Industry-leading video and 3D animation tools producer NewTek, Inc. has announced LightWave v9.5, a major update to its award-winning 3D application LightWave 3D. New capabilities include a complete hair and fur solution, new lighting system and many improvements to animation, global illumination, rendering and workflow.
The update will be available to registered owners of the LightWave v9 series at no charge. The LightWave v9.5 Open Beta program is scheduled to begin in early March; LightWave v9 owners who wish to participate may register now by visiting http://register.newtek.com.
LightWave v9.5 Update includes:
Character Animation EnhancementsNew Hair and Fur SystemEnhanced IK and Animation SystemsNew Collada, FBX and OBJ I/ONew IK Calculation Options for Faster PerformanceNew Bone Type - JointsNew Objective Options for IKIK/FK blendingMulti-threaded Mesh Deformation EvaluationModeler
UV Unwrap/UV RelaxSymmetry ToleranceLighting, Rendering and Surfacing EnhancementsAll New Lighting System
New Light APIIES LightsNew Spherical LightArea and Linear Lights EnhancedRenderer
Faster Sampling System for GIImproved GI Quality New GI Controls to Customize the RenderDisk-Based GI CacheNode Editor Enhancements
Interpolated Soft Reflections/RefractionsSupport for New Light API FunctionsOren-Nayar Shading Option for Many MaterialsOptimizations for Materials and ShadersSDK and LScript Improvements
New Light Plug-in Class for third Party Lights and Light Plug-insSDK Support for New GI Functions and Disk CacheSDK Support for New IK and Animation CapabilitiesSet Surface Properties Through the Surface GlobalUI and Workflow Enhancements
Enhanced Scene LimitsUpdated Scene File FormatEXIF Metadata SupportOpenGL GLSL Enhanced for New Lighting SystemImage Viewer Consolidation
In addition to the new capabilities in LightWave v9.5, the LightWave v9 series has delivered enhanced performance in a number of areas including improved global illumination with higher quality and faster rendering, expanded OpenGL capabilities with new depth of field preview, advancements in the new camera tools and the node and materials editing system. Further, there are now over 24 hours of free LightWave training available online at www.lightwave3d.com.
LightWave v9 is available now at $US895 (MSRP). Registered owners of LightWave 3D  or earlier are eligible to purchase an upgrade to LightWave v9 for US$395. For more information or to purchase, visit www.lightwave3d.com or call 800-368-5441. For international inquiries, call +1-210-370-8000.