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NewTek Launches LightWave 7.5

Free update available now for 7.0 users By Dave Nagel
NewTek today released the much-anticipated LightWave 7.5 update. The new version of the 3D suite, which will officially launch tonight in New York, is available right now as a free download for current users of LightWave 7.0.

Earlier this week, we provided you with a first-hand look at the latest release of LightWave, which is now available to the public for Macintosh OS 9 and OS X and Windows systems. The new version includes a "Duo Dongle," which operates on Macintosh and Windows, allowing users to install the software on both platforms. It also includes several major and minor feature updates and fixes. Here are some of the more significant changes:

  • Sliders, which allow users to control anything that LightWave can animate. Custom slider banks can be created by the user, and the slider banks can be customized for size, color and range.
  • Expression Builder, a collection of useful expressions, as well as an online technical reference for all of LightWave?s expression commands and a "wizard" for creating new expressions.
  • Dynamic Parenting and Simple Constraints.
  • Path Tool.
  • Enhanced OpenGL feedback, showing frame ticks on motion paths and joint limits on rotation handles. Previews of motion blur and depth of field effects are also included.
  • Motion Mixer 2.0, with an improved user interface and new motion weighting and blending features.
  • X-Ray mode for seeing bones while working with characters in a solid shaded Open GL mode.
  • Numerous performance boosts for greater responsiveness in IK, bone deformation, OpenGL display and subdivision surface animation.
  • Colored Shadows
  • Per-Light Object Exclusion options.
  • Luxigons, which attach lights to polygon normals in modeler.
  • Multiple Bounce Radiosity.
  • Matte Objects and alpha properties.
  • Virtual Darkroom 2.0, which adds grain and photographic light response to renders.
  • Multiple render buffers saved in layered PhotoShop (.psd) format, as well as the RPF format.

LightWave 7.5 is available now. A convenience upgrade that includes the CD and the new Duo Dongle is available for $95. The full version runs $1,595. For more information or to download the new version, visit http://www.lightwave3d.com/product/7.5/. Or you can download the Macintosh update directly from http://images.newtek.com/lightwave/downloads/LightWave_Mac/lw75/LightWave_7.5_Update-Mac.sit or ftp://ftp.newtek.com/pub/Patches/LightWave_Mac/lw75/LightWave_7.5_Update-Mac.sit.



Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at dnagel@digitalmedianet.com.

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