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How to convert PDB (Protein Database) to LightWave (.lws,.lwo)?

PolyTrans|CAD+DCC performs mathematically precise CAD, DCC/Animation, GIS and BIM 3D file conversions into all key downstream 3D packages and file formats. Okino software is used and trusted throughout the world by many tens of thousands of 3D professionals in mission & production critical environments, backed by respectable personal support directly from our core development team.



If you are coming here looking for information about the Microsoft .pdb file format then this is the wrong place. Those .pdb files define a 'program database file' that contains debugging information for a compiled executable (EXE/DLL). PDB files are generated by Microsoft Compilers when an application program is compiled in debug mode.

Rather, this page describes the 'Protein Database' 3D file format which uses the .pdb file extension.

The Protein Databank (PDB) is an archive of experimentally determined three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules, serving a global community of researchers, educators, and students. The archives contain atomic coordinates, bibliographic citations, primary and secondary structure information, as well as crystallographic structure factors and NMR experimental data.

The database is constantly updated as new structures are deposited by the international scientific community. As described on a PDB database WEB page, most of the three-dimensional macromolecular structure data in the Protein Data Bank were obtained by one of three methods: X-ray crystallography (over 80%), solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) (about 16%) or theoretical modeling (2%).

The PDB file format is a text-based file format that is designed to convey information about the structure of molecules; namely organic compounds such as proteins. This information consists of atomic co-ordinates, element composition, chain and grouping characteristics and bonding information.



LightWave is a well known and respected DCC/Animation system which has been around since the early days of the Amiga. It continues to be developed by Newtek Inc.

Okino implemented the main system to read and write LightWave .lwo and .lws files as of 1993, with the peak demand for our LightWave converters being throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, after which other animation systems became more popular (3ds Max, Maya and Softimage).

Fortunately a copy of the LightWave software is not needed to convert to/from the .lws and .lwo formats (as otherwise is the defacto case for the 3ds Max and Maya animation systems). The general scene data is stored in the ASCII .lws scene file whereas the binary .lwo file contains the geometry and material information.