HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE (Tell us your ideas)


From what I read they just integrated mesh deformation into Layout, it’s a step in the right direction, but not the fundamental change that I feel is needed.

I hate to say it and I know I’m going to get flamed, but since I moved to Maya I can not see how they could make this seperate programs approach work and be competitive with the top tier 3D apps.

Also, can anyone tell me, did they ever fix the undo problems I mentioned before? They are one of the major reasons I left lightwave, they kept adding new features and didn’t ever fix the ridiculously basic problems that the program had.


they kept adding new features and didn’t ever fix the ridiculously basic problems that the program had.

Yup. Well that’s all supposed to change with 9. That’s the hope, anyway.


see message below


I hope so man, Lightwave has got a lot of things going for it, it would be nice to see them fix those problems and make it a viable competitor to Max/XSI/Maya, god knows it has the potential.

On the other hand, they’ve been saying that same thing since 6, and there’s only so many times they can cry wolf before they lose their credibility.

I almost think they should go the Softimage/XSI or Alias/Maya route and start fresh, seems to have worked well for these other companies, maybe Newtek could benefit from it too.


I have also used 3dsMAX ALOT in the past, and get on with it very well, just still like Lightwave for most of the work i do.

Anyway… what i gather is that instead of going the “start fresh” route, and leaving it’s customers with nothing for a great deal of time, Newtek have gone the change huge chunks while keeping the base package in tact. Seems the toughest choice in terms of working against yourself (just an assumption, i’m no programmer at all) but atleast they will keep us lot happy with updates more often. Newtek has gone through a massive upheaval since version 6, and now, after employing a brand new team, progression is going in leaps and bounds. Clearly the dev team have gotten to grips with things since version 8, and now 9 will include many things we have kept our fingers crossed for a long time… N-gon support, faster rendering, hardware shading sith faster OpenGL too, plenty more things aswell…

Maya is great software but it has had a solid core for a while, meaning easier to update and with prices on their upgrades they sure as hell can afford to put alot of money into development. Now that Newtek are opening up the SDK and thinking towards the future, by keeping every added feature open and ready for any new advances in technology, we will see things happen more speedily. :bounce: Here’s hoping!!


All very true. Looking forward to seeing where it goes.


BTW: I’m really curious, can someone tell me whether they’ve fixed the undo issues or not?


BTW: I’m really curious, can someone tell me whether they’ve fixed the undo issues or not?

Ummm, in short… yes, but in long… kind of, but not all things in Layout are undoable still. Like move the pivot point and try to undo where you moved it to and you won’t get anywhere. Many more examples, like the surface editor and a few other things too.


Yeah, in my opinion, that should be top priority for them to fix. Let’s up hope they get it sorted out with 9.


Allow the thread setting in the render panel to be scene controlled, not config controlled. OR, somehow get volumetric’s+transparencies to render with multiple threads enabled.

Also, would be nice to set separate ray recursion limits for different types of rays, example being if I have a scene with loads of transparencies I need to increase the ray limit so it will properly render those objects, but I don’t want reflection bouncing around that many times.

I’d also like to see the something like the ASA buffer saver built into LW’s render output panel. The plugin works great on individual machines, but I’ve been having problems getting it to work on my farm.

I’d also like to specify multiple output paths, with an option to scale one outputs resolution by say 50% and place data overlay’s on that output for simple veiwing and editing.

  Have a render mode like quickshade but enable transparencies.

A control interface for separating different elements in renders, like being able to only render volumetric’s, transparencies, deformed objects, or animated objects. I often find that in my workflow It would save me time if I could easily isolate these different types of elements while checking renders.

Save an instanced image after it’s been edited, and the option to display the image directory path next to it’s name, and a display of what objects images are being referenced to.

Choosing what information gets displayed in the render display panel, like ray limits, thread settings, and how long it took to render previous frames being held in the buffer. While optimizing scenes I find myself writing down render times for previous frames so I can get an idea of the scaling.

Better RLA, EXR, and HDRI support would be nice, saving out instanced HDRI images would be helpful. 

Unlimited AA passes like Fprime.

“Yes to all” should mean “yes to all”

Proper alpha in transparencies when refraction is enabled.

Pull down menu with a list of scenes, much like the pulldown menu in modeler when you have multiple objects open. And the ability to copy/paste settings between the two.


Improved knife tool

as of now when used and you enter to accept the slice, the slice gizmo dissapears from viewport. what if it didnt dissapear and you were able to select the gizmo and move it to another location to create a new slice at the exact same rotation as the previous slice just made?


Or you could try using the right mouse button after making a cut with the knife tool and it will move it to a new location exactly at the angle you had it at, and make a new cut. YAY!


just a small feature I could really use at the moment: render scene for selected items. Like the F11 key, but then all frames and to the HD. Maybe F12 ?


Integrated SSS solution would be nice.

Also, a tranparency blur that is useful. At the moment it renders too slowly to be of any use.

