LEARN ABOUT LIGHTWELL

Check out our video, tutorial and project resources here.

GETTING STARTED

To get started using Lightwell, you can refer to this guide for downloading, installing, and registration.

Links and Resources

Website: https://lightwell.pro/home

Support: https://lightwell.pro/product/support

Releases: https://lightwell.pro/product/releases

Minimum Requirements

In order to use Lightwell, you must be running Mac OS X El Capitan (version 10.11) or higher. Lightwell is small in size (under 30MB) and runs perfectly on any machine from MacBook Air to Mac Pro.

Downloading Lightwell

If you haven't already done so, you can download a two week free trial of Lightwell here.

Subscribing to Lightwell

Enjoyed using the free trial and looking to upgrade to full access? Fantastic! You can upgrade Lightwell securely on your account page after you login.

If you're looking to buy multiple seats of Lightwell for your team or business, then we have Lightwell Enterprise features built for teams and offer special volume pricing depending on your quantity.

Are you a currently an enrolled student or teacher? Apply for a discount of 50% via our Education Edition and someone from our team will get back to you with your request.

Software Updates

To check if you have the latest version of Lightwell, navigate to "Lightwell" in the main menu and select "Check for Updates." If you're up-to-date, great! If not, go ahead and install the latest version of Lightwell to access the newest features.

Installing Scripts

Lightwell software ships with a built-in script that runs in Photoshop. This script allows for easy and fast export of assets, so that you can import your layers directly into Lightwell. To ensure that your Photoshop assets are created at the right size for mobile devices, please reference our Photoshop resource template.

Contacting Support

Need further help getting started? If you ever come across any issues relating to subscribing to Lightwell, or anything else, then you can find more helpful information in our FAQ or contact us directly. We hope you enjoy using Lightwell!

SHORTCUTS & HOTKEYS

⌘, Command Key

⇧, Shift Key

↑↓→←, Arrow Keys

  • ⌘ S: Save
  • ⌘⇧ S: Save As
  • ⌘ N: New Project
  • ⌘ O: Open
  • ⌘ W: Close Window
  • ⌘ M: Minimize Window
  • ⌘ Z: Undo
  • ⌘⇧ Z: Redo
  • In Tools Panel:
    • ↑, or ↓: change selection
    • →: expand the currently highlighted group
    • ←: close the currently highlighted, expanded group
  • In Actions:
    • ⇧ Click (on keyframe): add keyframe to current selection
    • ⌘ Click (on keyframe): toggle keyframe into/out of current selection

Right-Click Actions

In Editor:

  • In Layers:
    • Duplicate
    • Group Selection
    • Rename
    • Convert to Smart Object
    • Copy/Paste: Position, Rotation, Parallax, Ambient Motion
  • In Actions:
    • Duplicate
    • Group Selection
    • Rename

In Overview:

  • In Scene Map:
    • Duplicate
    • Rename

THE INTERFACE

Lightwell's interface is minimal and intuitive to use.

The Editor window contains all the important tools for creating and editing your scenes. The Tools Panel on the left-side of the Canvas lets you select and create the main content in your scene, including layers, actions, interactions and dialogue. The Tool Controls on the right-side of the Canvas and the Manager panel below correspond to the Tools Panel. Last but not least, the Canvas in the middle is where you will see your creations.

There are no floating panels. Instead, the Controls will adapt to show you the Tools you're currently using, and hide everything else. That way you always have a completely unobscured view of your Canvas.

Editor

Canvas

The Canvas is the main workspace in Lightwell for each individual scene. It is sized for iPhone and iPad and contains all of your layers and groups. The iPhone Canvas is sized for retina devices, and is 1136 x 640. The iPad Canvas is sized for non-retina devices, and is 1024 x 768.

By default, assets are rendered at 1x pixel resolutions to enable pixel-precise editing for specific device screens.

Tools

The Tools Panel is on the left side of the Editor and is a hierarchical list of all of the layers, actions, interactions and dialogue in your scene.

You can switch between the Layers Panel, Actions Panel, Interactions Panel and Dialogue Panel to add and edit each respectively.

Tool Controls

The Tool Controls are on the right side of the Editor and consists of details and properties that you can add, remove, and modify to define a layer, action, interaction or line of dialogue.

