LightWave 2018

LightWave 2018

Screen shot of LightWave 2018NewTek finally released the next iteration in their 3D software, LightWave 2018, and it is looking amazing. This wasn’t that much of a surprise since a good friend updated me on this weeks before. Well now that the whole world knows LightWave 2018 is here!  Are you ready for this new update?

Render Engine

There are many changes and a lot of them center around the render engine being rebuilt in 2018.  This means the old surface editor has been obliterated to make room for a fancy new PBR (Physically Based Rendering) based system.  You maybe wondering what PBR means to us and I will dig deeper into this new technology for those interested.  PBR is a deep topic and will require a lot of my time to explore.  Stay tuned for there will be some explanations and examples coming.

Even though the layout has seen most of the changes don’t think our friendly modeler is lacking in some cool new tools. I just got done diddling in the new modeler and their work on the old mirror tool are amazing! Previously tools like the knife would break your symmetry .  With this update we can now safely use the knife tool in symmetry mode.

This is good news to a lot of LightWave enthusiast and I can’t wait to try out these new tools.  Time to crack open some of the old tutorials and revamp them for those new to LightWave 2018.

Global Light

Finally they killed the global light.  Granted several users are complaining that they need this feature but they are in the minority.  To be more precise with the rendering LightWave has moved away from the cheep tricks it did in the past.  This move is important for those who want realistic renders out of their projects.

I’m sure someone will figure out a trick that will allow the use of a global light.  The light system is really flexible and I can’t wait to start making some new light rigs.


FiberFX is not new but they have made it more stable.  In the past it has been buggy and I can safely say using it in 2018 was more reliable.  The only issue I had was when I added hair to a bunch of strands of hair it stopped responding.  I’m sure if I was patient enough it would of finally finished in a few days but hey I can’t wait that long to use my computer.

Using FiberFX does require a little better computer than what I have.  Until I get a faster computer this will have to sit on the shelf for now.  Other problems people have reported with FiberFX is there are firefly’s in their renders.  This just means the specular highlights are picking up something from your scene.


You maybe wondering what the term firefly means to rendering.  This is a term I’ve been learning more about in LightWave 2018 and the new PBR engine.  It just means there is something causing an oddity in the render engine that shows up as a white dot.  There are many different causes for this anomaly to show up in renders.

In the FiberFX it has something to do with the specular highlights.  I was able to confirm this problem in the new VPR features.  Setting the render from Final_Render to Specular_Direcft or Specular_Indirect can help detect firefly’s in hair.

Hence the new tools in VPR are great at helping find problematic render issues.  Using these new tools can really enhance our image quality and get close to more realistic renders.