NewTek has released version 9 of its LightWave 3D animation suite, almost a year after it was first announced. The upgrade sees a major rewrite of the core engine, plus a node-based materials editor, optically correct cameras, adaptive pixel subdivision, Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces, sub-surface scattering and render speed improvements.

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The node-based materials system that adds new shading models to LightWave including as Oren-Nayar, anisotropic (above), and sub-surface scattering. Normal maps from ZBrush 2 are supported, and users have access to math animation nodes and animated gradient nodes.
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The raytracing core of the rendering system has been replaced to boost performance with improved multi-threading for high performance across multiple processors and cores. NewTek also says that it has improved performance especially for more complex scenes, offering up to 2.5 times the speed of LightWave 8.5
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