Constraints: Allows users to control dynamic simulations with new constraint types such as Point-to-Point, Hinge, Slider, Cone Twist, Spring and 6 Degrees of freedom (DOF) constraint types.
• Importance Sampling: Improves the quality of scenes lit by GI and HDR images or background lighting.
• Match Perspective Tool: Allows fast sync of the LightWave camera to an original photo or plate.
• Genoma 2 Character Rigging System: Allows for fast rigging of characters for animation without the need to set up complex rigs from scratch. It supports the use of Math Expressions and Scripts and includes new human, feline and arthropod preset rigs.
• Edge Rendering: Intersection edges can now be drawn where geometry intersects on the same object and/or separate objects, allowing for more creative control over cel rendering. Patch Border Rendering makes subdivision patch borders visible in the renderer with the click of a button. Edge Buffer renders all edges into their own buffer, allowing for post-process manipulation in compositing software.
• 64-Bit QuickTime Support: Those using 64-bit versions of LightWave for Windows can now load and save QuickTime movies.

LightWave 2015 includes new enhancements to the Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR) and introduces other new features, such as Interactive Dynamic Parenting, Textured Falloffs in Modeler, Fiber FX and GoZ Multi tool and Unity 5 support. It also supports the latest interchange formats, such as Alembic 1.5 and FBX 2015.

A full-featured 30-day trial of LightWave 2015 is available for download at www.lightwave3d.com/try_lightwave.

Work boots get CG reboot thanks to Sullivan Branding

By Claudia Kienzle

With its Rocky Elements work boots about to hit the market, Ohio-based Rocky Outdoor Gear wanted a very visually dynamic product video to demonstrate the many intricacies and features of their new boot collection.

The key distinction is that the Rocky Elements product line is comprised of four trade-specific work boots designed for the unique rigors of working with wood, block, steel or dirt.

Rocky’s goal was to produce a cost-effective cinematic sales video that would dramatically convey how the design and craftsmanship of the four different boot styles benefit workers in those occupational environments.

Looking for ideas, they approached Sullivan Branding — a full-service advertising, marketing Continue reading

Bringing killer sharks to the Big Apple in ‘Sharknado 2’

Sharknado has become a phenomenon all to itself. After the first made-for-TV movie became a cult classic, it was only a matter of time until we saw those storm-raveling sharks on screen once more. This week Sharknado 2: The Second One premiered on SyFy and it quickly started trending on Twitter.

Artists at Burbanks’s The Asylum, producers of the Sharknado films, brought the chaos to the streets of New York City, and Citi Field in Queens. “From the outset, the entire Sharknado 2 project was challenging, but perhaps a little easier than ‘the first one,’” says Emile Smith, VFX supervisor on Sharknado 2.

Smith and team called on LightWave 3D to deliver final renders in a very short time. “We use LightWave for 99% of everything. We used a lot of the new Dynamics tools as well as the TurbulenceFD plugin [from Jawset] to generate the actual Sharknado, which is exactly what you might think it is—a monster tornado, filled with amongst other things, hungry angry sharks.”

today before today_2after

The opening teaser of Sharknado 2 takes place on an airplane in the middle of a storm. This presented the challenge of generating art-directable volumetric clouds that allowed the plane to fly through a ‘Sharknado’ before landing in New York. “This sequence brought in every effect we would use in the film, except for a water surface,” explains Smith. “There was a lot of digital double work for the latter part of the film and the volumetrics of the final Sharknado sequence will entertain for sure. Perhaps some people will even be impressed by how real the VFX looks. Of course, if it didn’t look real, it wouldn’t be funny.”

Placing debris (and the sharks) inside the cloud formation was where the crew started to have a lot of fun in LightWave. The creative brief called for the creation of an animatable 3D tornado; LightWave allowed the animators to animate the tornado before handing it over for simulation and rendering.

There’s a particular scene in the film where a single taxi completely surrounded by man-eating sharks is stuck on a flooded New York City street. Parts of the scene were shot on location, while other elements and environments were completely greenscreened. “The visuals tell the story of the two occupants climbing onto the roof of the cab while several sharks are swimming around and sizing them up,” says Smith. “With LightWave, the multiple elements in the passes and layers for this sequence came together quickly.”

“This project was on a very tight timeline. LightWave’s ease of use and really straightforward nature helped The Asylum crew hit the deadline we were presented with,” says Mark Hennessy-Barrett, VFX artist on Sharknado 2. “Because LightWave is a really forgiving piece of software to use, we were able to break the rules and take immense liberties in the rendering engine to get the job done and out the door.”

