The Lightwave 3D FAQ

The OFFICIAL FAQ at Newtek's site
Submit a question
The questions are in no particular order
Q/A More: 5.6 6.0 6.5 7.0 Author
Q: How do i search the PDF manuals?
A: In Acrobat reader, press [Ctrl+F] and type a word.
[Ctrl+G] will search the next instance.

[Ctrl+F] also works in this LWFAQ page!

- - X X Eki
Q: Why do i lose surfaces every time i load the scene? 
A: Surfaces are saved with objects, not the scene.
Search for "Object" in the Lightwave manual's index or PDF for more info. X X 7.4 X Eki
Q: How to switch between the quad and single views in Modeler?
A: Press numpad [0] while the cursor is over the viewport to toggle.
You can also assign views to numpad keys with [Ctrl + number].

Search "Views" in the manuals or PDF.

X X 27.18 X Eki
Q: How do i make a ball or a box?
A: Use the ball and box tools.
If you needed to ask, you don't wanna know about metaballs or HyperVoxels yet ;-) X X 22.5 X Eki
Q: Will there ever be a Linux port of LW?
A: Probably not.
- - - - Eki
Q: Will the Layout and Modeler be merged?
A: Probably not.
- - - - Eki
Q: Which is better, Lightwave or software XXX?
A: It depends on what you intend to do with it.
All programs have their strengths and weaknesses. LW has a good Bang/Buck ratio.  - - - - Eki
Q) How can I change the size of the lights / camera in Layout ?
A) The size is relative to the size of the reference grid. 
Change the grid size with the "[" and "]" keys and the item will change size as well.  The grid size can be changed also in the display options. X X X X Mark
Q) Where can I download a cracked copy of Lightwave ?
A) Polite version - you can't, But there is a demo available from Newtek.
X X X X Mark
Q: I want to learn to do thing X in Lightwave.
A: Practice. Read the manuals. Read this FAQ. Look for tutorials. Be patient.
A comprehensive list of LW web tutorials can be found here. X X X X Eki
Q: Is there a plugin that will do thing X?
A: Search Flay.com
Great site for news too! X X X X Eki
Q: How do i remove an evelope?
A: Shift-click on the "E" button.
X X X X Arnie C
Q. Why do my Endomorphs go crazy when I use them in layout, but look fine in modeler?
A. Change the OBJECT/PROPERTIES Subdivision Order to last, this should sort out your problem!
Be aware, this will put extra workload on your computer. - X X X William
Q: Why doesn't LW find my objects and textures when I load a scene?
A: Have you set the content directory to the folder containing these files?
You did save your objects didn't you?? X X X X Recoil-
Q:  Why don't PFX2 particles interact when the options for particle interaction are enabled for self and/or groups?
A:  Press  PFX 'Start' button in the PFX Browser
Panel to run the complex set of simulation routines. 
Timeline scrubbing only performs the simple routines.  Once the full simulation has been recorded via the 'Start' button, you can then scrub the timeline to see the full self/group interactions. - - - X Dean A.
Q: Motion Designer : "can't scan objects.." What's this?
A: Set Bounding Box Threshold high enough.
MD also has problems with subpatch objects. - - 18.1 18.1 Tari
Q: What causes the nasty artifacts with Digital Confusion?
A: Adaptive sampling. 
Surface transparency causes problems too.  - - - X Eki
Q: Q : Why the background of the edit boxes in LightWave are white? I can not see any numbers.
A : Do not use multi language support for Windows2000 or XP.
You can remove this option from Control Panel/ Regional Options and remover any non English language from the check list box. -- X X X Hadi
Q: what's the best graphics card/certified cards?
A: Good OpenGL compatibility is the main thing.
Many use Nvidia cards, on the other hand, Matrox cards have a bad reputation OGL wise... X X X X Jon
Q: I get a wire frame on the image produced by the Baker plug-in?
A: don't use 32 bit images for baker, just 24bit.
- X X X Jon
Q: Symmetry is not working on all or part of my object, why? 
A: Probably the mesh is not symmetrical any more.
You can cut object in half, mirror and merge to make it symmetric again. - X X X Jon
Q: The PDF maunal will not open or is corrupted, what can i do?
A: The installer is a bit wonky,
just copy and paste it from the CD.
- - - X Jon
Q: Why is it when I extrude a face it seems as though 2 sides of the extrusion suddenly dissapear and you can see right through it?
A: You probably are extruding in the polygon normal direcetion - this will make all the polys point inside the object.
Either press [f] to flip the polys or extract in the opposite direction. X X X X Eki
Q: After upgrading from 6.x to 7.x graph editor doesn't open, why?
A: You may have installed LW7 on top of 6 without removing your old config files, which means L7 tries to run with L6 config files... not good.
Backup your configs, then delete them.

Launch LW7 again, and reinstall all plugins.

- - - X Fred
Q: How can i use lens flares so that they work with alpha channel?
A: Use fader alpha mode.
Better yet, use regular alpha, and composite with luminescent premultiply mode. X X X X Eki
Q: How do i tell LW which config it should use?
A: Add config path to the icon properties (Win). This way you can have multiple versions on one system co-existing happily.
Example (Layout - do the same for Modeler): 

D:\LightWave\Programs\Lightwav.exe -cD:\LightWave\Config

Naturally, the "Config" directory has to exist...

? X X X Eki
Q: Tell me about copyrights?
A: Is this on topic here?
You may wanna read THIS Eki
Q: Why stuff that looked fine on my computer flikers when watched on TV monitor?
A: TV monitors are interlaced and some details are seen only in one of the two fields.
Either avoid minute details, or de-flicker the image. 1 Pixel vertical blur is usually a good solution (you can only use it with frame based footage though.)