Scene preparation

Scene preparation before sending the project to the Ranch

As the RANCH is entirely automated, you need to send your scene in a project archive which contains all the files needed for your scene to be rendered correctly. To do this, follow the steps below:

1. First you need to export the main elements of your scene in a project directory, with the help of Lightwave. So, create a new directory and give it the name of your project. In our example we will call it ’MyScene’, but of course you can give it the name you want.

Then load your scene in Lightwave 3D Layout, and select the menu option File / Package Scene. In the example below the project will be saved in the C:\Lightwave\Content directory (we use this path on the RANCH).

2. Click OK to confirm. Lightwave will then save all the objects and textures used in your scene, along with the scene itself, in your project directory. When this is done, you will find several sub-directories in your project directory.

3. If your scene needs other files than those previously gathered by the Content Manager (these other files can be plug-ins, MDD files, etc.), copy them directly to the root of your project directory. For instance, if you wanted to send to the RANCH the project water simulation.lws (found in the Lightwave Content Scenes\Dynamics\Water Simulation dir), you would have to copy the essential water.mdd file (it can be found in MDD\Water Simulation) to the root of your project directory, which would then look like this:

If your scene uses some freeware external plug-ins (.p, .ls, .lsc files), include them exactly like in the .mdd example above. But – very important – you must also include your plugin configuration file (LWEXT9.CFG for LW9.6 32-bit, LWEXT10-64.CFG for LW10.6 64-bit, LWEXT2015.3-64.CFG for Lightwave 2015.3, etc.). This is the only way for the automated RANCH to know how to use your plugin correctly. The root of your project directory could then look like this:

  • If you do not include the correct LWEXT*.CFG file and the archive contains at least one external plugin, the project will be rejected.
  • Note that you do not have to include the plugin configuration file if your project does not use any external plugin.
  • If your Lightwave version is version 8, you will have to rename your LWEXT8.CFG file (for instance) in LWEXT9.CFG before sending it.
  • Si vous utilisez un fichier de cache de radiosité, assurez-vous que le nom du dossier qui le contient est “radiosity” à partir de Lightwave 10, ou “radiositycache” pour Lightwave 9.6. Exemples :

5. You can now use RANCHpacker to convert your Lightwave project to a ready to render project archive. RANCHpacker will compress the files into a RANCH for Lightwave project archive (.vul) that you can directly upload to the RANCH.