VirtualRender is yet another LightWave renderer. The difference from other solutions is that it does not use physical memory for framebuffer allowing to render the biggest imaginable scenes without using virtual memory, which slow down rendering a lot, or which immediately result in complete failure at initialization stage. That's why it's called "virtual" - rendered regions are saved immediately to hard disk without unnecessary taking memory during rendering rest of image.

VirtualRender is the first LightWave bucket renderer that splits framebuffer to small, user definable size regions. Each render node in your renderfarm now can work on the same frame of image telling other nodes which regions are in progress and which are rendered, and at the end there is done composition of all rendered regions into one with unlimited resolution, limitted only by available hard disk space. We were successfully rendering scenes with dual ScreamerNet setup on single machine which was taking 110 MB each node, 220 MB both, at resolution 16384x16384. LightWave renderer even failed to initialize. At 640x480 this scene was eating 800 MB of memory.


  • render any resolution images, limitted only by available space of your hard disk.
  • using complete renderfarm power into rendering complex single test frame quicker than traditional F9. Use your renderfarm also in production instead of just final animation render!
  • saving memory usage, reducing pagefile swap and rendering quicker.
  • rendering scenes that normally failed to init due to lack of memory.
  • rendering can be break and resumed at later time. As long as, scene is untouched and control folder was not flushed.
  • supporting volumetrics like HyperVoxels.
  • does not support pixel-filters and image-filters due to LW SDK limits. For the same reason as other 3rd party renderers.
  • working with ScreamerNet renderfarms, couple Layout instances on single or couple machines, or other LWSN based render controllers, such as ButterflyNetRender.
  • supporting external renderers. Currently it supports Kray. Added in v1.5.

Control Folder button opens directory requester window, where you pick up special temporary data folder. It should contain only VirtualRender data. If you're going to use VirtualRender on renderfarm it must be LAN accessible shared disk. All renderfarm nodes must be able to read and write to this location. It's always good idea to set this to network location, this way you won't need to fix scenes prior sending scene to renderfarm.

You can select the same control folder where data were written to resume rendering after stopping or crashing.

Flush Control Folder button permanently deletes all content of control folder. You should use this button when you don't want to resume stopped rendering (alternative is selecting new empty control folder).

Open Control Folder button opens Windows explorer window. You can drag'n'drop rendered RAW regions and frames to f.e. Photoshop.

Break button stops rendering to specified control folder. It'll break the all rendering nodes as soon as they finish rendering currently allocated regions (checking it more often would be too much network overhead). The smaller regions, the faster effect of this button. After pressing it you should press Cancel Render in Network Render window or in renderfarm controller.

Press it once and it will break even hundered nodes. Does not need to repeat pressing many times!

Width and Height is final frame resolution. It is strongly advised to match original LightWave camera aspect ratio!

Region Preset is quick way to setup predefined Region Width & Height.

Region Width & Height is size of region that's rendered in single pass. The bigger region, the slower reaction of Break but less network overhead and less files in Control Folder. Recommended values are 128, 256 and 512. The more complex scene, the single region can be smaller.

Mode specifies whether you want to render Still frame using your whole renderfarm, or traditional image Sequence.

Use Virtual Render's Make Still Frame tool at specified by you frame before rendering still frame in renderfarm. Make sure you have scene backup!

Anti-Alias Passes. Camera Properties settings are no longer in use, therefore this option must be in VirtualRender settings.

Previewing Area is only available during still frame rendering to indicate what has been finished, what is in progress and what is not yet rendered. Green color means which regions are finished, yellow color are regions currently in progress (the more renderfarm nodes you have, the longer is this area), and red are regions not yet allocated for rendering by any node.

If crash for any reason or power off happened during rendering with VirtualRender, usually you don't have to re-render whole frame. Find right Regions_Finished.dat file in Control Folder and duplicate it with new name Regions.dat. This way allocated region but not finished will be rendered again.

Download 1st example VirtualRender and Kray rendered in renderfarm at 16000x9333 (10.960 MB).

Download 2nd example VirtualRender and Kray rendered in renderfarm at 16000x10000 (5.975 MB).

Download 3rd example VirtualRender and Kray rendered in renderfarm at 16000x12000 (5.697 MB).

VirtualRender is intended to render as close as possible to LightWave, therefore example Jure's scenes are matching LightWave but with 10 times bigger resolution.

Download 1st example VirtualRender at 16000x9000, and equivalent LightWave v9.2 at 1600x900. (5.751 MB).

Download 2nd example VirtualRender at 16000x9000, and equivalent LightWave v9.2 at 1600x900. (2.375 MB).

Changes made in the 1.7 (3-Apr-2011)

  • Fixed compatibility with LightWave v10.x.

Changes made in the 1.6 (30-Aug-2008)

  • Added image saving option to preview window.

Changes made in the 1.5 (10-Dec-2007)

  • Added Kray Render Engine.
  • Added region buffer previewer.
  • Added new Region Preset - Frame.
  • Added new VirtualRender Image Filter for importing frames with just 1 region to regular LightWave internal buffers. Useful especially for Kray users with BNR controller - no need to composite regions to frames later.
  • Fixed VirtualRender Composite tool when Region Width was different than Region Height.

Changes made in the 1.0 (28-May-2007)

  • The first official Windows release.

Minimum Windows Requirements

  • LightWave v10.0+
  • Intel compatible processor with SSE2 or better
  • Windows 32 bit

Recommended Windows Requirements

  • LightWave v10.0+
  • Core i7 or better
  • Renderfarm
  • Kray v1.7 OB5.1+

Installing the product

In order to install the program, please extract the archive to some location on your hard disk.

On Windows ®, the archive is in the ZIP format. You will need 3rd party software such as WinZIP, which you can download from (it's not included in the package), or other compatible software to decompress the archive.

Windows XP ® has built-in ZIP support (simply right click on the archive’s icon, and choose ‘Extract all files...’).

On Macintosh ®, the archive is in the SIT format. You will need 3rd party software such as StuffIt, which you can download from (it's not included in the package), or compatible software to decompress the archive.

The LightWave ® plugin does not require files to be in specific locations, which is a very nice feature. But for easier file management it is recommended that the plugin files (i.e. those with .p extension) be copied to your LightWave ® plugins folder (f.e. LightWave\Plugins\).

Installing LightWave ® Modeler Plugins

Run the LightWave ® Modeler executable. Select pop-down menu Modeler > Utilities > Add Plugins..., then choose the folder containing the new plugins and select them. You should see a message from LightWave that the plugins have been added successfully. The changes will be saved to your configuration file when you quit the program.

Click on the image to see it at full resolution.

Uninstalling the product

Uninstalling LightWave ® Modeler Plugins

Run the LightWave ® Modeler executable. Select pop-down menu Modeler > Utilities > Edit Plugins..., then select the plugin files and press the Delete button. The changes will be saved to your configuration file when you quit the program. Now you can safely remove the files from your hard disk.

Click on the image to see it at full resolution.


The price for a single license (product installed on the one machine) is 200 USD (United States Dollars).

On-line ordering

This is the preferred ordering method. It has several advantages:

  • Easy. You just need to type your personal and credit card details into the order form, and you will receive your goods within max. 48 hours.
  • Fast. Usually, you will receive the purchased products within an hour (depending on the time difference between where you live, and the hours we are working)!
  • Safe. You are sure your order won’t be stolen in transit, or held up by postal strikes etc.