NewTek Announces Latest Release of LightWave 3D® 2018

Posted: Tue 12 Dec 2017

––LightWave 2018 boasts a streamlined workflow with an extensive list of artist friendly capabilities including, all new physically based rendering architecture, and wide range of additional improvements––

San Antonio, TX – December 12, 2017 – NewTek, Inc., announced availability of LightWave 2018, the new iteration of their comprehensive 3D animation system. The software for Windows® and Mac® operating systems will be available on January 1, 2018 at 12:01am GMT. LightWave 2018 introduces new features that are ideal for physically based rendering, VR rendering, and more. It also extends the functionality of popular features like the buffer system, FiberFX, cel-shading, object deformations, and others.

“We’re proud that LightWave has a long history of being the ‘go to’ 3D application for artists who need to deliver the finest, most realistic art and animation on time and on budget,” said Dr. Andrew Cross, president and CTO for NewTek. “LightWave 2018 furthers that tradition with finely tuned tools that improve every aspect of the user experience from rendering to lighting to surfacing, cameras and more.”


LightWave 2018 highlights include:

Physically Based Rendering System: Completely rewritten rendering, shading and lighting architecture for greater realism, accuracy and ease-of-use

Render and Light Buffers: Expanded workflow for render and light buffers that simplifies compositing and offers more flexibility, including real-time preview of new buffers in any viewport using VPR, as well as custom buffers using the node editor

Volumetric Engine and Open VDB Support: Using the new volumetric render primitives, artists can specify physically based properties, Scattering, Absorption and Emission parameters, along with powerful node networks

Light Capabilities: New lighting architecture brings physical lights that can be optionally visible to the camera, and improved loading of IES web files to better match the intensity of real manufactured lights

Surface Editor, Material Nodes and Surface Preview: The Surface Editor has been overhauled for the new shading system with powerful node-based materials that are presented with a familiar interface

Virtual Reality Camera: Includes both cylindrical and spherical modes for creating stereo 360-degree renders and animations for VR applications

Modifier Stack with New Deformation Nodes: Unlocks and simplifies the previously fixed order of operations for Bones, Morphs, Subdivision and Displacements with the ability to drag and drop to re-order mesh deformations interactively

Cel Shader and Enhanced Edge Rendering: Offers flexible non photoreal render control over material shading and allows gradient-based cel shading, while Edge Rendering uses any material available in the Surface Editor to shade any line

More Integrated FiberFX:  Expanded to integrated closely with the new lighting and shading system and can use any material on the fibers. Fibers are now generated using the new primitive object architecture

Layout-based Parametric Shapes: Parametric shapes allow for creation of virtual primitive shapes in Layout that can be displaced, surfaced and rendered without needing any geometry

Noise Reduction Filter: Speeds up render times by using less Global Illumination rays and samples, while allowing for clean up of the resulting noise using filters instead of increased render settings

New Modeler Features: Layout View viewport shows the current camera view from Layout. Also new are fully interactive tools including Lattice, Smoothing, Array and Spline Bridge

Additionally, LightWave 2018 includes new enhancements to the Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR) and introduces many additional new features and improvements such UDIM texture support, more supported presets, FiberFX, Unity 5 support, and more.

"At Stargate Studios our VFX workflow for hit shows like 'The Walking Dead,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' and 'NCIS: Los Angelesrequire massive stability and performance—LightWave delivers both," says Al Lopez, vice president of Creative Services, Stargate Studios. "We are excited to add all of the new tools in LightWave 2018 to our pipeline because LightWave enables us to get the impossible done every day."


Pricing and Availability

LightWave 2018 for Windows and Mac OS will be available for sale on January 1, 2018 at 12:01am GMT. LightWave 2018 will be $995USD. Registered owners of any previous version of LightWave 3D can upgrade to LightWave 2018 for $295USD through March 31, 2018. Educational pricing is also available. Visit to purchase or locate an authorized LightWave reseller.

Download a no-cost 30-day full-feature trial of LightWave 2018 on January 1st, 12:01AM GMT at


About LightWave

LightWave 3D combines a state-of-the-art renderer with powerful and intuitive modeling and animation tools. LightWave includes hundreds of cross-platform render nodes for near limitless rendering, support for Windows and Mac UB 64 operating systems, free technical support and more. From film and broadcast visual effects production, to motion graphics, design, architectural visualization, print, and game design, LightWave 2018 provides Award-Winning, Intuitive, Feature-Packed 3D Modeling, Animation, and Rendering Tools for Everyone. 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.

LightWave has been used in the creation of CG and visual effects for leading feature films and television shows, including “The Orville,” “The Walking Dead,” “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Maleficent,“ “NCIS: Los Angeles,“ “Muppets: Most Wanted,“ “Skyfall,” “The Hunger Games,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “The Adventures of Tintin,” “Avatar,” “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome,” “Fringe,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and more.

For more information about LightWave, please visit:, Twitter, YouTube or connect with us on Facebook.


About NewTek

NewTek is transforming the way people create network-style television content and share it with the world. From sporting events, Web-based talk shows, live entertainment, classrooms, and corporate communications—to virtually any venue where people want to capture and publish live video, we give our customers the power to grow their audiences, brands and businesses, faster than ever before.

NewTek is privately owned and based in San Antonio, Texas. For more information on NewTek please visit:, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr or connect with us on Facebook.

TriCaster, TalkShow, 3Play, and LightWave 3D are registered trademarks of NewTek, Inc.
NDI, MediaDS, Media Distribution System, LightWave, ProTek, and Broadcast Minds are trademarks and/or service marks of NewTek, Inc.
All other products or brand names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information please visit