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Digital Element Uses NewTek's LightWave 3D to Retrain Russian Nuclear Scientists

(August 10, 2001)
Digital Element, with the help of NewTek and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under the auspices of the Department of Energy's Nuclear Cities Initiative, has been working in Russia to transform what were called "Closed Cities" into modern centers for software technology development. These cities did not appear on maps and were strictly military R&D and production sites. Digital Element trainers and engineers have helped form new Russian software development teams, which are located in the closed city of Snezhinsk, to help them integrate into the Western market and become economically viable.

With LightWave 3D, provided by NewTek's Education and Training program, Digital Element has created software development teams that specialize in creating 3D art tools, and familiarized its engineers with the latest technology and trends in the Western software market. Digital Element also facilitates work-for-hire technology development contracts, which employ these "closed city" resources. "This chance to work with Digital Elements and NewTek has been an excellent opportunity for everyone involved. It provides an excellent team to work with Digital Elements and NewTek and an opportunity for these Russian scientists to switch from weapons research to commercial work," says Dr. William Dunlop, head of the nonproliferation programs at LLNL.

"We are honored that LightWave 3D is being used in retraining these nuclear scientists," said Brad Peebler, NewTek's executive vice president of 3D graphics. "By helping Digital Element to use LightWave 3D through our educational division, we are privileged enough to be the 3D animation software used in this program. We plan to continue to work closely with Digital Element to ensure an even more seamless workflow between our two applications, and hope to continue assisting with the retraining project for a long time to come."

"There are very few real opportunities to change the world..." says Don McClure, CEO of Digital Element, "and this is one of them. It's a rare opportunity to bring a new, peaceful industry to a part of the world where the only technical profession was weaponry design. We're proud to be the solution."

California-based Digital Element is the exclusive distributor of the premiere 3D software art tool, WorldBuilder, which models and renders ultra-realistic artistic nature scenes. Although users can import and export objects between WorldBuilder and LightWave 3D, Digital Element and NewTek are working together to create an advanced plug-in to allow artists the highest possible level of interactivity between the two packages.

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