NewTek has released its free LightWave 7.5 3D discovery edition for Windows and Mac.

This trial of the company's 3D-animation and video product ships with five interactive Flash tutorials, a PDF version of the LightWave manual and training material, and is a fully functioning version of the software. The company is providing fresh tutorial content regularly through its Web site.

Jim Plant, CEO and president of NewTek, said: “Cost and ease-of-use are major concerns for artists considering the use of 3D software. With complete online documentation, an extensive image gallery, interactive tutorials and other educational materials, the free Discovery Edition of LightWave 3D makes it easy for graphic artists, visual-effects designers, game developers, new media and other creative content producers to see how cost effective and easy it can be to add compelling and beautiful 3D imagery to their productions.”

The CD also contains all the models, images, textures and scenes from the retail version of the product.

As a learning tool, the product lets animators save their creations with up to 400 animation points, and “subtly” watermarks the renders. The Discovery version is available now on CD at no charge from NewTek's UK reseller, Computers Unlimited.