LightWave 2018

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LightWave's Node Editor is not just for surfacing, it is increasingly indispensable for displacement, Volumetrics and Instancing among others. While some nodes available are only useful in certain contexts, the overall method of working with nodes is similar throughout and thus should be learned even if you have no interest in one particular aspect.

While the workflow seems complex to start with it is actually simpler and more consistent than working with layers in the Surface Editor and its consistency when it comes to Instancing or Displacement mean that once learned for Surfacing becomes easy to implement for other uses.