Managers

The Managers are visible in the bottom part of the Editor, below the Canvas. Depending on which Tool is selected, you will see a corresponding Manager with additional controls to create and edit layers, actions, interactions and dialogue.

Overview

Scene Map

The Scene Map displays all of your scenes in your project. When the Scene Map panel is selected, you can organize the scenes in order by dragging them around.

Navigation

The navigation panel selection has options for various navigation UI in your app. A few navigational buttons are provided as examples, or you can upload your own custom buttons.

Music

Music can be added and deleted from your scenes in this section. To add music, drag the music file from the bottom of the screen to the specific scene. To delete music, hover over the file name and click the "x" that appears.

Asset Library

The asset library automatically organizes all the different assets used in your Lightwell project by visual assets, audio assets and UI assets. You can upload new assets, preview existing assets or remove old assets.

File Formats

  • Accepted image formats: png, jpg, gif, tiff, tga, ico, icns, bmp, exr
  • Accepted audio formats: wav
  • Accepted video formats: mov, m4v, mp4

Visual Assets

Images - The most common visual assets are images. There are 3 different devices your app can export to: iPhone Retina, iPad Non-Retina and iPad Retina.

Retina is a term to describe device screens with a higher pixel density. For example, a Retina iPad and a Non-Retina iPad have screens that are the same width and height. However, the Retina iPad is twice as many pixels wide and twice as many pixels tall.

When uploading an image for iPad Non-Retina, the optimal image is twice as large for iPad Retina. The iPhone Retina uses an image that is the exact same size as the iPad Non-Retina. In case you don't upload an iPhone Retina image, Lightwell will use the iPad Non-Retina image for you. If you are using the Hullabalu Photoshop Script, it will automatically generate the following image sizes.

  • iPad Retina - 2x
  • iPad Non-Retina - 1x
  • iPhone Retina - 1x

Videos - Visual assets in your project can also be video files. Similar to images, videos can be displayed inside a layer.

Smart Objects - Smart objects are visual assets that can be reused in multiple places in your project. For example, these can be characters or complicated parts of the scene that you want to create once and use in multiple places.

Smart Objects also allow you to store actions and interactions, in order for the Smart Object to have the same functionality in multiple scenes.

Audio Assets

Music - Music files are audio assets meant to be played on loop in scenes. Only one music file can be playing at a time.

Sound Effects - Sound effects are audio assets that can be triggered from interactions. Multiple sound effects can be played at the same time.

Dialogue - Dialogue are audio assets used specifically in the dialogue section of a scene.

UI Assets

App Icon - App icons are required UI assets in order to publish your project to the App Store. All app icons should be uploaded as squares with the corners.The app icon sizes required by the Apple App Store are:

  • 29px by 29px
  • 40px by 40px
  • 58px by 58px
  • 76px by 76px
  • 80px by 80px
  • 87px by 87px
  • 120px by 120px
  • 152px by 152px
  • 167px by 167px
  • 180px by 180px

UI Elements - UI elements are custom assets created for navigation through your project (such as the next button, back button and loading image). There are template UI assets provided if you do not wish to upload custom images. If you want to use custom images, make sure that there is at least one sized for iPad Retina and one sized for iPad Non-Retina.

LAYERS

Layers are one of the main building blocks for creating scenes in Lightwell. Each layer can contain only one visual asset (image, video, sprite) at a time.

Adding Layers

The easiest way to add a layer is to click the "+" icon in the Layers Panel. Then, a New Layer window will appear to create a new layer with an image asset, image sequence or video asset. You can upload the asset by selecting from your Finder or simply drag-and-drop the asset into the dotted line box. If the asset already exists in your Asset Library, you can click the Asset Library icon and select the visual asset.

Layers Panel

You can click and drag layers up or down in the list as well as in or out of frames and groups. Dragging a layer up moves it to the front of the Canvas, while dragging it down pushes it to the back.

Next to a layer's name, there is an eye icon. The eye allows you to toggle the layer visibility on the Canvas, however does not make the layer hidden in the scene.

Selecting Layers

Selecting layers in Lightwell is easy: you just select a layer on the Layers Panel. You can also switch to select view by clicking on the "arrow" icon in the Canvas toolbar, and click on the layer you want selected in your Canvas.

