Welcome to LightWave 2018

When time is short and the job impossible, LightWave 2018 simply delivers. Workflow enhancements and powerful new tools solve your animation and design challenges and streamline your creative process. Direct and robust, LightWave 2018 serves the artist first, for visual effects, motion graphics, game development, architectural visualization, product design and advertising.

  • Physically Based Rendering System

    LightWave 2018 features a completely re-written shading, lighting and rendering architecture. The new PBR engine allows you to create images with greater realism and accuracy, yet remains intuitive to use.
  • Render & Light Buffers

    To complement the new shading engine, render buffers for shading have been overhauled to deliver more flexibility and power for working with compositing. LightWave 2018 features new light buffers for breaking out lights and custom buffers that allow you to create any type of render buffer using the power of the node editor, including real-time preview of new buffers in any viewport using VPR.
  • Volumetric Engine

    Using the new volumetric engine and primitives, you can specify physically based properties for your clouds and fog. These include, Scattering, Absorption, and emission parameters, along with the use of powerful node networks to control all parameters. Additionally there is support for the OpenVDB datasets that can be created from other applications.
  • Light Capabilities

    The new lighting architecture brings physical lights that can be optionally visible to the camera. Primitive lights turn any geometry or primitive object into a physical light. In addition, there is improved loading of IES web files which allow closer matching to the intensity of real manufactured lights.
  • Virtual Reality Camera

    Create stunning virtual reality content using the new VR camera: includes both cylindrical and spherical modes. Ideal for creating stereo 360-degree renders and animations for VR applications or even your own HDR probes.
  • Modifier Stack with New Deformation Nodes

    Unlocks and simplifies the previously fixed order of operations for Bones, Morphs, Subdivision and Displacements. Drag and drop to re-order mesh deformations interactively.
  • Cel Shader & Enhanced Edge Rendering

    Offers flexible non photoreal render control over material shading and allows gradient-based cel shading, while Edge Rendering can now use any material available in the Surface Editor to shade any line.
  • More Integrated FiberFX

    FiberFX is expanded to integrate closely with the new lighting and shading system and can use any material on the fibers. Fibers are now generated using the new primitive object architecture.
  • Layout-based Parametric Shapes

    Parametric shapes allow you to create virtual primitive shapes in Layout that can be displaced, surfaced and rendered without needing any geometry.
  • Noise Reduction Filter

    Speeds up render times by using less Global Illumination rays and samples, while allowing for clean up of the resulting noise using filters instead of increased render settings.
  • New Modeler Features

    A ‘Layout View’ viewport shows the current camera view from Layout. In addition LightWave 2018 Modeler provides new fully interactive tools including Lattice, Smoothing, Array and Spline Bridge to speed up your modeling.

Physically Based Rendering System

LightWave 2018 introduces an all-new physically based rendering, shading and lighting architecture for greater realism and accuracy.


Render & Light Buffers

LightWave 2018 includes an expanded workflow for render and light buffers that simplifies compositing and offers more flexibility. The system also features multi-layered EXR saving.


Volumetric Engine

Using the new volumetric engine and primitives, you can specify physically based properties for your clouds and fog. These include, Scattering, Absorption, and emission parameters, along with the use of powerful node networks to control all parameters. Additionally there is support for the OpenVDB datasets that can be created from other applications.


Light Capabilities

The new lighting architecture offers physical lights that can be optionally visible to the camera. Mesh lights allow any geometry to become a physical light source, and improved loading of IES web files provide the ability to better match the intensity of real manufactured lights.


Surface Editor, Material Nodes & Surface Preview

The Surface Editor has been overhauled for the new shading system with powerful node-based materials under the hood that are presented with a familiar interface.


Virtual Reality Camera

Create stunning virtual reality content using the new VR Camera. Featuring both cylindrical and spherical modes, ideal for creating stereo 360-degree renders and animations for VR applications. May also be used for creating your own HDRI maps using the new visible lights in LightWave 2018.


Modifier Stack with New Deformation Nodes

Unlocks and simplifies the previously fixed order of operations for Bones, Morphs, Subdivision and Displacements. You can now drag and drop to re-order mesh deformations interactively.


Cel Shader & Enhanced Edge Rendering

Offers flexible NPR control over material shading and allows gradient-based cel shading, while Edge Rendering can now use any material available in the Surface Editor to shade any line.


More Integrated FiberFX

FiberFX has been expanded to integrate closely with the new lighting and shading system, and can use any material on the fibers. Fibers are now generated using the new primitive object architecture.


Layout-based Parametric Shapes

Parametric shapes allow you to create virtual primitive shapes in Layout that can be displaced, surfaced and rendered without needing any geometry.


Noise Reduction Filter

Allows you to speed up render times using less Global Illumination rays and samples, while cleaning up the resulting noise using the filter instead of increased render settings.


New Modeler Features

A "Layout View" viewport shows the current camera view from Layout. LightWave 2018 Modeler also adds new fully interactive tools including Lattice, Smoothing, Array and Spline Bridge to speed up your modeling.

Workflow Improvements

• UDIM Support • PBR OpenGL Mode • Per-Object Interpolated / Brute Force • Floating Viewports • Render Presets • Preview Render Pass
• Multi-Selection Editing of Modifiers • Improved Render Progress View • Fixed Autokey Mode • Improved Layer Tools in Modeler • Proportional Scaling in Layout
• Image Viewer RGBA Channel Toggle • Image Viewer / VPR Normalize Display Toggle • Viewport Numeric Readout for Move and Scale • Preset Shelf Improvements

Minimum System Specifications

  • Hardware

  • Intel® Core™ 2 or AMD Athlon™ II Processor (or better)
  • 64-bit System RAM: 4GB minimum
  • Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)

  • Operating System

  • 64-bit: Windows 7 through Windows 10 64-bit Edition
  • Hardware

  • Intel® Processor
  • 64-bit System RAM: 4GB minimum
  • Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)

  • Operating System

  • Lion® 10.7.5 or better
  • Minimum Graphics Card

  • NVIDIA™ GeForce® 8400 series or ATI® X1600

  • Minimum Screen Resolution

  • 1024 x 768 pixels
  • Storage

    All systems require 750MB available hard drive space (excluding content); complete Content library is approximately 3GB.

LightWave 2018 One-Sheet