HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE (Tell us your ideas)


I have an idea that I think should play in to all 3d programs. Coming from a background in AutoCad, I am partial to the right click = repeat last command option. Not sure if any already do it but I believe LW as well as others would benefit from this option. I think it would Speed the modelling process up a lot.

If this is already possible then excellent, someone let me know how

  1. In every teture editor … i wouldlike a smal “chain_link” button with an up and down arrow that locks the variables of XYZ in the scale texture i would be really helpfull for procedurals
    not having to use null reference objects for every texture…
    so if click and drag there u could resize the procedural …

2.I would like to have on the textures layers panel the ablity to have a layer
to affect ALL of the below layers as an alpha or subdivide etc etc for example
so i u have a complex series of layers you could add one and mask them for eg.

well just two crazy thoughts…

also i would like a select connected feature that wold highlight a bounding box not all
the polys of a geometry i wanna select… :slight_smile:



Right, i’m not going to/ or meaning to slate Newtek at all (i’ve just purchased it!!), but here’s a few things i would like to see. None of us (well, some may) know what Newtek are actually working on, but it would be good to know. Surely there aren’t going to be a huge amount of things that are unique and could be ‘stolen’ by other companies, but the things that they are in the process of doing would be cool to know about. I’m sure other companies do this.

Right, i reckon there should be some way to use the hub as a central system that uses just one chunk of RAM rather than Modeler and Layout using separate chunks. If the HUB could store all texture and object it would half the amount of RAM being used.

Not a huge amount of complaints really, just that many plugins, in Layout mainly, should be integrated either into the main interface or merged with similar tools. The same with modeller would be good. Get rid of the tools that no longer work with everything, Supershift also needs changing, it is very dodgy… and hates high poly selections. There would be no need to add extra tools, if the original one just included more options.

Anyway, this would be enough for anyone to manage, so i’ll let Newtek get on with it… i’m certain they’ll come up with something.

Oh, and an updated, sped up renderer would be incredible… along with Volumetrics etc. Hypervoxels are still beating alot of competition but they are getting old now… an update for speed and options would be nice too. (I reckon Newtek are working hard on rendering anyway, having got on board the guys from EI fame.)


Off the top of my head:

Increase speed and responsiveness - thereby improving workflow - especially rendering.
Improve (speed/accuracy) in clothFX/hardFX.
Integrate UV-painting functionality as in “BodyPaint”.
Add creative modeling tools as seen in MODO & ZBrush.
Change Sasquatch-Lite to be Sasquatch in the base product.

LScript: Access to all mouse/keyboard functions and non-modal panels in Modeler.
LScript: Access to the FX parameters.
LScript: Establish a standardized way run any plugin with initialized values and implement this with any plugins shipped with LW.

Create a Test Plan for all major functionality that must work and make sure a releases passes the tests for PC/Mac before a release. Add all reported bugs into that Test Plan so future releases do not repeat past mistakes.


I look at these sections a lot. I like many of the suggestions I have seen so far. This kind of thread can be very risky because it can go downhill very fast. There are always going to be issues regardless of the 3d software that is used. I know this because I have friends who use other 3d software, and they look at Lightwave and give me many compliments on it’s features. So I hope that this thread stays positive. I also hope that Newtek is reading these comments as well. I consider myself to be a relative newcomer to Lightwave. Even though I got into it around v4.0, I was out of it for along while. Even though I upgraded to v5.6, I didn’t have as much time to use it as I wanted to have.

Now, I upgraded to v8 and I am learning it again. Definately more complex than v4!<g> I’m really glad I upgraded, and I’m really glad I chose to upgrade as opposed to going with another 3d software. Even though I have a HUGE amount of respect for other 3d software I was looking at (Maya, Softimage), i’m glad I chose to stick with Lightwave. My goal is to improve my 3d skills to the level of being ‘very knowlegable’.

