About LightWave 11.6

LightWave 11.6 brings many exciting new features and enhancements to LightWave. Even better, this is a free update for existing LightWave 11 owners.

LightWave 11.6 Overview

3D Printing Support

Import / Export of industry standard 3D printing file formats STL, PLY, and VRML. Also features new geometry cleanup tools

Spline Control

The powerful new Spline Control allows the animation of snakes, trains, tails or anything that requires a natural fluid movement

Raycast Node

Make your objects aware of their surroundings with the new Raycast node

DPX Support

Support for DPX digital intermediate file format which enables direct loading as background plates for visual effects and film pipelines

CgFX Shaders

CgFX shaders enahance Layout OpenGL quality for realtime playback of assets and characters and strenghthen the workflow for Virtual Production Asset Creation

Compound Node

The node editor sees the introduction of compound nodes, making it simpler to package up complex flows into as easier to use nodes

NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 / Pro

Stereoscopic renders can now be displayed in Active Shutter mode on 3D monitors (with appropriate hardware)

Alembic Object / Cache Loader

Import objects and their caches saved in Alembic format

Python Improvements

Python scripting in LightWave 11.6 has been enhanced requiring less scripting needed to achieve the same results in previous versions

New Color Picker

A fully featured color picker dedicated for 3D artists, quite simply the best color picker in any 3D application, period

Stereo Camera Offsets

The Stereoscopic effect can now be animated from either the Center Eye, Left Eye or Right Eye

Surface Baker Camera

The Surface Baking Camera recieves a boost in speed by taking advantage of multiple processor cores

VPR Interaction Speed

11.6 sees a huge boost in the interaction speed when working in Layout with VPR active

Motion Vectors for Instances

Instances now contribute to the Motion Vector buffers

3D Printing Support

From 3D to Real

Wtih 3D printing becoming more popular with the introduction of cheaper home printing devices and online services. LightWave 11.6 allows you to output your models to standard 3D printing file formats, including support for color 3D printing.

STL, VRML and PLY Loaders and Savers

Support for the most common 3D printing formats.

Color 3D Printing

Using VRML, 3D printers that support color can accept models with color vertex maps applied.

Raycast Node

Casts Rays to Make Your Objects Aware of Their Surroundings

With the new Raycast Node in LightWave 11.6 your objects become aware of their surroundings when rays are fired into a scene from any item to determine distance, intersection or normal orientation. The simplest example using it to make an object track perfectly along the surface of terrain, but the uses are only limited by your imagination.

The ray cast functionality has also been added to the SDK so third-party developers can utilize it to expand LightWave's capabilities even further.

Spline Control

Native Spline Deformation, Path, and Spline IK Solution

With the new Spline Control node you can quickly add splines directly to layout and use nulls or any object to define nodes on the spline. Use Spline Control to easily animate items that need to conform to a curve and control the motion trajectory along the spline by animating the object nodes direclty in the animation graph editor for ultimate control. Spline Control can also be used for Spline IK rig setups for things like tendrils or tails and animating snakes, cables, tank tracks or even cameras along a path are easily achieved in LightWave 11.6.

CGFX Shaders

Enhanced OpenGL Real-Time Display and Normal Maps

CgFX shaders allow you override the default OpenGL respresentation for any surface with custom nVidia hardware CgFX shaders. This allows the realtime OpenGL representation of your characters and assets to look more detailed and higher quality in the viewport. You can write your own CgFX shaders or download many of the free shaders from the internet. CgFX shaders allow LightWave to be used as the asset creation backbone for real-time Virtual Productions.

New Color Picker

Highly Featured Color Picker

The new LightWave color picker is the most feature rich picker available in any 3D application. Features include color library management, direct color picking from image and screen, color mixing, variety of color modes and complimentary colors.

Compound Nodes

Group Complex Node Flows Within One Node

The node editor sees the introduction of compound nodes. These allow to group complex node flows into reusable, single nodes. The inputs and outputs can be renamed to allow for easier working. Compound nodes can then be saved allowing you build up your library of custom node flows.

Alembic Support

Object / Cache Loader

LightWave 11.6 introduces a new industry standard Alembic loader for importing object and cache data into Lightwave from any 3D application supporting the Alembic format. This added interchange functionality is added to LightWave's very strong support for FBX, After Effects, Autodesk Geometry Cache, LightWave MDD Cache, Collada, and the Unity game engine.

Try LightWave 2019

Want to Try For 30 Days Before You Buy?

Read more about LightWave here.

Minimum System Specifications



  • 64-bit Intel® Core™ 2 or better or AMD64 with SSE4 instruction set (Bulldozer onwards)
  • System RAM: 4GB minimum
  • Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)
  • Operating System

  • 64-bit: Windows 7 64-bit through Windows 10 64-bit

Mac OS®


  • 64-bit Intel® Processor
  • System RAM: 4GB minimum
  • Available USB Port (for users with existing hardware dongles)
  • Operating System

  • Sierra 10.12 or better


  • Minimum Graphics Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® 9 series or ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 series
  • Minimum Screen Resolution: 1280 x 1024 pixels
  • Recommended Graphics Card: GeForce® 10 series or newer at 1920 x 1080 or better

Installation Requirements

  • Storage: All systems require 750MB available hard drive space (excluding content).