Open Beta Program Information

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Open Beta program access:
If you are qualified for the Open Beta program and do not see the LightWave v9.5.1 Open Beta banner when you login to, please contact Customer Service for your area for further assistance.

Non-Disclosure Agreement:
Per the terms of the NDA you agreed to when applying for the program, please do not discuss any issues or questions with the operation of the Open Beta software outside of the private LightWave Open Beta forums. If you do not yet have access to these forums, please wait until you do.

The Open Beta software is an archive file you extract to your hard drive. There is no installer at this time. The archive should not be used to overwrite your existing LightWave v9(.X) folder.

Serial numbers and license keys:
If you do not receive the email with your open beta serial number, please check your My Products page on It should automatically be posted there as well. If you do not receive the email and you so not see the number on your My Products page, please contact Customer Service for your area for further assistance.

Configuration files:
The Open Beta does not create version-specific configuration files. To avoid overwriting your LightWave v9(.X) release version configuration files, use the " -c" method in the Target line of your LightWave v9.5.1 Open Beta program shortcuts properties to direct your configuration files for the Open Beta to be created in a specified folder you define.

Example (where C: is the drive where the program is located):
C:\[Path to exectuable] -cC:\[Path to configuration file folder]

Forums access:
You must have an account for the NewTek Discussion Forums to access the Open Beta Forums. An account will not be created for you. If you do not already have an account, please visit to create one. You will be asked for the ID (alias) you use to login to the forums when you sign up for the Open Beta program. This is not the same as your NewTek Product Registration Site account, unless you have set them both up the same way.

You will be given access to the Open Beta Forums after you have completed the NDA in the NewTek Product Registration Site. Applicants are being added continuously, but this is a process that takes time. If you are not able to reach the link within 5 business days, and do not receive an email asking for updated information, please contact Customer Service for your area for further assistance.

To see if you have been given access to the Open Beta forums, try this link while you are logged-in to the forums.

Full documentation for the LightWave v9.5.1 Open Beta will be provided through links in the LightWave Open Beta forums.

Technical Support:
Please do not contact Tech Support about the Open Beta. They will not be able to assist you. Technical Support for the Open Beta program is provided through the private LightWave Open Beta forums.

The Open Beta Sign-up Email
When you agree to the v9.5 Open Beta NDA, an email with all the rest of what you will need to know is sent to you. This includes a serial number, and complete instructions for downloading and setting up v9.5.1 for safe testing (you do not want to mix up configs with your current v9 installation). Here it is:

Dear (Your Name will be here),

Thank you for joining the LightWave Open Beta program.

The LightWave Open Beta program software will be available for download from the following location: (The v9.5.1 Beta Download Page will be linked here)

After downloading the appropriate file, use it to set up LightWave Open Beta on your system.

Warning: do not overwrite v9.0 or any previous version that is on your system. The file is an installer; run it to install the LightWave software on your computer. Please note that this software will install into a new directory, but before running it you should review the instructions below to set the software up to generate new configuration files that do not affect any existing installations of LightWave 3D. When you have finished the install process, a dialog box will pop up telling you the 'Product Lock ID' for the dongle. The dongle is required to run the LightWave software. Write down the 'Product Lock ID', as you will need this to register your software.

Your LightWave Open Beta program serial number is (Serial Number will be here).

Use this serial number to register your LightWave Open Beta program software at
1. Log-in to your NewTek product registration account.
2. Select the LightWave v9.5 Open Beta from the Product drop-down.
3. Click on 'Register Now'
4. Enter your LightWave v9.5 Open Beta serial number in the text field.
5. Click on "Register"
6. Select your dongle type from the Dongle drop-down.
7. Enter your dongle ID in the text field under 'Lock ID'.
8. Select your processor type from the Processor drop-down.
9. If necessary, repeat steps 6-8 for additional platform installations.
10. Click on 'Register'

Once you have registered, your temporary License Key will be available online in your registration account. You will need the license key to operate the beta software without restrictions for the length of the program.

For this phase of the LightWave v9.5 Open Beta you will need to create a new license.key file.

Creating a License file:

1) Open a text editor: Notepad for Windows, or TextEdit for Mac
2) Type your permanent license key on the first line
3) Save the file and name it 'license.key' (do not include the quotation marks) in the LightWave Programs folder
4) Close the text editor
5) Open Layout to confirm that the key worked

Important! Do NOT open LightWave until you have finished following these instructions.

You will need to make preparations for the Open Beta LightWave applications to create a set of custom config files before you open them.

For Windows XP and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

1) Locate the folder where you copied the LightWave software.
2) Open the Programs Folder
3) Create a new folder named 'Configs'.
4) Open the Configs folder and copy the path.
5) Go up one level, back to the Programs folder
6) Find the Lightwav.exe file.
7) Right-click and choose Create Shortcut
8) Right-click on the new shortcut and choose Properties
9) For Target, go to the end of the path and type -c
10) Paste the Configs path to the end of -c. If you have any spaces in the Config path, put the path in quotation marks. The path should look something like this (your exact path may be different):

C:\Downloads\LightWave_v9.5.1\Programs\lightwav.exe -c'C:\Downloads\LightWavev9.5.1\Programs\Configs'

11) Repeat steps 6-10 for Modeler.exe
12) Use the shortcuts you created each time you open the Open Beta software.

Mac Universal Preferences and License Keys

The license.key file for a single user, and user-specific settings should go in:


Any license.key file you want all users to have access to, and machine-specific settings should go in:


Third party plug-ins for the user (as they start showing up) should probably go in:

~/Library/Application Support/LightWave3D/Plugins/

Third party plug-ins you want all users of your machine to have access to should go in:

/Library/Application Support/LightWave3D/Plugins/

The Extensions configuration file used to contain a list of all of the plug-ins you're using. Since we're using an automatic search now, the Extensions file will be empty by default. If the user manually adds a plug-in via the Add Plugins command, or by any non-automatic means, it will show up in that file. We're trying to move away from this mechanism, but we've left this capability in, in case you really need it.

Any objects or scenes you drag and drop into LightWave windows will not change the content directory.

Instructions for creating and placement of the license.key file in the Universal Binary

1) Open

2) Paste your permanent key on the first line

3) Select the 'Make Plain Text' item in the Format menu

4) Save the file. Name the file 'license.key', and place it in any one of the following folders...

* SharedSupport folder, which is in the main LightWave program folder, next to Layout, Modeler, and other LightWave tools.

* ~/Library/Preferences/LightWave3D/

* /Library/Preferences/LightWave3D/

5) Open Layout to confirm that the key worked.

Please note that at this time we are not suggesting that our Universal Binary customers use the -c command line switch.

It may take up to two business days for your NewTek Discussion Forums account to be modified to allow you to see the private section for the LightWave Open Beta program area. Please go to the forums often, log-in, and scroll down to find the section entitled 'LightWave Open Beta'. This is the only area where you are allowed by your NDA to discuss the open beta program. Once you are able to see this section on the forums, you will be able to start participating immediately.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the open beta, please visit

Thank you for being part of the LightWave Open Beta Team!

NewTek, Inc.
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