|For many years, LightWave 3DR from NewTek, Inc. has been the favorite of professional and amateur 3D artists working in many fields including games, film, animation and print production. One reason for this is because LightWave is an all-in-one software package for modeling, animation and dynamics, particle effects and high quality rendering. Some 3D software specialize in only one aspect such as modeling, layout or rendering. LightWave does it all. |
With all that power, the efficiency of the user interface plays a significant part in the artist's productivity. So, how did the NewTek people design the most efficient workspace? When I took an architecture course in college, I designed a floor plan for a kitchen. When deciding where to put the appliances, cupboards, etc, I used a simple, common sense rule that states put things where you will use them the most. The makers of LightWave used this same task-related approach when designing the workspace. Their first decision was to divide the program into two smaller task-related applications - modeling and layout/rendering. This was a great way to maximize the speed, simplify the workspace and lower the learning curve for both applications. You can open either the Modeler or Layout programs independently or easily move between them when both are open. As you would expect with a high-end software, each program's workspace is totally customizable. In fact, for this latest release, these is an addition to the Configure Menus presets called Studio Production Style.
Import, Export and Saving FilesIf you have objects that you have created in another software that you want to include in your scene, LightWave is set up to import many file types including OBJ (LightWave and WavefrontTM), 3DS (AutodeskR 3ds MaxR or 3D Studio) and DXF (Autodesk AutoCADR and more). Of course, you can also export objects created in LightWave in these same formats. Also, support for ZBrush displacements has been added. When you are working on very elaborate models, it is a good practice to save your work at several stages during the process. LightWave has a great feature, called Save Incremental, which automatically adds incremental numbers to the saved files. This feature saves much time wasted browsing through files to find a previous version of your project.
Screen shots used by permission of NewTek, Inc. LightWave 3DR is a registered trademark of NewTek, Inc.