Interface Color Customization

Customizing the Interface colors for Modeler and Layout is accessed through the Options panels in both applications -the Display tab in Layout and the Display Options Interface tab in Modeler. You will need to restart LightWave to see the changes you have made.

Configuration Files

For Macintosh OS X, the LightWave configuration files are stored in your ~/Library/Application Support/NewTek/2019.0 folder like so:

  • Extension Cache
  • Extensions 2019
  • Hub 2019
  • Layout 2019
  • Modeler 2019

For Windows 7 and onwards, the configuration files are kept in <USERNAME>\.NewTek\LightWave\2019.0. They are named:

  • Extension Cache-64
  • LW2019-64.CFG
  • LWEXT2019-64.CFG
  • LWHUB2019-64.CFG
  • LWM2019-64.CFG

Generally, you will not need to edit these files directly; however, you might need to remove these files if they get corrupted.

Startup Options

The following options are described for use in Windows. At the end of the list of Startup options, there is an Info box for Macintosh OS X.

Editing a shortcut's target path can add functionality to how LightWave starts up. Here shown, -d for startup content assignment

-c for Configs

If you wish to redirect where LightWave stores the configs it creates away from the regular C:\Users\<username>\.NewTek\LightWave\<version> folder, you can add -c to the end of your shortcut's targetline with the path chosen for the configs.

-d for Content

Layout has a -d option for designating a content directory to be used at startup. In Windows, it can be added as a startup option by editing the icon properties of the shortcut created for launching Layout and adding -d and the directory you wish to use, like so:

-p for Plugins

The -p option is for creating a different location for plugin files - useful for instance when running multiple copies of LightWave over a network with a central store of plugins.

-0 for Command IPC

Using the -0 commandline flag will not run the Hub but use an Interprocess communications system. Layout and Modeler all notify each other when a mesh file has been saved to disc, and the applications that have that file open and have not applied modifications during the session will update from the new version on disc. For example, if both Layout and Modeler have “bob.lwo” open, Modeler has some edits applied to it, and Layout saves it transformed, Modeler will not automatically update from the disc.

If subsequently the object is saved out from Modeler, that will overwrite the changes made by Layout, and Layout will update from the save if no further changes were applied in Layout during the interim.

-i for Isolate

The ‘isolate’ flag (‘-i’) will completely disable all IPC mechanisms (Hub and CommandIPC), leaving the application isolated from all other product actions.


Use this flag to play an existing sound file when a frame finishes rendering. The syntax is as follows:



Use this flag to play an existing sound file when a frame sequence finishes rendering. The syntax is as follows:



Use this flag to play an existing sound file when a preview finishes rendering. The syntax is as follows:


-f for Font

Use this flag to call a system font as the typeface to use for Layout or Modeler. The syntax is as follows:


Layout displayed with Stencil Std Bold at 10pt; Giddyup Std Regular at 12pt and Georgia at 9pt. The flags used were ...\bin\Layout.exe -fStencilStd@10; -fgiddyupstd@12 and -fgeorgia@9 - none of these are recommended for an ergonomic work environment...


The --command-port option enables an operating system-based communication mechanism that allows external processes to feed LightWave Command Sequence commands directly into the LightWave application. This allows real-time and continuous execution of CS commands within running LightWave programs.

The distributed LightWave product includes a Python package that works with both Python v2 and v3 that allows Python programs to utilize this mechanism.

When enabled, the command port number selected is displayed in the LightWave application's titlebar. (e.g., "--command-port=45454").

This mechanism does not function with Screamernet.

(the command-port mechanism is somewhat reminiscent of the Amiga AREXX system LightWave used to support.)


Described below.


Lastly, a joke entry for bamboozling co-workers. Enter this as an option, and watch your colleague's face as they start LightWave...



LightWave 2019 presents a new way of working with LightWave on screens at a resolution great than 1920 x 1080 here.

Layout Startup Command

If the LW2019-64.CFG configuration file contains a line beginning with “StartupCommand,” Layout will try to execute the rest of the line as a command after the main interface is first opened. The command can have arguments and it can refer to a generic plug-in or script.

Default Scene at Start

If you'd like Layout to start with the same scene setup every time it's easy to achieve but you need to use a single content directory to do so (if you see the "Would you like to change content directory?" message when you load scenes, this will probably not work for you out of the box). To create a default scene, simply set up something obviously different - change the light color to red.

Now use the Save menu option Save Scene as Default. In Layout Options (O) check Clear Scene To Default and finally restart LightWave. Now, when you start Layout, you will see that the default light color is red.

To check this is working correctly, try loading a different scene. If you get a window like this:

You will need to do more work. Your LightWave content is almost certainly arranged like so:


  • Project 1
    • Objects
    • Images
    • Scenes
  • Project 2
    • Objects
    • Images
    • Scenes


For the default scene to work reliably, you have two choices. The first is for your content to structure to look like this:


  • Objects
    • Project 1
    • Project 2
  • Images
    • Project 1
    • Project 2
  • Scenes
    • Project 1
    • Project 2

This is the same kind of organization (global) as the stock LightWave content if you have a look. Both this and the project-based way of managing content present their own problems - the first creates lots of file duplication, the second is difficult to separate out for sending to the farm, etc.

The second choice, if you want to keep the benefit of a default scene but are committed to the project-based content route, is to simply create a template content directory structure that you can always use, including a scene with your preferred settings. Copy this into place at the start of a project.

Customizing Layout Viewport Navigation

The mouse directions used for viewport navigation can be customized by editing the WorldNavigation entry in the LW2019-64.CFG configuration file. It has four boolean values that correspond to panning via icon and Alt key, and rotation via icon and Alt key. Zero values mean that the viewpoint moves in the same direction as the mouse, and ones mean that the world appears to move with the mouse. For example, the default in LightWave 9 is 0 1 0 1. The old 5.6 setting would be 1 1 0 0. See also Navigation Options.

Customizing Camera Presets

The camera resolution presets are stored in the LW2019-64.CFG configuration file using the keyword “ResolutionPreset.” Each preset includes a width and height, pixel aspect ratio, mask settings (left, top, width, and height), and a name that will appear in the pop-up menu. They can be modified, deleted, or added to. If no presets are found in the file, the original list is restored. See the configuration file for examples.

Customizing Image Savers for Output

Full image saver list reduced by removing plugins (Alias.p, Aura_Exporter.p, BMP.p, CineonFP.p, DPX.p, DRLA.p, IFF.p, PCX.p, PICT.p, RLA.p, SUN.p, TGA.p, VPB.p and YUV.p plugins removed for this example)

The standard LightWave Image Saver list in the Output tab is long but can be reduced if certain file types are sure not to be needed. The plugins for this list can be found in the following locations, depending on operating system:

  • Windows: LightWave_2019.0\support\plugins\input-output
  • OSX: /Applications/NewTek/LightWave3D_2019.0/support/plugins/input-output