Moving over from Lightwave


Been using LW since v6. It is not my primary application as I use to support video/multimedia projects. Therefore I stuck with it until v11. It has remained unchanged for the most part. I model in CAD/Rhino and import, using LW mostly for Layout and rendering. However, I can no longer toss coin onto their plates. v2018, with it’s new rendering engine was actually slower for my needs.

I feel that in order for Newtek to make a comeback, a completely new package is in order? However, I also feel that the energy within the community and devs has gone, (it appears that NT has their interests squarely in the hardware/video market and LW is to take a backseat)? It’s time to move on to something that has a heart beat and a possible future with regards to mobile tools and Linux.

I see that Blender is about to release 2.8, should I wait until it’s release, or is 2.79 similar enough to start the learning process?

I’m not sure if I want to bring over or inject my LW experience, making BL work like LW, and just start anew. Has anyone found this to be true?

I see that BL is trying to be all things with a video editor and compositor. Is that been useful or too much to undertake? Granted, I will take advantage if I know these areas will grow. I could shed some other tools.

I see that BL will accept LW model files, any tips or things I should know with regards to surface and textures maps?

Is there a reference I can consult for my case?

Thank you.

No they are not. 2.8 is still a very long way from being released in a reliable form

should I wait until it’s release, or is 2.79 similar enough to start the learning process?
The basic concepts will be pretty much the same so no reason not to start using 2.79

Become familiar with a hotkey workflow and you’ll never even miss LW.

Hi, a few of us have migrated from LW. First things first, do not try to make Blender behave like LW, that way leads frustration. Learn the basic keys first and as has been said, you will not miss LW. Set Left-click select as your default, G-grab, R-rotate, S-scale.
In edit mode, just a handful of shortcuts and you’re well on your way to getting up and running. Feel free to ask any questions.
Here’s a few basic videos I did and there are many others:
About the 3D cursor and why it’s a good thing:
Basic Modelling Keys:

Quick table (using the above keys):

Hope this helps.

Wrong links

Thank you, gentlemen. I will certainly incorporate those tips, and watch the videos as suggested. I’m sure to have more questions.

I would not recommend to anyone right now to use Blender 2.8 as their first version (the changes are coming in hot and fast due to the Code Quest and there’s no guarantee the scene you make will work in a build done next week).

2.79b should be a very solid release and a lot of what you learn should easily carry over to an extent to Blender 2.8 when it’s done.

Fixed that for you. :wink:

If you are just starting out, I’d suggest you to try my keymap:

It will allow you to avoid all the input mapping weirdness which tends to scare most of the new users away. Many people here have already become victim of it, but you are starting fresh, so you have an opportunity to start with something better :wink:

Aww feck, my bad, was nosing in my video manager. Thanks pitiwazou. >>embarassed<<

You da man! :cool:

Then you will love Cycles as it is blazingly fast renderer GPU/CPU or both(per frame or two processes for anim).

In Blender you can immediately comp your renders(render>comp in one go) without needing to jump to other app to assemble everything. It’s very efficient/streamlined and useful for 9/10 scenarios (e.g color correct, integrate with video/bg etc).

Other than that Davinci is Free(or 299 studio), now integrating Fusion. It’s blazingly fast for video/comp work.

Can highly recommend, very thorough, efficient and refined. Familiar to users coming from other apps.

Thank you for fixing Felix, (don’t sweat it colkia I appreciate the help. I’ll watch those later today).

Ace, I downloaded and played with 2.8, doesn’t seem too far from 2.79. I plan on sticking with 2.79 while learning. I still have LW until I get up to speed and make the switch.

Rawalanche. I will most definitely use the keymap, it appears to be a sore spot for some. Don’t worry about difficulty - I had that with LW many moons ago.

Cgstrive, I demoed Davinchi, (I also used fusion when it was Eyeon and in SD resolution - Yes, I’m showing my age: “Luke, I am your Grandpa.”). Black Magic no longer supports Win 7 for the new version. The sound driver refuses to install. I’m working on a switch to Linux in preparation for the extended deadline of Win 7, when it becomes EOL. Davinchi supports Linux. I will most likely use it for editing, providing BL compositor does the job well enough.

I’m reading the manual (yes, some of use still do that). I like what I see so far. There is a lot of customization. I also like having access to all the 3rd party plugins, already included and one click away, (found the LWO importer. A batch conversion tool would be nice).

I see that the modeler has Nurbs tools as well. I use Rhino 3D for that reason.

Ok. Off to see the Wizard.

Welcome. I have some tuts that might help get you started. Check my Sig.

@Pete Ferling


One thing you will love in Blender, really good edge handling, makes a lot of modelling much easier. The custom transformations and ability to align the viewport to a selection for working is also a definite benefit.

Be aware that the importer for lwo files doesn’t work with all lightwave versions. NewTek must have changed something in the lwo files somewhere around version 2015, and in Blender they import as flat discs or point clouds. Most of the time I’ve had to save out obj from LW in order to get a reliable import into Blender. I don’t think the importer has had much love recently.

I prefer to set things up cleanly in Blender anyway and so I have never really used the .lwo importer that much. But then again… I have not actually had a reason to model anything in Modeler for 10 years. :wink:

Though I have gone the other way plenty of times.

Works ok with 2.75, even so though, splines have to be converted to 2-pt polys chains and n-gons converted to tris, even if exporting using collada from LW. I only use it for importing old assets.

I also recently moved over to Blender from Lightwave. I’ve also found the LWO importer to not be very good for all my existing objects. I have started using Oliver Hotz’ Copy & Paste tool, which works much better for my purposes.