Grouping Layers

Layers can be grouped together for ease of creation. You can edit a group of layers and have the changes apply to each of the individual layers in the group (such as position, scale, parallax, ambient motion). An action can also be applied to a layer group to create a complex animation to multiple layers at once.

Moving Layers

To move a layer, switch to move view by clicking the "hand" icon in the Canvas toolbar. Then, you can move a selected layer by grabbing and moving it around with the hand. You can also move a layer more precisely by selecting the layer and editing the Position under Layer Controls.

Layer Controls

You can control and edit all the various properties of layers in Layer Controls. The panels within Controls include layer properties, position, rotation, parallax and ambient motion.

Layer Rotation

Adding rotation to a layer is a responsive element that works with device motion. The anchor point for the selected layer is the point which the layer pivots around when it rotates. You can set angle limits to control the bounds of how far the layer can rotate, as well as the ease of movement and resistance of the rotation.

To test rotation motion, first move the Ease of Movement towards "Heavy," then preview on a device by tilting the scene in the Previewer App.

Layer Parallax

Adding parallax to a layer is used as an effect to make 2D environments look 3D. To create a parallax effect, you must give different layers different point depths. When layers have different point depths, tilting the device gives it a 3D effect.

For example, layers that appear closer should have a larger parallax point depth, while layers that appear farther should have a smaller parallax point depth.

Layer Ambient Motion

Adding ambient motion to layers is a feature unique to Lightwell. It lets you easily add a looping animation to a layer.

To start, select a duration for the length of time of each loop. Then edit the scale, position (movement along the x-axis or y-axis), and/or rotation of the layer, which will play on repeat.

Some default timing curves are provided in section to make it easy to create a motion that looks and feels natural. You can select "Linear," "Ease," "Ease-In," and "Ease-Out" by clicking on the small boxes below the timing function.

If you have multiple layers with ambient motion and don't want them starting at the same time, you can change the Animation Offset.

ACTIONS

Actions are animations applied to one or more layers in Lightwell. The way to create actions is wholly unique to Lightwell.

Actions and Ambient Motion are two similar, yet different features in Lightwell that will allow you to animate your layers in various ways. While Ambient Motion creates looping animation on your layers, Actions are unique animations that can be applied to one or multiple layers, and only play when triggered by some Interaction or Event. These triggers are created in the Interaction Panel.

Adding Actions

The easiest way to add an action is to click the "+" icon in the Actions Panel. Then, a New Action window will appear where you can create a new action after you select from among four types of actions.

Actions can be applied to more than one layer at a time, which lets you add one animation across multiple layers very quickly.

Action Types

There are four main types of Actions: Position, Rotation, Scale and Opacity.

Each individual action can only be one specific type of action, but different types of actions can be combined into a grouped action. For instance, you can create a layer action that moves around the Canvas (position action) while resizing (scale action) and slowly disappearing (opacity action).

Duplicating Actions

You can duplicate actions or action groups by simply selecting a specific action, then right-clicking and selecting "Duplicate." This will duplicate all elements of the action including the keyframes, affected layers, etc.

Grouping Actions

Action groups allows combining of multiple actions to be played at the same time. Any combination of action types can be combined to create more complex animations.

To group actions, select multiple actions by holding down the "Command ⌘" key while selecting actions. Then click the group (folder icon) button or right-click and select "Group."

Action Keyframes

Each action you create consists of two or more keyframes. A keyframe is a specific point in time that stores information specific to the type of action it represents.

There are two ways you can edit a keyframe. You can edit the keyframe details in the Action Timeline manager underneath the canvas or more precisely on the right in the controls panel.

Action Timeline

The Action Timeline visualizes actions and their keyframes (represented as a diamond). The timeline allows you to playback multiple animations that are selected. It also provides powerful editing tools for your actions.

You can drag the playhead forward and backwards on the timeline to see how the action will look at a specific moment in time.

Dragging keyframes forwards and backwards on the timeline will retime the action. The timeline supports selecting multiple keyframes from multiple actions to drag them forwards and backwards in time.

The timeline also visualizes repeating and auto-reversing actions. The repeating and auto-reversing parts of the animation will be semi-transparent. If you change the original action, the semi-transparent part will automatically update to reflect how the animation will be played. For example, if you create an action with two keyframes that repeats twice, you'll see two solid keyframes that you can edit followed by a transparent mirror of the action on the timeline for the repeated action.

