Emmy Awards / vfx legacy


NewTek, a worldwide leader of 3D animation and portable live production systems, today announced that LightWave™ 10.1 has received a Computer Graphics World magazine Silver Edge Award for industry-changing technology exhibited at NAB 2011, in Las Vegas.

Hollywood blockbusters are now touting the power and influence of 3D graphics. And the demand for artists to create these mind-blowing visual effects is growing. LightWave™ has the modeling and rendering capabilities to make it a key player in the production pipeline of major motion pictures. Movies such as She’s Out of My League, Avatar, Cargo, Battle for Terra, Angels and Demons, Dark Knight, 300, Iron Man, Serenity, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, all host graphic aspects created in LightWave.​

NewTek was the instigator of the desktop video revolution with the launch of the legendary Video Toaster™ in 1990. This product has been in continuous use since then for video aficionados as well as for professional applications in the world of film.

Among the latest productions NewTek tools have helped with, you'll find: "I, Robot", Spiderman 2, The Manchurian Candidate, The Exorcist: The Beginning, Garfield, Hellboy, Van Helsing, les Triplettes de Belleville, The Last Samurai, Torque, The Children of Dune, Battlestar: Galactica, Firefly, Taken, Smallville, Star Trek : Enterprise, Matrix Reloaded, Collateral Damage, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Secret Agent: Cody Banks, Daredevil, Spy Kids II, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (nominated for an Oscar®), Final Fantasy, Blackhawk Down.

Tropical Thunder Production: One 3D sequence was a spectacular helicopter crash. Lightwave was used for the crash, mainly for its rigid body dynamics. Interestingly, the film crew rendered primarily in Mental Ray. One other area of heavy 3D usage was the end Oscar sequence, which had been planned to be a composited sequence but in the end the majority of the crowd was achieved by 3D crowd replacement, based on motion capture done at CIS's own motion capture stage. The team at CIS was comprised of 25 3D artists and about 20 Compositors, plus managers etc.

2008 Marks the 11th Consecutive Year that Emmy® Visual Effects Nominees are NewTek LightWave 3D® Artists

Latest game work includes: Doom III, Burnout 3, Killzone, The Moment of Silence, Unreal Tournament, Serious Sam, Age of Mythology, Civilization III, Dead to Rights, Baldur's Gate II and EverQuest.

We had two big set pieces: episode four has the bus crash and episode seven has the rooftop suicide. Both of those were done by Eden FX. They pretty much use a combination of LightWave and Fusion. The bus crash was a combination of actually putting a real bus into a tank and a CG bus going under and then adding particle effects in the water to make it not look like a tank and then doing smoke and debris and crashing cars around it all.

• LightWave 3D was taking Hollywood by storm, with the first Emmy going to a LightWave visual effects team for their work on the pilot of Babylon 5. LightWave was also used for pre-visualisation work for Jurassic Park.

• Digital Domain used LightWave 3D in over 160 of the more than 400 effects shots for the blockbuster James Cameron movie, Titanic. The film took an Oscar for Best Special Visual Effects."

Meet Ernest Chan, the CG supervisor at Nickelodeon as he talks about his usage of LightWave on "SpongeBob SquarePants," "The Fairly OddParents," "Jimmy Neutron," "Invader Zim" and "Avatar: The Last Airbender."

Meet Andrew Clement, creator of the organ models for "RepoMen," as he discusses how LightWave made the creation of the "artforgs" or artificial organs for the movie, so easy.

• LightWave is used as one of the effects tools in Oscar Nominee Armageddon, as well as twelve other major films. Michael Blackbourn, lead 3D artist at The Embassy Visual Effects, will be at the NewTek booth to discuss his use of LightWave® to render the iron-clad Mark 1 suit used at the beginning of the feature film.

