New to 2019

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A lot has changed in LightWave. Here is a curated list in alphabetical order with links to pages that describe the features:

Pages describing features new to LightWave 2019 have the label New and the badge above

Layout

Empty Volumes

Create procedural shapes that can be booleaned live in Layout

Use Empty Volumes for creating procedural volumetric shapes or converting meshes to volumes and vice versa.

Interchange Bridge

The new Interchange bridge brings far more control over FBX assets including takes and animation from multiple FBX files.

Limited Bones

Realtime-optimized bone system version for better interchange with Game engines.

Metamorphic

Animated sculpting, weight mapping and vertex painting in Layout.

OpenVDB Evaluator

Converting meshes to volumes and vice versa, plus all the other advantages of a VDB workflow open amazing new modeling and animation possibilities

Physical Sky and SunLight (Hosek-Wilkie)

A backdrop shader for creating amazing skies with a new Light Type, simulating a physical sun.

Undo System

Stepping back changes for more than just transformations in LightWave is now possible. Revert changes made in Dopetrack, the Scene Editors, the Graph Editor, and server panes throughout LightWave.

Unreal Bridge

Realtime content created by Tony Prohl for the VR/AR Industry

Smooth real-time conversion to the Unreal games engine for presentations or game design is now possible.

Surfacing

Edge Shader and Patina Node

Shade edges to give an impression of additional rounding geometry without needing to model it, and create shading based on wear and dirt with the Patina node.

Material Tools

Nodes for splitting and combining custom materials to create the surface you want.

Procedural Node

Node to allow access to all of LightWave's considerable non-nodal procedural texture collection.

Renderer

Despike

New Despike algorithm to soften images to help cure hotspots.

Image Caching

Massively reduces memory use for images in-scene at render time.

Optix Denoising

The effect is subtle and best seen full size, limitations of the AnimGIF format notwithstanding

Leverages NVidia graphics card to remove noise from still renders using artificial intelligence.

Rho

New Rho buffer to extract lighting and shading information from the direct and indirect buffers.

Shading Models

The ability to pull materials apart and build them to your tastes is new to LightWave 2019. There is access to Fresnel Functions, Material Components, Material Integrators, and Material Tools has been updated with new nodes.

Modeler

Genoma 2 Rig

New Genoma 2 rig from Studio IKIF+ in Japan.

Smoothing Groups

Industry standard Smoothing Groups have been added for more control over the look of geometry.

UV Mapping Tools

Select UV Overlap, Select UV Island and Rotate UV are just some of the tools

New tools and workflows to make Modeler more capable of managing UV maps.

Documentation

Responsive Layout

The LightWave documentation now fits on any device you care to use it on.

General

HiDPI Display Support

LightWave now works correctly on screens with resolutions larger than HD (1920x1080) by scaling interface elements for a more readable display.

Menu Improvements

Use mouse wheel, keyboard, regexp and filtering in LightWave menus.

Node Editor Improvements

With ,(comma) you can show all nodes connected upstream, and with .(period) you can show all nodes connected downstream to help unravel complex node networks

New snapping grid and keyboard shortcuts added.