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LightWave 3D Used for Design in Upcoming Movie The Time Machine

(August 14, 2001)
The upcoming movie The Time Machine from DreamWorks SKG and Warner Brothers used LightWave 3D extensively for designing the actual time machine, announced NewTek, Inc. The Time Machine is scheduled to be released in December, 2001, and is directed by Simon Wells, great grandson of author H.G. Wells, who also directed Prince of Egypt for DreamWorks SKG.

Tim Wilcox, Digital Illustrator on The Time Machine and Co-Designer of the actual time machine prop, created the initial conceptual model of the machine in LightWave 3D. A practical scale model was built from this file and was used for finessing the design. Once Production Designer, Oliver Scholl, and Director Wells had approved the final design it was rebuilt in LightWave as a final camera ready model. Matt Sweeney, of Matt Sweeney Special Effects, Inc., then received the pieces of the digital model output from LightWave and used CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machinery to create the sections in aluminum and plexiglass for the full scale machine used in the film. The final digital model was then shipped to Digital Domain for use in the digital effects shots of the film.

"With the time and monetary demands of feature film production, we really couldn't have accomplished all that we did with the creation of the time machine in the short amount of time that we had without the digital tools that LightWave gave us," Wilcox said. "We were able to push the limits and really explore all of the design process thoroughly in a digital environment before Matt started constructing it for real. Being able to then hand off the same digital model to Digital Domain so that they could use it was just icing on the cake."

Tim Wilcox has previously worked as a digital illustrator on films including Jurassic Park III, A.I., Mission to Mars, Deep Impact and Contact.

"The design work done in The Time Machine with LightWave 3D shows yet another facet of the software's abilities," said NewTek's executive vice president of 3D graphics, Brad Peebler. "The fact that the actual time machine was first created in LightWave 3D and then sent out to a CNC machine for real-world representation opens up new doors for design and architectural usage. We are excited about The Time Machine as well as about future opportunities with Tim, and we hope to continue to push the design process to new levels with LightWave 3D."

LightWave 3D is versatile enough to make the transition to and from all kinds of projects. Proven for years in television, film, and games, LightWave 3D is also being used to create graphics for print, web, industrial design, architecture, medical imaging, and anywhere else a 3D package is needed. A full, robust program, LightWave 3D includes soft-body dynamics, particles, hair and fur, plus unlimited render nodes; LightWave 3D ships with all the tools an artist needs to create.

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