LightWave set the standard for polygonal, subdivision surface modeling a decade before many of the other 3D software packages included even basic polygonal modeling tools. While others were basing their pipelines on clunky spline-patching workflows,
LightWave offers two surfacing systems to the artist. A fast, simple to use layer-based system, and a very flexible and powerful nodal system. Each offer different workflows to suit the artist – for quick results, the layered system is perfect for fast visualization and concept design. For those who like to dig deep, the nodal system offers ultimate creative freedom.
The rigging tools in LightWave are fast and flexible and again offer artists choices in workflow. LightWave pioneered a very powerful and easy to set up automatic joint influence falloff system. This means that you can either choose to setup industry standard weight maps for your characters and rigged geometry or you can elect to bypass that often time-consuming weight mapping process for quick visualization and concept design animation workflows by using the automatic joint falloff that is built in to LightWave’s animation system.
LightWave includes powerful procedural, nodal, and keyframe animation tools. An easy to use and customizable keyframe graph editor allows you to quickly place and edit keys, time scale, filter, and even manipulate your animations with expressions. Bake your animations per keyframe or with frame stepping and create motion clips to blend together within the non-linear motion mixer.
Virtual Studio Tools
LightWave’s development team is bridging the gap between real and virtual worlds, by bringing together the broadest array in any application of new devices with which to interact with the set and characters inside LightWave’s virtual stage and model shop.
NevronMotion is a motion retargeting plugin for LightWave 3D with support for the Microsoft Kinect camera. NevronMotion allows you to load common motion capture files in FBX or BVH format and easily retarget the motion onto your character directly in LightWave Layout. You can quickly adjust any of the character rig joints in areas like the shoulders or arms to compensate for any joint placement inaccuracies and bake out your final animation directly to your character rig.
NevronMotion also comes with rig retargeting presets for FBX and BVH files and allows you to fully customize your rig retargeting and save your own retargeting presets that you can load later to use with custom motion capture libraries. You setup the rig retargeting mapping once, save the preset and then you can reuse that over and over.
NevronMotion also includes a rig preset that works directly with the Microsoft Kinect camera to allow you to puppet a character rig in real time and even record your real time Kinect motion capture performances to save to your library for later use.
NevronMotion greatly simplifies the motion capture workflow in LightWave 3D and allows you to get character motions or create your own motions with the Kinect Camera to get your characters moving quickly and easily.