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Information Today, Inc.



July 17, 2006

Table of Contents

NewTek Ships New LightWave 3D Version 9
dvGarage Launches Conduit VFX Compositing Tool for Apple Motion
Music 2 Hues Adds New Titles to Flagship Series Production Music Line
Las Vegas Pro Audio Now Shipping Soundfield ST350 Portable Surround Microphone
Westinghouse Digital Announces Digital Photo Frame That Shows Multiple Pictures in One Frame
Final DraftAV 2.5.2 Update Released
Apricorn Launches Aegis Ultra-Portable Hard Drive Product Line
AVS Video Editor 3.3 Released

NewTek Ships New LightWave 3D Version 9

NewTek, Inc. today announced the availability of the latest release of LightWave 3D version 9.0, the next generation of the Emmy-winning 3D application. The new release is the first in a series of major rewrites and restructuring of LightWave 3D's core with the addition of comprehensive new features such as a node-based materials editor, optically correct cameras, adaptive pixel subdivision, Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces, sub-surface scattering and vast render speed improvements. "

The most noticeable changes for v9 are the addition of a node-based materials system that adds new shading models to LightWave, such as Oren-Nayar, anisotropic, and sub-surface scattering; the greatly improved rendering speed for today's high-demand scenes; and the enhancement of subdivision surfaces in Modeler and Layout, including Adaptive Pixel Subdivision, which gives the user a variety of capabilities for film-quality displacement mapping, normal mapping (including ZBrush support) and level-of-detail control at render time.

Among the changes that contribute to enhanced workflow in Layout are faster OpenGL performance and additional OpenGL hardware shader support, building on the initial implementation in version 8.5. For many scenes this provides 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 has been enhanced to allow far more user configurability than in the past. Users can adapt the look to fit their needs and preferences to provide the best workflow for the ways they use LightWave.

LightWave 3D version 9.0 features include the following:

Rendering:

  • Implementation of BSP/KD Tree Algorithm to achieve improved speeds as scene complexity rises
  • Complete replacement of the original ray tracing core
  • Improved multi-threading with dynamic segmentation to insure maximum use of available CPUs
  • Typical speed improvements at 2.5x over LightWave version 8.5 for today's increasingly ambitious high-polygon count production scenes

Adaptive Pixel Subdivision

  • Adaptive subdivision of a mesh based on distance from camera and visibility
  • Choice of Adaptive Sub-division methods--Per Object, Per Polygon and Per Pixel
  • Highly optimized mesh, tied to render resolution when using Per Pixel
  • Visibly similar to micro-poly displacement

Modeling

  • Added Catmull-Clark Subdivision Surfaces
  • Subdivision level can be controlled via numerical values, envelopes, expressions, motion modifiers, textures, procedurals, gradients, and more
  • Edge Selection
  • Edge Weights
  • N-gons (polygons greater than 4 sides) for subdivision surface modeling

Node Editor

  • New Shading Models
  • Normal Maps from ZBrush
  • 2 Supported Branches can be imported and exported
  • Math Animation Nodes
  • Animated Gradient Node Work how you want to work: Layers in Nodes; Nodes in Layers; Layers Only; Nodes Only
  • Full support of native controls and envelopes
  • Available in Layout and Modeler, and maintains context when switching between the two
  • Full SDK Support for third parties to create nodes (including shading models) and for third party renderers to interface with and query nodal shaders.

Advanced Camera Tools

  • New rendering technology renders scenes using arbitrary camera lenses and warps. This allows for some fantastic effects, such as:
  • Camera plane deformations
  • Arbitrary projections
  • UV map generation
  • True orthographic rendering
  • Space warp simulations
  • Lens distortion duplicating physically accurate real world lenses or non-existent "imaginary" lenses
  • 360 degree panorama rendering (one camera)

OpenGL

  • Preview lighting scenarios within the UI
  • Less need for preview renders
  • Hardware shading of procedural textures

Other

  • Timewarp - Time Re-mapping and Warping Shader
  • CCTV Shader HV Deformer: HyperVoxel Particle Displacement Shader
  • Stress Map
  • Sketch Image Filter
  • Pixie Dust Volumetric shader
  • Relativity 2 Quaternion Rotations
  • Mesh Editing in Layout
  • Native 64-bit support
  • Multiplatform
  • Dual and multi-core support

LightWave v9 is available now for US$795 for a single user license. LightWave v9 upgrades for LightWave owners are US$395. For more information or to purchase, visit: http://www.newtek.com.

To locate a NewTek Authorized Reseller link to http://www.newtek.com/dealers.

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dvGarage Launches Conduit VFX Compositing Tool for Apple Motion

dvGarage, a provider of tools and training for the next generation of media artists, has announced the immediate availability of Conduit, a new visual effects compositing plug-in for Apple Motion 2. By using Apple's FXPlug technology to combine high-end nodal compositing with high-performance GPU acceleration, Conduit provides Apple Motion 2 users with a powerful variety of visual effects compositing tools that render in real time. In addition, Conduit is bundled with a free three-month Pixel Corps membership (a USD $200 value), an hour of video training, and a quick start guide. "Conduit's speed is stunning," comments Alex Lindsay, dvGarage founder and chief architect.

