Introduction | Background Render | Batch Render | Network Render | Internet Render | Config File | Command Line

Standalone Mode -3 Rendering Step-by-Step Tutorial for Mac OS X & Windows – Mastering LightWave 3D ScreamerNet LWSNLightWave 3D ScreamerNet LWSN may be used for background rendering with LWSN in standalone mode (-3) to render single scenes independent of LightWave itself. This Background Rendering with LightWave 3D ScreamerNet LWSN step by step tutorial will show you how to render a scene in the background while you continue to work on another scene in LightWave Layout, which is especially useful on multi core/processor computers with extra power to spare. It may also be used to render a scene on another computer other than the one you are working on, as long as you can access the LightWave with your config files, programs and content over your network via file sharing, or just copy all the files to the other computer for rendering.

Background Rendering with LightWave 3D ScreamerNet LWSN
Step by Step How To Tutorial Contents

Download and Install the FREE LITE DreamLight Constellation, DLI_SNUB-Launcher & DLI SuperBalls Content

The following step-by-step Background Rendering with LightWave 3D ScreamerNet LWSN tutorial shows how to render DLI_SuperBalls, the sample scene that is included with the FREE Lite version of DreamLight Constellation & DLI_SNUB-Launcher, using LightWave 3D ScreamerNet LWSN in standalone mode (-3) on Mac OS X or Windows.

  • Download the DreamLight Constellation bundle which includes the FREE LITE versions of DreamLight Constellation, DLI_SNUB-Launcher and DLI_SuperBalls pre-built sample content folder.
  • After downloading the DreamLight file, unzip the file by double-clicking it on Mac OS X or by right-clicking on it and selecting Extract All…
  • Drag the DreamLight Constellation application & DLI_SNUB-Launcher application files from the unzipped folder to your LightWave 3D applications folder where Layout and Modeler are found: /Applications/NewTek/LightWave3D_2015.2 on Mac OS X or C:\Program Files\NewTek\LightWave_2015.2 on Windows. Enter an administrator’s username and password if prompted. You may then create an alias/shortcut to place on your desktop or elsewhere if desired. While DreamLight Constellation & DLI_SNUB-Launcher can actually be run from anywhere, they will automatically locate the default settings from LightWave Layout’s config file more easily when run from the LightWave3D folder.
LightWave3D 2015.2 Folder on Mac OS X
Mac OS X: /Applications/NewTek/LightWave3D_2015.2
LightWave 3D Folder on Windows
Windows: C:\Program Files\NewTek\LightWave_2015.2
  • Drag the prebuilt sample Content Folder, the DLI_SuperBalls folder, into your user’s Documents folder which will be used in the following tutorials.

Setting up the ScreamerNet lwsn Config File

There are a few settings that are stored in the LightWave 3D Layout config file that are used by ScreamerNet LWSN for standalone mode -3 rendering. The first is the Content Directory which ScreamerNet LWSN will read from the config file if not overridden in the command line or by drag and drop in DLI_SNUB-Launcher at the time of rendering. The other two are the Segment Memory Limit and the Multithreading settings. The defaults for these are, Segment Memory Limit: 1024 MB and Multithreading: Automatic. Those defaults are usually fine so changes to those two are optional. For more information see Managing LightWave 3D ScreamerNet LWSN Config Files.

  • Launch LightWave 3D Layout.
  • Set the Content Directory with Edit->Set Content Directory… Navigate to and select: Documents/DLI_SuperBalls/ Or you may simply load any of the DLI_SuperBalls scenes and answer Yes when asked if you’d like to change the Content Directory to the detected Content Directory. This assumes you have already placed the DLI_SuperBalls folder in your user’s Documents folder. See Content Directory for more information.

LightWave 3D Render Globals Segment Memory Limit

  • OPTIONAL: Open Render->Options->Render Globals and set the Segment Memory Limit to at least 32 MB or leave it set to the default of 1024 MB. See Default Segment Memory for more information.
  • Click yes when asked if this should be the new default setting, or it won’t be saved in the config file.

LightWave 3D Layout Render Globals Multithreading Render Threads

  • OPTIONAL: Click the Render tab and set Multithreading to the number of cores/threads that you would like to use up to the maximum number of threads on your computer. This can be useful if you want to reserve some horsepower so that you can perform other work on the same computer while it’s rendering in the background. Or simply leave it set to the default of Automatic to have it use the maximum available threads. See Multithreading for more information.
  • Quit LightWave to save the config file to disk.

Mac OS X default Config Folder path:
/Users/userx/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/2015.2/

Windows default Config Folder path:

Setting up the Scene for ScreamerNet lwsn Rendering

The RGB output render destination is stored as an absolute path in the scene file, even if the destination is inside the Content Directory, therefore you need to set the RGB output render destination any time you move a scene to a new computer. If you use DLI_SNUB-Launcher which can override the scene settings when the scene is opened for rendering, you can skip this section and go right to Drag-and-drop Rendering with DLI_SNUB-Launcher. If you are using the stock LWSN manually you must first set the RGB output render destination in LightWave Layout and resave the scene file before rendering it as follows.

