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Thread: Free Integrated Lightwave File Viewer

  1. #1

    Free Integrated Lightwave File Viewer

    While this isn't the most graceful of methods to get a file viewer into Lightwave and it isn't 100% perfect, it does serve its function and makes browsing through files visually much more convenient and straightforward. To put it in simple terms, I took a freely available model viewer (BCView) and bridged it with Lightwave using Autohotkey. My bridge program is totally free and open source; use/modify it however you want.

    Here's a demo video on it:



    Download Lightwave FileViewer here. The program is compiled into an .EXE file, so autohotkey isn't required.

    ZIP contains program files, source code (you can use notepad to view the .ahk file), and usage info.

    COMPATIBILITY: I have only tested this in Windows 7 using Lightwave 9.6 (64-bit), I know it won't work on windows XP (due to the slight differences in dialogue class names), and it is untested on windows 8.

    If the program doesn't work, let me know what version of windows and Lightwave you are using... no promises, but I will try to fix things over time.
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 04-27-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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  2. #2
    Code Muppet evenflcw's Avatar
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    Very cool and clever advanced use of AHK. Bcview is an old goody. I was not aware it had received texture support. Did you have any contact with the creator?
    Thanks.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by evenflcw View Post
    Very cool and clever advanced use of AHK. Bcview is an old goody. I was not aware it had received texture support. Did you have any contact with the creator?
    Thanks.
    Texture support is almost the same as layout now... it'll show you textures, bump maps, and even various basic shaders (lines, smooth/flat shade, radiosity), but probably nothing more complex than that. Textures can be somewhat sluggish to load even on a fast system, so that's why I recommend leaving textures off when browsing around and enabling them when you need detail. I know for certain procedurals aren't supported and will just display as flat textures. Again, I was only made aware of BCview via Erikal's post... its possible he provided a link to an updated version which added texture support. Also, subpatching is possible with BCView as well.

    To answer your question, I haven't managed to make contact with the creator. Hopefully they won't mind that I've bundled their program and bridged it with Lightwave.

    If I were a bit more programmer savvy I could probably make the program a lot more snappy and less messy code-wise, but I did what I could
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 04-27-2013 at 01:41 PM.
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  4. #4
    Super Member geo_n's Avatar
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    running the ahk gives me error in line 166. Program will exit
    running exe bcviewer pops up but not seeing any preview from model.

    win 7 and win 8, lw 9.6 and lw 11.5

  5. #5
    That's interesting...

    To narrow things down, are you able to load models using BCView by itself? (Open the program, hit "O", and pick an object).

    Also, check to see if dragging the file to a window once will cause the script to trigger active. In my tests over here, I realized that BCView always points to the last file opened, so if that file doesn't exist it might confuse the program. Let me know if this works, it'll help me narrow down the error.

    EDIT: I think I figured it out... but I'll have to brainstorm how to fix the issue. Dragging any object to the BCview window once fixes the issue permanently, but I'd rather the user not have to even worry about that. I may have to make a "firstrun?" variable that writes to BCView's text file and references a dummy object file to keep the error from occuring.
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 04-27-2013 at 04:05 PM.
    Professional-level 3d training: Ryan's Lightwave Learning
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  6. #6
    File download linked above has been updated:

    - FIX: added a "firstrun" section to the code which will insert the file path of a pre-set .lwo file in the directory the user extracted the zip to. This allows the program to have a valid directory out of the box, and hopefully it eliminates the need to do the one-time click/drag activation.
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 04-27-2013 at 11:48 PM.
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  7. #7
    Super Member geo_n's Avatar
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    Yep it runs fine now. One problem is textures are not showing unless they're in the same folder as the lwo file. My folder structure follows the conventional lw directory so its scene,objects,images, etc. BCview doesn't seem to be able to read the path of the textures from the lwo like modeller does.

  8. #8
    Super Member Fadlabi's Avatar
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    Some file can't open and there's a message: exceeded limit # of polygons
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	preview.jpg 
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Size:	133.5 KB 
ID:	113973  

  9. #9
    you need to go into the prefs and up the # of polys. Since BCview is REALLY old it has a low # of max polys. I just went into the prefs and added 2 0's onto the end
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  10. #10
    Super Member Fadlabi's Avatar
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    Thanks, Doctor49152

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor49152 View Post
    you need to go into the prefs and up the # of polys. Since BCview is REALLY old it has a low # of max polys. I just went into the prefs and added 2 0's onto the end
    Oops, when I made the update I forgot to re-insert the initial poly limit settings. I re-uploaded the file so that it defaults to 800,000 polys (bcview's maximum)

    Quote Originally Posted by geo_n View Post
    Yep it runs fine now. One problem is textures are not showing unless they're in the same folder as the lwo file. My folder structure follows the conventional lw directory so its scene,objects,images, etc. BCview doesn't seem to be able to read the path of the textures from the lwo like modeller does.
    Have you tried pointing BCView to the file paths that contain your textures via the f1 menu where it says "Texture Image File Path"?

    As for the autohotkey line error mentioned earlier, it is possible that the different versions of it floating around could the culprit (AHK vs. AHK_L). I haven't done any investigation into that yet though.
    Last edited by Ryan Roye; 04-28-2013 at 09:01 AM.
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  12. #12
    Super Member geo_n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazriker View Post
    Oops, when I made the update I forgot to re-insert the initial poly limit settings. I re-uploaded the file so that it defaults to 800,000 polys (bcview's maximum)



    Have you tried pointing BCView to the file paths that contain your textures via the f1 menu where it says "Texture Image File Path"?
    No, but I'm sure that would work if I manually point bcview to the image folder. This is more a problem of lwo format.
    The same thing happens when using deep exploration, which is another 3d viewer. Textures have to be in the same folder as the lwo which is a shame as its not standard practice.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor49152 View Post
    you need to go into the prefs and up the # of polys. Since BCview is REALLY old it has a low # of max polys. I just went into the prefs and added 2 0's onto the end
    I can't open BCview.exe to change the prefs,
    the programm-window shuts down in the same moment
    here on a win vista / 32 / lw 11.5 system ..

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    I can't open BCview.exe to change the prefs,
    the programm-window shuts down in the same moment
    here on a win vista / 32 / lw 11.5 system ..
    If you want to use BCView by itself, make certain to close LW_FileViewer first (the magnifying glass in the taskbar). LW_FileViewer closes BCView if the load object file chooser is not present.
    Professional-level 3d training: Ryan's Lightwave Learning
    Plugin Developer: RR Tools for Lightwave
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  15. #15
    Very nice, thank you for sharing!


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