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NewTek Releases LightWave 7b

Latest release offers AltiVec optimizations By John Virata
NewTek has released a maintenance update for the its LightWave 3D version [7] that includes speed enhancements and AltiVec optimizations for Apple G4 processors. LightWave [7] was announced and released Aug. 13 at NewTeks user event during SIGGRAPH.

NewTek returned from SIGGRAPH 2001 to work closely with both beta testers and end users to find out what areas of the software could benefit from additional work or enhancements, and, in a few weeks, the update has been finished and made available to all LightWave [7] users free of charge. According to the company, LightWave 3D plugins are working more smoothly than ever, and the enhancements made for the AltiVec engine for the PowerMac G4 make LightWave 3D "incredibly fast" on that platform.

New Features include:

  • AltiVec optimizations for Apple G4 processors
  • Use of the Motorola math library for Mac OS X version boosts render performance
  • OpenGL optimizations that yield a 20 percent to 80 percent speed boost in some instances
  • Ability to double-click to add channel name to current expression in Graph Editor
  • SkyTracer 2 and Image World will now take advantage of multiple processors
  • Motion Mixer speed optimizations relating to the use of expressions
  • Mac OS X version now supports TrueType fonts.

    From now until Sept. 30, all registered LightWave owners may upgrade from any version to the new LightWave [7] for $495. After Sept.30, 2001, registered owners of LightWave [6] may upgrade to version [7] for $495, and registered owners of LightWave 5.6 or earlier may upgrade to version [7] for $595. For more information, visit

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    John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at
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