"LightWave played an instrumental role for The Embassy Visual Effects in rendering all the digital shots of Iron Man’s Mark 1 suit and enhancing several scenes with animation and particles," said Michael Blackbourn, lead 3D artist, The Embassy Visual Effects. "LightWave 3D gave us the power to create exactly what the director envisioned, from duplicating the complex look of the amazing practical suit, the animation of doors that get punched off their hinges, to the volumetric smoke and debris when the Mark 1 is flying and crash landing."

Asylum VFX was a visual effects studio for film and television commercials which shut down shop in 2011.

They provided additional effects for both Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

The studio also provided effects and titles to Without a Trace, Tropic Thunder, Sky High, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Unstoppable (the last film they worked on) and Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor and The Island.

• LightWave was one of the effects tools used in the Oscar winner for Best Visual Effects, Gladiator, as well as 17 other films, including X-Men, Mission to Mars, Red Planet, Supernova and Charlie's Angels.

 LightWave was used as one of the effects and visualisation tools in Oscar Best Visual Effects Nominee A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, as well as 24 other major films. Both VFX Emmys go to LightWave artists.

• LightWave users took home all five nominations and the win in the Emmy Special Visual Effects for a Series category, and Best Visual Effects Oscar nominees Spiderman and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones made use of LightWave as well.

NewTek had just been awarded the Emmy Engineering Award for LightWave 3D's role in revolutionizing television special visual effects for the previous decade. The award winning news continued with LightWave users sweeping both of the Emmy visual effects categories, drawing the 8th and 9th Emmy awards for projects that relied on LightWave since 1993 till 2003 and continues. Once again, all nominees in the series category relied on LightWave 3D. In film, all three Oscar nominees for visual effects used LightWave as part of the pre-visualisation and effects arsenal.

Lightwave has already beaten all comers in the television effects market. Battlestar Galactica, the CSIs, 24, and just about every sci-fi series since the early 90s have relied on Lightwave for fast and realistic graphics delivered on tight budgets by small effects teams. Today, even blockbuster effects features like Ironman, Dark Knight, and Pirates of the Caribbean (all featuring effects by Maya and expensive proprietary tools) use renders from Lightwave native render output as well. Lightwaves native renderer has always been far ahead of other packages when it comes to speed and production quality output

The Expendables: What are your softwares?
We use Digital fusion mostly for the compositing and Lightwave and Maya for the 3D elements and animation. 

NewTek LightWave 3D® software seamlessly integrates into the production pipelines of many VES Award winners and nominees, including 2012 VES Award winner Terra Nova for "Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series."

"The Terra Nova visual effects team is very deserving of its VES win—the visual effects work throughout the entire series was outstanding," said Rob Powers, VP and head of 3D Development at NewTek. "The energy at the VES Awards was incredible. We are very excited to continue to support the VES in the coming years as they honor the best in the visual effects industry."

Of the many winning and nominated entries of the 2012 VES Awards, LightWave was used in the creative pipelines of several productions, including:

The 10th Annual VES Awards are scheduled to air on REELZCHANNEL Sunday, February 19 at 10pm ET/7pm PT. For more information on the VES Awards and the Visual Effects Society please visit

• Spiderman 2 won the VFX Oscar; the film was fully pre-visualized and several effects shots were produced in LightWave 3D.

“Our VFX workflow for shows like The Walking Dead, Grey's Anatomy, and NCIS: Los Angelesrequire massive stability and performance - LightWave delivers both” - Stargate Studios VP of Creative Services, Al Lopez

• Lightwave was used to create the worlds first real-time virtual green screen integration whilst shooting Avatar

allowing the director to see people in a 3d world through the camera wining another Emmy Award. 

• Lightwave was used to render realistic looking Dinosaurs used in TV series Terranova all lighting render passes were done using Lightwaves native production quality render engine.

