Collada plugin for After Effects

More info here
Plugins and Scripts > Lightwave

Place Light animation on a null's transform

Lightwave collada does not export light color or spotlight cone angle animation. This lscript transfers the animation to the position, rotation and scale of a null so that whatever program reads the Lightwave collada file can reconstruct the light animation.

Right-click the link above to download the script(save target as/save link as). Place the script in the lscripts folder, "...Program Files\NewTek\LightWave 3D 9\Plugins\lscripts\animate", for easy access.


  1. Animate the light color and/or cone angle
  2. Create a null and add the lscript, "lightConeColorToTransform", via the motion options, motion modifiers.
  3. Double click the "Light Attr Motion Mod" to open the dialog. Select the light from the list.  When you push OK another null will be created that has it's controllers set to follow the first null. 
  4. A new null now exists and  it's rotation, position and scale will change to follow the light's cone angle and color.
  5. Add a Motion Baker modifier to the new null
    1. check "Use existing..."
    2. check "Overwrite keys"
    3. check positions XYZ, scale XYZ and rotations HPB
    4. In Lightwave preferences be sure "Play at Exact Rate" is unchecked.
  6. Play the animation to bake the keys before exporting the collada file

lightwave light graph lw light null graph

Image shows the animation graph for a spot light and the null created by this script. The scale null values are too small to see here because After Effects uses a 0 to 100% for scale instead of 0 to 1.0

The rotations HPB will each contain a copy of the light's cone angle. Color will be stored in the scale values and position will also contain the same color data. However, the position for color is only valid if the scene is exported with the default 0.01 scaling. The signs are set so that they are positive when imported to After Effects using the AECollada plugin.

lw light bug

lw light bug fixed

First step after importing to After Effects is to fix the light type. Lightwave exports spot lights as point lights.

light vals from null

Image above shows the resulting expressions from pick whipping values from the light null's scale and xRotation values. The scale of the Lightwave export is not an issue.

light values from parent

This image shows the result of pick whipping cone angle and color to the light null's parent(Light_LITKF_Yr). The collada file was exported at a scale of one and so the color expression had to be divided by 100 as shown.

Use the pickwhip to link the animation to the corresponding light.

October 14, 2009