HOW TO IMPROVE LIGHTWAVE (Tell us your ideas)


Please recode all plug-ins that don’t take advantage of multi-threading/multiple CPUs to, well, use all available CPU power.

That would be super.


parametric animation, layout and modeler integrated and more competitive in reference for the others, a viper like fprime


Hello Folks,
I found this posting very interesting and I would like to invite you all to share your experiences with me and contribute to my research. I posted the description of my research in this forum (Title: Scientific Research on LightWave 3D):
If you like to go directly to project website here is the link:
Your experiences are very valuable to me and I would appreciate your participation. I will share the results as soon as they are ready.
Good luck everybody


so i don’t know if anyone sujested this before but i’v got LW9 and i think it’d be cool if you could chose which panals share and are stand alone, putting a check box at the top of all panals to turn it off and on. it’s an easy thing to add and a good sultion for the new handling of the pannels… i know everyone at the studio i work at complanes about this area… it’s so easy to add it could and i think should be added before the release of the update to LW9… but thats just my small idea… :slight_smile:


first let me say i love lightwave, but it falss short in a few places but not as may as you’d think, i work as a vfx artist and as far as i can tell the main things lightwave needs to make it competitive are…

a real render pass system as in
this object this light in a pass and in this pass i want the light to use these setting and the object to use this material

its been said before but i’ll say it again, fluid dynamics similar to mayas, and the easy way things cane be linked , like forces and particles, i find it hard to believe that maya has had this system so long and we still havent come up with anything similar

and last but easily the most important is the scripting, programs liek maya are only used as widly as they are because they give the ability to chage anything u want to suit your purpose via scripting, lightwave should drop lscript and use python as most other are, hell maya is now python, so is xsi and realfow, would be nice to open up lightwaves tools to a whole new set of users wouldnt it

  1. Construction history. It’s kind of a bummer having to keep multiple versions of my geometry in situations where construction history could have kept me from having to do so.

    1. More thorough documentation and tutorials. Look at what Autodesk has for 3ds Max and Maya. The docs and tuts that ship with their software are great. I wish I had a penny for every time I had a question about a specific field or option in LW, I did a search for it in the LW help, and it came back with zilch. I also don’t like that the help is Flash. Flash makes it kind of clunky to use.

    2. In the Load Object Layer dialog, if would be great if you could load more than one layer at a time. Instead of loading layer 1 then 9 then 12, you could type in 1, 9, 12 and get it done all on one feld swoop.

    3. Lattices. Because they’re the shit. And don’t give me that “you can do the same thing with weight maps” crap. Lattices are faster.

    4. Standard base shaders, like Phong and Lambert. (edit: implimented in v9.0)

    5. The ability to choose your Content Directory from Modeler (or at least Hub!). Sometimes I just pop in to Modeler to make some geometry tweaks. Currently I have to open Layout first to choose my Content Directory, otherwise Modeler is confused as to where to find the assets it wants. (edit: implimented in v9.0)

  2. In Layout, make Subdivision Order set to LAST by default. For the love of God.

  3. Make the default lighting in Layout something more evenly lit. The currenly moody single spot light doesn’t lend itself to allowing the user to just pop in to Layout and do a quick task in a new scene. I mean you can, but but you won’t be able to see what you’re doing. I currently keep a scene with a “defaul” lit rig that I import in to any new scene, but that’s a workaround…and workarounds are lame.

  4. Make it so Layout can import more audio formats than just wav files. The ability to import mp3’s, for example, would be great because they’re smaller and are less likely to bog down your scene. When recources are in a bind, audio playback in Layout can quickly get so choppy that it’s almost impossible to understand what you’re hearing.

    • Dustin


I will love a better import & export = obj with mtl.:slight_smile:

  • add edge (split edge) anywhere on polygon.
  • bevel edge (rounder) improve.
  • Selection mode (rectangle,lasso,circle).
  • X-ray mode in modeler
  • Auto show background when create new layer (like modo)
  • Freeze object (can’t select object) mode.
  • Sculpt tool.
  • Object History.
  • shadow maps to all light type.


I know it’s been stated before, but…

I’d love to see a non-destructive modifier stack added to Modeler.

I’d also love to see instancing implemented in Layout.


