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NewTek LightWave 3D® is designed for the independent artist who desire control of their vision from start to finish. Affordable, complete, easy to learn and use, LightWave is well established as one of the leading 3D systems on the market. With the ability to model, animate and render stunningly realistic imagery and animation, LightWave allows you to create new worlds, build your brand and shatter expectations. LightWave 2020 refined and retooled.
Lightwave 3D Features
Two New Global Illumination Render Engines
LightWave, long known for the beauty of its render engine, gains new advancements in LightWave 2020 with the redesign of the Global Illumination rendering engine, bringing two versions for artists: Brute Force, an unbiased ra diosity engine, and Irradiance Cache, an interpolated radiosity engine. Using the new render engines independently or in concert will assure you get the real – world render results you seek, with higher quality and more control.
Two New Shaders in FiberFX
The new hair shaders in LightWave 2020 deliver more realistic hair leveraging the physical-based renderer. Principled Hair Material is based on the Principled BSDF settings. The five inputs: Color, Cutical Tilt, Roughness, Radial Roughness, and Index of Refraction provide a simple interface for spectacular results. With AFC Hair Shader (Artist Friendly Control — a simplified approach) the specular settings are divided into two sections: Primary, for reflection of the front side of the stroke and Secondary for the reflection bounced off the backside of the stroke. Now, you have the option to select a simple artist-friendly shading option or complete control for the look you desire.
OpenVDB Gets New Set of Production Tools
Leading the pack in the LightWave OpenVDB roster is support for Partio particle objects. What you gain is the power of Houdini particles with the simplicity of the LightWave interface. Also included in the new OpenVDB toolset is:
Advect Point Node – Advect particles by velocity grid
Combine Math Node – Combines grids using math operators
Level Set Morph – Morph between level set grids
Partio Node – Load Houdini.HClassic particle files
VectorGrid Split and Merge – Split and merge Vector grids for further experimentation
Visualize Node – Grid viewer with options
Redesigned Motion System
LightWave 2020 provides the ability to change the Rotation Order per item and is saved with the scene file. To clarify, this allows for an easier transition from other applications to LightWave. Additionally, you’ll avoid instances of Gimbal lock. In addition, allow items you are animating to follow a more natural rotation order.
Local Action Center
LightWave Modeler allows you to impact a group of items all at once in the Local Action Center. Select disparate edges or polygons in your model and act on them as one, locally. Indeed, the Local Action Center works on multiple layers at a time for fast and easy changes.
Gain greater control over the look of your render with the new Pixel Filter in LightWave 2020. Use tone mapping: a technique used in image processing and computer graphics to map one set of colors to another to approximate the appearance of high dynamic-range images in a medium that has a more limited dynamic range. Further, as a Pixel Filter, use it in VPR for quick results.
Shedding New Light
In LightWave 2020 the Environment Light has taken on new importance. Now, Environment Lights connect directly to the environment. To explain, this adds direct sampling of the backdrop. The updated Environment Light opens as part of the default scene in Layout, and the new light results in the streamlining of environmental systems.
Improved workflow in Scene Editor allows you to manage large, complex, and layered scenes with ease.
LightWave 2020 provides enhanced pipeline support, increasing access to motion capture for auto-rigging. The FBX format supports even more features. In other words, you get greater flexibility when working with other animation tools.
Improved processing time for third-party render engines is with the added ability to set Surface instances to static to stop evaluation at render time.
Updated shaders deliver visualization in the viewport that is closer than ever to the final render.
Better subsurface scattering algorithm delivers fast, better SSS for your renders.
LightWave 2020 allows you to monitor render progress on your mobile device with new applications for iOS and Android.
Minimum System Specifications
64-bit Intel® Core™ 2 or better or AMD64 with SSE4 instruction set (Bulldozer onwards)
System RAM: 4GB minimum
Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)
64-bit: Windows 7 64-bit through Windows 10 64-bit
64-bit Intel® Processor
System RAM: 4GB minimum
Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)
Sierra 10.12 or better
Minimum Graphics Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® 9 series or ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 series
Minimum Screen Resolution: 1280 x 1024 pixels
Recommended Graphics Card: GeForce® 10 series or newer at 1920 x 1080 or better
Storage: All systems require 750MB available hard drive space (excluding content).
LightWave 3D® 2020.0.2 Changes
Bumped product version to 2020.0.2.
Bumped the build number to 3226.
Return of the Ambient Light
Too many clones of certain light types crash Layout
Importing scene with FiberFX elements crashes Layout
OpenVDB not finding files stored outside of content folder.
Collapse Obj tool From Directory issue return
OpenVDB file-paths do not work outside content directory.
Environment Light doesn’t render properly over LWSN
… and so many more fixes and notes. I suggest checking out the change log.
What’s new in Lightwave 2020.0.1?
Bumped product version to 2020.0.1.
Bumped the build number to 3221.
Updated Unreal Bridge Binary for Unreal 4.24
Added support for Unreal Engine 4.25 to the Unreal Bridge
Updated Optix to 6.5.0.
Fixed OpenGL HDR issues.
Devised a new light MIS sampling method.
Fixed an exit memory leak.
… and so many more fixes and notes. I suggest checking out the change log.
This update introduces support for Unreal Engine 4.23. In addition, several issues in Unreal support have been addressed. The Windows installer is fixed to account for a change in Windows 10 on how the version is reported to queries – this caused a variety of issues including that runtime packages required were not being installed.
