Leadwerks Engine Features

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  • Unified per-pixel lighting system with dynamic soft shadows; Every object casts and receives shadows.
  • Point, spot, and directional lights.
  • Masked shadows for tree and plant effects.
  • Specular reflection and normal mapping.
  • Parallax mapping.
  • Fast instanced mesh rendering.
  • Dynamic visibility determination, requiring no pre-placed portals or compiling.
  • Bloom, depth-of-field, motion blur, ssao, and other post-processing effects.
  • Fast hardware particle effects.
  • Seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor areas.
  • Adjustable rendering viewports.
  • Render to any graphics context to create Windowed applications and tools.
  • Render to texture.
  • Lens flare effects.
  • Dynamic shader management chooses from thousands of variations and compiles requested shaders on-the-fly.
  • Open-ended materials and shader system.
  • Use existing shaders or add your own (e.g. to use ambient occlusion maps).
  • Optimized rendering pathways for Shader Model 4.0, with render fallbacks for older hardware.
  • Features can be scaled to accommodate older hardware.
  • Load textures from the .dds format, which includes precalculated mip-maps for very fast loading (converter for .png, .tga, .bmp, and .jpg files available).


  • Load .gmf meshes (converters for popular 3D Model formats, including fbx, dae, obj, x, included) or create meshes from scratch.
  • Support for animated meshes with fast hardware (GPU) skinning.
  • Create box, cylinder, sphere, cone, and plane primitives.
  • Support for arbitrary number of LOD versions with arbitrary LOD distances.
  • Fast mesh rendering using GPU instancing, if available.


  • Huge landscapes with up to 33 million triangles and resolutions of 4096x4096 tiles.
  • Intelligent terrain LODs with seamless transitions.
  • Dynamic lighting and self-shadowing terrain allow day/night cycles and weather effects.
  • Modify terrain in real time.
  • Vegetation layers can simulate millions of plants.
  • Alpha-blended tiling terrain.


  • Hardware skinning for fast animation.
  • Intuitive animation sequence handling and loading.
  • Blend animations, or mix hard-coded actions or physics with animation.
  • Attach weapons or items to animated limbs.
  • Attach physics bodies to limbs for animated collision and locational damage.


  • Simulate hundreds of rigid bodies.
  • Create complex machines with ball, hinge, corkscrew, slider, universal, and fixed joints.
  • Physics vehicles with any number and configuration of tires.
  • Extremely fast solver, with far greater stability than any other physics engine on the market.
  • Collisions with polygon meshes, convex hulls, boxes, cylinders, cones, spheres, chamfer cylinders, and capsules, or compound collisions made up of any combination thereof.
  • Player controller simulates player movement while participating in complex physics interactions.
  • Customizable collision system with support for any number and scheme of collision types and interactions.
  • Powered by Newton Archimedes┬«.


  • 3D sound positioning, spatialization, and attenuation.
  • Load .wav and .ogg audio files.
  • EAX audio effects like reverb simulate different acoustic environments.
  • Seamless sound looping.


  • DLL version can be used with virtually any programming language.
  • Programmable in BlitzMax with a BMX module.
  • Procedural interface allows full access to all features while maintaining a simple and straightforward API.
  • Headers available for C, C++, C#, VB, Pascal, Delphi and other languages.
  • Abstract file system with no pre-defined folder structure.
  • Load files from (optionally even password protected) .zip packages directly into memory.
  • Automatic caching and instancing of media files (never loads anything twice).
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