NewTek LightWave 3D 2019 v2019.0.3


NewTek LightWave 3D 2019


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Fresh. Fast. Easy. Proven.

NewTek LightWave 3D® makes it possible for anyone to become a 3D artist and animator. The software is affordable, complete, easy to learn and use and well established as one of the leading 3D systems on the market for producing beautiful photo-real renders as well as incredible anime. This complete out-of-the-box 3D animation solution now offers real-time collaborative 3D interactivity through a bridge to Unreal Engine.


Lightwave 3D Features

lightwave bridgeLightWave 3D® Bridge to Unreal Engine

Real-time Collaborative LightWave™ to Unreal Engine

LightWave 3D® enters the Real-Time Age for interchange with this workflow link between the Unreal Engine and LightWave 3D®, focusing on LightWave driving Unreal changes iteratively. Multiple LightWave seats are able to connect to the same Unreal Editor simultaneously to enable real-time collaboration between artists. The bridge uses NewTek's proven NDI® network discovery mechanism for easy automatic configuration, and can be limited to single project use in Unreal, or installed as a general plugin for use in all Unreal projects.



lightwave interchange bridgeImproved FBX Interchange

FBX and New Interchange Bridge

Work with industry standard FBX data on a whole new level via the new Interchange Bridge.

  • Interactively choose what to import / export and how.
  • Add to existing FBX files from Layout and Modeler.
  • Build LightWave 3D® assets from many FBX files.
  • Easily revisit FBX files via workspaces.
  • Support for:
    • Vertex Caches
    • Morph Mixer
    • Vertex Maps
    • Smoothing Groups
    • Animation Layers
    • Animation Baking
    • Bones
    • Hierarchies
    • Meshes
    • Pivots
    • Mesh Freezing



lightwave shadingShading Model Customization Tools

The ability to pull materials apart and build them to your tastes is new to LightWave 3D® 2019. There is access to Fresnel Functions, Material Components and Material Integrators. The Material Tools Group has been updated with new nodes to support this capability.



lightwave open vdbOpenVDB Creation

OpenVDB Content Creation

LightWave 3D® 2018 introduced the ability to import and render an OpenVDB fog volume. New for LightWave 3D® 2019 is a set of node tools that allow OpenVDB content creation. You can now create OpenVDB grids from meshes, particles, and even the shape primitive distance estimator. The tool kit allows for live Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) operations, grid filtering including level set tracking, smoothing, dilation and erosion. Solvers are included that allow for fluid simulation and smoke and fire effects.



lightwave metamorphicMetamorphic Animated Sculpting/Painting


Metamorphic is a multipurpose animatable mesh sculpting and vertex map manipulation plug-in for LightWave 3D® 2019 that works in Layout, and takes full advantage of the new capabilities of the modifier stack.

  • Freeform animated sculpting
  • Built-in undo/redo system
  • Fully-multithreaded sculpting using all available CPU cores
  • Pen pressure support for brush size, strength and hardness (Windows only)
  • Nodal brush texture support
  • Three modes of animation
  • Non-linear interpolation of sculpt animation keyframes
  • Supports converting sculpt animation keyframes to Endomorphs
  • Predictive corrective morph sculpting that works after deformers with built-in driver/driven controller
  • Full Motion Blur support



lightwave display scalingDisplay Scaling

  • Support for scaling many UI elements for HiDPI and large-screen displays
  • Independent scaling options for multi-monitor setups



lightwave bone system Bone Enhancements for Game Development

Bone System Improved for Game Development

The new Bone Type option, Limited Bones, allows the animator to set a limit in Layout on the number of bones that affect a given point to match the limit in the target game engine, and engages real-time optimizations to more closely match the performance game engines expect from a rig.



lightwave edge shader nodeShading and Rendering Enhancements

Edge Shader Node

A node for simulating beveled or rounded edges at render time, to give more realistic results without increasing geometry.


lightwave patina nodePatina Node

This node can add Wear (a convex shader) to a surface, or Dirt (concave) based on a radius and offset.



lightwave procedural shader nodeProcedural Shader Node

This node encapsulates a chosen legacy system LightWave 3D® or third party procedural texture and exposes it with the typical nodal inputs and outputs. Previously, such procedurals were only available inside a Procedural texture layer of a texture stack.



lightwave image cachingImage Caching

LightWave now uses smart caching with very high-resolution images, allowing artists to use them for textures and other uses, regardless of the memory in the computer system.



lightwave compositing buffersNew Compositing Buffers

The new Rho buffer is for extracting lighting and shading information from the direct and indirect buffers. A new Weight buffer contains the value of the surface shader settings for both direct and indirect buffers. These are useful for heavy compositing work.



lightwave nvidia optix denoiseNVIDIA OptiX™ Denoising

A new Noise Filter option uses the NVIDIA OptiX™ library for AI-accelerated noise reduction when rendering still images. Requires NVIDIA card.



lightwave despikeDespike

This new Renderer option is a tool for reducing or removing “fireflies” in renders.



lightwave physical skyPhysical Sky and SunLight

Physical Sky

An Environment plugin to replicate physically accurate skies and create otherworldly skies, with equal ease.



lightwave physical sunlightPhysical Sunlight

A new Light Type that simulates a sun using state-of-the-art scientific methods.



