Ok in order to clear the air, I have decided to post a series of threads
where ideas on how to improve Lightwave can be posted in an organized fashion.
The idea is to provide an one stop place where developers (from Newtek, or independent)can come in and get ideas.

This thread along with its sister threads:

[b][b]HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Character Animation
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: SDK and plug-in development
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Interoperability with other apps

…will be used to provide input on ho to move Lightwave back into the forefront of CG graphics.

But in order to keep things positive (glass half full), and make it something
worth while, there are some rules for this thread:

Please dont provide rants, just provide your ideas.
No bashing Lightwave or any other app. I mean it.
If new research is pointed out, please provide links to it.
Show us real life examples on how your idea would help you.
Please along with your comment, provide suggestions of how to
implement the concept or idea on the workflow. Workflow is one of the
things that make Lightwave what it is.
The can do attitude is what made this community once great, cynicism is
killing it. Someone once told me “Optimism is an act of defiance”.
PS Ill post the other threads later today.


Most (if not all) of the dynamics need a speed boost. As far as I’ve seen, apparently it would help a lot if the coders would find a way to drop “useless” items from collision detection dynamically during the calculation. Now the major slow-downs seem to come from the fact that each object is compared to each other during every step. Sure, it’s accurate but it’s unnecessarily heavy. There’s been several siggraph papers about this lately so I don’t think there won’t be a huge problem doing what I just proposed - only the implementation will be a bit tricky, as everything in coding is :slight_smile:


Anything as accurate and fast as those algorhythms would be good to be implemented into Lightwave. There were similar threads in the past about those simulators, but i thought i just give a reminder.


I tool like crack it that automatically cracks the polygons for hardbodies…and cloth that actually respects motion of bones.


This topic is being hashed out at spinquad:



Oh, and for hard fx, I was thinking of the different collision parameters. Instead of having just box and sphere collisions, Hard FX should even include parameters (in my own words): Object (Advanced, such as SDS models), Objects (triangulated). Hard FX full shatter (creates interior polygons)

2nd, collision properties that keep the pieces from moving and stuff…I am planning my first movie and I want Lightwave to be my choice of program…


Real fluid dynamics, particles don’t actually fill stuff up


More powerful PFX :

  • size of particule have to become more useful : influence in cloth fx, HV …
  • add vortex concept like Fire&smoke plug.
  • to be able to change particules in object sequence like in Real Flow.
  • real interaction and self interaction


integrate all of this into lw :drool:


I’d like the PFX system in general to be more predictable/reliable. Specifically, I was working on a scene (for the avalanche challenge here, in fact) and had a bunch of tree objects with FX_Motion as motion modifiers. They were set to start by event, and were triggered by colliding with collision objects set to event, which would knock over the trees. Worked like a charm…until I closed LW and re-opened the scene. Now the trees all fall over at frame 1, totally disregarding the impact of the event objects. I messed with all the settings for hours, hit FX_Start, even compared the scene to a previous test that I had done whose settings were identical…the test works, the real scene does not. It’s completely illogical stuff like this that I find extremely frustrating about LW’s PFX…

Also, a small request would be, in the FX_Browser tab, when I click on the options button and then go to choose my pfx directory…it’d be nice to be able to actually create a new directory instead of only being allowed to choose from an existing one. Sure I can just go into explorer and create the directory, but the point is that I shouldn’t have to.

That’s it for now…I’m sure I’ll think of more things as the days go on… :wip:


More thorough documentation for Dynamics would be nice, too. The docs don’t explain the use of NodeMatch, for example – I had to figure that one out on my own.


Another thing that I’ve found to be rather wonky (with 7.5 at least…dunno about 8) is using textures on an emitter’s birth rate parameter. I’ve noticed on several occasions that particles will simply not show up in Layout if there’s a texture applied to the birth rate (usually happens after clearing an applied .pfx file). Changing parameters, running FX Start…nothing. Zero particles. But…click on the “T” button and it’s like Lightwave goes “oh yeah…hehe…I forgot…you want PARTICLES here…here ya go!” and they proceed to display as you would expect. A minor annoyance, but still…it’s something that just shouldn’t happen.