I would love to do some basic modelling with NURBS, but I really need the ability to import IGES or STEP. Lightwave is such a great tool for visualization, but the import from StudioTools, Rhino or SolidEdge via *.lwo or *.obj is so time consuming, specially during the whole creative process. I guess if u have to render only the final model it’s no problem but importing it all the time just for showing your new ideas to your AD is a pain…


in modeler when making an object in one layer and then forgetting to click in the next layer icon and you will have a hard time separating both objects it shouldnot be so, there should be a way to make two different objects in one layer


I have LW9, am basically a newbie, am taking the course on LW9 at VTC, but am
very frustrated with the program. I believe it’s a great app, and I want to be able to
use it well , but just can’t seem to get to 1st base with it. (emoticon here banging head
on wall).

I’d like to see a more user-friendly interface…I’d like to be able to create something easily, grab it, move it, tweek it easily as I can in trueSpace6.6…it’s so intuitive.
(that program is seriously under-rated here, IMHO…it has some very cool modeling tools)

The point is, a high-end app doesn’t have to necessarily have a learning curve as steep
as say, Mt.Everest. I know LW is supposed to be “easy”, I guess compared to Max or Maya, but for me, it’s anything but.

I don’t have time to take a formal course (eg like Gnomon’s or at a college), so I’m
learning on my own. I’m not a constrained by money so much as by time available.
If I can make a reasonable amount of progress, I keep going.

Time = money, right? The faster someone can learn and use an app the better all around.

I would also like to see support for NURBS. Is LW the only one that doesn’t have them?

Based on what I’ve seen other’s do, and what users say, “I love LW, etc”, I intend to
keep banging my head on the gui until one or the other cracks.

BTW, I’ve been using 3D apps since I had an Amiga in '89, but lately have had the urge to really dig in and spend the time and energy learning & creating what I can imagine.

In the past 2 months I’ve tried:

[li]Maya…great app, difficult gui[/li][li]XSI…great app, great gui…I may still get it.[/li][li]Modo…ditto[/li][li]Rhino…very cool[/li][li]Silo…spartan, but good.[/li][li]Vue…great app…amazing demo…appears hard to learn.[/li][li]Blender…everyone likes it…doesn’t do it for me (yet)[/li][/ol]Besides LW9 I have:
[li]trueSpace6.6…didn’t like it originally, but have found it easy & powerful…great app.[/li][li]Carrara6 Pro…great app, great gui[/li][li]ZBrush3…amazing app & beautiful gui[/li][li]StrataCX5…very nice gui…relatively easy to use[/li][li]Hexagon2…ditto[/li][li]Bryce6…an oldy-but-goody…best dang interface of all, IMHO.[/li][/ol]“A great app is a terrible thing to waste”, so I hope something will “click” between me
and LW, even if it never has NURBS or the gui remains as inigmatic as Fu Man Chu.

“Never give up, never give up…” - Sir Winston Churchill :thumbsup:


Re-opened the thread.



… similar to Deep Exploration’s… Rotate/pan/zoom without AA smoothly -> stop and wait/think what to do next -> and in a split second you get a nice, clearer antialiased view… It would be nice for us not having Quadros or FireGLs or similar… :slight_smile:


I use the Autodesk products alot, so alot of my referance comes from them:

Better polly modelling tools. Theyr nice, but PLEASE add a split poly tool or cut tool like in Maya / Max.

Better extrusion; Its never neat, often spliting the polys and goin off in odd angles.

A proper Character animation sytem. I use Messiah, How do they get away wirth not having this!!!???

Bitmap update in Layout and modeller; Why do i have to always update changed image maps manualy, the other progs do this automaticly!

Being uble to add multiple smooth groups on a mesh (like in Max). need it! :shrug:

Being able to see hair/fur in viewport and maybe an ability to groom them?

Better particle effects like Maya.

Proper undo system in Layout, and possibly a command history for modeller too.

Repeat last function button plz

Cant think of any more for now.

Well done Newtek on the Nodal texturing updates, improved GI performance and normal mapping support. Lovely stuff, MUCH appreciated!:buttrock: :love:




been in IT for 18 years , had a hand in most anything from hardware or software. I am trying to get up to speed on something…to do basic stuff. I used Simply 3D and Vegas Video years ago to do kennywars. google kennywars if your interested.

