New 3D Tools Make My Job Easier

At Dynamic Digital Advertising, it is important that we stay on top of the latest software that will help us achieve outstanding results in visual effects, video production, and 3d animation.

I was reading an interview today with Newtek’s Jay Roth about the upcoming Lightwave version 9.5. In it, he goes over some very interesting new features being implemented into Lightwave with this release.  Best of all? They’re free!

Firstly, they are adding a new animation system to Lightwave. Lightwave has always been known for its simple to use, but somewhat limited, animation and rigging tools. They work, but the user just doesn’t have the kind of control that can be found in programs like Maya or 3ds Max. However, to do it in Maya or Max one usually has to do a ton of extra scripting, and if you’re an animator like me and know next to nothing about software programming, this can be very difficult.

Lightwave 9.5 will have new tools for controlling parts of a rig that are usually very difficult to access. For instance, it has an up vector now, allowing better control of joints like knees and elbows. It also has a control for “Soft IK,” which slows down movement of a bone when it approaches its IK limits. This will help the animator eliminate bone pop, which is always a major source of frustration when working in character animation. Finally, a joint bone creation system will allow the creation of “stretchy bones,” helping animators make cartoony characters or strange alien life forms with extending limbs.

Stay tuned to my blog for more updates on features coming in Lightwave version 9.5. Next up – the new hair and fur plugin, Fiber FX!