Reprinted from a NewTek press release:

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading 3D animation and video products, today announced the release of Aura Video Paint [2.5b], a free update for registered owners of Aura [2.5]. The update includes integration with NewTek’s LightWave 3D, two-point Motion Stabilization plug-in, support for the DPS Virtual Tape File System, a variety of new codecs and filters, and a wide range of other enhancements. The update is available for free download by registered Aura [2.0] and [2.5] owners at http://www.newtek.com. The update is available for Aura [1.0] owners for $295.00US at authorized NewTek resellers. For a limited time NewTek is also offering an Aura upgrade for registered LightWave 3D owners at $295.00US.

“Aura Video Paint is absolutely my favorite software; with this tool and my tablet I can do everything I need to, on any type of project, and get the quality I want without any major struggle,” said Terrence Walker, of Studio ArtFX. “Aura also has always been an essential companion for LightWave 3D, but the new LWviewer which lets me pull object information from LightWave for painting UV maps and other texture elements kicks the synergy up by an order of magnitude. I use it all the time now and it made texturing my latest characters incredibly easy.”

The LightWave filter plug-in lets users view unwrap mesh maps from objects loaded into LightWave 3D Modeler or Layout, and use them as reference for painting textures. The plug-in lets Aura exchange data with the LightWave 3D “Hub” communications center, that allows LightWave’s Layout and Modeler to stay in sync with each other as object models are modified in one or the other module. The unwrap mesh can be displayed by UV or by surface. Aura users can also use the facility to rasterize an EPS file from LightWave.

“We’re pleased to add the LightWave filter to Aura’s broad production toolset,” said Andrew Cross, Senior Vice President of Engineering for NewTek, Inc. “This and Aura’s new support for the DPS virtual file system demonstrate our commitment to increasing integration both within our product line and with other production tools that users may have in their pipeline.”

Aura [2.5b] includes support for DV AVI and OpenDML files, in addition to the DPS Virtual Tape File System used in DPS hardware products such as dpsVelocity, dpsReality, and others. The new two-point Motion Stabilization filter allows users to stabilize “wobbly” footage shot with a hand-held or other non-stable mounted camera, and can also be used to change the apparent center of frame. The Wrapping Grid tool provides a user-definable and animatable lattice tool for deforming images. Chroma Blur allows finer control over DV Chromakeys.

“Aura is the only software program to honestly deserve the distinction ‘paperless 2D animation’,” said animator Paul Fierlinger of AR&T, Inc. “The adjustable opacity levels in light table and the adjustable grain of the pencil tip are just two examples of the many things Aura offers as an indispensable tool for traditional animators. These things make the difference between other animation paint software and Aura seem like walking across a graveled road barefooted versus wearing shoes. And while Aura is not intended to be video editing software, with its DPS file system support I sometimes forget that.”

Aura Video Paint [2.5b] Features and Improvements include:

  • AVI DV file support
  • OpenDML file support
  • DPS Virtual Tape File System support
  • NTSC 480 RTV file support (Aura VT)
  • 2-point Motion Stabilization
  • LightWave filter for painting on LW object unwrap maps
  • Plasma Effects generator
  • Animatable lattice deformation tool for images
  • New sizes for Proxy renders: Full, Half, Quarter
  • New Filters: Chroma Blur, Halftone
  • Perlin Noise Tool: creates cloud- or fog-like noise patterns
  • Dithering tool for Gradients
  • Capability for the video stream from RGBA video output devices to overlay the project

    Pricing and Availability
    Aura Video Paint [2.5b] is currently shipping for a suggested retail price of $895US. Registered Aura [2.0] and [2.5] users may download the free [2.5b] update from the NewTek website, as well as at NewTek international partners. Registered owners of Aura [1.0] can upgrade to Aura Video Paint [2.5b] for $295US. Aura Video Paint [2.0] and [2.5] users can purchase a convenience upgrade Aura Video Paint [2.5b] CD for $29.95US. For a limited time, registered LightWave 3D owners may purchase Aura for $295.00US. A free 30-day demo is also available from the website. Product is available through NewTek’s channel of authorized resellers and distributors worldwide or direct from NewTek’s web site at http://www.newtek.com.

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