Lightwave Fiber FX Tutorial

by Carol Adams

Lightwave is one of the major 3-D modeling and animation packages on the market, comparable to others such as Maya and Cinema 4D. One of the most important features for any 3-D animation program is how well it creates the illusion of fur or hair. This effect is difficult to accomplish and requires a great deal of computer power and time to produce. Lightwave's tools for this purpose, while not the most user friendly, can produce convincing results. In this example, fur will be added to a dog model.

Open Lightwave. Select "File" from the menu and choose "Open." In the dialog, find a dog model you have been working on and open it.

Click "F8" on the keyboard to open the "Effects" palette. Click on "Add Pixel Filter" and choose "Fiber Filter." Then double-click on the listed fiber filter. A new dialog will open.

In the panel on the left, choose and activate the object in the scene that you want to add fur to. Then click on the "Draw" checkbox for the object. You will see fur appear, but its attributes must be defined.

Go to the "Geometry" tab on the right and lower the "Scale" to make the hair shorter. Get it to roughly what you want for the dog's fur. Then reduce the "Density" to what you want.

Go to the bottom of the panel and click on "Surface." From the listed surfaces, choose the body or skin of the dog, otherwise you will have hair growing out of everything, including the eyes and nose.

Make the "Kink" setting about 5 and the "Splay" about 20. Then click on the "T" next to "Bump" to bring up the texture editor.

Change the "Layer Type" to "Procedural Texture." Change the "Turbulence" value to 100. In the "Scale" tab at the bottom, make all the settings 20mm. Close the editor. Save your work.

About the Author

Carol Adams has been writing since 2009. She writes about graphics, 3D and video software for various websites. Adams earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a Master of Arts in liberal arts from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera fur #2 image by Adam Borkowski from