NewTek LightWave: Loading and Saving Camera Data

Whenever you create a Newtek LightWave animation or still image, you always have a display device in mind. In case of a video, it’s probably a TV set or a monitor. You might also be creating something that will appear only on a computer screen. Other possibilities include film or print media.

Whatever the ultimate destination of your images, one thing will become very important before you can render your images: it is the fact that whenever you render a frame in LightWave, you render it from the camera’s point of view.

Step 1: Launch LightWave and Create a 3D Model

You will simply select the LightWave application shortcut from the programs menu to launch the LightWave software application. Once LightWave loads onto your computer, you will develop your 3D model. Keep the model simple and straightforward because you are doing this only for trial purposes. The trial model of your choice could be something as simple as a cube or a sphere.

Step 2: Add a Camera and Configure It

Once you are done with creating a basic 3D model, you can add cameras by choosing Items > Add > Add Camera. Please keep in mind that only the “Current Camera” is used to render a scene. If you have more than one camera in the scene, use the Current Camera pop-up menu on the Camera Properties panel (or Layout’s Current Item pop-up menu) to select the currently active camera.

You will notice that LightWave’s Camera Properties panel lets you change any and all settings of the camera. To open it, you will select a camera and press the P key. Among other things, you can control the resolution of the rendered output, the antialiasing amount, motion blur and the depth of field settings.

Step 3: Set Advanced Camera Settings

Once you are done configuring the camera, you will move ahead with setting other properties like resolution, pixel aspect ratio, frame aspect ratio and lens settings like aperture height.

Step 4: Save and Load Camera Data

As already stated, whenever you render a frame in LightWave, you render it from the camera’s point of view. Thus, it becomes important to save your camera settings for the sake of reusability. For a quick and efficient solution to saving and loading your camera data, it is advisable to use the “Load and Save Camera Data LScript” for LightWave. It is essentially a simple combination of two scripts that saves the camera data into files with a “.cam” extension.

You will need to download the script and add it as a plug-in to LightWave Layout. You will then assign it to any particular menu or a hotkey(s) combination based on your preferences.

To save camera data, you will select the camera that you want to save, simply execute the “Save Camera” script, and select an appropriate file. To load the location camera data, you will run the “Load Camera” script and simply select the Camera file you want to load.