Node and displacements for terrain


New member
I am curious if Lightwave 9.0 Nodes can do displacement mapping for terrains, similar to something what Mojoworld can do. This could be very interesting for creating some cool terrains in Lightwave.

Also if it can do the displacements - can I export the displace terrain - so I could import the object of terrain in say "Vue 5 Infinite"


Heir to the Throne
Yes to both questions...

Nodal is available for displacements, and yes you can export displaced terrains into other applications, such as Vue as well.

Here is a quick FPrime preview screengrab, Nothing special just a test for realtime Nodal displacements in Nodal, and testing the new Realistic fog option in LW9 as well.


  • NodeTerrain.jpg
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Back from Monkey Island
RedBull said:
and testing the new Realistic fog option in LW9 as well.

Didn't know there was such a feature in LW9? Is there something about this on NT's website?

sorry for the thread hijacking :hijack:


Heir to the Throne
Weetos said:
Didn't know there was such a feature in LW9? Is there something about this on NT's website?

sorry for the thread hijacking :hijack:

Yeah i had to do a double take when i noticed the option.

I didn't stumble on to it during my looks the betas or RC's,
but the first day i used LW9 as a production tool, i noticed "Realistic"
as an option with the previous linear and nonlinear 1/2 modes.

It most likely didn't warrent a feature in the upgrade, it's only a subtle difference to the other modes, but those little hidden extra's are great fun to find.

I definately like the realistic fog option more than the others, and have used it thrice so far, and Fprime worked directly with it making realtime interactive fog just too cool....


New member
This is excelient news, any chance there is tutorial out there.

Now getting a little more compilicated, when creating terrain is possible to for displacement and such to be created so they have over hanging edges. This is typically a complex issue for fractal generated terrain programs like Mojoworld.


Heir to the Throne
I believe there is a tutorial on terrain layer displacements on the NT site
from Gregory D, and also some LW9 displacement videos may have some other information, that could be helpful to LW9 specifically and nodes. (check the NT tutorials)

Concerning the "Overhangs" issue in regards to terrain.
It was definately impossible to do achieve procedurally in LW8.x,

I'm not sure if the Zbrush style displacements can be done in LW9 to simulate it, but possibly. but i guess you can push and pull points now, so i would think this is how TG2 and Mojoworld do it. I can't say i like Mojoworld at all personally.

I will give it a try later with Nodal, but personally i doubt that it will achieve
the same level as TG2 or similar in this regard. But there are likely ways to fake it manually.


New member
Thanks I willl look for the Tutorial. I am also a developer by profession and will look at the Node SDK once I get experience with the displacement.

What I am desiring is actually like one of scenes in XBox game DOA Extreme Volleyball - it possibly could be done with an inverted moutain, with tunnels part boolean out of the object. I like the appearence of the moutains.


Heir to the Throne
Because LW has modeling tools, you can manually create tunnel/caves
overhangs and model them yourself, or procedurally create a terrain,
save transformed, edit/sculpt/boolean in Modeler, then back to Layout.

I also use mergetrigonsX, Qemmloss3 as well (i believe it no longer works in Lightwave9, but another alternative just appeared that does) to do this technique quite often in LW.

Node Displacements, combined with vertex displacements and or APS, does create at least some new interesting approaches to LW's abilities in this area, so i will continue to have a play. I have not really compiled with the LW9SDK as yet, but Multiaxis displacement certainly does improve the situation.

LW is already very easy to make good terrain displacements, it's got a good amount of procedurals, and now a node editor with vertices displacement (and realtime Fprime) unlike other programs which mainly rely on MPD which is a good and bad thing.

Terragen2 and the upcoming demo should be able to export overhangs and caves which it can produce procedurally as well as procedural fractal erosion.
This is quite hard to do and i doubt upcoming versions like Vue6 will manage to do it. I personally have always had a much better time getting good stuff out of Terragen than Mojoworld.

Good luck with the programming and displacements!


New member
What I am desiring to do is first create the terrain in landscape application and then scupt in Lightwave to make fine adjustments.

Mojoworld is really mention because of Pro UI interface which in someways similar to Node in Lightwave 9. Mojoworld is really a different kind of program that allows for creation of entire world that could be explored. Very small development staff I believed.
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Heir to the Throne
Yeah Mojoworld is created by procedural guru Larry Gritz, which is why i always expected a lot more from the program.. Larry is a procedural god,
and the work dmrty is doing on the volumetric renderer for MW, is cool....

I've just never managed to get the results i can get from other programs.
I'm not a fan of MW's interface actually. TG2 also has a node based interface, similar to LW9. But i'm sure MW is quite a capable program too.

Geocontrol and Terragen are definately the best combination for great photorealistic terrains in my opinion, i use the combination a lot.
Often these days i'm using Geocontrol and LW, while i await the 'forever' in development TG2. :) (World Machine is another free node based terrian generation program that can be used in conjunction with LW)


Active member
On Overhangs,

I wonder if using an alpha gradient in some way would be able to define an area to either more or less affect a proceedural displaced landscape?


New member
I did a little working on making the moutains with Lightwave. Basically I created the general structure with objects and then Metafrom it. I than modified the metaform.

I planned to then use displacements and even modified it more. I purchase a Training video from Kurv on displacements. I actually I have not done much with the displacements yet - because I would really like to use the Node Library and Lightwave 9 should be ariving any day.

I am curious once displacements are done, export the displace object to Lightwave Object for furture modifications.
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