Game Development Enhancements in Modeler

lightwave uv and udim mappingEnhanced UV and UDIM Mapping Workflow

Modeler has added a suite of new tools for working with UV maps as well as UDIM tiled mapping:

  • FlipUV-U
  • FlipUV-V
  • MoveUDIM
  • Turn Poly UV
  • SelectUV Island
  • SelectUV overlap
  • SpreadUV
  • Rectangular UV Grid
  • New view modes for working with UVs:
    • Sketch
    • Scale
    • Angle
    • Overlap


lightwave smoothing groupsSmoothing Groups

Modeler now supports the creation of smoothing groups within a mesh. Smoothing groups provide a way to create creases and hard edges, and more precisely control regional contours on your model. You are no longer limited to a single smoothing angle, adding extra control geometry, or breaking your model into parts to achieve the look you desire. Smoothing groups can be created automatically using a vertex normal map, imported with OBJ files, by using a smoothing angle threshold or manually. Smoothing groups can be exchanged with other software that supports the format.



New Primitive and Tools

lightwave volume shape primitiveEmpty Volume Shape Primitive

LightWave 3D® 2019 adds the new Shape Primitive, Empty Volume, which can be used for creating procedural surface shapes. In addition to being directly useful in scenes, the Empty Volume primitive is helpful in workflows that need to convert meshes to volumes or vice versa. Empty Volume can also provide for real-time Boolean operations in Layout.



lightwave tools for shape primativesNew Tools for Shape Primitives

The Empty Volume shape primitive allows advanced users to write their own distance estimators for rendered SDF shapes and volumetrics.

Other new nodal distance tools include:

  • Mobius
  • Capsule
  • Shape CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry)
  • SmoothMin, a soft blending node.

Workflow and UI

lightwave expanded layout undoExpanded Layout Undo System

The Layout Undo System has been expanded to many of the systems involving Transforms & Keys. Unlimited Undo is now available in:

  • Graph Editor
  • Scene Editors, both new and classic
  • Dope Sheet
  • Many Layout navigation tools



lightwave popup menusPopup Menus

  • Menus can now be navigated via keys (arrow, mouse wheel, home, end, etc.)
  • Large popup menus can be navigated with filtering and searches
  • Regular expressions can be used in filters
  • FLAT MENU: You can now call up a flattened version of every entry that exists in the main menu with the keyboard shortcut CTRL Space. Doing so presents a list of all available commands in Layout or Modeler (with their associated keyboard shortcuts). As with other LightWave menus, you can type to narrow down your selection and the cursor keys and Enter can be used to choose the command you require.



lightwave node graph uiNode Graph UI Options

  • Tidy Nodes Command: A tool to make 'cluttered' node trees 'straight' and easier to read from left to right automatically.
  • Background Grid: You can adjust the brightness and color of the grid in the Node Editor
  • Snap to Grid: you can turn on this tool to make the nodes 'snap' to a user settable grid size.



lightwave online documentationOnline Documentation

Responsive layout – the LightWave 3D® documentation now fits on any device you care to use it on.



lightwave license server optionLicense Server 2019 Option

A new licensing management option for large facilities, this is a specialized build of the LightWave 3D® applications wherein licensing of LightWave 3D® is controlled through a managed portal. Purchase is by special arrangement.






  • Intel® Core™ 2 or AMD Athlon™ II Processor (or better)
  • 64-bit System RAM: 4GB minimum
  • Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)

Operating System

  • 64-bit: Windows 7 through Windows 10 64-bit Edition



  • Intel® Processor
  • 64-bit System RAM: 4GB minimum
  • Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)

Operating System

  • El Capitan 10.11 or better


Minimum Graphics Card

  • NVIDIA™ GeForce® 8400 series or ATI® X1600

Minimum Screen Resolution

  • 1280 x 800 pixels

Installation Requirements


  • All systems require 750MB available hard drive space (excluding content); complete Content library is approximately 3GB.