Action Controls

The Action Controls allow for more precise editing of actions as well as additional properties that can't be edited anywhere else.

Affected Layers

Affected Layers are the layers that the action will be applied to. To delete an affected layer, you can hover over the layer tag and click the "x." If the layer exists in the scene, the layer tag will be colored purple. If the layer does not exist in the scene, (possibly because the layer was deleted or exists in another scene), the layer tag will be colored gray.

Begin at Current State

By default, new actions will "Begin at Current State." This means that the action starts from the current values of the affected layer (position, scale, opacity, etc.).

For example, if a position action moved the affected layers up 100 pixels, with "Begin at Current State" selected, all of the affected layers would move up from their current position by 100px. If begin at current state was not selected, all of the affected layers would move to the position in the first keyframe and move up 100 pixels. For a scale action, "Begin at Current State" will just add onto the current scale. So a scale action that goes from 0 to 1, with begin at current state enabled, will just take the current scale of the layer and increase it by one.

Infinite or Repeat Count

Repeat Count lets you specify if you want the action to repeat a certain number of times or infinitely.

Auto Reverses

Auto Reverses allows you to create an action that will playback in reverse after the created action is complete. When used in conjunction with a repeat count, the action will run and reverse before repeating.

Keyframes

Each action has a minimum of two keyframes. You can add or remove keyframes from either the Timeline or the right controls. Some of the controls inside each keyframe are specific to the type of action. However, all keyframe controls contain:

  • Keyframe Time is the specific point in time for that keyframe.
  • Timing is how an action should animate between one keyframe to another. You can edit the timing curve manually by dragging the two handles.
  • You can quickly select a timing curve from the four standard pre-set timing curves by simply clicking on the provided curves: Linear, Ease, Ease-in, and Ease-out. For example, Linear timing allows your animation to transition without any slowing down or speeding up.

INTERACTIONS

Interactions are the fundamental element that makes your layers and scenes interactive. This tool is a special one in Lightwell.

Adding Interactions

The easiest way to add an interaction is with the Interaction Manager underneath the Canvas. To apply an interaction, drag one of the interaction icons to a layer or a grouped layer on the Canvas. Or simply drag an interaction to the scene, and then select the "Trigger Layer" under the Interaction Controls to the right of the Canvas.

Whenever you create a new interaction, that interaction will be unique to the scene it was created in.

Interaction Types (7)

There are seven different interaction types for you to create with in Lightwell. They fall into the following three categories: Touch Triggers, Device Triggers, and Event Triggers.

Touch Triggers:

  • Tap - Occurs when touching down on the screen.
  • Press - Occurs after holding down on the screen for a specified amount of time.
  • Drag - Occurs when dragging one layer to another layer in a scene.
  • Swipe - Occurs when holding down on the screen and quickly moving your finger in a specified direction.

Device Triggers:

  • Motion - Occurs when shaking the device or when tilting the device in a specified direction, utilizing both the device accelerometer and gyroscope data.

Event Triggers:

  • Action - Occurs when a specified action starts or ends.
  • Video - Occurs when a specified video starts or ends.

Interaction Manager

The Interaction Manager under the Canvas is the main interface for adding interactions to layers in a scene. Once an interaction is created, it will appear on the left panel, organized by specific layers.

Conditions of the interactions are defined in the Interaction Controls to the right.

After creating the condition of the interaction, you can define what will occur. This can be playing an action, a sound effect, a video, or causing a scene change.

Interaction Controls

Depending on what type of interaction is applied to a trigger layer, you will have different options in your Interaction Controls on the right panel. The conditions vary for each of the following interactions:

  • Tap - This is the most straightforward interaction. A tap is defined intrinsically as a touch down on the layer.
  • Press - This interaction is defined by how long you touch down on a layer. It's measured in whole seconds.
  • Drag - For this interaction to work, a target layer must be specified. The trigger layer is dragged to a target layer to cause an effect.
  • Swipe - This interaction is defined by the direction a trigger layer is swiped. You can select an angle and range of swipe motion with either the text input fields or the circle interface.
  • Motion - This interaction is defined by a simple directional tilt of the device: up, down, right or left, or by a shake of the device in all directions.
  • Action - This interaction is defined by the start or end of a specified action playing.
  • Video - This interaction is defined by the start or end of a specified video playing.

