LightWave 11.5 is out now: We take a first look...

Find out what our first impressions are of the new features and functionality in the newly released LightWave 11.5.

The newest version of the award-winning 3D modelling, animation and rendering software for artists and designers, is now available for purchase at www.lightwave3d.com. (LightWave 11.5 is available for free to all registered LightWave 11 customers.)

Some of the many new features in LightWave 11.5 include the Genoma character rigging system with modular presets, predator and prey Flocking capabilities, per-object Instancing control, and soft-body Bullet Dynamics with support for FiberFX.

Also included are Interchange Tools supporting After Effects cameras and ZBrush, stereoscopic and depth-of-field motion blur in the Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR), major workflow enhancements, and more. (For a full list of new features and improved functionality, please visit www.lightwave3d.com

First look at LightWave 11.5

3D World's technical editor Rob Redman has been having a little play and these are his first impressions:

Lightwave 11.5 builds on an already solid selection of tools and features. The headlines will surely go to the wow factor items, such as FibreFX reacting realistically to rigged soft body meshes, or some of the new dynamics tools, like predator and prey, which lets you set up a flock of objects that will move with natural chaos to follow their prey - you just animate they prey.

However after spending some time with 11.5 I think the long term benefits are more likely to be in two areas.

After Effects exchange will be a surefire hit, letting you add motion tracked cameras directly to your 3D scene, for intuitive compositing and ease of getting render passes where they need to be.

Secondly the new modelling tools should be top of the feature list. Tweak mode is so simple yet enables easy and fluid modelling without the need to jump around menus or remember hotkeys. The modelling goodness doesn't end there either. The transform tool gives easy access to quickly move/scale/rotate parts of a mesh and Heat Shrink and Place Mesh both make it easy adding one mesh to another, using familiar methods all Lightwave users will be comfortable with.

Some of these features have been a while in the making and could possibly be seen as late to the party, however this update brings Lightwave back up to date and in some areas (such as modelling) pushes it ahead.

Watch the LightWave 11.5 Feature Release video

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