learn light wave  




LightWave is a 3D program that makes it possible to create anything you can imagine. And while it is not open source, it is open architecture, which means that there are hundreds of plug-ins and other programs that support it and add features. Some of these are major plug-ins and include Octane Render, Turbulence FD, OD Tools, LWCAD, Deep Rising FX, RHiggit, 3rd Powers  , db&w Tools, and SyFlex, among many others. It also includes hundreds of other plug-ins, many of which are free and equally useful such as DPont's.  All of the mentioned plug-ins work with LightWave 2019, but not all of them are under active development. For instance, OD Tools still provides support for their suite of plug-ins, but they are no longer adding new features. Also, DPont's plug-ins are offered for free, so donations are appreciated.

It is also worth mentioning that Liberty3D also sells several current tutorials and does occasional group buy-ins on major plug-ins. They also runs periodic specials on their products, so it is probably worth keeping an eye out for that and buy during discount seasons.

LightWave may not be the most popular 3D program available in 2020, but it is battle-tested and more than capable of creating high quality work. As mentioned, it is still supported by many third-party plug-ins and enjoys loyal and international support among many of its users. It is still used today by smaller studios and independent and freelance artists. It is not seen in as many major productions as it used to be, but it is still used on a project-by-project basis depending on the artist and studio.

The work of LightWave virtuoso, David Ridlen, was used in Green Book, the film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture for 2018. LightWave also played a major role in the production of Avatar (read the comments section), which represented a breakthrough in the use of motion capture and CGI and until mid-2019, was the highest grossing movie in history, so yes, it is fair to say that LightWave is production-proven and still used in major feature films.



At this time, New Tek is actively upgrading the program and adding new features and appears to be positioning the program for long-term sustainability. In fact, it appears as if New Tek will be releasing major upgrades on an annual basis going forward. And, of course, this means that the tutorials will need to keep up to speed as well, something that has not always happened in the past.

In April 2019, Vizrt acquired NewTek and while there is no way to know for certain what the future holds, there are many reasons to be cautiously optimistic. With the 2019 release, NewTek brought game-changing and much needed improvement to LightWave, and now with Vizrt, whose mission is advanced visual graphics for broadcast and storytelling, LightWave would seem to be a complementary fit. Vizrt's name itself is short for Visualization in Real-Time or Visual Artist, so again, that is not at odd with LightWave's purpose. According to the news reports, NewTek and LightWave will retain their names, will remain based in San Antonio and from all indicators, development and support will continue as is. One could reasonably speculate that development might even progress faster given the resources Vizrt brings to the table.

The release of Lightwave 2018 followed by the release of Lightwave 2019 indicates that New Tek is committed to the program and looking toward the future. But no matter what happens in the future, a good software program is a good software program and as the production-proven software it is, LightWave remains a more-than-capable tool not only in its past iterations, but in its current one.  And this leads us to the fact that this year LightWave will be 30 years old, so we remain hopeful that NewTek, under Vizrt's leadership, will remain a standalone program and be allowed to stay on its current trajectory and continue to surprise us with innovations and improvements. 

Obviously, we would expect Vizrt to make LightWave fully compatible with its existing Viz Artist program. Currently, Viz Artist is compatible with Cinema 4D and After Affects but not LightWave. Continuing to develop LightWave as a standalone product while seamlessly integrating it with Viz Artist would create unlimited possibilities, so we hope that is the direction things go. LightWave could become one of the primary portals into the world that Vizrt envisions, which is a universal platform for visual storytelling.

The most current version of LightWave is 2019.1.5 and it was released on Jan 15, 2020. This was a free update for registered users of 2019 and included fixes related to Modeler. According to New Tek, LightWave 2020 is in the final stages of being prepared for release. No one really knows for sure what to expect, but we have every reason to believe major features and improvements are being added.



Because LightWave underwent major changes with the 2018 version, including its rendering engine, it can be difficult to know where to start as many tutorials relate to older versions of the program. Many of the very old tutorials using Modeler are still relevant today as Modeler hasn't changed much over the years; however, the Layout portion of the program has changed dramatically under the hood and many older tutorials about Layout are either difficult to follow or obsolete with 2018 and now 2019. With that in mind, the purpose of this site is to provide some of the most recent and most pertinent tutorials we can to help point you in the right direction. Many of the concepts and principles you can learn in LightWave apply to other 3D programs and in some ways, many programs are converging, that is, using the same basic tools and concepts. It can be argued that the main divergence is in the interfaces, rendering options, and where things are located.

LightWave can be considered not so much as a single thing but rather a modular platform for organizing many tools and plug-ins, which even includes open-source programs and plug-ins such as Bullet and OpenVDB. In addition, you can control, configure, and customize LightWave's capabilities and interface in a myriad of ways and in that sense, its specific layout is up to you.

