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.


I´ll add what i WANT to see in the NEXT version of LW before consider upgrading, it´s more related to Character Animation because that´s what i do most right now:

-The ENTIRE Character Setup has to be made available inside Layout, no more switching back and forth to paint Weights, make Corrective Morph´s etc etc.

   - Basic Modeling tools like Extrusions and general Point Manipulations MUST be available inside Layout.
  • REAL SmartSkin done Inside Layout on a simplistic manner (ripping off the feature to be like that $299 program wont bother me at all :scream: )

    - Display Subpatchs in LW like they show in Modeler and not that triple poly thing that is annoying...
    -IK BOOST (not Booster ;)) in terms of speed and functionality. LW´s IK sometimes has "life" of it´s own...this is also ANNOYING very very annoying...
    -Point and click IK and more "general" contrains.
    -Animatable Contrains, like animate a parent in Place etc etc.

    -Ability to Constrain EVERYTHING to EVERYTHING, Points to Nulls, Nulls to Points, Cameras/Lights to Points etc etc

  • Something like Set Driven Keys (without having to write Expressions for them), something EXACTLY like the competition has.

    • Copy and Paste animation from item to item by simply Copying and Pasting :wise:

    • Overall SPEED up of LW´s Open GL.

    • Being able to create Layers inside Layout.

  • Exporter Plugins for the most well know Games, other software has specific plugins developed so that entushiast´s can make custom models and animation for popular games. I would love to export fully animated/textured characters to Unreal Tournament DIRECTLY from LW, like i can with other software. Get that MOD user base using LW, this alone will make LW a lot more appealing to lot´s of other people, not to mention the free publicity.

  • Everything must COMMUNICATE with everything inside Layout, doesnt matter if it´s third partie Plugins or not, this is ESSENTIAL!!!

    -Last but not least (for now) REAL MULTIPLE UNDOS in EVERYTHING!!!
    Ill post more later... :scream:

ps: Maybe this post belongs on the other Character Animation thread, if so please feel free to move it, ii posted before seeing there was a Character ANimation thread, sorry about that :blush:


I do agree with Sil3 with the Undo thing and the game export formats for all game engines and stuff like that…

I have one idea of my own.

and this is my only gripe: Has Sasquatch fur create reflections on reflective surfaces so I do not have to comp it…


In the layout, I sometimes want to render my game character with self shadowing and sometimes, I triangle I get weird shading patches like on this model here (This is my first character by the way): The model is already triangulated…this render is self shadow off…

And this render is self shadow on, with point lights there…
I find this extremely disturbing especially when I want (personally) Lightwave to play a huge role in the game industry…


Here is my problem with self shadowing and weird lighting patches on my triangle meshes…

  • More than one camera view in viewport when you have more than one camera.

  • Copy and paste lensflare and volumic properties


Instancing would make me the happiest, as far as Layout improvements go. True instancing though; not the limited form available with HD_Instance.


New reference object mode,I want to be able to change a surface setting only for that scene without renaming the object.

Real snap .

Improve dopesheet.

Undo on everything.


Layered Animation

It would be a huge improvement. That alone would be worth the price of an upgrade.

  • The ability to constrain a spline to a deformed object/groundplane then use that spline as a path for another object.

  • An adjustable speed channel… very handy with those spline paths. :wink:

  • Animatable lattice deformations

  • a simple one here, I would think… In the Surface Editor - the ability to enable or disable a constraint link for the X, Y and Z scale of a texture. It should be proportional too so that if the values are different when you enable the constraint link, you can edit one of the values and the others automatically adjust, maintaining their relationship. This would greatly speed up texture setup and tweaking.

  • also for surfacing… How about some way of linking all instances of a texture’s size and/or position so that we only have to edit one and all instances of that texture adjust. eg: Adjust the Colour texture’s scale and the matching/linked textures for Diffuse, Specular and Bump, etc… adjust as well. Okay I guess I’m asking for Node Based Texturing. :slight_smile:

That would be a great start.


What do you mean by layered animation?


i’d second the layered animation.

The ability to layer animation is where I make a walk cycle for instance and then over that animate the upper part of the body, maybe carrying something, then layer the two animations over each other but without having to go into another part of the software the way it is now. layering allows mixing predone animation with one another in such a way that they can be blended to make a new mixed animation.


The navigation system feels disjointed compared to Modeler. It would be nice to make it feel the same. I remember modeling a lot in modeler, sending the model to layout, and it just being a foreign environment, even for something as simple as rotating and such. It’s been around long enough to make modeler and layout act and react like they were made by the same company.


Not really Layout specific but one for ALL of LightWave.

A decent Preference Editor.

A single, neatly organised window that holds ALL preferences to LightWave. With ‘load’, ‘save’, ‘save as’ buttons.

While you’re at it, overhaul the ‘Menu’ and ‘Key’ editors too. Making searching for available commands or where a command is in the interface much easier!

Maybe a ‘locate last added plugin’ function so you can find it to create a button for it quickly!

  1. Along the same line, make adding plugins, menu items etc, a simple 2 step process, when you’re loading the plugin, also make it possible to create or edit the buttons. While we’re at it, why not employ one of those new fangled conventions “drag and drop” have an edit mode where you can drag any command to any tab to any section interface wide.

  2. As someone else suggested, multiple undos for any item, textures, lights, motion, dynamics, etc. The implementation of the multiple undos in layout for V8, comes across as just enough to pacify the natives, come on NW it’s 2004!.

I’ll keep adding to this as I think of them.


render pass groups.

i just made that term up, and something similar may exist already, but it would certainly be useful. basically, under the render properties tab, you could save several different render settings, object visibility settings, output settings, and matte settings for later use.


you’re doing medical animation. your scene consists of a human figure, a brain, a few various internal organs, and a few bones. you need to be able to apply a glow to the brain in post, and make the figure semi-transparent. and let’s say

well, you could make everything but the brain a matte object, and save those settings as “brain pass”. then, repeat the process for the body and save it as “body pass”.

now, if you need to tweak one element of your render, you simply open up your scene, and apply your render settings. mattes are re-applied, files are rendered to the correct location, and very little setup has to go into it.

this in particular would be nice as i actually DO medical animation and run into stuff like this all the time.


Sometimes you get a plugin or lscript for an older version and when you scan directory to look for plugins LightWave just crashes. I would like to see it go through each Plugin/LScript and if there is a problem event trap it and at least tell you which or these caused the crash, just a small thing but i think it would add to the robustness of LightWave.

Also get the SDK released totally to the developers, this can only enhance LightWave and also provide tools to address shortcomings in the standard package

Thats my 2 pence worth


Have the animation mixing as part of the main app not a seperate plugin that bakes it all.

have layering and pose baking, saving.

have the ability to set different channels/keys to different layers and set different mixing values to mix them with.


Being a newbie to Lightwave and 3D this may simply be inexperience on my part (if so, my apologies) but I would like to see better organization (ie grouping) of controls.

For example…

To employ Saslight you need to “activate” it via Item Properties and Image Processing.

To employ glow, you also need to find it in two different places: Surface Editor and Image Processing.

Not sure why in these instances you couldn’t centralize the controls in a single pallette interface. Wouldn’t it be easier to remember a single location vs two? Thanks.


I would like to see IRIX support brought back. Or at least a client that would allow my sgi machines to be usable on the network with current versions.

If there is already something like this, please ignore this post.

And if anyone knows where something like this exists, please message me or link it.