At Siggraph this week, NewTek has announced the release of a major upgrade for LightWave 3D in the form of LightWave . LightWave is one of the heavyweights in the 3D world, and the new version includes new features, performance increases, and more. NewTek touts firms such as Croteam, Digital Domain, and Eden FX as users of LightWave, and has also announced that the product was used DreamWorksi The Time Machine remake that is currently in the works. From NewTek:
NewTek, Inc. announced and shipped LightWave 3D version . LightWave  is a major upgrade to their award-winning, professional 3D software. With hundreds of new features, plus significant improvements in the entire productis speed and stability, this major upgrade comes as a result of many development and beta test hours. NewTek announced that the product is available immediately for both the Mac (OS 9 and OS X) and Windows platforms.
LightWave  includes hundreds of new features, including the following:
- Motion Mixer for non-linear animation
- Sasquatch Lite for built-in hair, fur and landscape creation and rendering
- Sprites mode within HyperVoxels, which can now be seen in OpenGL in Layout
- Digital Confusion, a new depth-of-field filter
- SkyTracer 2 for universally accurate sun positions and sky creation
- Combination Move / Rotate tool within Modeler
- Soft reflections and refractions
- Spreadsheet-style scene editor
- Voxel Baking for advanced smoke and liquid effects without extensive render times
- Airbrushing between morphs
- Several new Light options
- Rail Modeling tools for interactive scale, rotate and stretch
- Particle FX enhancements including simple crowd simulation, fluid dynamics, interparticle collision and new nozzle types
- Squash and Stretch tools in Layout
- Speed and workflow enhancements
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.
LightWave  is shipping now at a price of US$2495. The product is available for both Mac OS X and Classic. You can find more information on LightWave  at NewTekis Web site.