View Full Version : Question about using Lightwave for game sprites

06-07-2006, 01:23 PM
Hello everyone - I'm about to make a 3D application purchase and I've been searching through the forums here trying to determine if Lightwave would be the best choice given my budget and needs.

Currently, I have very little 3D experience. I'm a game developer/programmer so I'm coming from a technical background, but I'm also a musician/composer so I have more of a creative side than the average developer geek. ;)

I've been using Gamespace Light since it's marketed towards developers who need to create game graphics. I'm getting my head around it but I don't really like the interface and I'm worried that once I get better it will be limiting. Lightwave's UI seems a lot more intuitive for a programmer such as myself and this user community seems much more active as well.

I've narrowed it down to either the full version of Gamespace or Lightwave. Anyone have experience with both that could give me a little direction? Or just any experience with using Lightwave for game graphics? (I've looked through the game dev forum but it seems to be one of the least active on this board.)

I create primarily 2D games so one of my primary uses will be to create a 3D character, animate it and then render it out to a keyframed image so I can have 3D characters in a 2D world. (Similiar to the implementation in Donkey Kong Country.) One of the things I like about Gamespace is that it has specific functionality to render out a 3D animation sequence to static images.

Sorry for the long post but I want to be sure that I really need to spend $800 instead of $300. I don't mind spending it but I just want to make sure it can do what I want.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

P.S. I've ordered the demo DVD so hopefully that'll help in my desicion making process.

06-07-2006, 01:42 PM
Hi there and welcome to the forum. I don't know much about gamespace, but Lightwave will accommodate the needs you've described.

Lightwave will allow you to:
Model your character
Animate your character
Render your character animation with an alpha channel for your game sprite in an image sequence.

06-07-2006, 05:02 PM
I use Lightwave for this quite often. Not just for characters either, but backgrounds, items, skies. particle fx etc...

06-07-2006, 05:36 PM
Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate the information.

It's good to hear that this functionality exists and works well because I'm sure that as time goes on, I'll want to do a lot more than just this and I want an app that will give me some growing room.

I'll wait for the demo to be sure but it sounds like Lightwave is worth the additional cost.

Thanks again!

06-07-2006, 08:50 PM
don't know where you're coming from, but this dated demo might be a good jumping in point.


at least until 9 demo is released,....soon8~

06-07-2006, 11:42 PM
there was a plugin a while back called sprite edger. Do a search for it on flay. I think it might help do what you are looking for

06-08-2006, 10:48 AM
Sprite Edger is part of 7.5 as far as I know, here is some examples I did with LightWave for 2D space shooting games...LW9 is even better because it makes it way easier to render perfect isometric sprites...



Donkey Kong like stuff is no problem, but of course You need to animate the characters so that they look good when moving (but there are free motion capture files You can use and manipulate).

06-08-2006, 04:14 PM
Cool! I downloaded the 7.5 demo and that's helped to give me a good idea of how the app feels. I most definitely find it much more intuitive than Gamespace.

Emmanuel: The way you have your sprites set up is exactly the method I'm going for so thanks for the screenshots. That demonstrates to me that I'll be able to do exactly what I need to. Did you have to use the SpriteEdger plug-in to get an alpha blend on the sprites in these shots or is that now a part of the export process with LW9?

That's also very encouraging to hear that an isometric rendering option exists. That would seem to indicate that NewTek is taking the game market into account.

I think you've just sold me on Lightwave. Thanks for all the feedback!

06-08-2006, 04:39 PM

That would seem to indicate that NewTek is taking the game market into account
:D That one's in there for the architects I think, but has many uses including the ones your looking at. :)

It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that LW renderer would be somewhat superior to Gamespaces too. If you can afford it then go LW, no question about it.

06-09-2006, 02:31 PM

actually the Spriteedger was needed when our game engine was not yet using alpha'd sprites, with Sprite Edger we could get "clean" edges with a "clip colour" in the background that the engine would clip, but now our engines support alpha's sprites, so all You need to do is render the sprites and save them as TGA, PNG etc, any format that supports alpha channels.
LW automatically calculates an alpha when it renders images/sprites.
Of course You can also get more or less isometric sprites in the LW7.0- 8.5
line of products, either through a render plugin or by using that zoom way in and move the camera way out workaround (to create sprites for realtime strategy games a la StarCraft).