View Full Version : Lightwave File Extensions Missing on the Mac

03-19-2004, 01:26 PM
I ran into this today when trying to set up a preset for a backdrop in a viewport. Lightwave doesn't seem to save files with extensions, and I couldn't quickly find a reference to what the extensions should be. Hopefully someone can shed some light here. Or perhaps provide a workaround for the extensions issue.

There is a single workaround, which is to view "All File Types" but that seems to have it's own issues, eg. opening a model file named similarly to a preset for a backdrop.


03-20-2004, 08:10 AM

you have to add .cfg as extension manually (that's for backdrops, menu layouts and so on). I ran into that problem myself and since then I'm adding .lwo, .lws and .cfg myself. Hope this will help.


Triple G
03-20-2004, 11:44 AM
Here's an incomplete list that I've come up with:

Object: .lwo
Scene: .lws
Preset (surface editor): .pst
Surface: .srf
Motion: .mot

(Thanks to Kosmok) Backdrop/Menu Layout: .cfg

That's about all I know...I don't really save out many other types of files...if I do save an oddball file on occasion and don't know the appropriate extension, I just make sure I put it in a folder named for what type of file it is, to avoid any confusion.

03-20-2004, 12:37 PM
I find this very annoying I do the same thing adding .srf .pst, etc, after a file but it is a pain in the butt, this hopefully will be changed in 8. apparently NT is moving over to OS X native for programming for 8. I hope to see this implemented or at least LW should be able to see the surfaces in your file folders. That also brings up another issue; what is with loading a project and having to reload image textures half the time, even when I save the object,not only do I have to create the file folders manually(I bought eki plug pak but it doesn't work with 7.5c takes him ages to update, probably waiting for 8) I have to find the image maps/reflection maps for the objects. How about the presets, it can't find a reflection map and the darn image maps for the programs own presets. I find that suprising. Oh and creating file folders should be a new project setting...?!

03-20-2004, 12:47 PM
I would concur that Lightwave does a really poor job of handling the file system. Most apps on the Mac just use navigation services or whatever it's called to store the last used path for items. I'm kind of confused as to why lightwave purports to store relative paths for items, but can't resolve custom content directories with any real consistency.

I'm used to working with A:M which uses a Project/Component metaphor and resolves paths per project. It would be nice to have this option while working, but I'm all for changing my workflow as long as it's not a detriment to my productivity. I would suggest that we list all the things that don't work as expected, especially after 8 comes out as there is sure to be some things that just don't function like a normal mac app, so that NT has some kind of reference as to what their Mac constituency expects. Note that I'm not talking about bugs per se, rather just HIG type stuff that isn't consistent with the rest of our operating system. The Windows folks are no doubt used to working with applications that function differently per session, and there's a reason we're using macs instead of windows machines.


03-20-2004, 03:31 PM
It would be nice if they automatically added the file extension, similiar to the way APPS like photoshop work.

03-20-2004, 05:23 PM
you have to add .cfg as extension manually (that's for backdrops, menu layouts and so on)

Ideally, all lightwave files should have unique extensions....not to mention their very own 128x128 icons :p


03-20-2004, 06:43 PM
Right you are Kuzey, Good Point I forgot the 128 Icons.

03-21-2004, 11:00 AM
Don't forget particles (.pfx)

03-21-2004, 01:21 PM
Appendix 2 in the manual lists all file extensions.

03-21-2004, 02:22 PM
Use the Content Manager under Scene/Generics to consolidate files that you're using from other content directories. Alternately you can set the Content directory to the drive that everything's on, when you save the scene or object it will save absolute file paths - but this has it's own headaches -

Other applications like Photoshop aren't referencing so many different files, notice apps like After Effects have the same problems as LW.

03-22-2004, 12:28 AM
NT should buy eki's plug pak or integrate a similar idea...it works very well. His plug pak automates the process of setting up the scene, camera size, all the file folders(surfaces, images, everything you could need), even sets the content directory to the project folder, it is so simple I am surprised NT has not implemented this...at least one other 3d package I know implements this idea...I think that the idea is so simple it speaks for itself and I am extemely surprised that it is not already implemented. The folder names are already locked down (images, surfaces, scenes, etc) so I would bet it would be a no brainer for them to integrate. Just have a tab that says new project with lots of options, presto! Toby is also dead on about after effects, it can be a pain sometimes when you want to organize but they also have a collect for output function that works perfectly and I can transfer my projects from one machine to another...here's another ideas for NT to implement, of coase you wouldn't need it if it all just worked you could set the content directory manually after transfering the project....This thread should of never have needed to be started in the first place, these ideas are so basic is should be a defacto standard.
Oh and if they are reading this, all the content features that come preinstalled with the program should be automatically loaded when needed (ex. a surface preset with a reflection map:)) I should not have to go trolling through my application folders to find them. That is a huge pet peeve of mine. And no I should not have to copy that reflection map to my current project images folder. Cheers