Lw 2 Sw Faq


gold plated 3D
Just a few things I've been told or read about re. bones, animation, and modeling techniques in LW for Shockwave 3D (Director).

1. SW BONES require dedicated, non-overlapping, 100% value weight maps for the objects a bone is to control. That is, there shoudl be only ONE weight map per vertex (point).

2. SW exporter doesn't transpose X and Z BONE SCALE axis, thus what is scaled on X becomes scaled on Z and/or visa versa.

3. SW doesn't appear to support Z axis BONE SCALE anyway. I'll assume that translations and rotations are handled just fine.

4. Skelegon converted bones seem to work just as well as manually created LW bones. So, feel free to create skels and weight map associations in modeler, and convert to bones in layout.

5. SW creates a bounding box around each layer of a LW model. If you have transparently surfaced objects each in their own layer and in front of a larger/longer base object, SW Z-sorts the rendering of objects/models based on bounding box dimension. Thus, these transparent objects/models with smaller bounding boxes will be rendered BEHIND the base object. FIX: ADD a single flat 100% transparently surfaced poly in FRONT of each (semi-)transparent object, positioned in front, and sized to that of the base object. Place a similar poly BEHIND the base object. The goal is to force SW to create its virtual bounding boxes such that your transparent objects have a box that's in front of the base so that SW will Z-sort them to render in front.

6. SW uses LW's camera HORIZONTAL FOV (field of view) value (degrees) for its camera FOV. The two DO NOT match visually. This info is just to inform you that if you want a specific SW FOV exported, then set this in LW's camera properties. A value of 25 deg. creates about the same FOV in SW as LW Zoom Factor of around 3.0 (which in LW is a 45 deg horz. FOV value).

7. You CANNOT SCALE AND TRANSLATE or ROTATE an object in LW at the SAME time! SW will totally screw the motion up. In fact, SCALING an object without any translation or rotation animation will most likely result in the object's scale being flipped and position being offset. FIX: PARENT a null to the base object (parent in place OFF), then parent the object to be scaled to the null (parent in place ON). Animated the object's scale, and animate its position and rotation with its null.

8. There doesn't appear to be any benefit in Baking object motions with pre-/post-behaviors other than Constant. If set to, say, Repeat, SW will still render the motion transition (repeat) point with a one or two frame jump at random times whether the motion is baked or not.

9. Can't remember any more, but will post more as they come to mind or are discovered.


New member
Nice to see some of this getting posted.

I suppose most of the stuff is in my head and its those little things you have discovered yourself through trial and error that becomes habit.


Thanks for the technical notes Chrusion. Do you have any samples of your LW- SW work posted?


New member
Here are some screenshots of LW to shockwave I have done in the past. U can get not bad results if you put in the time.

Most of these work on at least 1.2ghz pc with a 32 meg card (really needs a 64 meg card tho)


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New member


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New member
WOW, didn't know you can get this good of images, nice work....the company i work for has started to look into diffrent engines. And 2 or 3 of us up here know Director and Flash.....

Thanks for the images, keep up the good work.


New member
THanks for the comments. I agree Sam think I can't go much further with shockwave.

I heard about the article this morning about the future of shocwkave. It sounds good, I just hope it does become something good to work with. WOuld be ashame to let it go.


gold plated 3D
I agree! Great images. Made possible ONLY by baking all your lighting and textures. There's no freakin way Shockwave (Director) can cast shadows, etc. I mean, I guess there are raytracing examples out there via very complex and custom lingo, but out of the box? nope.


Game Developer
Shadow mapping is possible so tat's the way to go for shadows. Baking is an option too

As for the SW LW Faq here's some nice bugs:

Windows exporter will eat all your ram on big scenes till you quit layout
Mac preview in the exporter crashes layout
LW 9 can't export a rig properly - one bone is always ignored!


New member
Thanks for that Yarg,

Thought I was going insane there. I was going back to older versions of lightwave to export to shockwave. Infact I seem to be getting more problems with bones now and I can't even fix it in lightwave 9 at all.


Game Developer
Yar was driving me mad. Taking 2 days to export a model! Just loaded version 8 to export the w3d and back to 9 for motions.


New member
Newtek should hire Dave Wyand from the Garage Games community to update the shockwave exporter.

He wrote the Lightwave to DTS exporter for the Torque game engine, and it is one of the most feature-rich, perfect exporters I have ever used. You don't even have to think about animations not working, they just come out perfect!

If only we could get this kind of quality with shockwave tools...


Game Developer
Newtek isn't going to bother updating the SW exporter. They haven't touched it since Director 8.5 came out. If you report bugs they say it works fine.

Adobe Director is out in a few months. IF they have updated the 3D side then expect new exporters then.

No news of a 3D update though. I don't expect there will be much new on that side. A new scripting environment was put in years ago and Adobe have stated that more export options are being implemented. So console and PDA exporters are on the cards. They are also pushing it as a game dev package. That makes sense to me. They'll shift a ton of boxes if you could make Wii VC game, or XB live Arcade, iPone/ipod etc. Would love to be able to port my games to other systems. Hunter would be cool on Wii (http://www.miniclip.com/games/hunter/en/)

I can't wait - more for the fact that it will work on Mac intel and I can ditch windows!!
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