Transparent absorbant surfaces are a nightmare to try and recreate.


Here are a few things I’m thinking of… they don’t fit in any particular category…

  1. ability (with a right-click) in the surface editor to classify textures based on different filter (alphabetical order, group, etc.) I’m doing a lot of architectural project and scrolling through 50 textures or more is very time consuming.

2)Handles in modeler with 3 coordinate system choice. (I’m using Modo as well, and they are very handy)

3)I’D LOVE TO SEE THIS ONE: Under size option (surface editor, procedurals) beeing able to use a texture or gradient to control the size of a procedural: imagine using a gradient on a weight map to change the scale of a texture smoothly (a weight map range from 100% on the back of a dino to 10% on the belly controling the size of procedural scails…)

4)Gradient control for shadows (map + raytracing) allowing color and opacity change from a distance input or incidence angle.

5)Enveloppe for effect speed under Hyper Voxel texture option. Would be nice to control the texture frequency, contrast etc as well.

  1. Being able to chose how effects will wok together (add, multiply etc.) For instance spline control with bones,

7)beeing able to subdivide the object “first” to get nice displacement on the surface and once more in “last” order to smoothen bones or morph deformation after the animation is done. Basicly, a "two passes subdivision with independant level of sud-d. (10 for displacement and 2 for smoothing the creases after bones anim for instance.)

That’s it for today.
Thank you for listening!!!



Here is my 2 cents. No real original.

What LW need is a re-organisation of a lot of his fonctions. It need to be more logical.
Version 8 is way more complexe than the first version i have used. The 4.

I like LW for his speedy workflow.
You can rapidly model, texture, light and set up a scene, better thant any other package i think. He is good on basic 3D. But when you want more than basic 3d -->

it would need:

  • a lot faster, more accurate and easy setup dynamics (soft/cloth/hard/pfx) with real time preview (reactor-like) where all objects can interact.

  • easy setup hair dynamics ( bring back shave and a hair cut)

  • an easy character animation setup, a character studio like. (no need to buy another app for animation, no more messiah )

  • revisited and faster hyper voxel and volumetrics. New Sky tracer.

  • intancing ( buy HD intance)

  • full open sdk for option render.

  • sss (every app have sss)

All this are no revolutionnary things, it is just the minimum to expect rising near the competitors this days. Maybe NT needs to rise his price too. Every freelancer need those fonction this days. If he can’t have it with LW, the freelancer will consider going elsewhere
even if he has to pay more. Because he need to have the work done anyway.

Maybe to have 2 or 3 version of LW like XSi/MAYA or C4D is a good thing.
We want a real full 3d package. When i read in the advert that LW can make real cloths dynamics … i’m laughing. Same with complexe character animation, real fluid dynamics and hair. And i don’t want to laugh anymore, no more joking. LW has the potential. To be taken seriously by the professionnals, LW must be totaly professionnal.


Here’s an easy one:

  • How about being able to toggle GridSnap with hotkeys!!!

I spend half my day turning it on and off through the —‘gasp’ menu system!!! I have tried an several occasions to assign gridsnap to a hotkey but with no luck. It dosen’t seem to be in the list of stuff you can map. I’ve also tried Lscript a while ago but not recently.


Another little thing which would be really great is if there was a button next to Unseen by Rays that said Unseen by Radiosity. I use a lot of environmental radiosity (mainly for speed reasons) and I’m always running into a problem.

  • example:

I had a project which involved animating a mobile lab truck that had scientific equipment and stuff in it. In order for GI to work I had to set the walls of the truck to unseen by rays. The problem was there was a lot of shiny surfaces (chrome) in the truck that I wanted the walls to reflect in. With the walls set to unseen by rays I would only see the GI sphere in the reflections which makes for lousy reflections. Unseen by radiosity would solve this problem by making the walls invisible to GI but be visible in the shiny stuff!


I current am using LW7.0 so I not sure if they have this in the new version but here goes… Have a series of pre-defined 3d shapes that can enhanse the geometry in a variety of combinations. For example: the brow shape can be use to make extra geometry that pop out in a eyebrow sort of way. There can also be a series of drill bits that would be useful in creating a cutout effect but rather than slicing through the mesh it will add contours that follows the mesh. Again adding geometry.

Another thing that would be cool is to have a Fat tool. The fat tool would work somewhat like the smooth scale but it with a weight map. As you increase the amount the model becomes fatter. However, the extra bulk will not spead evenly with most of the bulk will be deposited in the waste. Thats where the weight map comes in. You can alter the center of gravity to displace the bulk.


How about better UV unwrapping tools?


Yeah, UV tools overhaul! I use them, but take a look at Maya’s uv tools. Not even Bodypaint has a relax UV tool like Maya, that allows repeated iterations and gives as great a result.
Also look at maya for intelligent tools for selection, Moving_sew selections to the proper area, recognizing and flipping backface UV’s without your defining them…etc…etc