Meh, more of the same. Undo still not fixed, Modeler hasn’t been touched (it seems perfomance is better now, though), still neurotic split between Modeler and Layout, … if you have a 4K screen in Windows Lightwave doesn’t scale properly - which is kinda inexcusable, in my opinion. Users are experiencing crashes in various parts of the program, but Lightwave always had some issues in that regard.
The new renderer seems nice, though - but that’s mostly what this release is all about. And it’s not quite as polished as one would have expected either, based on the reports of some of the messages posted on Newtek’s forum. And, damn!, SO MANY THINGS ARE STILL MISSING! Things we take for granted in other 3d apps. LW users still need to rely on a slew of commercial third party plugins to remedy some of these feature gaps.
Mind, Rob Powers did reach this milestone release, but with him gone it’s anyone’s guess how Newtek management will proceed - and I mean how they will continue to misunderstand Lightwave.
Many users on the NT forums seem quite happy (who wouldn’t after that wall of silence) that Lightwave survived this round, but as far as I can see they’re being duped by Newtek management (once again).
It’s a shame, really. Rob had a long-term plan in mind, and with him ousted it’s all up in the air again. With him aboard and a steady roadmap/vision, it would have taken at least 5 years to get Lightwave where it needs to be, but without - well, I’d wager a bet that it will take a minimum of 10 years or longer. No wonder Rob posted that message about asking Newtek about a roadmap. I wouldn’t be surprised Newtek taking the money of this release, and then letting it linger and die in the upcoming five years, or so. I don’t trust those people anymore (and I’ve been a LW user since Amiga times!). If I were all those people on the forums I would have waited it out one more release.
As it stands, Lightwave still lags WAAAAYYYYYY behind all the competition. Blender, Maya, Max, Modo, C4D: all light years ahead at this point in time (depending a bit on the specific functionality). And by next year the competition will have jumped to the next level - Blender 2.8 is going to burn some rubber.
I do feel bad for the LW users who still cling to a thread of trust between them and Newtek’s management. They will see that trust betrayed, of that I am absolutely certain. I’ve been in that same position - fool me once or twice, shame on you. Thrice, blame is on me. Well, no more. Newtek will have to prove themselves to release the next version in one year and release timely bug fixes, and show some good progress first.