NewTek says it started shipping LightWave  for Macintosh yesterday, but resellers say it's not in stock yet. Calls to a couple of resellers yielded answers ranging from "NewTek ran out of manuals" to "It'll be in any day now." Some said they expected the product to be in stock by early next week, while others didn't wish to guess about actual ship dates.
"The bottom line is that right now it's a special order," said one reseller. "If you want to get 6 now, you need to place your order and get in the queue."
This latest version of LightWave, according to NewTek, marks the most significant advances in the product's history. The company says it supports OpenGL and QuickTime and that a Mac OS X version will be available when OS X ships.
In a prepared statement, Brad Peebler, a vice president at NewTek, said: "LightWave  ... contains many features never before seen on a Macintosh system. With the new G4 processors, the Apple/LightWave  combination represents the fastest rendering solution to provide caustics, radiosity, ray tracing and volumetrics in one system. Combined with the new animation and modeling tools geared for high-end character animation work, LightWave  will be head-and-shoulders above any animation system currently available for the Macintosh. LightWave  also represents the first animation system to be redesigned from the ground up to take advantage of Apple's operating system advances."
LightWave  boasts real-time subdivision surfaces as a modeling and animation tool, radiosity, caustics, high dynamic range image support, 96-bit floating-point rendering, a hybrid Inverse/Forward Kinematics engine and new character-animation technologies: IntelligEntities, Skelegons, Endomorphs and Multi-meshes.
In the area of rendering technology, LightWave  introduces several new features, including:
LightWave  for the Macintosh is selling for $2,495. Registered users of LightWave 3D 5.6 can upgrade to LightWave  for $495. For more information, visit http://www.newtek.com.
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