LightWave 3D was used by artist Stuart Penn at Framestore, for key scenes of one of 2008’s biggest box office successes, The Dark Knight. A highlight of the LightWave-generated work appears during the movie’s notable Hong Kong sequence. Using LightWave, Penn modeled two Hong Kong buildings that Batman jumps between, and from which he is later extracted by a C130 Hercules transport plane. Penn also modeled the damaged sections of one building, seen after the corner has been blown off, as well as larger areas of the building that were replaced or extended

Virtual Art Department (VAD) for James Cameron’s “Avatar,” Rob was a key member of the primary team that conceived and pioneered a whole new approach for directors to shoot a movie within an immersive virtual nonlinear filmmaking workspace. Rob and his team used NewTek LightWave 3D as the main tool for developing the environmental assets used for the Virtual Production workflow. Baking the LightWave render engine and advanced lighting into the UV maps made it possible to provide extremely high production value to all of the real-time assets. Lush jungle scenes with all of the light and appealing atmospheric elements that Rob and his team created in LightWave 3D were viewed in real time by director James Cameron before and during on-set virtual production.

“With LightWave’s optimized polygonal modeler, integrated dynamics engine, add-and-go deformation system, world-class render engine, autonomous asset workflow, and compatibility with other graphics applications seamlessly integrated into our production pipeline, we were able to bring Jim Cameron's vision of the Epiphyte plants, the great Leonopteryx creature and the entire world of Pandora to life. It was NewTek's LightWave that made it possible for me and my team to achieve our breakthroughs and goals on one of the most demanding films ever made. 

/ Lightwave Feature Films

This is a list of movies that used Lightwave 3D software to achieve amazing VFX results.  Some of the titles might surprise you (they did me). Especially titles that don’t seem like VFX films at all.  Well, that’s just part of the power of Lightwave 3D. It can do awesome SiFi, fantastical robots, future cityscapes, spaceships in one film like Star Wars and then more organic realistic just fantasy material like Lord of the Rings and yet produce totally, photo realistic images blended seamlessly with actually 35mmm film footage like Black Hawk Down


Note:  this is not a complete list of Lightwave feature films.  Just the ones I’ve personally seen.  I bolded the titles that I’m fond of and would recommend.  

  1. 300

  2. 3000 Miles to Graceland

  3. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

  4. A Sound of Thunder

  5. Avatar

  6. Batman Begins

  7. Battle of Red Cliff  (awesome Chineese epic)

  8. Black Hawk Down

  9. Black Knight

  10. Blade

  11. Blade 2

  12. Blade: Trinity

  13. Blood Diamond

  14. Blues Brothers 2000

  15. Bones

  16. Brotherhood of the Wolf

  17. Bunraku

  18. Deep Blue Sea

  19. Deep Impact

  20. Defiance

  21. Devil’s Advocate

  22. Die Another Day

  23. Dogma

  24. Dracula 2000

  25. Dungeons and Dragons

  26. Eagle Eye

  27. Elektra

  28. Enigma

  29. Fantastic Four

  30. Final Destination

  31. Final Destination 2

  32. Final Fantasy

  33. Finding Nemo

  34. From Dusk Till Dawn 2

  35. Ghost Rider

  36. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

  37. Gladiator

  38. Goldeneye

  39. Gothika

  40. Green Lantern

  41. Gulliver’s Travels

  42. Halloween: Resurrection

  43. Harry Potter 3: Prisoner of Azkaban

  44. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

  45. Hellboy

  46. His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass

  47. I Am Number Four

  48. 48.   I, Robot

  49. 49.   Iron Man

  50. Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees (Imax)

  51. Jason X

  52. Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius – Oscar Nominee

  53. Jumper

  54. Jurassic Park

  55. Jurassic Park III

  56. K19 The Widow Maker

  57. 57.   Kate and Leopold

  58. 58.   Kung Fu Hustle

  59. Lara Croft Tomb Raider

  60. Lara Croft Tomb Raider 2: Cradle of Life

  61. Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde

  62. Legend of Zorro

  63. Lord of Illusions

  64. 64.   Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  65. Lost in Space