  • Launch LightWave Layout.
  • Use File->Load->Load Scene… to load:

    from the current user’s Documents folder.
  • Click Yes if asked if you’d like to change the Content Directory when loading the scene.
  • Open Render->Options->Render Globals.
  • Verify or set the following render range fields on the General tab:
    • Range Type: Single (That’s the only range type compatible with LWSN.)
    • Render First Frame: 1
    • Render Last Frame: 10
    • Render Frame Step: 1

LightWave 3D Layout Render Globals

  • Click the Output tab.
  • Click the RGB Files button.
  • Verify that DLI_SuperBalls-Anim is set in the Save As: field.
  • Navigate to the DLI_SuperBalls/Renders/ folder.
  • Click the Save button to dismiss the dialog and accept the changes.
  • Set the RGB Type pop-up menu to LW_TGA32(.tga)
  • The RGB readout should now read
  • Save the scene.
  • Quit LightWave Layout.

Drag-and-drop Rendering using the FREE Lite Version of DreamLight SNUB-Launcher as a Droplet

DLI_SNUB-Launcher IconRather than typing ScreamerNet LWSN command lines manually by hand, you may use our drag-and-drop GUI utility, DreamLight SNUB-Launcher, to interactively build the command lines and launch ScreamerNet LWSN with a Mac friendly drag-and-drop-dead-easy™ interface, even on Windows.

  • Move the DLI_SNUB-Launcher 2 application into your LightWave3D folder if not already there, as outlined above.
  • Launch DLI_SNUB-Launcher. If this is the first time it is run it should locate lwsn and LightWave’s config folder by default. Success locating the file/folder will be indicated by the lwsn Path and Config Folder fields being highlighted in green. If not found, the fields will be highlighted in red instead. In that case just drag LightWave’s bin folder, or lwsn file to the lwsn Path button or field and drag the config folder to the Config Folder button or field on the DLI_SNUB-Launcher window. [Note: On Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later the user’s Library folder is hidden, so you can use the Finder’s Go->Go to Folder… menu command with ~/Library in the text field to get to your user Library folders.]

DLI_SNUB-Launcher 2 LITE Defaults Mac OS X

Mac OS X default lwsn Path:

Mac OS X default Config Folder:
/Users/userx/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/2015.2/

Windows: DLI_SNUB-Launcher 2 FREE LITE Version Defaults
Windows: DLI_SNUB-Launcher 2 FREE LITE Version Defaults

Windows default lwsn Path:
C:\Program Files\NewTek\LightWave_2015.2\bin\lwsn.exe

Windows default Config Folder:

[NOTE: The FREE LITE version of DLI_SNUB-Launcher does not save custom settings between launches other than the lwsn Path setting. Any other settings that are manually configured will need to be reset each time it is launched unless you purchase a registered license.]


  • DLI_SNUB-Launcher DropletDrag the DLI_SuperBalls-LowRes.lws scene and drop it onto the Open Scene for Standalone Render (-3) button or onto the DLI_SNUB-Launcher 2 icon on the desktop or the Dock/Taskbar to open the Scene Settings Panel. Then check and/or set the RGB Output Folder to the folder where you’d like to save the renders by clicking the button or dragging a folder to the button or field. Set the RGB Output Filename Prefix field to what you’d like to name the render files. Select an RGB Output Image File Format for the rendered image files. Set the desired Render Range, and click OK to render the scene. Click OK if it asks you to change the Content Folder.

Mac OS X: DLI_SNUB-Launcher 2 New Scene Settings Panel for Drag-and-drop-dead-easy™ Standalone Rendering

Windows: DLI_SNUB-Launcher 2 New Scene Settings Panel for Drag-and-drop-dead-easy™ Standalone Rendering

Manually Rendering the Scene with ScreamerNet LWSN using Terminal/Command

Another way to configure and launch ScreamerNet LWSN is to manually type the command line to launch it in Terminal/Command. For a much easier and far less error prone method to configure and launch ScreamerNet LWSN, just use the previous interactive method – Drag-and-drop Rendering using the FREE Lite Version of DreamLight SNUB-Launcher as a Droplet.

For an in-depth discussion and explanation of each of LightWave’s available command line parameters, please review LightWave 3D ScreamerNet LWSN Command Line Parameters.

  • Launch /Applications/Utilities/Terminal on Mac OS X or Start->Command Prompt on Windows.
  • Type or paste the following into the command line, all on one iine, substituting your actual username. Then press the return key.

Command Line on Mac OS X
"/Applications/NewTek/LightWave_2015.2/bin/lwsn" -3 -c"/Users/userx/Library/Application Support/NewTek/LightWave/2015.2/" -d"/Users/userx/Documents/DLI_SuperBalls/" "/Users/userx/Documents/DLI_SuperBalls/Scenes/DLI_SuperBalls-Anim.lws" 1 10 1

Command Line on Windows
"C:\Program Files\NewTek\LightWave_2015.2\bin\lwsn" -3 -c"C:\Users\userx\.NewTek\LightWave\2015.2" -d"C:\Users\userx\Documents\DLI_SuperBalls" "C:\Users\userx\Documents\DLI_SuperBalls\Scenes\DLI_SuperBalls-Anim.lws" 1 10 1

  • ScreamerNet lwsn will then render frames 1-10 and place them in the RGB output folder you’ve set in the scene.

DreamLight Constellation Network Render Controller

DreamLight Constellation 3D Icon LogoDreamLight® Constellation is our cross-platform network render controller that combined with DLI_SNUB-Launcher™ makes configuring, launching and controlling LightWave 3D ScreamerNet LWSN for standalone, batch, network and internet rendering, drag-and-drop-dead-easy™.

Created by Michael Scaramozzino - LightWave 3D Artist Profile
Author of Creating a 3D Animated CGI Short & Mastering LightWave ScreamerNet

Introduction | Background Render | Batch Render | Network Render | Internet Render | Config File | Command Line

DreamLight wrote the book: Creating a 3D Animated CGI Short. See what we can do for you.