Reprinted from a NewTek press release:

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading 3D animation and video products, today previewed the new technologies of LightWave 3D [8] at SIGGRAPH 2003, Booth 2848. NewTek’s LightWave, winner of a 2003 Primetime Emmy Engineering Award, includes enhancements in dynamics, character animation, modeling workflow, animation workflow, texturing tools, and more. LightWave combines a state-of-the-art photo-real renderer with intuitive and powerful modeling and animation tools, and is used worldwide as a complete 3D production solution for broadcast graphics, games, print, web, and visual effects for film and television.

“We’re very excited about the incredible variety of new and improved tools we are bringing to our users in the newest edition of LightWave,” said Andrew Cross, Senior Vice President of Engineering for NewTek, Inc. “Equally important, we are making amazing improvements in what is already an acknowledged leader in fast and flexible workflow. We’re also enhancing LightWave’s integration with other popular production tools. We are demonstrating our commitment to keeping our award-winning application at the leading edge of graphic arts technology that meets real-world production needs.”

LightWave [8] adds hard body dynamics to its suite of physical simulations tools, as well as improvements to cloth and other soft body dynamics. The character animation system is improved with faster inverse and forward kinematics, a more powerful and flexible control system, and the addition of dynamics for character skeletons – for example if the animator sends a heavy ball on a collision path with a character, the character will automatically react to the strike with real-world motions, based on where the ball impacts the character.

“LightWave has delivered what is best about computer animation for us,” said Dan Curry, Emmy-winning Visual Effects Producer for Enterprise, Paramount Pictures. “It has taken away all the boundaries. Anything that we can imagine, we can create, and create it perfectly in the tone and style we need. The people at NewTek have been responsive to our needs in developing new features and additions regularly, so that the software gives us the expanding range of tools that we are looking for.”

LightWave 3D Overview:

  • World-class rendering
  • Fast, versatile Modeler
  • Powerful scripting language
  • Character Animation tools
  • Particle Effects
  • Expressions
  • Numeric entry (and math in input fields)
  • Unlimited points and polygons per object
  • Unlimited images
  • Unlimited surfaces
  • Easy import of Illustrator data
  • Easy integration with other effects production tools.

    LightWave 3D [8] Includes:

  • Improved workflow in Layout and Modeler
  • Rigid Body Dynamics
  • Improved Soft Body Dynamics
  • Faster IK, FK
  • Bone Dynamics
  • More powerful and flexible character animation controls and tools
  • Improved character setup workflow
  • New Particle System Tools
  • Animatable UV coordinates
  • Improvements to Lscript scripting language and to the API

    Pricing and Availability
    LightWave 3D [8] is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2003, for a suggested retail price of $1595US. LightWave 3D [7.5] is available now at authorized NewTek resellers worldwide for a suggested retail price of $1595US, and those who purchase from now until LightWave 3D [8] ships will receive a free electronic upgrade to LightWave [8]. Registered owners of LightWave 3D [7.5] or earlier are eligible to purchase an upgrade to LightWave [8] for $495US. To locate the nearest authorized reseller or distributor, see our reseller locater at http://www.newtek.com. Through September 15, purchases of full seats will include DFX+, a $995 value, Module 1 – Visual Effects, a $495 value, and Module 4 – 3D Tools, a $295 value, at no additional charge. Through July 31st, 2003, upgrades will include also includes DFX+ and Modules 1 and 4 at no additional cost. Purchasers who would prefer to receive upgrades in package form with printed manual and CD rather than in electronic form will be able to purchase a Convenience Upgrade option for $99, directly from NewTek. For more information on the items offered and to purchase direct from NewTek, visit: http://www.newtek.com or call NewTek Sales at 1-800-368-5441, overseas callers dial +1-210-370-8000.

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