View Full Version : Lightwave on a tablet PC?

11-25-2016, 05:44 PM

Is anyone here using a tablet PC or touchscreen laptop with Lightwave? Some of the laptops that convert to tablets by folding back the keyword look interesting, but how well does it work with a stylus? Is the interface too small on 14" or 15" screen running at 1920 x 1080? Just thought it could be a way to get some modelling done when I'm sitting on the couch with the kids.


11-26-2016, 02:50 AM
Yes, I tried to use LW on the SurfacePro with the stylus for a while but I didn't find it practical for these reasons

- Tedious navigation because I cannot use the ALT key or similar to zoom, rotate or move in the viewport but have to use the viewport icons.
- Slow handling because I have to find buttons to click instead of using shortcuts.
- Cannot use modifier keys like SHIFT or CTRL for example to lock to an axis
- Right click / context menus (can be done with a long click, but tedious)
- Drag & drop like actions
- The stylus is shifting the cursor position slightly when lifting off the display, I found it difficult to impossible to precisely model anything
- LW is not very good to use on high res displays that modern tablet PCs normally have, some (even native) dialogs are not readable

I have also a new Dell XPS15 with 4k display but never use its touchscreen, but for 3D this is the perfect mobile machine due to its strong CPU, GPU and beautiful display. I like to use the SurfacePro for painting textures or sculpting (which I don't do a lot atm) or other 3D tasks with the Surface keyboard on the couch. But for this I would actually prefer a slim Dell XP13 which is light but has a proper keyboard.

11-26-2016, 02:57 AM
have tried screen mirroring to launch LW on a small Apple iPad and in those sorts of scenarios sans keyboard you find the lack of access to modifier keys the problem not to mention copy paste undo delete and so on, as long as you have a keyboard in the mix though you should be fine as even at this small size buttons are pressable and geometry can be drawn out and moved though zooming and tumbling benefit from the keyboard doing it on screen is a pain , not tried it on my bigger pro tablet as I still feel the best most optimum solution is a 30" monitor and a Wacom tablet, I find it difficult to beet for ease of use and speed

Dan Ritchie
11-26-2016, 09:13 AM
I've enjoyed several of the sub $100 Windows tablets with a keyboard like the rca Cambio and Nextbook from walmart, and find them fabulous for most things, and they do quite a lot more than android. You can attach or cast them to a monitor and use a mouse and it becomes a real PC. The cheap ones don't have a lot of memory though, so LW may be a problem. I don't have one at the moment, and kind of miss it.

They did have enough power to run my choice of paint programs, or run an external DVD player, and they have USB, so you can attach a regular mouse, and at least one of them was able to run off a small solar panel.

11-28-2016, 02:02 PM
I run LightWave 2015.3 on a Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 Enhanced. It runs great on this Win 10 tablet computer. Not as fast as on my workstation but performance is surprisingly decent for a mobile device with an i7 quad and Intel Iris 6100 graphics chipset. Much better than on my old full-sized laptop anyway.

Note that the bezel of the Companion has Expresskeys (just like on a regular Cintiq and Intuos graphics tablets) which can be programmed to behave like modifer keys. This feature makes a big difference in usability compared to most other tablet computers. The Companion also allows you to add program-aware on-screen buttons, which can be programmed for additional modifier keys and shortcuts.

12-04-2016, 03:27 PM
I recommend against attempting to use LW with touchscreen-based tech using fingers, their resolution is too imprecise for practical 3D work (IMO). That said, I find that using it with pen tech (WACOM, nTrig in MS SurfacePro3/4, etc.) works really well. Among pen-based units, having either physical buttons adjacent to screen (CintiqCompanion/MobileStudio), or mechanical TypeCover keyboard and kickstand (SurfacePro3/4), can make a huge usability difference, IME.

I've been very happy with my SurfacePro3 + TypeCover for 2D and 3D work using the pen, but the SurfacePro3/4's graphics are a bit anemic. I'm definitely looking at upgrading to either a SurfaceBook with dGPU, or perhaps WACOM MobileStudio (with dGPU), but that expense will need to wait until holidays are well-past.

12-04-2016, 05:00 PM
Oh, yeah...I guess I should have mentioned I almost always use a stylus with the Companion, regardless of what program I'm running.

I do use multi-touch navigation along with a stylus on the Companion when painting/drawing/animating in some 2D programs--Clip Studio Paint is awesome for this, and Moho 12 recently became usable with Wacom multi-touch too*--but I only use the stylus with Express Keys and custom on-screen buttons with LightWave. LightWave's current UI isn't designed for multi-touch and I haven't really bothered to try and make that work. Even using single-touch, it's not nearly precise enough in LightWave, certainly not compared to a Stylus anyway. Hopefully, that will change in a future version of LightWave but I'm not expecting it anytime soon.

So, yeah, with I totally agree with jweide about needing a stylus for LightWave on today's tablet computers.

(*Note: Multi-touch mode in Moho only works with Wacom-based touch screens and computers at this time, and it doesn't work with any Surface computers...yet. However, I've been told that the latest version 12.2 works well with the Surface Studio's Dial UI. The developer told me that they're re-thinking their implementation of multi-touch now to work with all touch devices, Wacom, Surface and others. I know that's meaningless to most LightWave users but I know some of you are also Moho users.) :)