DIALOGUE

Dialogue is a powerful feature in Lightwell that allows you to easily create story dialogue, narration, karaoke subtitle text and character lip syncing.

Adding Lines

The easiest way to add a line of dialogue is to click the "+" icon in the Dialogue Panel. Then, a New Line window will appear where you can create a new dialogue line.

Defining a new dialogue line includes defining a trigger (the layer that is tapped), a speaker (the layer or character that is speaking), a topic, an audio file and subtitle text. Only the trigger layer and topic are required when creating a dialogue line.

Creating Sequences

Dialogue lines can grouped together and set up to be played in sequence. This means a single tap on a trigger layer will trigger multiple lines of dialogue.

To do this, drag the line on top of another line on the Dialogue panel on the left-side. It will look very similar to grouping layers or actions, and is the simplest way to set up a sequential conversation with an opening line, a response, and so on.

Adding Topics

A topic is a collection of dialogue organized to keep characters (defined by the trigger) discussing mutually relevant lines. A topic will progress when at least one character has played through all of their dialogue.

A common way this is used is is if one topic is set up before a specific action plays, while another topic is set up after a specific action has played. For example, if the action is an avalanche, there will be one topic pre-avalanche and one topic post-avalanche. This is relevant uniquely to the interactive medium, and prevents story dialogue from progressing in a way that may be confusing.

SCENES

Scenes are a fundamental building block to creating an app in Lightwell. Your app is made up of multiple scenes, which are organized in the Overview Scene Map. These scenes can be set up sequentially for a linear storyline or can be set up in a specific order based on actions and interactions of the user.

Adding Scenes

The easiest way to add a scene is to click the "+" button on the Scene Map in the Overview. A new and empty scene will show up to the right of the last scene.

Duplicating Scenes

To duplicate an existing scene, simply right-click on a scene and select "Duplicate." All the layers, actions and interactions in the original scene will be duplicated as well.

Editing Scenes

To edit a scene, double click on the specific scene on the Scene Map in the Overview. This will take you to the Editor window of that scene where the layers, actions, interactions and dialogue are edited.

EXPORT & PUBLISH

Exporting Your Project

When you are finished with your project, you are ready to publish your app to the App Store or you just want your app as a stand alone app for a device.

To publish, first navigate to the Overview screen in the upper right corner. The Publish button is on the left-side panel.

The publish window will appear, and you will see a preview of your app icon, app name and version. To edit the app icon, navigate to the app icon section in the Asset Library. To edit the name and version of the app, navigate to the top of the left-side panel of the Overview screen.

Once all the information is entered, press Create New Xcode Project.

Lightwell Project Details

Company/Individual Name

If this is your first time exporting, we suggest you to enter the name or the name of your company. We take the name so we can generate a suggested unique Bundle ID for you.

Bundle ID

The Bundle ID is what Apple uses to individually identify apps. Bundle IDs take the form of com... You are free to change it if you need to but once you publish your app to the App Store, you can no longer change the Bundle ID. If you export two apps with different Bundle IDs, they will show up as two different apps on your device. If they have the same Bundle ID, then the newer app will replace the old one.

Publishing Your Project to the App Store

The Xcode project that exports from Lightwell is created to be submitted directly to the Apple App Store. The steps to create an Apple Developer Account, join the Developer Program, and upload your app are laid out in the Publish window after you create your Xcode project.

LIGHTWELL PREVIEWER

Lightwell Previewer App, our iOS counterpart app, allows you to preview your project and scenes on an iOS device connected via Wi-Fi.

Lightwell Previewer works on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad Pro. Through the Previewer App, you can quickly test all your actions and interactions in various scenes. When testing, make sure to refresh your scene in Previewer after making changes to the scene in the desktop app.

Requirements

  • An iPhone or iPad running iOS 9 or above
  • Lightwell Previewer App, which can be downloaded from the App Store for free
  • A copy of Lightwell desktop app
  • Connection to a Wi-Fi network (Make sure both your Mac and iOS devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network)

SUPPORTING SCRIPTS

Photoshop Script

Installation

Lightwell comes automatically loaded with a script to help you export your assets from Photoshop. When you first launch Lightwell, it will ask you for your Mac Username and Password to install it.

