NewTek has released a free update for its LightWave 3D modelling, animation and rendering software. Version 8.2 improves the rendering engine by improving anti-aliasing and image reconstruction filters, and adds a completely-redesigned UV engine that works across both the modeling and animation applications.

The render core gains new Pixel Lattice Deformation technologies for anti-aliasing. According to NewTek, these allow anti-aliasing to be performed in a smaller number of passes without sacrificing quality. The new image reconstruction filters affect how the final image is constructed at a sub-pixel level. Five filters are included: Classic, for a look closest to original LightWave filter; Box, where samples are weighted the same and an average value used; Gaussian, for softer edges; Lanczos, for sharper edges; and Mitchell, which NewTek says provides results mid-way bewteen Lanczos and Mitchell. A Mosiac render mode has been added to the VIPER preview system.

The new UV mapping engine features a UV Map Interpolation modes for Subpatch objects, a UV tear-off function that removes the need to unweld points for most UV edit functions, and allows multi-selection of UV Maps and user-selectable wireframe colours for UV Maps.

LightWave improves the IK Booster System by adding an onion-skin feature to the Ghost mode and enhanced functions for loading, saving, copying motion data among hierarchies. IK Booster is now supported within the DopeTrack.

The update can be downloaded from the NewTek Web site. The full version of LightWave 8.2 costs £899 plus VAT and is currently being sold with a free copy of RealViz ImageModeler 4.