  66. Master of Disguise

  67. Memoirs of a Geisha

  68. Men in Black

  69. Miami Vice

  70. Mission Impossible III

  71. Monster House

  72. Monsters, Inc.

  73. Mortal Kombat II: Annihilation

  74. Mr. & Mrs. Smith

  75. Mr. Brooks

  76. My Favorite Martian

  77. Nanny McPhee

  78. Nim’s Island

  79. Nixon

  80. No Good Deed

  81. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

  82. Octopus

  83. Old Dogs

  84. Oliver Twist

  85. Pan’s Labyrinth

  86. Panic Room

  87. Paycheck

  88. Peter Pan

  89. Phantoms

  90. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

  91. Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End

  92. Pitch Black

  93. Poseidon

  94. Public Enemies

  95. Queen of the Damned

  96. Race To Space

  97. Racing Stripes

  98. Red Corner

  99. Red Planet

100.Repo Men


102.Rules of Engagement


104.Scary Movie

105.Scary Movie 2

106.Scary Movie 4

107.Scooby Doo



110.Shakespeare in Love

111.Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

112.She’s Out of My League

113.She’s the Man

114.Shipping News

115.Sin City

116.Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow


118.Something Borrowed



121.Spider-Man 2


123.Spy Kids

124.Star Kid (aka The Warrior of Waverly Street)

125.Star Trek (J.J. Abrams Version)

126.Star Trek: Nemesis

127.Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

128.Star Wars Epsiode II: Attack of the Clones


130.Superman Returns



133.Tale of the Mummy


135.Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

136.The Adventures of Pluto Nash

137.The Astronaut’s Wife

138.The Avengers

139.The Aviator

140.The Big Hit

141.The Cell

142.The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

143.The Core

144.The DaVinci Code

145.The Dark Knight

146.The Day after Tomorrow

147.The Dust Factory

148.The Fifth Element

149.The Flight of the Phoenix

150.The Guardian

151.The Hot Chick

152.The Italian Job

153.The Jackal

154.The Kite Runner

155.The Last Mimzy

156.The Last Samurai

157.The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

158.The Manchurian Candidate

159.The Matrix Reloaded

160.The Matrix Revolutions

161.The One

162.The Others

163.The Perfect Score

164.The Pianist

165.The Ruins

166.The Siege

167.The Sixth Day

168.The Thomas Crown Affair

169.The Time Machine

170.The Triplets of Bellville

171.The Woman in Black

172.The World Is Not Enough


174.Titanic – Visual Effects Oscar Winner


176.Toy Story 2

177.Training Day

178.Tropic Thunder

179.Undercover Brother


181.Van Helsing


183.We Were Soldiers

184.Winx – The Secret of the Lost Kingdom




188.X-Men 3: The Last Stand

189.X-Men: First Class


Here is a bit more information:



Hollywood blockbusters are now touting the power and influence of 3D graphics. And the demand for artists to create these mind-blowing visual effects is growing. LightWave™ has the modeling and rendering capabilities to make it a key player in the production pipeline of major motion pictures. Movies such as She’s Out of My League, Avatar, Cargo, Battle for Terra, Angels and Demons, Dark Knight, 300, Iron Man, Serenity, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, all host graphic aspects created in LightWave.

LightWave also works seamlessly with other 3D applications and compositing programs to deliver results. Open formats include support forCOLLADA™ and FBX®, MDD, and integrated Autodesk® Geometry Cache. You now have a more streamlined integration process. You can develop accurate models, quickly. Access free and unlimited render nodes. Get more speed and higher quality. Now, go make movies, my friend.

Go see at least one of Lightwave Feature Films

Movies / Series that LightWave was used in { WIKIPEDIA extract }


/  The First Mainstream 3D platform released 28 years ago


A more comprehensive list can be found at the LightWave website. Some notable highlights are:

TV films and independent movies that Lightwave was used in

TV Series and miniseries that LightWave was used in

A more comprehensive list can be found at the LightWave website. 

Documentaries that LightWave was used in

Animated CG films and Cel Shaded Cartoon series 

Anime and Japanese OVA Series that were created with the help of LightWave

Video games designed with LightWave

A more comprehensive list can be found at the LightWave website.