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LightWave 3D Visual Effects Dominate Sci Fi Friday

Used on Andromeda, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica (February 10, 2005)

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading 3D animation and video products, today announced that artists from Andromeda Productions, Rainmaker Digital, and Zoic Studios rely on LightWave 3D for the production of content and shots for all four shows comprising the Sci Fi Channel's Friday night line-up. NewTek's Emmy-winning 3D application is being used extensively for the visual effects for Andromeda, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica.

Sci Fi acquired Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda in 2004, when it began re-broadcasting the four existing seasons. Original episodes for the show's planned fifth and final season are airing now as the lead-off show for Sci Fi's Friday night line-up. Visual Effects for the series are produced by the digital artists at Andromeda Productions with LightWave 3D as a key tool. The team's work was nominated for two visual effects awards in 2004: a Gemini nomination for Best Visual Effects for the episode "A Symmetry of Imperfection" and a LEO nomination for Best Visual Effects in a Dramatic Series for their work on the episode "Harper/Delete".

"LightWave is the perfect package for our needs. We have an extremely tight production schedule, but at the same time we're always pushing to create bigger, more exciting, sequences. We recently completed an episode that called for just over four minutes of full CG. The results were incredible," said Bruce Turner, VFX Supervisor for Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda. "LightWave helps us meet our wildest deadlines. The fast workflow lets us get the simple shots set up and rendering quickly so we can dedicate more time to the heavier shots. Real-world camera and units help integrate CG with live-action plates, lighting workflow is fast, and the rendering speed is outstanding. The huge user-base has written almost every addition, script and plug-in that you'd ever need, and the LightWave community is fantastic for sharing tools and techniques, so we can concentrate on being artists rather than developers. I can't imagine doing what we do with any other software."


Stargate SG-1 began on Showtime as a continuation of the story presented in the 1994 motion picture, Stargate. Stargate Atlantis was launched by Sci Fi in 2004 as a spin-off of Stargate SG-1. Original episodes of the second half of Stargate SG-1's eighth season and Stargate Atlantis' first season began airing on January 21. Visual Effects for both shows are being contributed by the digital artists at Rainmaker with the aid of LightWave 3D. Their work on Stargate SG-1 has earned them a number of award nominations, including most recently the 2004 LEO award for Best Visual Effects in a Dramatic Series for the episode "Lost City, Part 2".

"On Stargate Atlantis, LightWave 3D was our main 3D package for production. We were able to take advantage of its strengths, ranging all the way from initial modeling, to final renders and FX," said Dan Mayer, Rainmaker's lead Visual Effects artist for Stargate Atlantis. "Its ability to adapt to ever changing production conditions allowed us to focus our time on providing complex visual effects shots in a limited timeframe. LightWave also boasts a very strong community and 3rd party support which we were able to utilize for the show."

Battlestar Galactica is the Sci Fi channel's re-telling of the original series which ran from 1978-1980. The updated take on Galactica was first presented as a miniseries in December 2003, and new series episodes began airing as a part of Sci Fi's Friday night line-up earlier this month. The visual effects for the miniseries were produced by the digital artists at Zoic Studios using LightWave 3D, and they are also contributing effects shots for the on-going series. For their work on the Galactica miniseries, the Zoic team were nominated for the 2004 Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for A Miniseries, Movie or a Special and earned the 2003 VES award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Television Miniseries, Movie or Special. In addition to their work on Battlestar Galactica, Zoic Studios has made use of LightWave to provide Emmy and VES award-winning visual effects shots for the Fox series Firefly and is now working on the upcoming feature film adaptation of that series, Serenity.

"Without the quality of LightWave's renderer, we would have been hard pressed to get the mini-series done at the quality level we strive to achieve at Zoic," said Emile Smith, VFX Supervisor for Zoic Studios. "The work that Zoic did throughout the Galactica series is testament to our ability, via LightWave, to be creative and give constant quality feedback in the high production cycle of a episodic TV series and keep up the same level of work that we did on the mini-series."


Pricing and Availability
LightWave 3D [8] is available for a suggested retail price of $1595US. Registered owners of LightWave 3D [7.5] or earlier are eligible to purchase a LightWave [8] Electronic Upgrade Pack for $495US. To locate the nearest authorized reseller or distributor, see our reseller locater at http://www.newtek.com/dealers. 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.


About NewTek, Inc.
With headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, NewTek is a leading provider of full-featured video editing, animation and special effects tools including VT[4](TM), and LightWave 3D®, winner of the 2003 Primetime Emmy® Engineering Award. NewTek launched the desktop video revolution in 1990 with the release of the legendary Video Toaster®. The company's products are used worldwide on projects ranging from home video to feature film. Recent television and film projects using NewTek software include "I, Robot", Spiderman 2, The Manchurian Candidate, Exorcist: The Beginning, Garfield, Hellboy, Van Helsing, Triplets of Belleville, The Last Samurai, Torque, Children of Dune, Battlestar: Galactica, Firefly, Taken, Smallville, Star Trek: Enterprise, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Matrix Reloaded, Collateral Damage, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Agent Cody Banks, Daredevil, Spy Kids II, Oscar®-nominated Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Final Fantasy, Blackhawk Down and Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Director's Edition DVD. Recent game titles include Doom III, Unreal Tournament, Serious Sam for XBox, Age of Mythology, Civilization III, Dead to Rights, Baldur's Gate II, EverQuest and Escape From Monkey Island.

For more information visit http://www.newtek.com.

 


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