My take on the new user, even those exposed to many platforms linux etc. is that the interface now don’t get defensive here, I am saying I already decided to proceed with lightwave and have tried studio max maya and xsi. anyway, my take on the interface is that is appears …archaic. old like when you set a windows app next to the old 4GL based applications, yeah they worked and once you learned them they were so much faster and you could do anything with them once you became an expert. They went away, for the largest part of the market anyway didn’t they.

The other thing, being a novell guy and always debating the unix bitheads in the 90s my favorite argument was why walk all the way to town when you can take a bus half the way.

I am talking about wizards. Yep my colleages used to make fun of me because I would use wizards. Unix guys loved to do everything with the longest command line possible, and I would get my results with a mix of higher level tools and the nitty gritty stuff to glue it together, I was a big VISUAL STUDIO MDF programmer when the unix guys loved the raw C.

Anyway. I want to be able to open lightwave click a “wizard” and have it step me through setting up all the params related to an activity. Right now I have to know what panels and parameters will allow me to get something done. Why? If you want to do some basic stuff like make an object rotate in a circle or any other common path, why not have a behavior that can quickly be applied the object via a wizard. Same with the camera, why cant i pull an object into layout and run a 3 second wizard that rotates the camera 360 around my object at a particular pitch, whatever.

I just want to make a basic rig of diamond head from ben 10 to make my son turn into him and run away. He barely has to move. Do I need to completely understand the entire theory and implementation of IK? why. I will if I need to but I would rather take the bus half the way.

I know there are plugins with scripts to assist with this, but I don’t want to see a script much less create one, I want to throw my model on the screen and begin applying premade movements to it, pick from a huge library of awesome surfaces, render and then use motion and final cut to do some fun stuff.

My .2 cents.


I’m surprised this hasn’t already been addressed in the last several updates to LW, but the ability to simply UNDO mistakes in Layout. I can’t even count the number of times I accidentally deleted a key, deleted an object, or did something completely stupid, and if I didn’t save a previous version in the condition I want it then I have to click through everything to undo something or have to reload this or that. It’s annoying.

Also, a more friendlier interface. All of that gray is boring.


I have not readen the whole thread so forgive me if someone already said this:

Directx visualization instead of opengl

Just this one is enough for me in this moment.


Keyable groups. I want to make selection sets containing both objects and bones so that with one keyframe I can key the whole pose. This would be much easier to block out the animation and adjust timing. That’s my two cents.


In no particular order…

  1. “Performace” Based NLE Animation:
    I know I’d love something like this in LW for quickly roughing out character animation, and guess it wouldn’t be all that hard to implement. It would allow us to “perform multiple takes” of our animations in realtime (like live action movie productions), then use the graph editor to finish only the “takes” we wish to use.

  2. Editing Keyframe Splines in Velocity or Acceleration modes.
    May or may not be easy to implement depending on the NewTek’s spline math in the graph editor. May not be interesting to NewTek. It would be great for certain kinds of animations though, and great for tweaking animation after the first pass.

  3. Better/Easier rig weighting, prefab rigs, and better bone deformations.

  4. Wicked Fast OpenGL…duh.

  5. Cuda accelerated everything. This may be pie in the sky.

  6. Making use of free (and in most ways superior) dynamics systems.

  7. Script that can access any parameter of any tool, and is smoking fast.

  8. “Full support” of pngs.

  9. Integrate Can Tarcan’s Dynamite plugin.

  10. Realtime rendering like FPrime, Modo, etc. Viper doesn’t count.

  11. “Simple” Sculpting & Painting like Modo.

  12. Core changes to allow LightWave close integration with Adobe producrs (Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects).

  13. Interface makeover…It’s ugly guys, and ergonomics need more work.

  14. Facilitate the creation of killer online assets resources for professional LW users…like DAZ has done.

  15. Fully support 3D data standards.

  16. More (and more polished) compositing tools. What ever happened to AURA? Can any aura/VT tech be folded in?

  17. Geometry Baking with LOD.

  18. Closer ties to Vue, Terragen, Daz, Poser, NextLimit, NaturalMotion, etc.

  19. Closer ties to Apple, Intel, NVidia, ATI, etc.

  20. Hypervoxels were great when they came out, but now…

  21. Keep up the marketing…you’ve finally gotten it right.

Sure there’s much more. -Mike