UK-based LightWork Design has released LightWorks 6.0.

LightWorks 6.0 is a rendering system that supports all widely adopted rendering-technologies and is designed to be integrated into 3D software applications.

This version introduces Multi-Coloured Area Lights. Area light support has been extended so that the colour of light emitted by a light source is not only determined by the geometry and shape of the area light, but also by the materials associated with the light source. This lets multiple lighting colours be used. LightWorks also offers triple its previous performance when calculating light patterns.

Shadow support has also been boosted, and hardware-assisted shadow support is provided by the LightWorks OpenGL module. New functions in the Application Layer include an advanced material-manager, interactive light-positioning tools, interactive decal positioning for adding logos and labels to models, and an improved scenery manager. The company has also introduced a new user-interface for applying radiosity calculations, this has been designed to be usable by novice designers.

The illustration shows how the application can be used in 3D modelling to produce physically based simulations of the anisotropic reflectance properties of woven fabrics, such as silk, satin and cotton.

The LightWorks rendering engine is used in 80 3D software applications. It is found in products from auto-des-sys, Nemetschek North America and Parametric Technology. The toolkit is available across most main platforms, including Mac OS X.

It's not an off-the-shelf solution, but provided through a Software Development Kit license and annual fee negotiable on a usage deal.