3D Animation Software
LightWave is the 3D animation software I've been using at home since its first release. It's used professionally for television and movie special effects, games, commercials, illustrations, and architectural and scientific visualization.
I started using LightWave at version 1.0, in 1991, after having used its predecessors Videoscape and Aegis Modeler (screen shots). It was originally part of the software bundled with the Video Toaster, a switcher and video effects board that ran in the Amiga 2000, but as Amiga manufacturer Commodore staggered toward bankruptcy, LightWave was first cut loose from the Toaster (at version 3.5) and then ported to Windows (for PC, MIPS, and DEC Alpha), Irix, Solaris, and eventually Macintosh. It's currently offered for PCs and Macs.
Kinda like the Hair Club guy in reverse, I wasn't just a user, for a while I was one of the programmers. My stuff, in more or less chronological order and primarily for the Windows version, includes
- HAM display, HAM loading and saving, ANIM5 saving, API design and Amiga implementation, LW 3.5 standalone (summer 1994)
- wireframe preview playback, LWWF loading and saving, PC LW 4.0 (summer 1995)
- improved AVI saver plug-in, PC LW 5.0 (fall 1996)
- QV 2.0 frame buffer plug-in, PC LW 5.0 (spring 1997)
- multithreading support (the MT module), API design and Windows implementation, LW 5.5 (fall 1996)
- interprocess communication (the DX module, data transfer between Layout and Modeler), API design and Windows implementation, LW 5.5 (spring 1997)
- file/directory dialogs, PC LW 6.0 (summer 2000)
My very first e-mail to anyone, August 15, 1994, was a post to the LightWave mailing list. By December, I was a charter member of a new mailing list devoted to plug-in programming, and five years later, I became NewTek's point of contact for third party developers and the author of the documentation and example code for the LightWave Server Development Kit (LWSDK). I also wrote some free plug-ins.
In 2002, the original LightWave programmers left NewTek to form Luxology, where they created Modo. I left to return to school and complete a programming degree. Luxology merged with The Foundry (Nuke, Mari, Katana) in 2012.