At any rate, I’ll throw in my two cents on whatI would like to see in Lightwave. Please make sure that the instructions in the ‘Help’ sections are correct!! There have been a couple times when I’ve gone to the help section to see how to do something, and the instructions were incorrect. For example, I’m working on several spaceships and I needed to measure them in order to make sure they were properly scaled in relation to each other. I went to the ‘Help’ section. The instructions gave me the worng tab to look under. I was confused for a few moments until I happened to stumble on the correct tab. I had to write this down so that if I forgot, I could find that info again with no problems. It makes me wonder what else in the help section could be wrong. If you’re a newbie like myself it makes learning the program harder. The other thing I would like to see is full-screen test renders. At the option for it. I remember this was the standard in v4.0. After that, the test renders were small screen only. However, my not getting full-screen test renders may be due to my own lack of knowlege about LW.

Another thing I would like to see improved is the renderer. Especially if there is an ability to use multiple cpus to develop one frame. However, I have a feeling that Lightwave is already working on the faster renders given that they hired two ex-Electric Image programmers.

Finally, I would like to see Newtek develop an even closer relationship with Worley Labs. His plug-ins are simply put ‘Fantastic’. Some of them need to be incorporated into LW as part of Lightwave. For example, Sasquatch. I’m talking about the full version here. Also, I would like to see the incorporation of Gaffer, and the Polk collection. I owuld also like to see Maestro incorporated into LW. I saw a friend of mine use this program, and I was sold. I’ll be purchasing it on my next payday. Newtek could have two versions of Lightwave in the same manner as Softimage and Maya have multiple versions of their wonderful software. This would allow for some scalability. Obviously, the price for this advanced version Lightwave would be higher. But, given the extra features that would be part of it, the higher price would be justified.

At any rate, that’s my $0.02 cents. Again, I hope that this thread stays positive. and constructive! The grass may seem greener on the other side, but I have friends of mine who pull their hair out with other programs as well. All these programs have their strengths and weaknesses. Best wishes and luck to all those in 3d. May you work hard, and realize your 3d goals!


Just crossed my mind. It would be cool to have Morph sliders in Modeler so we can see it’s behaviour before sending it to layout and adding the Morph Mixer


They could start by getting their website accessible again from within europe… (and yes, I’m aware of the existence of, but that site just sux :))


Just occured to me. It would be nice if USB dongle could carry extra flash memory so we can keep config’s and presets with us on only one device.

I just found myself looking stupid with two of these around my neck…


normal mapping ?


Just intergrate Layout and Modeler into one app for starters.


A VCR button set for Graph Editor (or a working shortcut) will be cool.
Has anybody ever done motion tracking thru the Graph editor? Paaainnnfulll :slight_smile:
Moving frame by frame by arrow button has to be done in main window, switching from the Graph Editor to main window just top off my stress level.

[revised: found the shortcut: shift + arrow :slight_smile: ]

Or, hey, better yet, a built-in motion tracker.


One of my complaints about the Modeler being a separate program from Layout is that it limits an artist’s ability to be spontaneous when working in a scene. If you are working on a scene and decide you want an object to be modeled to fit into a scene that has multiple object files / layers loaded in and cloned all over the place, you have to start a brand new object or layer, and then model it blindly and then check back in Layout to see how it fits. These kinds of extra steps slow you down and hinder your creativity. So here’s an idea:

Make a button called “Create Object” in Layout. When you press this button it opens a new window (let’s call it the Create Object window).

The first button in the window will create a null that you position in the scene where you want the object’s pivot point to be located.

The next button (“model object”) will switch to Modeler, where you can start building your mesh or whatever; but here’s the tricky bit: one of the options for “Create Object” should create a “mesh snapshot” of the entire scene that is in Layout and throw it into a special layer in modeler (with options to limit polycounts for the snapshot in case you have a complicated scene, only snapshot a selected area, etc…) so you can see your model in it’s new home right within modeler. And if you want you can pull points and polygons from the snapshot to integrate into your new model.