3G- Try switching the Mode to Alpha instead of Normal and sometimes that helps, but most of the time you do need to Calculate to get accurate results…


I’ll have to do some tests with a single texture in alpha mode…but what if you’ve got a multilayered texture? (semi-rhetorical question…)

Regarding doing an FX Start calculation…that’s just the thing: if I do that immediately after clearing a saved .pfx file from an emitter with a texture applied, I get no particles from the emitter. It’s only after I click on the “T” button that Lightwave “remembers” that I actually would like it to emit some particles. Silly… :rolleyes:


hmm dunno, but alpha doesnt work like ‘alpha’ in this case i think…i think its just making the bitmaps work. maybe multiple alphas will work?

also, you can simply hit the <> instead of the T to get your birthrate going again…


ClothFX/Motion Designer

  1. Weightmap for ClothFX Fixed: 100% is fully fixed anything less can graduate to simulate the ‘smooth’ function that used to be in MD.

  2. Allow weight maps which don’t include all points on the cloth (i.e. assign a nominal value to non-weighted points). Currently you have to weight every point in order to avoid errors.

  3. Multithreading.

  4. Restore the Reference Object function from MD.

  5. Provide accurate previews of bone driven collision objects instead of the current 1 frame lag which makes watching the calculation pointless because it is not actually what happens when the sim finishes.

  6. Provide a Motion Mixer style environment to layer and blend MDDs using time envelopes and weight maps.

  7. Provide a mechanism for blending MDDs based on local normals rather than world coordinates i.e you could create a gross movement of a coat as it moves through the scene and then simulate secondary motions e.g. a tail of the coat flapping with the character stationery and blend the two so that the secondary motions can be added to the gross movement. (Currently MDDs are only world coordinates, I think).

  8. Provide a tool, like Point Oven, for making soft multiple frame edits to MDDs in Modeler instead of trying to use EditFX in Layout.


The “smooth” function in the old Motion Designer never did this. All Smooth would do was allow the properties of neighboring surfaces to trickle into the Smoothed surface. Fixed, in the old MD, was either on or off, regardless of Smoothing.

ClothFX currently one-ups MD’s Smooth by allowing each property to be individually weight-mapped, instead of all of the properties trickling into a given area.

That said, I agree whole-heartedly with your suggestion for multithreading. I recently had to pass up ClothFX on a project in favor of ye old MD because MD could take advantage of both 3Ghz processors on my machine, while ClothFX could not.


Id like to see reference objects that were in MD brought into Clothfx.
Id like to see the dynamic bones affect other things when they collide with them.
Id like to see EditFX work in Layout for manipulating points directly without having to actually run a simulation. Id like the points to show up in the graph editor.


Realistic fluid dynamics. Everytime LW users reach for a plugin or external app to help them it’s because LW is lacking.


Two things :

Firstly - improve editFx. it is a very interesting tool but too tedious to use.
1 - it often happens to select backface particles in clothes. It should be possible to select only the front points.
2 - only one particle can be selected and edited. Multiple selections should be possible.
3 - only point moving is possible. I suggest scale & rotate should also be available for groups of particles. THis must obviously include selection by weight maps to allow smooth and controlled editions.
4 - I never know where I am moving my points. The typical handlers for move/rotate/scale should be added on each selected particle.
5 - I do not even know how to smooth the edition. It should be possible to perform the edition on a desired time range on a real-time basis (the frame before & after are updated automatically).

Secondly - I am not sure it does or not work but this must be fixed if needed.
I had recently a fat character with his belly animated using the softFX tool. The thing is that I could not get it working properly. I want this softbody could act on a cloth. I have calculated the body alone and saved the transformation then have Iadded a collision effector above the softFX. The cloth has never ever been deformed properly and this sucks.