Astronomy Basic 3D Programming Home Plug-in SDK

LightWave SDK
My Free LightWave Plug-ins

What is LightWave?

LightWave is professional 3D animation software that I've been intimately involved with for over a decade (which is why it's mentioned so often on my site). It's used internationally for television and movie special effects, games, cartoons, commercials, illustrations, and architectural and scientific visualization. You've almost certainly seen work that's been done with it. Visit NewTek, particularly the projects list and the gallery, for more information about it.

I started using LightWave at version 1.0, in 1991, after having used its predecessors Videoscape and Aegis Modeler (see the history section for screen shots). It was originally part of the software bundled with the Video Toaster, a switcher and effects board that ran in the Amiga 2000, but as Amiga manufacturer Commodore staggered toward bankruptcy, LightWave was first cut loose from the Toaster and then ported to Windows, Irix, Solaris, and eventually Macintosh.

In 1993, I became one of the programmers. My stuff, in more or less chronological order and primarily for the Windows version, includes

  • HAM display, ANIM5 saver
  • Layout wireframe preview
  • AVI saver replacement
  • QV render display
  • interprocess communication
  • multithreading library
  • standard file and directory dialogs

My very first e-mail to anyone, August 15, 1994, was a post to the LightWave mailing list. By December, I was a charter member of a new mailing list devoted to plug-in programming, and five years later, I became NewTek's point of contact for third party developers and the author of the documentation and example code for the LightWave Server Development Kit.

In 2002, the original LightWave programmers left NewTek to form Luxology. I left to return to school and complete a programming degree.

Ernie Wright