HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE (Tell us your ideas)


Ok in order to clear the air, I have taken the liberty of posting 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.

The titles and links for the threads are below


HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: SDK and plug-in development
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: Interoperability with other apps
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: 2D (Stealing Ideas from 2D Programs)
HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE:Latest CG Papers (Tell us about Bleeding Edge CG Research )

Looking forward to your ideas.


hello roberto,
what about a HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE: workflow?




Voice activated tool selection. Its an idea


Here’s one that won’t fit into any of those threads: LightWave needs better and more thorough documentation.

Here’s a few examples of things NOT covered in the docs, that throw folks off:

[li]Edge Z-Scale – set it to 1 if you’re using a high Zoom lens, to keep Edges from popping out of the model altogether. In other situations, try lowering it slightly to pull Edges towards the camera, for cleaner lines. Folks who don’t know anything about Edge Z-Scale often complain about Edges not looking nice, or falling apart, or whatever…when it’s not the Edges’ fault. They’re only doing what they’re told to do.[/li][li]NodeMatch – not covered at all in the docs, but potentially useful.[/li][li]Bezier Handles in the Graph Editor and the ALT key – you can hold down the ALT key to move each Bezier handle independently of its twin. This isn’t covered in the HTML docs, and I’m not sure if the PDF file covers it, either. Two Maya guys recently complained to me that LightWave didn’t have this feature, and as it turned out LightWave DOES – it’s just not documented.[/li][/ul]


What about something like “Paint Effects” in Maya… That would be awesome :wink:


Currently, you need to buy plugins to get the renderer to do advanced stuff like SSS and smoothe bump specularity etc… This should all be integrated and should be easy to use. Look at this new renderer in development by nextlimit.


What about something like “Paint Effects” in Maya… That would be awesome
Why not just use Maya?:slight_smile:

  But what would I add in lightwave? 
Modeling - paint deform like in zbrush

UV setup - make the uv prjection editable. so you could “huge” the cylinder mapping more to the object and reduce editting time

 Animation - would it be possible for lightwave to use the GPU vertex shader to accelerate defomation and dynamics?

Rendering - A Rib and rSl exporter would be wonderful


hi there.
there are many things that can be improved in LW, but it will be great if LW at last become 1 app.(not 2: layout + modeler). lot of users have problems with it.

sorry for my english


there are many things that can be improved in LW, but it will be great if LW at last become 1 app.(not 2: layout + modeler). lot of users have problems with it.
Why? it’s not distrupting producyivity. Even if you’r using a single app like maya or max most people somtimes do their modeling in silo or Modo and animate in motionbuilder or messiah and then bring it in to maya and max just for the rendering. And on the technical stand point. seperate app makes developing new tools more easyer.


Regarding the issue on 2 application (layout and modeler), I think it’s not really a problem. Yes, some people may not like the way LW handles it (similar to how LW’s UI is ‘strange’ and ‘awkward’). I initially couldn’t understand why LW needs to have 2 apps when 1 should be easier to use when I switched from program X to LW. However, as I start getting down to using it, I realized that 2 apps do have its advantages, and most importantly, it helps the work schedule instead of bogging it down, thus reducing the wasted time and effort in production. Now, I don’t want to think of the day when LW integrates them into 1…

Bottomline is, try to understand how the 2 apps work and voila, you can see its beauty :slight_smile:


The biggest problem I have with LW is not its functionality but rather its usefulness in the market. All of the software that I buy or browse to purchase that might utilize 3d models only take 3ds and Maya. Alot of software out there seems to cut out LW. If LW could do anything, it’d be to see to it that their extensions are included for import among the bigger name software. The reverse is also true. You need to be able to export to more file types used by more programs. Because if I need a model and turn to LW as a solution and it doesn’t fill the need, Im forced to turn elsewhere.


It would be cool if you could use your mouse to grab a back drop image in moduler and move it to where you would like it to be insteed of playing with the numbers. If this is already a feture, please let me know how its done =D


One thing i would like to see improved is the way LW slows right down to a stand still when working on high poly models. Of course LW being seperated instead of integrated is great and i would definitely like it to stay that way something more needs to be done.


Light wave needs the ability to keyframe or animate every setting and every variable.
There are still setings in lightawave that are just set and that is how it is for the animation, but some of those settings would be cool if you could animate them or have them change over time.


In Layout As You Go Through The Motions Add Plugin Here, Displacement There I Find It Annoying That It All Comes From The Same Window. Now Don’t Get Me Wrong Too Many Windows Is Bad, But If I Want Motion Window Up And Ik Controller Window Up At The Same Time Shouldn’t I Be Able To. I Just Wish I Could Have That Option Whether I Want Pop-ups Or Not.


hi all,

we(my company, our clients) are not upgraded to version 8 of lightwave yet.
so as far as i know about lightwave, it need a lot of plugins to do even a simple work, eg path animation…, … just an example… and not to forget the keyframer.

it would be better if all the basic things becomes tha native of lightwave.
and work need to be done to improve the workflow.



What do you mean by path animation? What basic things do you think LW needs?


my 2cents (although I think some folks have already mentioned this on several occasions): edge selectability/manipulation. Since I tried ‘Wings’, I miss this funcionality in LW very much.


I think a big thing we’ll be Newtek will elaborate the existing tools with more options.

For example: Bevel should be like Bevel++; Schematic view should have at least basic option like HIDE, LOCK, change the wire color for 3,4 objects at once etc…

this are just to examples, and i really think a lot of people will be happy with some improvements on existing tools, make them work better with the other tools, not with free half unknown new tools, u have to get 2 books and 3 DVD to understand.


