NewTek announced the creation of the LightWave 3D Group – a new division, based in Burbank, Calif., that will focus on delivering visualization and 3D products for various industries including architecture, computer-aided design and product development to advertising, game development and feature films. NewTek also announced former NewTek VP and head of 3D development Rob Powers has been promoted to president of the LightWave 3D Group. Powers will leverage his extensive experience in the visual effects and film production industries to grow the LightWave 3D Group with new product offerings, strategic partnerships and targeted sales and marketing initiatives.
“LightWave 3D has been the secret weapon in production pipelines for the past 20 years,” said Jim Plant, president and CEO, NewTek. “The formation of the LightWave 3D Group and the promotion of Rob Powers to president of the group was an executive decision to ensure that NewTek is well positioned for 20 plus more years of incredible growth.”
For more than two years, Powers has led the development and implementation of many new features in NewTek LightWave 10 and LightWave 11. Acting as a liaison between studios, 3D artists and NewTek, Powers has incorporated productivity enhancements, including the VPR (Virtual Preview Renderer) and anaglyph stereoscopic 3D preview as well as advanced flocking, instancing, workflow improvements and interchange support.
Prior to joining NewTek, Powers worked with James Cameron, serving as animation technical director and virtual art department supervisor for Avatar, and as CG supervisor for Aliens of the Deep. Powers also worked with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson as virtual art department supervisor for The Adventures of Tintin. Other credits of his include Disney’s Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Jet Li’s The One, and he was the lead animator of the famous 3D dancing baby on Ally McBeal. NewTek also enlisted Powers to create the first 64-bit Windows animation using LightWave 3D, which was presented by Bill Gates in his keynote address.
Powers graduated from the University of Southern California’s Cinema Production program, and attended the American Film Institute.