To read about how the film was edited, see our interview with Vashi Nedomanksi about his work on the project.

LightWave’s offers free 30-day ChronoSculpt trial

Burbank — The LightWave 3D Group is offering free 30-day full feature trial version of ChronoSculpt software. It’s now available for download.  Chronosculpt offers an intuitive way for artists using any pro 3D modeling and animation software on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems to create content with custom morph targets or fluidly sculpt animation performances over time.

ChronoSculpt can also be used to review and correct cache animation and dynamic simulation errors using timeline-based sculpting tools. The software’s flexible interface supports leading file formats for all professional 3D software programs, including LightWave 3D, Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya and Softimage, The Foundry’s Modo, Maxon Cinema 4D, and more.


The software supports soft- and rigid-body dynamics and has the ability to correct and remove errors in real time by sculpting and deforming massive polygonal models on the ChronoSculpt timeline without having to return to the original software.
Some of the features in ChronoSculpt include the ability to:

• Save any frame from the ChronoSculpt timeline as an OBJ file for Maya Blend Shapes or as an Endomorph for LightWave to create facial morph targets and deformation effects
• Deform and manipulate geometry over time with Sculpt, Drag, Pinch, and Erase tools
• Move, scale and rotate geometry over time in dynamic simulation cache with tools such as Transform, Pin, and Bulge
• Manipulate massive geometry files and easily edit objects as large as 10 million polygons
• Quickly remove dynamic simulation errors and jitters and sculpt deformations on cache files from 3D software programs
• Use the ChronoSculpt Clip Timeline to quickly adjust and reposition the length of a cache animation sculpt anywhere on the timeline or make global changes to the entire animation
• Use universal file formats, including Alembic, LWO, OBJ, LightWave MDD, and Autodesk Geometry Cache for easy integration into all software pipelines

ChronoSculpt is currently available for Windows, Macintosh and Linux and is priced at $399 (USD). Educational pricing is $149. The trail can be downloaded here: https://www.lightwave3d.com/try_chronosculpt.

New educational pricing for NevronMotion plug-in for LightWave 11.6

Burbank — The LightWave 3D Group is offering new educational pricing for NevronMotion, motion capture and retargeting software for LightWave 11.6 on Windows. Qualifying students and educators can get the full-feature version of NevronMotion for the price of $99, and it’s available now. The plug-in is regularly priced at $299.

“Students are the CG magicians, visionaries, and storytellers of the future,” says Rob Powers, president, LightWave 3D Group.  “Our goal is to support their creativity and fresh ideas with groundbreaking technology like NevronMotion for LightWave 11.6. It has a powerful but simple workflow for motion capture, retargeting, and realtime character performance using an off-the-shelf Microsoft Kinect camera.  And, with no limitations to the software, students have full access to all the features of LightWave and NevronMotion. It’s an exciting time for students working in 3D and we look forward to seeing how far they push their creativity using our technology.”

NevronMotion allows artists and animators to quickly and easily extend the Virtual Studio Tools in LightWave to capture, adjust, and retarget motion data to 3D models in LightWave 11.6. NevronMotion features the ability to:

• Capture live rig motion with the Microsoft Kinect camera
• Retarget motion capture directly in LightWave Layout
• Save and adjust captured motion data from the Kinect camera
• Easily adjust arm and leg mocap positions and layer hand-keyed animation on top of motion capture files
• Save and load retargeting presets for FBX, BVH, or custom set ups
• Preset rigs for Kinect and other motion capture formats
• Quickly bake out motion to character rigs


Kinect Capture

LightWave 3D offers an end-to-end production pipeline for artists and designers to model, animate, capture, retarget, render, and input and output to 3D. A full feature license of LightWave 11.6 is available to qualified students and educators for $149 (USD); regularly priced at $1495 (USD).
Some of the many features of LightWave 3D include:
• Modeling – Robust polygonal sub-d modeler with real world units
• Surfacing – Stunning photoreal layer-based and nodal surfacing tools
• Rigging – Instant rigging presets with or without weight maps\
• Object Referencing – Flexible object referencing architecture or ASCII scenes
• Animation – Procedural, nodal, flocking and keyframe animation tools
• Rendering – Integrated state-of-the-art renderer with unlimited nodes
• Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR) – Interactive shading, raytracing, DOF, motion blur, lighting and GI
• Bullet Dynamics – Fast and simple rigid and soft body Dynamics Engine
• Industry Standards – Supports Alembic, FBX, Autodesk Geo Cache, Python, DPX, ZBrush Goz, After Effects, MDD, and OBJ.