Left: OpenGL Textures Off, Right: OpenGL Textures On

Usually the first Color or Diffuse image map layer is shown in the Texture

Reflection Mapping will only be visible when the surface Reflection value is greater than 50 percent.

Faster Highlights

The Faster Highlights option makes the display of (specular) highlights faster, but less accurate. Note that the difference may not always be visible and will vary depending on circumstances.

Pixel Blending

This OpenGL option will activate a smoothing display function.


Mipmapping is similar to what is used in today’s games to avoid graininess of textures in a distance or at a flat angle. Basically lower- res versions of the texture are generated in realtime and blended in. This feature is supported in hardware by most of today’s graphics cards. This feature also works if Mutitexturing is turned off. Please note however that due to the nature of this filtering method, low-resolution textures may appear a bit blurry.


The OpenGL Transparency option activates a surface transparency feature in viewports. This lets you see through transparent surfaces in shaded viewports. (Of course, this is only an approximation of your actual rendered result.) This setting also controls Modeler’s display of transparent surfaces, if the Hub is running. Modeler will remember the last used setting, if you aren’t using the Hub.

OpenGL Options Breakdown


Multi-texturing means multiple textures layers per polygon in OpenGL. Depending on the settings that you activate (see below), the following combinations of texture layers are possible:

  • Two color-layers with one diffuse-layer, one luminosity-layer and one reflection map (5 textures/ polygon).
  • One color-layer with one transparency-layer and one reflection map (3 textures/polygon).


This OpenGL option lets you see the effects of image-mapped reflections (not ray-traced) in a Layout window.

Color Channel

For the display of textures in the Color Channel if Multi-texturing is on.

Transparency Channel

For the display of textures in the Transparency Channel if Multi-texturing is on.

Diffuse Channel

For the display of textures in the Diffuse Channel if Multi-texturing is on.

Luminosity Channel

For the display of textures in the Luminosity Channel if Multi-texturing is on.

Specularity Channel

Shows image maps and texture for the Specularity channel.

NormalMap Channel

Shows applied Normal Maps.

Shading Method

In the Shading Method dropdown you have the choice between Multi-Texture, GLSL Shaders and PBRGLSL Shaders. We have detailed how Multi-texturing works just above.


Advanced GLSL shaders emulating the materials in the Software Renderer/VPR closely. Although shadows are not catered for, the fidelity of these shaders is much closer to VPR render equivalents. Cel shaded textures and reflections are also duplicated in OpenGL.


GLSL OpenGL Hardware Shading supports the OpenGL 2.0 hardware shader technology in video cards to provide very close approximations of render functions in the viewport displays. Light falloff, surface blending, gradients, and many procedurals can now be displayed in the OpenGL viewports in Layout when GLSL HW Shading is turned on.

OpenGL view with Normal map, Specularity and Depth of Field - this display is not VPR

Geometry Acceleration

Determines how the graphics card displays OpenGL. Streaming renders the mesh immediately to screen, using the lowest amount of memory at the cost of speed. Buffered(VBO) will attempt to store the geometry in graphics card memory, allowing for the highest speed, at the cost of memory. In cases where the mesh or shading changes with every frame no caching is possible, a fallback to the Streaming method will result, for example with animated meshes and reflection maps. Smooth shaded geometry will benefit the most from the Buffered(VBO) mode. If the mesh is buffered in graphics card memory the performance you will get as much performance as your graphics card can give you.

Transparency Sorting

It’s usually fastest to leave this as it is, on SortbyObject. However, if you have a large quantity of surfaces with varying degrees of transparency, for accuracy you may prefer to choose SortbyPolygon. AlphaClipping is the fastest of the three methods but really is clipping. Anything less than 100% transparency shows as solid.


There are three options and again, leaving this setting to Always On should be the best choice in most cases. If your scene is extremely heavy setting it to Off or Only When Playing might give you a speed advantage when setting up the scene.

Layout Defaults Options

The Defaults Tab is concerned with default settings - including Scene Length, Frame Size and Camera settings.

The Default Start Frame and Default Initial Keyframe fields were new to LightWave 2018. Setting the Default Start Frame to a number other than the default 0 will begin the scene from that point in time, with the scene length measured from the new start point. If you have the scene start at something other than 0, consider also setting the Default Initial Keyframe field. The initial keyframe is made at 0 by default when you add or create a new Layout item, changing the start frame might mean the initial keyframes from new scene items are out of view.

Fixed Near Clip Dist. will create a clipping distance that is much closer for small objects at the expense of objects that are distant in a scene disappearing. The scene-level distance clipping setting on the Layout Display Options tab will allow you to set a nominal distance for clipping.

Default Edit Mode will allows you to specify which of the four edit modes (Objects, Bones, Lights, Cameras) to make active whenever the scene is initialized. This happens, for example, when the application starts, or when a scene is loaded.

Layout Paths Tab

Here you can set default paths for LightWave to use, including network paths if you are using LightWave in a team with a centralized Content Directory. It also supports the use of non-standard content directory folders to better fit with other software in a pipeline if necessary. The Presets path has a cross at the end to clear any input path rather than needing to visit LightWave’s configs to clear.


With Auto-Detect enabled, when you open a scene, Layout will attempt to automatically detect the paths for items in a scene.