View Full Version : LW 10 FBX export

11-15-2011, 11:00 AM
Hi All,

I am wanting to do some exporting using the fbx exporter in lw 10.1 and it appears like I have some options missing in the fbx panel. It appears to be the same panel from the previous version of LW.

In the 'whats new' in lw10 pdf it states that:

• Filter options added to FBX Export. This give users the option to include or exclude
Models, Morphs (Blend shapes), Animations, Cameras, and Lights upon export so
they can filter just the items that they want to send out. FBX settings are stored
persistently across sessions.
• FBX now imports joints as LightWave™ bones for more stability and better
compatibility with Motionbuilder and Maya. “Rotate Pivot” and” PreRotation”
attributes now supported properly in FBX export. Users doing character rigging
in LightWave™ for export will be able to export the rigs with rotate pivot applied
properly and “Rotate Pivot” export to respects that LightWave™ XYZ is Maya/FBX

It shows the following panel (see attached), which is full of export options...only that's not what I get in my version of lightwave 10.

Any ideas or am i doing something wrong?


11-15-2011, 06:49 PM
thats the 10.1 panel not 10.0

11-16-2011, 02:27 AM
Yes, you're right.
Looks like I installed the wrong version. :s

11-17-2011, 12:34 PM
We've been asking Newtek to supply working FBX plugin for years. Now I've given up and went to Maya Suite to get troubleless compatibility with MotionBuilder. Bye LW. Lost too much time.

11-17-2011, 02:39 PM
FBX translation between MB and Lightwave 10.1 works very well now. I use it often for transferring rigs, motion data, and cameras, between Lightwave, Motion Builder, Maya and Fusion, both at home and at work.

The one remaining issue I still have is when I need to transfer joints-based characters out of Lightwave to MB. I can get rig data to transfer between the apps but man that crazy weight map offset makes the process unnecessarily difficult to setup. I always wind up using Maya to make the necessary adjustments just to get the Lightwave rig to transfer correctly to Motion Builder.

But once this is correctly adjusted for, transferring data between MB and LW using the new FBX IO is pretty sweet.

I understand that Newtek may be concerned that changing the weight map offset back to what it once was will will break any current Lightwave rigs that use joints, but quite frankly I'd rather have a joints/weights system that is as easy to setup as LW bones and plays nice with third party applications like MB, instead the current system that makes setting up joints and weights awkward even within Lightwave.

I also know that the current sentiment from NT is that everybody should go back to using bones but as Rebel Hill explained on numerous occasions, there exists many compelling reasons to use joints, especially for the purpose of motion capture and data transfter to other applications.

10.1's FBX support made a huge leap forward for my short film productions, and that release kept me happy to stick with Lightwave for the foreseeable future. Now if they will just fix the joints/weights issue during the 11 cycle, the program will be almost perfect! (For me anyway.)

(Switching 'schizophrenic fanboy rant' mode off now.) :)


11-17-2011, 03:26 PM
yeah... fbx in and out of LW has been working pretty good since 9.6 and is really good in 10.1. The joints weighting thing is a minor annoyance... but the way you weight the model, for joints or bones is no different... all that differs is that the names of the joints are offset 1 position compared to how you would name bones for the same set of weights.

Id like to see NT get on just that one aspect of joints too... it'd make a real difference to a lot of stuff in LW rigging... but I suspect that we'll see little change during 11 in that direction, as I think NT are gonna prefer to create an all new joints system, or some kinda joints/bones hybrid thing to fix that and make other changes, and I doubt we'll be seeing that in the immediate future.

As for using bones instead of joints... actually NT are also right, but it depends what you're doing. LW bones more closely match things like mayas joints, etc in terms of skin binding, and so on... also, the fbx exporter now respects RPR (by performing a remove rpr on export)... this means that if your aim is to rig and animate a character in LW (which is gonna want rpr used), and send the skinned mesh to maya, unity, or whatever for use there, then its best to use bones.

If however you're aiming to work principally in LW, and send stuff out and back again to do mocap retargeting/editing elsewhere, then joints are the best option, as all you're caring about is the co-ords and motion curves, not the deformation... that gets done in LW.

12-29-2011, 04:39 PM
Any idea why my FBX export out of 10.1 is not importing the mesh at all in MotionBuilder 2012? My client is telling me the mesh is missing. I've tried all the various export formats, and none have been successful. FWIW, I have morphs and textured toggled off. I've tried cage and sub-D mesh, frozen/unfrozen polygonal/Sub-D objects...

The rig works, however.

What sucks exceptionally here is that I have NO copy of MotionBuilder, so it feels like I'm walking blind! If I had hair I'd be pulling it... argh!

12-29-2011, 11:43 PM
I'm using MB 2010 so I have no way to check this. Sorry. FWIW, I do know that exporting FBX out of Lightwave does include a mesh because I see it in MB 2010, Maya 2010, and Fusion 6.2. I have not idea why 2012 wouldn't see it.

Have you tried converting the LW export to the 2012 version of FBX using Autodesk's FBX/Collada utility? They keep this tool up-to-date, and you can download it free from their website.


Good luck!


12-30-2011, 01:16 AM
Thanks GL for that link, I'll check it out. My client's got both Maya and MB2012. If he takes the FBX (LW10.1 export) directly to MB2012, there's no mesh--but the rig's in tact. If he loads the same FBX into Maya (guessing it's 2012... AD and their "suites") he can view the mesh and then export that into MB. Because we have to anticipate a 3rd party not having Maya, it'll be great if I can figure out the cause of this. Of course I can have him convert the master FBX into MB2012-ready FBX, but if I can figure this problem out (without having those AD products) it'll be a huge help. Thanks

12-30-2011, 03:45 AM
are the bones/joints parented to the mesh before export.. cos thats the thing that makes em hooked together in MB.

Also... do check he's not somehow accidentally got the view mode in MB to not show meshes... he can check in the outliner to see if its actually there or not.

As for u, dont forget u can pick up ADs FBX converter app (free) which includes an fbx viewer... basically like having a version of motionbuilder, but minus all the controls to actually do/change/manipulate anything. So u can open your exports urself to check em out.

12-30-2011, 10:10 AM
are the bones/joints parented to the mesh before export.. cos thats the thing that makes em hooked together in MB.

Yes, master Jedi-Sensei. The skeletal hierarchy is parented to the character mesh.

Also... do check he's not somehow accidentally got the view mode in MB to not show meshes... he can check in the outliner to see if its actually there or not.

Excellent, I'll suggest this as well. I assume he's not 100% sure of his way around MB2012.

Also, I will get me this FBX converter. This is much wisdom. :bowdown:

(Sorry [email protected]$3 week with late/sleepless nights. Not your ideal week before NYE)

The Wizzard
05-23-2014, 11:25 AM
I finally did a tutorial on: "Lightwave to MotionBuilder and Back again "

I hope it helps some of you :)

The Wizzard
05-25-2014, 04:38 PM
I've uploaded the next tutorial...
"Lightwave to MotionBuilder to ENDORPHIN and Back again"


Enjoy :)