LightWave Plugin: How to Use Pick Surname

A LightWave plugin can have many functions. LightWave is a computer graphics program that was designed by NewTek. This program will render static and animated 3D images. Some of the advanced features offered in LightWave include refractions, reflection, caustics and radiosity. The modeling uses subdivision surfaces, as well as polygon modeling. One such plugin available for LightWave is the ability to pick surfnames. The surfnames are important for editing the different surfaces in a model.

Step 1: Create Model

When using surfname, it is best to use subdivision surfaces, as the surfname deals with the different surfaces. 

Step 2: Apply Surfnames

Using the plug-in, select the different surfaces and have a surfname attached to each. This creates surfaces that can be used to separate the different surfaces on the map or model. This is very important when beginning to edit and add effects to the different surfaces. A surfname is important if you are using applications and script to achieve the effects and not a standard tool from LightWave.

Step 3: Add New Surfaces

Depending on the effect, the surface may need to have many layers. Select the surface using the surfname and then cut each surface and paste it back immediately. This creates more points, layers and surfaces to work within the amp. This is mainly needed when several surfaces share the same points.

Step 4: Edit

Once the surfnames have been applied to the model and map, then it is possible to start editing the model. Add the different textures and desired effects. Depending on what is being modeled, it may be necessary to alter what is included in each surface and rename the surfnames.  The surfname will select the surface editor to this specific surface.


This plug in was created in July 2010 and has yet to prove its use in the program. However, at the very least, it can speed up editing as it will automatically put the editor to the needed surface. The need to use this will completely depend on what type of editing or effect is being used in the software.

For those looking to go 3D with their movies, then LightWave is the software of choice, as this was created specifically for 3D. It is possible to completely customize the animation and modeling within the software. The interface is very well organized for ease of use. There is proper documentation and support for all functions.

LightWave uses 2 different technologies that communicate through a Hub. There is a modeler, where the models are created, and then layout, where the animation is added. There are plug ins for both types of technologies. In fact, the number of plug ins that can be used are numerous. It is possible to preview the image and effects to determine if any changes are needed before the final render.

The plug ins are what will help expand the software currently available. The most popular plug ins will become part of the new software and new plug ins will be created. The scripts used for LightWave make it very easy to create plug ins.