If you pressed cancel or updated Photoshop, you can still install the script manually. To install, navigate to the main Lightwell menu bar and select "Lightwell > Install Photoshop Script." Your Mac will prompt you to give permission to install the extension by asking for your Mac's password.

Usage

We have developed a Photoshop script that takes the layers in your PSD file and exports them as individual image assets. These images are exported at both non-retina and retina sizes for the different mobile devices you are creating for. The images are named and structured the way the layers are named and structured in the PSD file, so give your layers unique names to avoid accidentally overwriting assets. To accomplish this, we use a tagging system to tell the script what to do with each layer in the PSD.

Remember: Give your photoshop layers unique names to avoid accidentally overwriting your assets when you import them into Lightwell.

Here is an example PSD that we are going to use to help explain all of the features of the photoshop script.

Each piece of this character has been broken down into layers.

Now without any tagging on the layers, the script will export three files, one image of everything for retina, one image of everything for non retina, and a JSON file with the position of the layers. This will become crucial when you have multiple images, since it will keep everything correctly positioned relative to each other.

Glossary of Tags: We will be using the PSD from the previous section to explain each tag.

#subs - Add this to a group to have all of the layers inside of it export as individual images instead of one image.

#name - Like subs, each layer inside a group is exported as an individual. Name also adds the name of the group to the beginning of the exported file. This is helpful if you're exporting multiple characters who all have an arm, for example. You can add a name in front of them to tell the difference between them.

#active - Only exports the layers/groups marked as active within a group. In this example we want to export the head layer inside the head group. Notice how there are two active tags, one on the head group and one on the head layer.

If you only have an active tag on the group and not the layers inside of it, it will export everything inside of the group.

Now if we have an active tag only on the head layer in the head group, it will export every layer but then once it is inside the head group, it will only export the head layer. The mouth and hat layers will not be exported.

#skip - The skip tag allows you to skip layers that you don't want to export. You can do this for layers that you have already exported, or scratch layers that you don't want in the final product.

#sprite - Each layer inside a group marked as a sprite will export as a sprite cell, not a standalone asset. Use this for mouth sprites if you plan to use lip synching, for example.

Importing into Lightwell

To use your assets in Lightwell, simply drag the JSON file into the layers panel.

Your assets will appear in the same position and hierarchy you created in photoshop.

note - Previous versions of the asset cut script exported images as CSV files, maintaining their relative positions in the scene but not their layer hierarchy. While you can still import assets with CSV files from previous versions, we recommend installing the latest script and re-cutting your assets as a JSON file.

FAQ

What is Lightwell?

Lightwell is the first software made for creators to make their own apps without the need to write any code. It's DIY app making with all the functionality for an interactive, animated app.

What kinds of apps can Lightwell make?

Lightwell can make interactive, animated apps for mobile iOS devices. We know (from personal experience) that it is the best software to create story apps, as we built it to help us make award-winning The Adventures of Pan which hit #1 in "Books" in over 48 countries in the App Store.

General Questions

Do apps made with Lightwell work on Apple and Android devices?

Apps made with Lightwell are native iOS apps, and therefore currently only work on Apple devices.

Are there any restrictions on the types of apps you can make?

Nope! Once you have Lightwell, you have a full license to use the software as often as you like, to create any type of interactive app you can imagine, and upload as many apps to the App Store as you like. Some other apps that we've come across include: comic apps, art puzzles, and mini-games.

Where can I learn about how to get started on Lightwell?

New and advanced users can find more information about Lightwell and its features on our Resources page. You can also contact us directly if you have any questions that aren't covered here.

Publishing Questions

How do I publish the app once I'm done with it?

The app that you create in Lightwell can be uploaded directly to Xcode and the App Store without writing one line of code. Lightwell has a step-by-step tutorial walkthrough for how to publish your app in the App Store when you're ready.
In order to publish to the App Store, Apple requires you to create an Apple Developer Account and sign up in the Apple Developer Program, which costs $100/year at Apple.

Can I make updates to my app after I've published it?

Yes, you can update your app by going to the Publish section of Lightwell and updating an existing Lightwell project file. You can then submit the updated project to the App Store as an app update.

Account Questions

Can I use Lightwell without a subscription?