What's new in LightWave™ 2019.0.3 (Build 3117)

LightWave Bridge to Unreal Engine: Batching sending of meshes for potentially higher performance in scenes with many smaller objects

  • LB-4747 How to confuse the Hub/Layout
  • LB-5478 cloned image gets lost on reload
  • LB-5650 geometry is hidden behind the grid or the origin
  • LWB-4481 Selecting objects in Layout doesn’t always work
  • LWB-4597 Frame Slider on Timeline is frozen when a viewport has been added
  • LWB-4641 OpenVDB saver not working with one input only (save frame).
  • LWB-4711 Relativity Rotation in Degrees button partially functional
  • LWB-4750 Preview messing up with ui_screen_scale_factors of non whole numbers
  • LWB-4820 Bones in LW2018 scenes and earlier with Use Morphed Positions enabled loaded into LW2019 as “Faster Bones” instead of “Full Bones (Morphed Positions)”.
  • LWB-4894 This OpenVDB scene works well in 2019.0.1 but not in 0.2. Clamp particles radius to > 0.
  • LWB-4899 Instant crash in layout – OpenVDB causing instability. make meshes not available in primitivetovdb node.
  • LWB-4903 Connecting nodes in OpenVDB causes hard crash. Fix velocity return.
  • LWB-4905 Creating preview skips through frames without resolving
  • LWB-4909 Activate Legacy HV crash
  • LWB-4911 Motion blur and OpenVDB freakout. Fix MB refresh when the source mesh is animated.
  • LWB-4913 Spin Edge Crash
  • LWB-4914 LightWave Bridge to Unreal Engine flips the green channel
  • LWB-4916 ReplaceObjectLayer command not updating OpenGL with single layers
  • LWB-4919 Physical Sky in the popup appears as SunSky in the applied plugin list
  • LWB-4920 BandGlue error
  • LWB-4921 Background image not rendering in proper color space…
  • LWB-4924 Crashing when selecting items in Layout

What's new in LightWave 3D® 2018.0.6 (Build 3069)

  • Bumped product version to 2018.0.6.
  • Set the build number to 3069
  • LB-4740 Loading From Preset Shelf to Many Surfaces Is Very Slow
  • LB-4744 Command Port only functions when the mouse moves (investigated other main loop delays)
  • LWB-4122 Keyboard entry to any numeric field = Crash, consistent
  • LWB-4131 Crash ModelerTools option mini-slider.
  • LWB-4189 NevronMotion 1.0 Kinect rig fails to work in LW2018.0.x
  • LWB-4206 Save All Buffers In Image Viewer Not Being Saved

What's new in Lightwave 2018.0.5?

Mac users: Please download again if you got the update prior to 4:30 PM USCT 3-July-2018. A crash when using numeric entries has been fixed.

LightWave 2018.0.5 will install into its own directory. 2018.0.5 uses the same license as your 2018.0, 2018.0.1, 2018.0.2, 2018.0.3, and 2018.0.4 license – just drag-and-drop the license into the interface of 2018.0.5 when first launching 2018.0.5.

  • Bumped product version to 2018.0.5.
  • Set the build number to 3068
  • Fixed the picking issues in Modeler not working at all with grid scales larger than 5km or so.
  • LB-4697 Crash using scene editor plug-in to toggle camera stereo Anaglyph filter on.
  • LWB-3641 SyncMesh gizmo picking was weird because picking and drawing were using different scales.
  • LWB-3657 morphing (morph target) has weird behavior
  • LWB-3715 ClothFX crash
  • LWB-3796 LW2018.0.3 crashes on my Mac 10.13.4 when performing certain tasks
  • LWB-3883 IKBooster menu no draw on Dope track.
  • LWB-3907 OpenGL Update RefreshNow/RedrawNow not working with instances
  • LWB-3914 Tree control move func not working (crash)
  • LWB-3974 Rendering results in “out of application memory”
  • LWB-3987 layout crashes when an instancer is deleted
  • LWB-3998 “Not enough memory” error cutting mesh with two-point polygons
  • LWB-4007 Memory leak in animation render
  • LWB-4033 Shadow Buffer shows errors with Limited region On and the bucket size
  • LWB-4065 Object crashes Layout when sending to Modeler
  • LWB-4081 Crash when tweaking light samples on Scene editor
  • LWB-4083 Deleting a camera could cause a crash because camera evaluators of other cameras in the scene became confused about which cameras they belonged to.
  • LWB-4095 The MULTILIST controls require a different kind of value lists than other trees. Added the set_addr_int() function to address this.
  • LWB-4101 Layout crashes when you try to access a surface’s node editor
  • LWB-4102 Opening the graph editor for an Advanced Camera could crash if no prior evaluation of the camera was done.
  • LWB-4103 Modeler crashes when loading object with metalink node

Lightwave 2018.0.1 Changelog

Burning Question: Greeble... What is it and how to make your own.

A greeble is really all about faking out your audience! It's the small details that make something appear to be more complex than it actually is.


NewTek Lightwave 3D: Quick Start Video: Move, Rotate, Scale Objects in LightWave 3D Modeler

Deuce Bennett gets you up and running on how to move, rotate, and scale objects in LightWave 3D Modeler


Looping Waves with LightWave 3D

If you’re like me, dreaming of warm weather and beaches, this tutorial is tempting! Simon Smalley created this lovely animated scene in LightWave 3D, and rendered in Octane, and he explains how he did it!