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“Avatar” Recognized with 2010 Academy Awards® for Best Visual Effects and Best Art Direction

The “Avatar” Virtual Art Department used NewTek LightWave 3D® to create Pandora’s virtual environments

NewTek, manufacturer of industry-leading 3D animation and video products, today congratulated the “Avatar” Virtual Art Department (VAD) team for their role in helping “Avatar” win the 2010 Academy® Awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Art Direction.

Rob Powers, creator and supervisor of the VAD for “Avatar,” and his team found NewTek LightWave 3D® invaluable in creating the virtual assets of Pandora, which served as a foundation for the new innovative virtual filmmaking workflow pioneered by director James Cameron. LightWave® was an important part of the sophisticated pipeline used in the VAD, which facilitated immersive real-time art direction, 3D environmental layout, atmosphere and lighting. This was vital to the director-centric virtual filmmaking process utilized by Cameron.

“The workflows pioneered by the VAD and Cameron’s virtual filmmaking process made a huge impact on the final film and will revolutionize the way that films are made in the future,” said Rob Powers, who recently joined NewTek as director of entertainment and media development. “Often times, the development and creative-decision making process for visual effects-driven films occur much later in the post-production process, adding time and expense. The virtual workflows that we created for ‘Avatar’ are so new that actual categories to recognize these unique achievements haven’t even been created yet,” added Powers.

“NewTek extends congratulations to all of the teams involved in winning these prestigious Academy Awards, and particularly to the VAD team that was pivotal in enabling James Cameron to fully realize his vision of Pandora,” said Jay Roth, president, 3D division, NewTek. “We are gratified that LightWave has, again, played an important part in an award-winning production.”

NewTek LightWave 3D® combines a state-of-the-art renderer with intuitive and powerful modeling and animation tools. Tools that may cost extra in other professional 3D applications are part of the product package, including unlimited render nodes, hard-and soft-body dynamics, hair, fur, cloth simulation and more. LightWave is used worldwide as a complete 3D production solution for visual effects in film, television, broadcast graphics, games, visualization, print and Web.

Pricing and Availability

LightWave v9 is available now at the suggested retail price of US$895. LightWave v9.6 is also available as a free update to registered LightWave v9 owners. Registered owners of LightWave 3D [v8 or earlier] are eligible to purchase an upgrade for US$495. For more information or to purchase, please visit

or call NewTek Sales at 800-368-5441, for international inquiries dial +1-210-370-8000.

About NewTek

Benefiting producers and artists with its cost-effective and groundbreaking technologies, NewTek is a leader in portable live production, video editing, 3D animation and special effects tools, including LightWave 3D, the TriCaster™ product line and 3PLAY™. NewTek has won numerous industry accolades, including two Emmy® Awards.

NewTek products have been used in blockbuster films and television shows, including “Avatar,” “Angels and Demons,” “Battle for Terra,” “The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man,” “Tropic Thunder,” “V,” “FlashForward,” “Lost,” “Fringe” and more. Clients include: Fox News, BBC, NHL, NBA Development League, the MTV Music Group, Nickelodeon, the Steve Harvey Radio Show, CBS Radio, ESPN Radio, ESPN X Games, Fox Sports, USA TODAY, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

NewTek is privately owned and based in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, please visit:


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