LightWave 2018

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  1. Model a flat Z-facing rectangle object with the proper aspect ratio. For example, 640 mm x 480 mm for a 4:3 aspect ratio. Apply your surface texture.
  2. Load the object into Layout and parent it to the camera.
  3. Add the Camera Mask custom object plugin to the object. Enter the object’s size into its options dialog and then close it. You will then see a rectangle that represents the exact Z position where the object would fill the camera view. The numeric value of this magic distance is also displayed.
  4. Now, adjust the Z position of the object. You will see a representation of the camera view extend from the object with your textured rectangle attached to the end. If you have a Camera Mask set on the Camera Properties Panel, it will be visible.

    Note that when the object is selected, the camera’s mask will appear as dotted lines. Otherwise, the mask will be the mask’s set color. (Note: You may see OpenGL display errors when the mask is solid.)
  5. Adjust the object’s Z Position to the magic distance. The object will now fill the camera view.

    You might also use a background plane with parts cut out, in conjunction with a Background Image, so you can position things between the plane and Background Image.A cross (+) also appears, which marks the camera’s Focal Distance setting from the Camera Properties Panel.


The Item setting determines which scene item gets its comment displayed. It does not have to be the item you add the custom object plugin to. You also have control over the text Color, visibility (Alpha), and Justification.

Item Shape
Item Shape
Item Shape

Item Shape lets you specify the shape and look of your custom object. This is a great way to give each null in your scene a unique identity. When you create a null, clicking on the dropdown at the bottom of the window gives you access straight away to the Item Shape properties.