Mauz's Activeworlds Pages: RWXMod Tutorial

Introduction   Installing   Viewing a Model   Some Ways to Optimize a File   RWXMod Saving Format   Command Reference

RWXMod screenshot


RWX Modifier or RWXMod is a handy little utility for viewing and editing Criterion's RenderWare 3D rendering API script files (rwx). It was programmed Russell Freeland, aka Dataman or DMs Ghost in Activeworlds, when he worked for Worlds Inc. It is based on RWXLook or AlphaWorld Object Browser, which used to be included in the AW distribution. The latest version of RWXMod is Beta 17. It is from the year 1996 when AW was barely in version 1 and using RenderWare 2.0, so RWXMod will not understand AW 3.0 specific commands. It is free to use and doesn't expire.

Other RWXMod tutorials:


Walk-through: Opening the First File

Here is a tip from ReneS, to avoid having to copy models and textures to the RWXMod directory:

Associate the rwx file type with RWXmod. Enter ".;" (without the quotes) for both Models Path and Texture Path. The Models Path can be anything, but for the textures it means that they can be found (1) in the current directory and (2) in the textures directory on the same level. When an rwx file is double-clicked, RWXmod will start without opening the file, but the File Open dialog will display the current directory.

Viewing a Model

You can click and drag the model in RWXMod main window with the mouse. To move it sideways or vertically, hold down the Shift key while dragging the mouse. To zoom, hold down the Ctrl key while dragging the mouse.

Objects with materialmode double may not always look right in view window. Some models may look like parts of them have been cut out if you move them too close, or if they have polys with very close vertices.


Zooming may not have as many steps as desired. If you want to inspect some model closer, scale it up temporarily by adding the line scale 50 50 50 (or which scale factor you want) after the first clumpbegin. Zooming also works better with a maximized view window, but that is how the model gets opened by default anyway.

To see the shape better, with sharper and clearer edges, replace lightsampling vertex commands temporarily with lightsampling facet. You can also comment out the texture lines.

To see where each polygon or group of polygons goes in the model, you can add color statements here and there.

Some Ways to Optimize a File

When saving, RWXMod adds some obsolete lines that you can safely remove. Note that if you remove transformbegin, then you must also remove transformend, and the same goes to jointtransformbegin and jointtransformend:



addhint editable

RWXMod Saving Format

Some changes that RWXMod makes to a file when saving it:

# test file
  texturemodes foreshorten lit
  materialmodes double
  surface .5 .3 0
  color 1 .5 0
  disc .1 1 3

would be saved like this:

color 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000
surface 0.000000 0.000000 0.000000
opacity 1.000000
lightsampling facet
geometrysampling solid
texturemodes lit
materialmodes null
texture null

vertex   0.0000  0.1000  0.0000
vertex   1.0000  0.1000  0.0000
vertex  -0.5000  0.1000 -0.8660
vertex  -0.5000  0.1000  0.8660

color 0.968750 0.500000 0.000000
ambient 0.500000
diffuse 0.300000
addtexturemode foreshorten
addmaterialmode double
triangle 1 2 3
triangle 1 3 4
triangle 1 4 2

Command Reference

File menu

File Menu


Opens an rwx file. When you select the file (not double-click), it will show up in the preview window to the right. Under preview window you can see the model's Height, Width and Depth, rounded to two decimals. (Note that View - Info shows Width before Height, and three decimals). Click Spin to spin it around in the preview window, or Stop spin to stop the spinning. There are some working menus in this window too, but it may be clearer to click OK to open the model in the main view window where you can move it around better.

If the preview window only shows the error message Can't render! Check textures search path, then make sure that you have all the textures converted into bmp format and in the directory that's specified by the Texture Path setting (Options - Settings).

RWXMod will also not show the model, if there is a slightest spelling or syntax error in the file.

Save as

Saves the file in RenderWare rwx format. RWXMod saves the file using its own formatting (see above), so make sure you have a backup of the original file, or save it with some other name.


Closes RWXmod. Note that RWXmod will not warn you about closing an unsaved file.

