LightWave Brings Virtual Production Tools to Everyone
Groundbreaking performance capture with Playstation Move in LightWave 11.5
Posted: Tue 14 Aug 2012
The LightWave® 3D Group, a division of NewTek, Inc., announced today it is making virtual production available to everyone with LightWave® 11.5’s Virtual Studio Tools, which offer real-time performance capture for virtual cameras, character puppeteering, and virtual lighting tools. Demonstrated publicly for the first time at SIGGRAPH 2012, actors used five individual Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) Move controllers concurrently to capture and play back live performance in real-time using LightWave 11.5 Virtual Studio Tools.
Watch the SIGGRAPH 2012 Virtual Studio Tools video here.
Extending the development of its cutting-edge virtual production toolset, the LightWave 3D Group also announced today the development of next-generation virtual production tools and technology for virtual location scouting, virtual art department, virtual cinematography, virtual lighting, and virtual puppeteering for the live production, film, television, visualization, architecture, and gaming markets.
Virtual Studio Tools in LightWave 11.5 allow artists to easily manage and control animated objects and characters while recording the performance motion from simultaneous devices into animation takes for playback and viewing. The new Control Booth and Device Managers in Virtual Studio Tools can be used to manage every aspect of how a controller is configured and used in LightWave, allowing anything that can be animated in LightWave to be controlled with numerous devices.
“The ability to put innovative hardware and software solutions for virtual visualization and virtual art department technologies into the hands of artists is a very exciting opportunity,” said Rob Powers, president, LightWave 3D Group. “Virtual production technology creates a shift for artists by allowing them to control every aspect of the performance themselves—they’re in the driver’s seat and our Virtual Studio tools support their efforts. The work is done by their own hand.”
LightWave was the first software to offer virtual production tools in its list of features with support for the InterSense VCam™ Tracking System and 3DConnexion 3D controllers. Now support for the Playstation Move opens the door for studios of all sizes to use virtual production tools in their production pipelines.
One of the first five individuals hired directly by James Cameron to work on “Avatar,” Rob Powers created the industry’s first Virtual Art Department (VAD) for the film; Powers was also recently nominated for an Art Director’s Guild award for his work as VAD supervisor on the Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg film “The Adventures of Tintin.”
“This type of virtual technology is changing the way projects are produced,” said Powers. “It far exceeds pre-visualization by shifting the production process back to a real-time collaborative discovery process and closely aligning the digital visual effects and animation process with live-action production. Now creative teams can collaborate in the moment instead of months later after a lengthy postproduction process.”
New to the LightWave 3D Group is Dominick Spina who is utilizing his previous experience as NVIDIA senior technology product manager responsible for GPU accelerated projects at studios, product manager at Digital Domain, and development lead for D2 Software’s Academy Award® winning NUKE compositing software to aid in the creation of LightWave’s next-generation virtual production tools. “The LightWave 3D Group is uniquely positioned to bring virtual production and visualization to everyone—from individual artists to large studios with complex pipelines,” said Dominick Spina, VP worldwide sales and marketing, LightWave 3D Group. “NewTek’s longstanding expertise in hardware product manufacturing and its development of leading 3D software technologies will continue to inspire new developments in next-generation virtual production tools for LightWave and related products.”
LightWave 3D combines a state-of-the-art renderer with powerful and intuitive modeling and animation tools. LightWave includes 999 cross-platform render nodes, support for Windows and Mac UB 64- and 32-bit operating systems, free technical support and more. LightWave is enjoyed worldwide as a complete 3D production solution for feature film and television visual effects, broadcast design, print graphics, architectural visualization, game development, and more. LightWave is responsible for more artists winning Emmy® Awards than any other 3D application.
Pricing and Availability
Purchase or upgrade to LightWave 11 and automatically receive LightWave 11.5 at no extra cost when the software is publicly available. LightWave 11 is priced at $1495; upgrade pricing from earlier versions of LightWave is $695. LightWave 11.5 is expected to ship Q4 2012 at a suggested retail price of US$1495. Educational pricing is also available. Visit www.lightwave3d.com to purchase or locate an authorized LightWave reseller.
Benefiting producers and artists with cost-effective and groundbreaking technologies, NewTek is a worldwide leader in portable live production, video editing, 3D animation and special effects tools, including the TriCaster™ product line, 3Play™ and LightWave 3D®. NewTek has won numerous industry accolades, including two Emmy® Awards.
Clients include: “The X Factor,” ESPN X Games, New York Giants, NBA Development League, Fox News, BBC, NHL, Nickelodeon, CBS Radio, ESPN Radio, Fox Sports, MTV, TWiT.TV, USA TODAY, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NewTek products have been used in feature films and television shows, including “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “The Hunger Games,” “Avatar,” “The Adventures of Tintin,” “The Walking Dead,” “Fringe,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and more.