This program helps you create three-dimensional animations and graphics
4.2  (6 votes)
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LightWave is a complete application designed to make three-dimensional animations and graphics which have the quality required for film, TV, printing, engineering, architecture, dynamic video games, etc, production. You can use it to perform incredibly complex effects with just a few clicks. It is considered the 3D Animation System easiest to learn and to use.

This program is divided into two main "modules", called Modeler and Layout, respectively:

Modeler lets you make the object model using a layer-oriented mode, where each layer is a single grid; that is, there are no objects, but a widespread grid in each layer. It has 10 different tabs on the upper side, each with its own menu at the left hand side, and the geometric and numeric options at the bottom. The display is divided in 4 panes, with different object perspectives.

Layout is used to apply the rigging (or configuration of the grid), dynamics, effects, rendering, and the configuration of cameras and lights. It also has many tabs in the upper side, each with a large menu set at the left hand side, and the lights and camera(s) options at the bottom.

You can edit materials and textures both in Modeler and Layout using the "Surface Editor.

If you modify an object from Layout or Modeler, just open it in both Modeler and Layout and use the HUB feature, to implement changes in both applications, automatically.

LightWave has features for modeling, animation, dynamics, volumetric rendering, particle effects, and its rendering engine has movie quality. Its user interface has features such as surfaces and materials nodes editor, volumetric lights and displacement; new and physically correct cameras (this allows you to re-create any type of real camera lens), mapped displacement and support for the Zbrush application, shadows modeling such as Blinn, Oren-Nayar and environmental occlusion, essential tools which are necessary for shading models such as sub-surface scattering shaders, anisotropic, specular and reflection shaders.

This software also includes the popular Relativity 2 application, which uses an expression wizard to create partnerships between almost any component of a scene or animation channel, a Script Editor, a Script Interface Designer, and complete Help Files... in few words, it is impossible to describe it entirety.

It supports the latest generation of dual-core or multi-core processors; and it is compatible with Windows 32-64 bits, and Macintosh.

You can find different trial new versions on
You must carefully follow the instructions on this page in order to register your installation and to have a fully functional trial of LighWave 3D.

After registration, you'll have 30 days of fully functional software to use it. LightWave will run with reduced functionality until registration has been completed and when the trial period has expired.

Sergio A. DurĂ¡n
Editor rating:

Review summary


  • Truly comprehensive.
  • Easy to use, compared with its peers
  • 100% functional trial.
  • Large number of effects.
  • Great rendering engine.


  • Not for inexperienced users.
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