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, Orgami Digital, RHiggit, and SyFlex, among many others. It also includes hundreds of smaller plug-ins, which are free and equally awesome such as DPont's. LightWave may not be the most popular 3D program available in 2019, 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 free-lance artists. It is not seen in as many major productions as it used to be, but it is still used on a case-by-case basis depending on the artist and studio involved in the project. At this time, New Tek is actively developing the program and adding new features and appears to be positioning the program to be more competitive and nimble. 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.

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 and where things are located. It is also worth mentioning that Liberty3D also sells several excellent tutorials and does occasional group buy-ins on major plug-ins, so it is probably worth signing up to their mailing list.

One of the greatest things about LightWave is that it is not really a single thing but rather a platform for organizing many tools and plug-ins, which even includes open-source programs and plug-ins such as Bullet Dynamics. In addition, you can control, configure, and customize LightWave's capabilities and interface in a myriad of ways and who doesn't like being in control?

In the end, you'll have to find the program that fits your budget and preferences, but the truth is you have nothing to lose by learning LightWave. It is a solid and very capable 3D program. There are many reasons to be optimistic about the future for LightWave. With the 2019 release, NewTek continues to bring game-changing (pun intended) improvement to the program and in doing so, it will hopefully inspire the next generation of users and 3D artists to learn LightWave.

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 great. Also be aware that LightWave 2019 was released on January 21, 2019, so special thanks to the LightWave user aka  "none none" on You Tube for getting some informative videos out quickly. And some old LightWave videos are also here.





none none (LW 2019)

Antti Järvelä

Rebel Hill

Greg Sullivan

pro biner

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)

David Aguero (landscape creation)

Ivan B (oldies but goodies)

David Ridlen (showcase of what LightWave can do when in the right hands)