Conduit's interface allows users to build complex composites while watching their results in real time. A list of Conduit's key features is as follows:

  • Real-time HD performance
  • Film-class color precision
  • Flexible node-based workflow
  • Artifact-free color manipulation
  • Blazing speed
  • Easy to use
  • Superb keying capabilities
  • Can work with High Dynamic Range images

Conduit is available for download from dvGarage's website at www.dvgarage.com. Priced at USD $199 MSRP, download contents include: Conduit for Apple Motion 2, a three-month membership to Pixel Corps, over an hour of video training and a quick start guide. Conduit system requirements include Apple Motion 2 and the related Apple Motion 2 hardware requirements.

For more information, visit www.dvgarage.com/prod/prod.php?prod=conduit.

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Music 2 Hues Adds New Titles to Flagship Series Production Music Line

Music 2 Hues has released new additions to its Flagship Series production music line. The two new titles, "Funky Town" and "Drum-n-Bass," are now shipping worldwide.

Also released this week are five new products in the Theme Pack Series. Designed to simplify music selection for music content developers looking for specific styles of pre-packaged music tracks, each Theme Pack  contains 5 audio CDs, plus One DVD-ROM (WAV & MP3 files) of music beds based on the same style.

www.music2hues.com

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Las Vegas Pro Audio Now Shipping Soundfield ST350 Portable Surround Microphone

LasVegasProAudio, the direct sell division of TransAudio Group, is now shipping the new portable ST350 microphone system offering SoundField's unique technology in a miniaturized package powered by A/C or batteries. Eliminating the compromises commonly found in portable microphone systems, the ST350 is comprised of a lightweight multi-capsule microphone and fully featured compact mic-pre/control unit that generates surround and stereo simultaneously at balanced line levels.

The ST350 has been designed from the ground up and is the result of a comprehensive R&D program incorporating feedback from recordists, broadcasters and SoundField users. The new microphone electronics are capable of driving long cable runs, enabling the microphone to be positioned hundreds of yards away from its control unit or alternatively handheld on a short boom. Control features include high-performance mic pres with discretely switched 6dB gain steps and composite five-segment LED bargraph for level monitoring. Continuously variable control is offered over the stereo polar patterns from omni through to cardioid to figure-of-eight with a width control providing everything from mono to wide image stereo. End fire and invert controls are provided to correct for three-dimensional microphone positioning while still maintaining the correct stereo and surround perspective.

Other features include hi-pass filtering to reduce rumble and wind noise, switchable M/S output and headphone monitoring. The ST350 can be used in conjunction with the SoundField Surround Zone software to offer a complete recording and post-production package. Surround Zone is now available on the Digidesign Pro Tools, Steinberg Nuendo and SADiE platforms.

LasVegasProAudio is the direct-sell division of TransAudio Group. LVPA acts as a much needed conduit between extremely busy pro audio professionals and boutique high-end equipment manufacturers including, ATC studio monitors, Daking processing gear, Pauly "Superscreen" pop-filters, SoundField surround-sound microphones, Taytrix studio furniture. LasVegasProAudio.com provides clients with a long-term partnership delivering timely, accurate information and on-going customer service. MSRP is $6,700.

www.lasvegasproaudio.com
www.soundfieldusa.com

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Westinghouse Digital Announces Digital Photo Frame That Shows Multiple Pictures in One Frame

Westinghouse Digital Electronics has introduced the DFP-0701, a digital photo frame that can display multiple pictures at the same time. Utilizing the company's patent-pending MosaicView technology and featuring 16MB of memory for storage of approximately 200 photos, the 7-inch DPF-0701 digital frame is capable of sharing digital memories and stories as never before.

The DPF-0701 will be shipping nationwide in July with an estimated retail price of $199. While many of today's LCD photo frames offer a slideshow capability that scrolls through pictures, the DPF-0701 displays multiple images simultaneously, creating the ideal unit for users who wish to show a complete digital story. For example, one frame can illustrate a family's entire fun-filled vacation day: One image at the beach, one at lunch, one at dinner and so on. The unit also provides a sophisticated feature, where users can run a complete MosaicView slideshow. Easy and convenient to use, the DPF-0701 allows users to just plug in a digital camera memory card or download images from a PC via a USB port.

The stylish DPF-0701 features an attractive ebony wood frame and a brilliant 16:9 widescreen panel that is well-suited for today's widescreen digital cameras. The feature-rich DPF-0701 provides the latest capabilities including individual slideshow or picture viewing, a variety of transitions for slideshows, variable speeds for slideshows, and support for AVI Motion JPEG, MPEG-1 and MPEG-4 Players. The DPF-0701 also auto detects and displays multiple picture orientation and offers random picture shuffle, lets users set their favorite picture, and includes save and delete functions.

