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LightWave Digital releases LightWave 2023 for Mac

LightWave Digital has released LightWave 2023 for Mac, the new macOS editions of LightWave 2023, the latest version of the veteran 3D animation software.

There are separate editions for Intel and Apple Silicon Macs, with LightWave Digital promising “up to 53% faster render speeds” in the Apple Silicon edition.

The bundled versions of fluid simulation tool TurbulenceFD, the Octane renderer and utility add-ons LightWave Pro Tools have also been updated since the release of LightWave 2023 for Windows last year.

First update in three years adds new procedural modeling and instancing tools
On its release for Windows last November, LightWave 2023 became the first update to the veteran 3D animation software since 2020, development having been suspended by previous owner Vizrt, which acquired long-time developer NewTek the previous year.

The update adds a node-based procedural modeling system, an Instancer Brush for populating 3D scenes, and a new 3D text tool in LightWave’s Layout application.

Several third-party tools, including gaseous fluid simulation add-on TurbulenceFD, workflow plugin collection OD Tools, now renamed LightWave Pro Tools, and animation cache sculpting application ChronoSculpt, are also now included with the software.

You can find more details on the new features in our original story on the Windows release.

Now available for macOS as well as Windows
Today’s update makes the current version of LightWave available to Mac users once more, with LightWave Digital due to release editions of LightWave 2023 for both legacy Intel and current Apple Silicon Macs.

According to the blog post announcing the release, the native Apple Silicon edition promises “up to 53% faster render speeds”, but currently lacks Python support, meaning that it will not work with existing Python scripts and plugins, including the LightWave Pro Tools.

Apple Silicon Mac users needing the Pro Tools can use the Intel edition, which supports Python 2, and which runs on M-Series processors via Apple’s Rosetta translation environment.

LightWave Digital tells us that the native Python scripts and plugins are being updated to Python 3, at which point Python support will be reintroduced to the Apple Silicon edition.

Updates to the TurbulenceFD, LightWave Pro tools and Octane plugins
The update actually moves the Mac editions slightly ahead of Windows, since the release – LightWave 2023.0.1 – will only be available for macOS.

Several of the former third-party add-ons have been updated, with TurbulenceFD getting new smoke and flame shaders, and the Pro Tools getting “improved presets and workspaces”.

The integration plugin for Octane, Otoy’s GPU renderer, gets an “enhanced UI for use on high-resolution monitors and laptops”.

Price, system requirements and release date
LightWave 2023 is available for Windows 10+ and macOS. The Intel edition is compatible with macOS 10.15+, and the Apple Silicon edition with macOS 11.0+. Octane requires macOS 13.3+.

New perpetual licenses cost £795 (around $1,000).

Read an overview of the new features in LightWave 2023 on the product website

Read more about the new features in LightWave 2023 in the online documentation

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Related Topics

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