NewTek is rolling out the newest version of its 3D animation application, Lightwave 6.5. Newtek says that although it was originally slated to be called 6.1, the version was changed to 6.5 because of the large amount of features and functionality added to the product.
Lightwave 6.5 adds over 500 new features and additions. The primary improvements include increases in stability and speed in all aspects of the application, a UV texture atlas for automated complex UV map creation and light and texture baking capabilities. Speed increases in bone deformations are significantly optimized and are now up to 40 times faster.
The Motion Designer soft-body dynamics engine now integrates seamlessly into the interface, which enables simulations to be done interactively with other scene elements, including the particle system. The new integrated particle system includes emitters, custom nozzles, winds, particle properties, launch behaviors, and collision options.
Other improvements include smarter keyframe requestors for fast editing of multiple channels, improved Bezier handling and general speed optimizations in Graph Editor, a new integrated expressions system including an Expressions tree view in the Graph Editor, and improvements to the existing Hypervoxels capabilities.
This upgrade is free to registered Lightwave 6.0 users, and will be distributed initially through download, and later available on CD-ROM.