Yes, you can have trial use of Lightwell without a subscription, which includes most functionality except the ability to upload your own files and assets. The trial allows you to play with the template projects, create new scenes with the existing assets, and test scenes within the Previewer App.

How does the account licensing work? Can I install Lightwell on multiple computers?

We model the same licensing practices that Squarespace, Photoshop, Maya and other software companies use. When you purchase Lightwell, you have a license that allows you to install the software on two different devices. This is because we know some folks like to interchange between working on their desktop and laptop.

How does the payment plan work?

We kept the payment plan simple, you can choose either a monthly plan or an annual plan. The monthly plan will be charged every 30 days, starting from when you first subscribe to Lightwell. The annual plan will be charged upfront for the year, with the next charge 12 months afterwards.

System Requirements

Lightwell v1.0 and above requires Mac OS 10.11 or higher. As projects get more complex, involving many layers and hundreds of custom actions, a powerful Mac with more RAM will definitely help. Please download the Lightwell trial to test performance on one of our demo templates before you subscribe.

If you are running an older version of Mac OS, you can visit this Apple link to upgrade your OS for free.

Downloading Lightwell.dmg

This is likely due to an internal security setting on your Mac. Open 'System Preferences,' navigate to 'Security & Privacy' and change the option in the 'Allow apps downloaded from' to 'App Store and identified developers.' Afterwards, you should be able to launch Lightwell normally.

For more information you can read more about Gatekeeper or get in touch with us at support@lightwell.pro.

Accepted file formats

Currently, Lightwell accepts visual .png and .jpg file formats and .wav audio formats. Photoshop and Illustrator's file formats are proprietary, which means only Adobe knows how to read these files properly, so we cannot provide proper support for these. We are, however, always adding new file formats to support. If there's a format that you're looking to use, please let us know at support@lightwell.pro.

Connecting to Previewer App

Lightwell Previewer App needs your devices to be on the same Wi-Fi network, and if that's not the case, sometimes it causes an error.

Here's a few steps to make sure you're set up correctly:

  • Check both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Check that you're running the latest versions of both Lightwell and Lightwell Previewer App.
  • Are the Wi-Fi security settings of your router blocking this kind of communication?

Exporting to code

Lightwell creates an Xcode project for you with all your visual and audio assets included so that you can upload directly to the App Store without editable source code. We do not currently support scene-by-scene raw source code customization, but are exploring this for the future. If there is something you'd like to have access to, please drop us a line and let us know!

Reporting bugs

Lightwell has a simple way for you to send bug reports, crashes, request features and give general feedback. Go to the Help item in the menubar and select Contact Customer Support.
It always helps to provide as much information and detail as possible. If possible, upload your project to Dropbox and provide the link in the description. Some bugs are related to specific elements of the design in the project and we need to inspect it in order to provide a fix. All information and projects shared with us are 100% confidential.

TROUBLE SHOOTING

Photoshop doesn't do anything when I run the Hullabalu Asset Cut script on my PSD file. Help!

Make sure that the PSD that you have open in photoshop has the .psd extension at the end of it. For instance, if you opened an Illustrator file in Photoshop and it still has an .ai extension, the Photoshop script will not work until you save it as a .psd file.

Why am I seeing the message 'Lightwell is damaged and can't be opened' when I try to launch it?

This is likely due to an internal security setting on your Mac. Open 'System Preferences,' navigate to 'Security & Privacy' and change the option in the 'Allow apps downloaded from' to 'App Store and identified developers.' Afterwards, you should be able to launch Lightwell normally.

For more information you can read more about Gatekeeper or get in touch with us at support@lightwell.pro.

When I view my app on the Previewer App, I see red Xs in my scene. What happened?

If you see red a "X" in your scene, it's likely because there is an image asset missing. Check the layers in the scene to see what assets they are linking to in the Asset Library. Sometimes, there may be a iPhone ready asset, but the iPad asset is missing.

The iOS Previewer takes a long time to download my scenes. What can I do?

To start, make sure that both your Mac and iOS devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. If you have one Wi-Fi network that is 5G or slower, make sure they are both connected to the same exact network. If they are, then make sure that the Lightwell desktop application is in front of any other applications you may have running on your Mac. This helps to make sure the Lightwell app is running at optimal performance on your desktop.

I am having a problem but I don't see the answer here.

If you're having any problems at all, please drop us an email at support@lightwell.pro.