There is no close command in File menu for closing just the current model, but you can do it by clicking the cross in upper right corner of the view window.

Edit menu

Edit Menu


Undoes the latest change made to the file in RWXMod.

Consolidate clumps

Compacts a model made of many clumps into just one clump. Do not use this command on avatars that use seqs.

Clean vertices

Cleans away duplicate vertices, as well as vertices that are so close to some other vertex that they wouldn't show up as a separate vertex in AW anyway. Duplicate polygons will be deleted as well. It makes the file smaller and more efficient to render.

Triangles -> quads

Unites triangles into quads in order to reduce polygon count. However, in AW 3.0 it is more efficient to leave them as triangles.


Centers model along the 0 axes. This is important in worlds that have a registry, so that the objects would stand where they are built, instead of hovering over the neighbor's lot.

Center in X, Z planes (always) centers model so that its left/right and back/front go equally far from 0 axis. Flush with ground (not for avatars!) puts model's base at 0 meter's height. Avatar models should have their eyes at ground level instead, because of the way the AW browser calculates their point-of-view.


Changes model's dimensions. Current box in the upper left corner shows width (X), height (Y) and depth (Z). In New box you can choose new values for them with the sliding scale or as percents of the original. Keep aspect ratio checkmark keeps the model's proportions the same; take it off if you want to change one dimension separately from others.

You can't scale hierarchical clumps like avatars in RWXMod, or you get the error Can't scale hierarchical clumps. Use Edit - Consolidate clumps to make it into a single clump first. Don't use it on avatars though, if you want to use seqs on them.

View menu

View Menu

Strip textures

Shows the model without its textures (but doesn't remove them from the file).


Shows the model as a wireframe version (but doesn't change the file).

Top view

Shows the model from above. Sometimes RWXMod opens a flat wide model in this viewpoint.

Side view

Shows the model from the side; the usual option.


Resets the model back to its opening position.


Shows the model's Left and Right points added together as its Width; Bottom and Top points added together as its Height; and Back and Front points added together as its Depth. The dimensions in are meters, which is 1/10 of an AW coordinate. There is also the Polygons (planes) and Vertices (points) count. Clumps count is only shown in the lower right corner of the view window, which shows the Polys and Verts as well.

Rendering speed

Gives a rating for object's rendering speed, to determine how fast it is to look at in AW; the higher the better.

Utilities menu

Utilities Menu

Generate registry file

Writes a world registry file of given objects. Write the name of the Output file or choose it with the Browse button, eg. C:\Rwxmod\registry.txt. In the Input filespec line give the path to your models, e.g. C:\Rwxmod\Models\*.rwx. They have to be unzipped. Also, RWXMod must be able to find all the textures used in the models, in bmp format, in its Texture Path (see Options - Settings). In Files to exclude line you can specify models that are not included in the registry so that people can't build with them, e.g. ground.rwx. Then click the Generate button. Click Save as Default to save the options in rwxmod.ini.

Tip: You can make a registry file without having to have the textures available with Andras's Reggen utility.

Options menu

Options Menu


Texture Path defines the directory where the textures used in the models are, in bmp format, e.g. C:\Rwxmod\Textures. RWXMod will also automatically look for textures in a folder called Textures at the same level as the model's directory. Models Path defines the default directory for RWXMod to look for the models, e.g. C:\Rwxmod\Models.

You can toggle Allow horizontal rotate and Allow vertical rotate options to enable or disable rotating the model in the view window. Show bounding box option shows the bounding box that defines the model's collision properties in AW as a yellow wireframe outline around it. Start in FileOpen mode option makes RWXMod open straight into the file selection dialog. Show ground option shows green ground level in the view window.

After settings are changed inside RWXMod, it creates rwxmod.ini in the same directory as where the exe is. You can edit it by hand to change settings.

Window menu

Window Menu

Window menu has Tile and Cascade commands, but in this version you can only open one rwx file at a time.

Help menu

Help Menu


There is no Help file in RWXMod. However, when you choose some menu option, a brief description about it appears in the lower left corner of the window.

(I don't guarantee the reliability or completeness of the information on this page.) 2007-01-23