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NewTek Unveils Next Generation of LightWave 3D

Version 9 brings major core changes, new features and enhanced workflow (August 01, 2005)

NewTek, Inc., manufacturer of industry-leading 3D animation and video products, today announced the forthcoming release of LightWave 3D version 9.0, the next generation of the Emmy-winning 3D application. NewTek's development team is implementing a major rewrite and restructuring of LightWave's core with the addition of mesh editing capabilities to Layout, consolidation and enhancement of tools in Modeler, extraction of the renderer from the Layout module, rewrite of the raytracing routines to newer, much faster algorithms, and implementation of adaptive mesh subdivision based on distance-to-camera and visibility. Modeler's toolset is being updated with true edge support throughout, and subdivision surfaces have been re-engineered for improved performance and n-gon support.

"The new development team has executed a very careful step-by-step first-phase redesign of the application leading toward version 9," said Jay Roth, President of the 3D Technology Division for NewTek. "The intent during most of our previous cycle was to restructure the core to state-of-the-art for rapid development without breaking things for the users, so that we could continue to deliver new features and regular maintenance enhancements. With 9.0, we have reached the point where we can implement major changes at a radical pace, as the new availability of mesh editing functions within the Layout module, added in just the last couple of months, demonstrates. The new structure will allow us to keep pace with the most advanced technologies, and to bring innovation to LightWave users faster than ever before."

The modeling capabilities within Layout were achieved by extracting the mesh-editing core from Modeler, and moving it into a common location where Layout and Modeler both have access. Layout's new capabilities extend to running many of the existing plug-ins created for Modeler as well, so many users who have expressed a preference for a single workspace for all model and scene creation will find Layout well on its way to being that single workspace. Those who prefer a dedicated workspace for modeling tasks can retain that workflow with Modeler, as NewTek will continue to develop and provide this unique streamlined environment for model creation.

Among the changes that will contribute to enhanced workflow are faster OpenGL performance and additional OpenGL hardware shader support, building on the initial implementation in version 8.5. For many scenes this will provide a very accurate preview of the look of the final image or animation in real time, without the need to create test renders. The GUI is being enhanced to allow for far more user configurability than in the past, so that users can adapt the look to fit their needs and preferences and the interface elements to provide the best workflow for the ways they use LightWave.

"All I can say is...WOW! Seriously, these new capabilities are exciting, and I think LightWave users everywhere are in for a treat!" said Wes Chilton, visual effects artist for DNA Productions. "Being neck deep in a feature production using all sorts of new tools, I still appreciate the relative simplicity, power, and SPEED of LightWave-it's pulled our bacon out of the fire so many times when we needed an effect quickly. I absolutely cannot wait to see what LightWave 9.0 and beyond will be able to do for our production pipelines!"

LightWave 3D version 9.0 Features:
- Modeling Tool Subset in Layout
- Faster OpenGL Performance
- Enhanced OpenGL Hardware Shader Support for accurate preview in real time for textures and lighting
- Faster Raytrace Rendering up to 2.5X or better
- Adaptive Mesh subdivision based on visibility and distance to camera
- Faster Subdivision Surfaces
- Subdivision Surface modeling with n-gons
- True edge support in modeling, including edge weighting
- Enhanced MultiShift Modeling tool with reusable histories
- More flexibility and more user controls for the GUI
- Dynamics rewritten for improved precision, performance and capabilities
- Dynamics UI redesigned for easy and intuitive workflow
- Consolidation of tools for a streamlined workflow in Modeler
- Node-based procedural shading system
- Relativity 2 Expressions System
- Particle surface shading system
- Environment instancing on surfaces
- Camera time warper for effects such as bullet time, etc.
- Hypervoxel particle surface deformer
- Surface deformation-based texture map and color controller
- Camera lens shader system
- Much, much more

Pricing and Availability
LightWave 3D version 9.0 is expected to be available in the 4th quarter for US$795.00 for a single user license. The following purchase options are available for a limited time:

LightWave Full seats:
- LightWave [8] full seat, PDF manual, Vue 5 Infinite, free update to v9: $795
- LightWave [8] full seat, printed manual, Vue 5 Infinite, free update to v9: $895

For registered owners of LightWave [7.5] or earlier:
- LightWave [8] upgrade, PDF manual, Vue 5 Infinite, free update to v9: $395
- LightWave [8] upgrade, printed manual, Vue 5 Infinite, free update to v9: $495

For Registered owners of LightWave [8]:
- LightWave 3D v9.0 upgrade with PDF manual and Vue 5 Infinite: $395
- LightWave 3D v9.0 with printed manual and Vue 5 Infinite: $495

For more information or to purchase, visit: or call NewTek Sales at 1-800-368-5441, overseas callers dial +1-210-370-8000. To locate a NewTek Authorized Reseller link to

About NewTek
With headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, NewTek is a leading provider of full-featured video editing, live production, presentation, animation and special effects tools including LightWave 3D®, winner of the 2003 Primetime Emmy® Engineering Award, TriCaster(TM) and VT[4](TM). 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 production tools include Fantastic Four, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D, Sin City, The Aviator, Aliens of the Deep, "I, Robot", Spiderman 2, Battlestar: Galactica, Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight. Recent game titles include Doom III, Unreal Tournament, and Age of Mythology.

For more information visit


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Related Keywords:NewTek, LightWave 3D, 3D animation, renderer, raytracing, modeling,

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