While LightWave is the program we use and enjoy using, we completely understand that you must ultimately choose the program that works for you and that's completely fine. But no matter which 3D program that is, even if it is a free program, all 3D programs require study and consistent practice to master. But even with that said, you have nothing to lose by learning LightWave. It is a solid and very capable 3D program.

Please note that while almost all the tutorials use LightWave 2018, they still apply to 2019. If you are interested in seeing videos specifically related to 2019, then click here.  New Tek has devoted a web page solely for LightWave 2019 tutorials, which is helpful. Also be aware that LightWave 2019 was released on January 21, 2019, so special thanks to all the LightWave users who are getting informative 2019 videos out quickly. (Some old but still useful LightWave videos are also here. )And if you really want to get up to speed with using LightWave 2019 especially its new rendering engine and don't mind spending a little money, then Rebel Hill's Lighting, Shading, and Rendering tutorial package is definitely the way to go. It is the best $86 you can spend on learning all the nuances, key settings, and details of the new rendering engine. The tutorials pay for themselves in terms of knowledge gained, time saved, and quality renders obtained.

Some people believe that training and education should be free, but when you think about things that you might buy like a guitar or things you might want to learn like karate, training is not automatically included for free and no one expects or demands free guitar or karate lessons. There is an understanding and respect for the discipline and the value of the information shared. Nevertheless, there are many LightWave users who offer tutorials for free on You Tube, so please consider subscribing and liking their videos. It is a small way of saying you appreciate their efforts.


David Ridlen (Showcase)

LightWave Guru (Emo Reel)

Mark Warner

Antti Järvelä

Rebel Hill

Greg Sullivan

Spacial Katana

Simon Smalley

pro biner

James Roger (reducing crashes, clearing config files)

Hawaii Film

West Notts

Louis Du Mont (a working professional who uses LightWave 3D)



db& w


Bosschaert (Radiosity) (this will help you understand Global Illumination)

Bosschaert (HDR) (this will help you understand HDR)

TRH LOGOS (lots of useful modeling tutorials)

CG Meetup (nice assortment of tutorials)

erikals (playlist on tools NOT to learn in LW)

pro biner (nodal setup series)

Lightwave Guru (self-explanatory)

David Aguero (landscape creation)

Ivan B (oldies but goodies)

William Vaughn (more oldies but goodies + going over topics you won't find anywhere else)

Simon Smalley (another showcase from a talented LightWave artist)





Antti Järvelä https://www.youtube.com/user/anttijarvela77/videos
Bryan Phillips / bryphi https://www.youtube.com/user/bryphi77/videos
Mikael Burman / Cageman https://www.youtube.com/user/TemalCageman/videos
Carm3D https://www.youtube.com/user/carm3d/videos
Champ Lein / LookingMercury3D https://www.youtube.com/user/LookingMercury3D/videos
Chilton Webb https://www.youtube.com/user/chiltonwebb/videos
Chris Jones https://www.youtube.com/user/chrisjonestube/videos
Craig Monins / RebelHill https://www.youtube.com/user/RHLW/videos
Digital Mind https://www.youtube.com/user/DIGITALMINDSL/videos
Dana Burman / dwburman https://www.youtube.com/user/dwburman/videos
Erik Alstad / erikals https://www.youtube.com/user/erikalst/videos
David Agüero https://www.youtube.com/user/davidaguero3d/videos
David Ridlen / Mr Rid https://www.youtube.com/user/Xurgonic/videos
Fabio Annunziata https://www.youtube.com/user/ilchupacabras/videos
Greenlaw / Little Green Dog https://www.youtube.com/user/LGDTestTube/videos
Greg Sullivan https://www.youtube.com/user/gsullivanjr/videos
Kevin Phillips / kevman3d https://www.youtube.com/user/kevman3d/videos
Larry Shultz / SplineGod https://www.youtube.com/user/SplineGod/videos
Lino Grandi https://www.youtube.com/user/linograndi/videos
Louis du Mont https://www.youtube.com/user/mrlouisman/videos
Martin Zapata / NeonZ https://www.youtube.com/user/NeonZEntertainment/videos
Michael Ivarsson / Prometheus https://www.youtube.com/user/PrometheusPhamarus/videos
Mike Green / Dodgy https://www.youtube.com/user/dodgyb2001/videos
Rene Falk Thomasius / LightWaveGuru https://www.youtube.com/user/safarifx2010/videos
Ryan Roye / tnd Studios https://www.youtube.com/user/tndStudios/videos
Steve Clarke https://www.youtube.com/user/Escelce/videos
Steve White / hrgiger https://www.youtube.com/user/35hrgiger/videos
Teddy René Hansen / mis https://www.youtube.com/user/mistube/videos


If you have any channels or links to recommend, please email info to: admin@server808.net

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