Posts filed under Lightwave

Gaea to Lightwave – The Basics

Filed in Gaea, Lightwave, Tutorials, YoutubeTags: , , ,

Gaea to Lightwave - The Basics - Part 1

I have begun creating tutorials for various parts of my content creation pipeline.   There are plenty of tutorials for how to use $Program(A)  or $Program(B) to do $Task(X) but rarely do you see anything on how to use $Program(A) to enhance the functionality of $Program(B) in performing $Task(X).

In this instance,  I’m going over how to use Quadspinner’s Gaea to not only do the obvious; ie.. create landscape meshes and color maps for same, but to create ancillary maps to control instance placement of foliage, specular settings for wet ground vs dry ground, a ‘placeholder’ map for where to place a water mesh and a bridge object, etc.
Doing this within Gaea means that you can make changes to the landscape within Gaea, export the maps and if you use the same map names and export directory, all of those items and placements change automatically in Lightwave, even if you change the landscape shape drastically.

Take a look at the video and subscribe to the channel to keep an eye out for the next video in the series.   I have a short one going up in a day or so showing using Substance Painter with Gaea and Lightwave.  Longer ones focused on the River/bridge scene are in the works and will be going up over the next few weeks.

Youtube channel is at:

Once I get enough subscribers, I’ll be able to actually name the thing something reasonable like, you know, Brainflogging  or something.    But by then, Youtube may have moved the goal posts out even further so you never know.



Ground Control and Lightwave 2019

Filed in C++, github, Ground Control, Lightwave, pluginsTags:

I finally got around to testing out Ground Control under Lightwave 2019 and it appears to work identically in 2019 as it does under 2018.  This doesn’t surpise me much as most of the calls it uses in the API for both Modeler and Layout haven’t changed between the two versions.

I’m starting to look at ways to improve memory handling so that it can handle some of the massive datasets coming out of NASA and elsewhere.   Some of the limitations come down to the limitations in Modeler (when’s the last time you tried to programically create 500+million polygons in modeler?) but some are in GC itself.

Long term plans include a potential rewrite in python or at least integration of some of the new python libraries for handling new data formats and even the possibility of an interface to draw from data sources directly right inside LW similar to some of Houdini’s shelf tools.

All of that’s down the road though but I wanted to at least let people know that I haven’t abandoned the plugin and that I do have plans to keep working with it.  If anyone wants to join me in maintaining, modifying, fixing, or enhancing it,  grab it and go.  Let me know when you’re ready and push a merge request my way.


Ground Control

Filed in C++, Developers, github, Lightwave, plugins

Now that the convention season is over and both LibertyCon and DragonCon are behind me, I can now get back to my new projects.

A little while a go a really nice commercial plugin for Lightwave 3D; Gound Control, was open sourced by the fine folks at Digital Carvers Guild.   The original works great in older versions of Lightwave, but with the major changes that came with the relase of LW 2018, several key functions broke.   Rather than let the plugin wither and die, its developer gave the community a gift and open up the source for anyone who wants to take it, make it work and expand it beyond it’s current functioanlity.   In short,  he gave it to the people who need it most.  The users.

I have created a fork of the project and successully gotten it to compile and all basic functionality working under Lightwave 2018.  At this point, I need people who have been using GC under older versions to send me sample data files of all types, especially files that push the limits on what the plugin does.   Especially helpful are the orignal data files and the output models to compare with.

The original Github repo is at:

My fork can be found at my own Github repo:

I’m also looking for ideas for expanding functionality and utility, improvements in the interface or anything else to make this plugin even better.   We have the source, now let’s do something awesome with it.


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October 2020