Lightscape Files (LP, LS, and Other Formats)

Lightscape is a visualization application that uses radiosity and ray tracing to create accurate lighting for 3D models. You can export 3ds Max Design scenes to Lightscape formats, or import Lightscape files.

NoteLightscape support is being retired. For more detailed information about Lightscape export and import, you can refer to the 3ds Max Design 8 reference. You can download the v8 reference from the Autodesk Web site: go to, choose Support, pick the product Autodesk 3ds Max, and then choose Documentation.

The Lightscape Preparation (*.lp) file is the main format Lightscape uses. Other Lightscape file formats save selected portions of the information in the LP file. These are the additional Lightscape file formats you can export:

You can import *.lp and *.vw files. You can also import the Lightscape Solution (*.ls) file format.

Exporting Lightscape Files

Overall Workflow for Exporting a Lightscape Preparation (LP) File

  1. Select the object to be exported.
  2. Open the Export Lightscape Preparation File dialog.
  3. If your scene uses standard lights, set the units and scale, and then set the light conversion method.
  4. If you are exporting an animation, select the frames to be exported.
  5. If your scene uses daylight, set the daylight parameters.
  6. Select the cameras to be exported.
  7. Export the file.


To export a Lightscape file:

  1. Choose Application menu Export.

    The Select File To Export Dialog is displayed.

  2. Use the Save As Type list to choose which kind of Lightscape file format you are exporting.
  3. Use the Save In list to navigate to the appropriate directory.
  4. In the File Name field, enter the name of the file that you want to create, and then click Save.

To get version information about the Lightscape exporter:

  1. Export one of the Lightscape file types.

    A dialog with options for that file type is displayed.

  2. Click About.

    An About dialog is displayed. The dialog shows the version of the Lightscape exporter.

Importing Lightscape Files

Overall Workflow for Exporting Lightscape Files (LP, VW, or LS)

The steps to import a Lightscape file include:

  • Accessing the import dialog.
  • Choosing to replace the current scene.
  • Choosing how to group the imported objects.
  • (LS files.) Specifying a prefix for imported Lightscape objects.
  • (LS files.) Choosing which Lightscape objects to import.
  • (LS files.) Choosing the conditions for importing Lightscape lights.
  • (LS files.) Choosing the radiosity mapping settings.
NoteThe Lightscape importer does not convert Lightscape layers into 3ds Max Design scene layers, because it was written before the 3ds Max Design layers feature was implemented.


To import a Lightscape (LS, VW, or LP) file:

  1. Choose Application menu Import.

    The Select File To Import dialog is displayed.

  2. Choose Lightscape (*.LS, *.VW, *.LP) from the Files Of Type drop-down list.
  3. Use the dialog's controls to browse to the directory that contains the file you want to use. Highlight the name of that file, and then click Open.

    Depending on the type of file you chose, an Import Lightscape Preparation dialog or an Import Lightscape Solution dialog is displayed.

    No dialog is displayed when you import a Lightscape view (VW) file.

To replace the current scene:

When you import a Lightscape Solution or Preparation file, you can choose to add the imported objects to the current scene, or to replace entire scene.

  1. In the Import Lightscape Preparation dialog, turn on Replace Current Scene.
  2. In the Import Lightscape Solution dialog, turn on Replace Scene Contents.

To group imported objects:

  • In the Import Lightscape Preparation or the Import Lightscape Solution dialog, use the controls in the Entity Grouping group to choose how imported Lightscape objects are grouped.

    See each dialog's description for details about these options.

To get version information about the Lightscape file importer:

  1. Access the Import Lightscape Solution dialog.
  2. Click About.

    An About Lightscape LS File Import dialog is displayed. This shows the version of the importer that is currently installed.