NewTek LightWave (formerly LightWave 3D)
LightWave 3D has been used in the television industry for a long time and it is one of the big players on the 3D animation software market. Especially designed for professional artists, it comes bundled with advanced modeling and rendering tools.
Just like other professional-level animation suites, its complexity makes the learning curve a bit steep for beginners, but that is a minor drawback compared to its complete set of features.
Providing Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR) functionality, LightWave 3D allows you to get an idea of the final look of your projects as you work. The advanced editing tools enable you to modify scenes, surfaces, images and graphs to create realistic customized graphics, models and amazing animations.
Among the advantages of the program is its capacity to seamlessly integrate with similar software, allowing you to import and export objects from and to other modeling applications.
The software can design tri-dimensional objects, add gravity and wind effects, simulate lighting effects (refraction, reflection, etc.) and configure motion paths. Populate scenes with incredible details using multiple instances of a certain item and create realistic natural motion effects with the Flock controller.
Especially designed for game developers, the integrated Bullet dynamics engine can help you build complex animations, featuring 3D collision detection and real dynamics. Together with the Fracture tool, it enables you to fine tune breaking objects, such as explosion pieces.
The application comes with a wide range of rendering options (wireframe, texture, shade, stretch and more) and a powerful particle engine that makes it easy to create detailed and photo-realistic animations. In addition, you can set the program to run rendering tasks across networked PCs, thus saving time.
Togerther with Lscript, the application also supports Python, C, C++ or C# programming languages, which makes it a versatile development tool.
LightWave 3D is an all-in-one must-have tool for every 3D modeler out there. Its professional modeling features and the virtual camera, together with the powerful rendering engine makes it a complete solution for creating 3D scenes. All the tools are there, the only limit is your imagination.