Save-n-Zip: automagic backups for Lightwave3D

save-n-zipBecause of Lightwave’s rather broken undo system you need to save lots of incremental backups when you’re working on a scene. Mike Green kindly provides a script that makes a numbered backup of your file, so that your current copy keeps the same name. Drawing on his open source (yay!) script I’ve changed it so that the incremental backup is timestamped and compressed into a zip file. Update, I’ve also added a modeler version.

How it works:

if you’re working on My_Awesome_Scene_1.lws and you run the script:

  1. a new zip file called will be created and
  2. a copy of the scene called My_Awesome_Scene_1_BUP_19-7-2016_13.04;56.lws will be added to the zip archive (given that you run it on the 19th of July 2016 at 1:04;56 pm).

2016-07-19 15_05_54-C__Users_sdixon_Creative Cloud Files_Work_LightWave_Content_Scenes_Childrens_CheThis means that the scene will always keep the same name, but if you want to backtrack it’s easy to find the version of the scene you need.

Compressing to a zip archive not only keeps your folders less cluttered, it’s good if you use a cloud-backup to save your scene files, as it dramatically cuts down on the storage and bandwidth needed—there’s a lot of redundancy in a lws file, so often a zip archive with a dozen copies of a scene file will be smaller than the original scene file itself.

2016-07-19 15_25_03-C__Users_sdixon_Creative Cloud Files_Work_LightWave_Content_Scenes_Childrens_Che

To run it you need 7-zip on your machine, and it has to be at the default install location (c:\program files\7-zip\7z.exe). If you’ve got it somewhere else you’ll have to edit the script (line 50 is where you need to change it). 7-Zip is a free, open source and rather good compression application. I’ve saved the plugin as a 7zip archive, so you’ll need it to decompress it anyway.

Download Save_’N_Zip

Download the file and uncompress (it’s saved as a 7z archive so you’ll need to have 7z installed to open it) then put it wherevs and choose Edit>Edit Plug-ins in Layout, and hit the Add Plugins button. You’ll need to assign a keyboard shortcut or add it to a menu. I’ve replaced the default save function with this, but you might be understandably wary of random scripts off the internet and give it a test before you do.

2016-07-19 15_32_58-sad mac - Google SearchWorks only on Windows. Because of the hard-coded path to the executable it won’t work on mac. It’s open source, if you want to get it going for mac have a hack at the code, or drop me a line and I’ll try to get around to it.

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