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NewTek and Digital Element Work to Bring Animation Annex to Siberia

Software, Computers Donated to Russian Scientists to Begin Training for Animation (December 18, 2001)
NewTek, Inc. and Digital Element today announced that they are working together to create an Animation Annex in Russia, to retrain unemployed Russian nuclear scientists in the formerly closed city of Snezhinsk in computer graphics.

Their efforts will involve working to outfit the Annex with computer hardware and software, including NewTeks LightWave 3D and Digital Elements World Builder, and training on those systems and software. These activities are planned to move towards the creation of a new animation studio and a new form of economic viability for these former nuclear scientists.

The project began earlier this year under the auspices of a program by the U.S. Department of Energys National Nuclear Security Administration and its Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons and to create commercial initiatives in former ?closed Russian nuclear cities. Upon successful completion of the Animation Annex, they will continue in further efforts to support Strela, the company in Russia with whom NewTek and Digital Element are working. In addition to working together to publicize the work of those at Strela, Digital Element is also working to facilitate work-for-hire technology development contracts using those resources in Snezhinsk.

"The efforts of NewTek and Digital Element to create commercial jobs at Strela in Snezhinsk, Russia directly support our nonproliferation objectives under DOEs Nuclear Cities Initiative Program," said Bill Dunlop, Proliferation Prevention and Arms Control Program Manager at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. ?Their efforts are very helpful to our overall program goals, and well coordinated with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's non-proliferation efforts.

"Digital Element is very excited to work with NewTek to bring opportunity to a very isolated part of the world, added Don McClure, CEO of Digital Element. ?All talk of unemployed weapons designers aside, we're simply excited to see the output in the coming year from the Animation Annex and we hope that the computer art community will embrace this effort to globalize the opportunity to express oneself with computer graphics."

?NewTek is honored and thrilled to be a part of this effort. As we see day after day, and now more than ever, the world is a community. The LightWave 3D team is eager to work with Digital Element to create the Animation Annex and to help the people in Snezhinsk to become profitable working with our tools, said Kriss Craig, Worldwide Marketing Communications Manager for 3D at NewTek.

The two packages, LightWave 3D and WorldBuilder, provide a powerful combination for animators and will create the base of software used by the scientists at the Animation Annex. An announcement is expected soon from NewTek and Digital Element about a direct plug-in from WorldBuilder to LightWave, which will create an even better workflow and advanced interactivity for those using the programs together.

Contact Don McClure, CEO of Digital Element at for information about how to contribute to the effort.

About WorldBuilder
World Builder is the solution for modeling, animating and rendering ultra-realistic 3D landscapes and scenery for use in computer graphics, architecture, game development and movie production. Its proprietary features allow users to create incredibly complex scenes with breaking waves, volumetric light, wind-blown trees and grass all on an ordinary desktop workstation. The product comes in Standard, as a stand-alone application, and Professional, as a plug-in for LightWave and other 3D development packages.

About Digital Element
Founded in 2000 in San Francisco, CA, Digital Element is a 3D graphics software engineering firm. Digital Element develops and sells software products and services to film and television animators, video game designers, Web developers, architects and landscape designers. Additionally, its Technology-on-Demand program provides 3D programming services to a diverse array of organizations.

About LightWave 3D
Off the shelf, LightWave 3D is the most complete and flexible software solution for 3D graphics and animation. 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 many of the tools that other packages require to be purchased separately. Soft-body dynamics, particles, hair and fur, plus unlimited render nodes, to name a few; LightWave 3D ships with all the tools an artist needs to create.

About NewTek
With headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, NewTek is a leading provider of full-featured video editing, animation and special effects tools including the Video Toaster, LightWave 3D and Aura. NewTek launched the desktop video revolution in 1990 with the release of the legendary Video Toaster. The companys products are used worldwide on projects ranging from home video to feature film. Recent film and television projects using NewTek software include Driven, A.I., Final Fantasy, The Time Machine, Jimmy Neutron, Black Knight, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The 6th Day, Jurassic Park III, Behind Enemy Lines, X-Men The Movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture Directors Edition DVD, Pitch Black, Dracula 2000, Star Trek: Enterprise, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The X-Files, The Family Guy, Ally McBeal, Dune: The Miniseries, Dawsons Creek and Family Law. Recent game titles include Deus Ex, Serious Sam, Twisted Metal: Black, Unreal, Quake 3 Arena, Moto Racer World Tour, Giants for PS2, Baldurs Gate II, EverQuest, Planescape: Torment, Dead To Rights, and Escape From Monkey Island.

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Related Keywords:NewTek, Digital Element, LightWave, World Builder, animation, computer graphics, Russia

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