Added Unreal Bridge support for Unreal 4.23
Fixed UVs being flipped in Unreal Skeletal Meshes
LB-5705 – Unreal Materials not importing correctly
LB-5861 Python requires VS2012 runtime (problem with installer under new builds of Win 10)
LWB-5006 Previews not working consistently (NRC)
LWB-5515 – Unreal bridge: Skeletal meshes don’t get materials
LWB-5525 – Can’t send second animation to Unreal
What’s new in Lightwave 2019.1.3?
LightWave 3D® 2019.1.3 is available now in the Registration system as a free update for registered LightWave™ 2019 users. The fix that will affect the largest number of users is a change required for Layout/Modeler/Hub proper linking by OS changes introduced in recent Windows 10 updates that impacted the launch timing of the applications. Fixes in Layers Panel, Network Render Controller, Modeler LScript and for copying the License Key during Mac installs round out this maintenance release.
Crash in Layers Panel on quit fixed
LB-5817 Layers Panel – Crash when using the all to ‘F’ layer button
LB-5842 Lost Node is not removed from Scene queue
LWB-5381 Internal Modeler Error 2902 (LScript)
LWB-5394 Layout and Modeler not communicating
LWB-5412 Does not copy License key file on Mac version Installer
LWB-5426 Network Render Controller (Mac OS) doesn’t start next scene in queue
LWB-5474 Very slow Layers Panel
What’s new in Lightwave 2019.1.2?
Update: LightWave 3D® 2019.1.2 is available now in the Registration system. This update covers just two issues that affect a limited number of users:
The new automatic license mover would fail for users who have a space in their login username for their system
The LightWave Bridge to Unreal Engine folder for UE 4.22 was not being placed on Mac OS installs
The LightWave 2019.1.2 update is a free download for registered users of LightWave 2019.
What’s new in Lightwave 2019.1?
Workflow “Quality-of-Life” Enhancements:
Rename window is resizable
Right-click to freeze/unfreeze a layer as selected
Easy insert/exchange layers option in List mode
Clicking on the Eye icon on the Object row will select all Layout visible layers.
Vertex Maps Panel
Added Name Filter field at top of panel
New Right-Click function: Select By Map, for all points, edges or polygons in a map
Delete now allows deletion of multiple VMaps of the same type at a time
New Navigation Options in Layout and Modeler:
New game-style navigation mode combining hotkeys, mouse and scroll wheel to move within the viewport, adjust the view and move the scene playhead.
Alternate control subjects and styles can be engaged from the Navigation Panel:
Activate Twist on Space Explorer or horizontal mouse movement, etc., as jog/shuttle for timeline
Layout Panel List Pane Improvements:
A variety of new functions have been added to “tree-style” list panes in many panels to allow more customization of the view and easier drag and drop re-ordering and hierarchy adjustments (Scene Editors, Graph Editor, Configure Keys, etc.)
Enhanced Configuration Control:
Layout and Modeler both now have separate Key and Menu configuration files
When the app asks for configs to be cleared, only LW2019.1.cfg, LWM2019.1.cfg, Extension Cache-64, and LWHUB2019.1.cfg need to be deleted and rebuilt. Customized hot keys and menus can now be preserved
Reset Configs command plugin clears the files mentioned in the previous item, preserving customized hot keys and menus
An optional progress bar added on the bottom bar of the Layout window; if multiple viewports are set to VPR, the progress bar will split into multiple bars, to show a bar for each viewport set to VPR
New OpenGL Viewport Option:
Hide all non-renderable elements – grid, motion paths, camera, light, bone and null icons, etc.
LightWave Network Render Controller:
Scene files can now be dropped on the lower window in the NRC
Node Pick-up allows you to enter an IP address (v4 or v6) to access a machine anywhere on the Internet
LightWave™ Bridge to Unreal Engine:
Added support for the new Red, Green and Blue channels for the Unreal Bridge.
Improved performance for sending of meshes for scenes with many smaller objects
FBX Interchange Enhancements:
The Interchange panel now has two options for the Transfer Mode. You can either Append Assets or Replace Animation. Append Assets was the default functionality from before, but Replace Animation is new, and is used to transfer animation over items that are already animated.
You can now drag and drop complete scenes or individual elements from one side to the other.
You now have the option to import materials as Principled BSDF using the FBX Interchange.
Image and Image Sampler Nodes now offer Red/Green/Blue/Alpha/Luma as Scalar outputs
Mesh To Volume node can create a particle system from the vertices of the input mesh.
Solver and Gas Solver now accept velocity grids for dynamic collisions in addition to level set grids for static collisions.
Physical Sky Enhancements:
Physical Sky background shader now uses a softened horizon line
Physical Sky now includes a ground; the ground is an alpha channel that can be colored by any items placed above Physical Sky in the Environment list.
Cel Shader Enhancements:
The new Cel Integrator now supports light color, but differently from LightWave 2015. The gradient is evaluated separately for each light. This allows for per light buffers for cel shading.
LightWave’s installed Python is now v2.7.16
PCore Console has been upgraded to Mark II
Save and copy buttons no longer needed
Log output is now text; not multiple, separate list entries
The window is split in two, with log output and command input sections. The division between the two can be moved as needed and can be maximized in one direction or the other
The command input area is deigned to emulate the python CLI, including syntax highlighting, and command recall that is retained between sessions up to the maximum prompt recalls
Recall search using Shift-Space
Primary and secondary prompts, even Bash-style
The Prompt area has two modes:
Command Prompt: default, immediately evaluates each command when entered
Editor mode: enter as many commands as you wish; evaluates on return to Command mode
Custom key bindings can be set, retrieved and inline documentation is provided
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
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!