I agree completely. There are plenty of features that are just sitting there catching dust because they are half baked and don’t play nice with the other plugins or features. And there’s plenty or room for workflow improvement.
Lightwave already feels like an old car that takes me where I want to go, but I need to push it up the hill regularly and it’s is almost falling apart. So let’s not add more gimmicks, but fix the tires, get rid of the rubbish and polish it up. Some examples from what I run into in Layout a lot:

-Effector, could be very powerfull if it would properly work with bones or any other deformer. Also nice if there could be some more primitive shapes added.Great for fast muscles, or making an object keep it’s volume with bone deformations…

-Sock Monkey, a forgotten tool that could be great if someone would revamp it and make it work on top of all other deformers. Heck we’d have clusters.

-Improve LScript, it’s ridiculous how many commands are not accessible by Lscript in Layout.Would be nice to have something like Lscript commander or another macro feature in Modeler.

-Displacements like the bend, taper, and shear tool in Layout should work properly on top of bones. They do work with bones, but not localy which practicly makes them useless with other deformers.They would work so great on cartoony characters.

-Make it possible to set after, or before SubPatch in any plugin panel. The way it works now you sometimes can’t combine displacement plugins because one needs the SubPatch order to be set to last and the other doesn’t work if you do. Very Bad !!

-Make it possible to parent bones to any object, and to have an object use bones from several objects at the same time. If on top of that, it would be possible to have bones deform an object not localy, but in the way a lattice deformer does, we could create our own lattices from a bone cage and use that on top of the normal bone deformation. Neat !

-Make the points on splines used as paths in Layout animatable with everything, also bones.

-When “Match Goal Orientation” is enabled the rotational values are no longer accessible for other motion modifiers. It’s Silly this still is not fixed.

-When I set rotational limits to an object or bone, these limits should also be obeyed when local or world coords are used. Would also be nice to be able to set Translation and Scale limits.

-Dynamics could be improved but what would help a lot if they would work with endomorphs or other displacements without any weird workarounds.

-If it’s possible to create a path from a point on an object that has Dynamics like cloth applied. Why can’t I just constrain a object to that point ?? We would have a poor mans point constraints which is great ! Coming to think of it, if Luxigons can see the polygon normal to create a light, why can’t I access that information to parent an object to that same polygon after it’s been deformed by bones ?? Just optimize it, and make the same possible on a frame by frame basis, and call it AniGon. Very powerfull stuff

-Improve EditFX, it’s tedious to have to tweak, set the frame range and smoothen the motion every time you move some points. If SockMonkey would work properly, we could just add some weightmap clusters and animate those on top of the Dynamics and edit the envelopes in the Graph editor. Much better !

-Make it possible for sliders to access multiple object channels at once so we don’t have to use an intermediate object and expressions, this silly MasterChannel or follower to accomplish this.

-Add an option to disable a child following the parents individial rotation, translation or scale channels. This way we don’t have to use follower or expressions so much and it would simplify something like rigging a character a lot.

-Make the splinecontrol Control Points listen to motion modifiers, and add translation handles and the ability to use multiple splinecontrollers on top of eachother.Also make it work with other displacements like bones and weightmaps. Now if we’d have point constraints as mentioned before, and you could use multiple splines and set the splinecontrol to after bones we would have a very powerfull deformer for something facial animation. Now it looks sad compared to Shift_Splinetransform and Bezierbend. But those also don’t work with endomorphs.

-Add more envelopes, at least gradients should be animatable. But it would be so cool to be able to animate bone strength, Rest Length, Limited Range etc. etc.

-Would be cool if the numeric input panel would show and accept World or local Coordinates input if that coord.system is used.

-Don’t even get me started on the new Scene Editor. Now that needs a lot of work.

-Collapse the new and old timeline, it’s just silly we need 2 timelines to be able to drag keyframes around

-Make Morph Mixer read new morphs automaticly or add a reload button. It’s simply sad we have to remove and re-apply it to access new endomorphs. Heck, Pawel Olas’ SmartMorph can do it, why doesn’t MorphMixer ? Also add an After Bones feature so morphs for joints work properly.

-One thing that would speed up the renderer a lot is, if the way it handles multiple cpu’s would be improved. Now all it does is split the image in two more pieces, and sometimes one CPU is just sitting there picking it’s nose while the other is crunching away for a few more minutes. This is just a waste of CPU time.

-Make it possible to add, remove and edit plugins on multiple selected objects at once or at least make this a feature in the Scene Editor.

-If I clone an object like a Null or any other object, Layout should number them properly. At least internaly for geometry, so I don’t get in trouble when I use expressions or MotionMixer on them. Now I have to save them to the HD with a unique name.

-make unseen by rays independent from Radiosity so you can have a GI sphere that does not influence your reflections.

-Add visiblity options like wireframe, shaded solid etc. to the object properties panel and Schematic view.

-Make it possible to select Lights, Objects and Cameras at the same time.

-Some settings can be changed on multiple selected objects, bones or lights and some you can’t. You can’t Exclude/Include objects from multiple selected lights at the same time or lights from objects, but you can change the color or type of light, You can change the strength and joint comp. on multiple selected bones, but you can’t change the weightmap or rest length. This should work on all settings, and don’t forget the shaders in the Surface panel !

-also add an Rest Pivot Translation and Scale, very convenient for rigs and recycling expressions.

-Make keyframes for MorphMixers selected endomorph channels visible and editable in the timeline.

-Add proper handles to the Path Tool, and IKbooster.

-Make it possible to convert an object to SubPatches in Layout, not just in modeler.