I think this would really help the workflow in lightwave and allow artists to quickly add to scenes without burdening them with all the steps they would have to go through to do this by hand.


check this one:

note: before using the sliders in Modeler, create an empty endomorph.


here ya go :


Hahaha, amazing… so many things have been addressed by the Lightwave community. Shame Newtek hasn’t done the same and put them into the software itself


Provide better support for others’ object formats.
C4D can load LW objects and scenes. It can also load lwos from Modo so there are two 3d apps out there right now that support lwos with n-gons and LW isn’t one of them. Crazy, huh?
Start providing better support for Maya. Until NT makes LW do whatever it is people leave it to go to Maya for, they could at least make it easier to come back for rendering which is what many people do thanks to the 999 nodes allowed.


First of all, Lightwave is a beautiful package, and, despite all critics, is on a good path, IMHO. I don’t ask some complicated things, only things that could be implemented easily by Newtek’s talented team.

These are some things I have seen in 3dmax, and I think those would be useful in Lightwave:

  • import from other 3d formats, without the need for other plugins, not only exporting; exporting with quads for 3DS format

  • I wish I could see again 8bf support, for Photoshop filters in post; the legacy plugin in unstable; this could be used to affect some special buffers, without the need for post;

  • a much better Glow effect, with per-object settings, not globally; and more than 4 special buffers - but with a good compositing package, I could live with that

  • a better snapping for Modeler, and especially, for Layout; yeah, snapping in Layout; everybody wants it.

  • some integrated plugins for Camera matching & tracking - would be very nice !

  • selective import in “Load from scene”

  • a Group/Ungroup command(optionally, can be done with a script)

  • More selection tools in Modeler - polyline lasso, paint selection

  • Ease/Multiplier curve for animation channels

  • a command similar with Normalize time/Constant velocity

A very cool thing I like to see in Lightwave nine is a procedural system for creating complex geometry, like L-system. Houdini has it.

A great enhancement for Lightwave would be also an extended API. It doesn’t directly affects end users, but allows developers like Worley Labs to do better plugins for us.

That’s all, folks, and sorry for my english.


Hey i’m new here…
I just wanted to add that it would be cool if u could goto the camera properties and choose render modes…like clay style or wireframe clay or wireframe texture or whatever.
Then from there, choose the specific options for that style…ie: what colour the wires will be rendered…then do the render, then just go back to the camera and set it back to normal texture render.
That way u don’t have to edit each objects textures just to do a clay render or in the case of wireframe, u dont have to run the multiple_surface plugin…save it as a seperate file and then load it up again.


I think the seperation between modeler and layout is an old and outdated concept and is holding ightwave back more than it is beneficial.

Also, correct me if these have been fixed because I haven’t used lightwave since v6.5, but:

-MULTIPLE UNDOS IN LAYOUT!! This is ridiculous not to have.
-everything is undoable. Last time I used lightwave you could only undo certain things, this was really aggravating.
-good way to pick objects in a complex scene. When I was using lightwave before, the only way to pick things was to click them in the viewport which was totally broken, or to pick from that stupid menu at the bottom of layout which was totally inefficient.

When I last used it, Modeler was an up to date, well designed, powerfull program, while it seemed like Layout needed a LOT of work, maybe this has changed since then.


Gotta disagree slightly… i think the way each module is separate makes me work in a more productive way. Having models separate from scene files prevents HUGE files and promotes nice folder hierarchies and a clean way of working. BUT i agree that it does hold LW back a bit. No animated modelling is a pain, despite workarounds that are in place, it’s still not good. From what i’ve seen of Siggraph '05 and Lightwave 9, Newtek have actually fixed all of these points. Layout will include most modelling tools, so they will animatable… yet the object and scene files will be kept separate, just the way i like them. Another plus for a different way of working (i don’t agree with integration though, it always makes for bloated packages and files) is the RAM usage. At the moment, with LW’s hub, modeller, layout all using chunks of RAM to store object information seems wrong, and wasteful.

Seems like LW9 will fix most peoples worries for the software… it has fixed most of mine.