The DPF-0701 is the latest addition to Westinghouse Digital's full family of digital photo frames, which includes the 3.5-inch DFP-0351, the 5.6-inch DPF-0561 and the 8-inch DPF-0801. Westinghouse Digital's suite of digital photo frames are the perfect accompaniment for any home, office or dorm room and an elegant way to showcase digital photos of weddings, family gatherings, celebrations, birthdays, parties, loved ones, or any special occasion. Westinghouse Digital's digital phone frames offer a wide variety of memory card compatibility including CF I/II, MD, MS, MS Pro, MS Duo, MS Pro Duo, SD, MMC and XD.

For more information about Westinghouse Digital and its products, visit www.westinghousedigital.com.

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Final DraftAV 2.5.2 Update Released

Final Draft, Inc., (www.finaldraft.com) today announced the immediate availability of the Final Draft AV 2.5.2 update to its dedicated multi-column script processor specifically designed for writing commercials, corporate videos, documentaries, presentations, DV shorts, etc. This release includes Universal Binary support for PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

Current Final Draft AV 2.5 users can download the 2.5.2 update for free. Registered users of previous versions of Final Draft AV may upgrade to the current version for $49.00 (USD). Final Draft AV 2.5 is available worldwide for $199.00 (USD). The software includes versions for both Macintosh and Windows.

www.finaldraft.com

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Apricorn Launches Aegis Ultra-Portable Hard Drive Product Line

Apricorn has announce Aegis, its new ultra portable hard drive family product suite. The first available product from this suite is the Aegis Mini, a pocket sized, ultra-portable 1.8-inch external drive with USB 2.0 or FireWire connection options.

Available in 30GB and 60GB capacities, Apricorn's Aegis Miniā€”its name meaning to shield or protect--is bus-powered and features a convenient, integrated cable, which wraps neatly around the Mini when not in use. Compatible with both PC and Apple systems, the product is bundled with Apricorn's Data Protection Suite, which provides backup, synchronization and encryption and has a rugged shock mounted enclosure with padded carry pouch for the ultimate in data protection. "In developing the Aegis Mini, we gathered input from many industry sources with the goal of developing the best portable storage device on the market," explains Mike McCandless, Apricorn's Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Apricorn's Aegis Mini utilizes Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' 1.8-inch hard drive, the Travelstar C4K60 "Slim," delivering the lightest and most shock-tolerant specifications in its class. In addition, the rugged Aegis Mini protects data with a unique 16-point omni directional shock mounting system. As the lightest 1.8-inch hard drive, Travelstar "Slim" contributes to the overall size and weight of the Aegis Mini, which weighs in at a mere 3.5 ounces and is smaller than a deck of cards. The Aegis Mini is plug-n-play and hot-swappable.

Included with the Aegis Mini package is a neoprene protective carrying pouch, one-meter USB extension cable, and Data Protection Software Suite which includes backup software, synchronizing software, encryption software and hard drive health monitor software, a proprietary solution developed by Apricorn engineers. Software bundle features include the following:

  • Backup Software: EZ Gig II Backup and Disaster Recovery Software for Windows, ShirtPocket SuperDuper! for Mac
  • Synchronizing Software: Second Copy Synchronizing Software for Windows, Synchronize! X for Mac
  • Encryption Software: Cryptainer Encryption Software for Windows, Apricorn Encryption Utility for Mac Hard Drive Health Monitor SMART-ER for Windows

System Requirements, Hardware: Pentium CPU, Apple G3 or later, 32MBs RAM, USB, FireWire, CD ROM.

Software: Windows 2000 and XP, Mac OS 9.2 or later and Mac OS X 10.x

MSRPs:

  • USB 2.0 interface $159 30GB and $239 60GB
  • FireWire interface $169 30GB and $249 60GB

Warranty is 1-year limited.

Apricorn's Aegis Mini is currently available in the US, Canada and online at www.apricorn.com.

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AVS Video Editor 3.3 Released

Online Media Technologies Ltd., the owner of avsmedia.com project, has announced the release of AVS Video Editor update, a PC application for advanced video and audio mastering. The new version offers a new approach to home video making and puts video editing within easy control of computer beginners as well as experienced users.

AVS Video Editor 3.3 features a new, more intuitive user interface and slick design to provide more ease, convenience, and speed when working with video projects and slideshows. Now every step is explained through detailed tip. There is also an appropriate button for every operation with video.

The update includes iPod Uploader utility that allows to upload the created video collections directly to iPod that's a fine addition to already supported Sony PSP, Archos DVR, mobiles and other portables for instant transference of video projects. AVS Capture Wizard, the program's capture utility, has also undergone noticeable changes. Now it captures video directly to DVD from various in-put devices including DVB-S, DVB-T digital broadcasts or paid satellite channels. AVS Video Editor 3.3 adds full H.264 support to the list of all available input and output formats (MPEG1, 2, 4, MP4, AVI (DviX, Xvid), 3GP, MOV, RM, WMV, SWF, DVD, VOB, VRO, DAT, VCD, SVCD). Due to this innovation the program ensures video exporting and uploading to iPod, Sony PSP, or other handhelds, quality-lossless.

AVS Video Editor 3.3 runs under Windows 2000/XP/2003 for a single-user license and costs $49.95(US). Now there is a special product price of $39.95(US) available. The only limitation of the trial version is a watermark logo that is put on output files.

www.avsmedia.com

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