(Las Vegas, NV, NAB, Booth SL1949 – April 18, 2005) NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading 3D animation and video products, today announced the forthcoming release of the free 8.3 update to Emmy® award-winning LightWave 3D®. In addition to full support of the new generation multi-core processor systems, this release offers enhanced vector blur routines and improved integration with other production tools via updated PSD support, as well as a new gradient option for HyperVoxels™ (LightWave®’s volumetric rendering system), improved text tools for Modeler, and new features and functions in the Scene Editor and Dope Track. The release will be available to registered owners of LightWave  as a free download within a few days.
LightWave users will find integration with compositing applications such as Digital Fusion and After Effects greatly enhanced by the changes to the PSD Exporter. PSD Import/Export has been revised to include a variety of new options, filters and controls, as well as enhanced processing of LightWave's internal buffers for better compatibility on export. Another change that will improve integration is that the point limit for polygons has been raised from 1024 to 16383. This is of particular use for the EPS Importer, which often has to deal with text objects with far more the 1024 points on some polygons. This change will also improve the modeling process in general, allowing the user to create more complex shapes with less concern for that complexity.
“8.3 offers several new features, as well as many bug fixes and performance enhancements for LightWave users,” said Jay Roth, president of NewTek’s 3D graphics division. "LightWave is an integral part of many production pipelines which require integration with other software applications, and 8.3 is the first in a series of updates to further enhance interoperability. Additionally, with LightWave 8.3 we’ve assured optimized performance on the new multi-core processor systems which provide significant speed and processing advantages for LightWave users."
"We are pleased that through participation in the Intel® Early Access Program and use of Intel® compilers NewTek has been able to optimize the latest version of LightWave for Intel® Pentium® 4 and Intel® Xeon™ processor-based platforms," said Melissa Laird, general manager of Intel’s Developer Relations Division. "By using Intel tools, resources and expertise, NewTek will also be better able to take advantage of the additional performance and capabilities in multi-core processors from Intel."
Among the additional enhancements for the 8.3 release is a new "Relative Particle Age" gradient for Hypervoxels that will allow users to change the characteristics of a particle based on what percentage it has reached of its allowed lifetime. HyperVoxels also now includes new "Blending" option that provides better control over surface tension; this allows users to keep surface HyperVoxels from connecting when in close proximity. HyperVoxels have been enhanced to work with LightWave's fog effects, and HyperVoxels' refraction rendering has been updated to work in combination with dissolve and fog. This change, among others, is also included in the LightWave SDK, which will benefit third party developers by giving access to volumetrics and fog for their plug-ins. The update also offers a new motion vector blur processor, which will allow production-savvy users to render scenes more quickly than with traditional motion blur, and includes documentation detailing how to get the best result from these new capabilities.
"The upgrades to HyperVoxels to allow them to work in conjunction with fog and dissolve are welcome additions to LightWave's broad range of tools," said Emile Smith, Emmy Award-winning VFX Supervisor, Zoic Studios. "We've also found the Relative Particle Age gradient for HyperVoxels a very useful new tool in accomplishing several effects that we wanted to achieve in recent projects. NewTek development has been very responsive to our needs in developing these tools, and shows a clear commitment to advancing the tools for artists working at the leading edge in visual effects."
LightWave 3D, version 8.3 Includes:
- Multi-core processor support
- PSD Import/Export revised to include a variety of new options, filters and controls, as well as enhanced processing of LightWave's internal buffers for better compatibility on export
- New "Text Layers" tool for creating text with a variety of controls and options
- Improved Vector Blur routines
- New "Relative Particle Age" gradient option for HyperVoxels
- New "Blending" surface-tension control for HyperVoxels.
- HyperVoxels now work in combination with fog
- HyperVoxels refraction now works in combination with dissolve and fog
- Point limit per polygon increased from 1024 to 16383.
- Enhanced Documentation for LightWave's Object Properties Edge Tab functions
Pricing and Availability
LightWave 3D® Electronic Full Competitive Upgrade is available for $495US, for registered owners of Maya™, Softimage™ XSI, 3ds max®, Electric Image™, Strata Studio Pro™, Cinema 4D™, Truespace™, Hash Animation Master™, Autocad®, Pro/Engineer® and SolidWorks®. Proof of ownership required to qualify. Registered LightWave® owners will also be able to purchase an additional seat of LightWave® at the $495 price. This special offer is available through April 30, 2005, from any NewTek Authorized Reseller or directly from NewTek. For more information or to purchase, visit: http://www.newtek.com
or call NewTek Sales at 1-800-843-8934, overseas callers dial +1-210-370-8000. To locate a NewTek Authorized Reseller link to http://www.newtek.com
/dealers. Visit NewTek at NAB, Booth #SL1949, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV.