UV Mapping and Textures

Community Forums/Developer Stations/UV Mapping and Textures

Cipher(Posted 2009) [#1]
Well I'm using Blitz3D. Creating my models in 3dsmax. I know how to render the UV template, and I know how to apply the texture. My problem is lining up the texture correctly with the faces.

For example, when you unwrap the uv mapping, you have a lot of faces/polys laid out. I can't figure out any good way to apply a texture map other than trial and error and chopping a texture into pieces to see if it lines up properly. Here is an image detailing my delimma:

As you can see, in the left window, I have a simple model with the front of the chest selected. In the corresponding uv template window, obviously these faces do not line up. So, I'm having difficulties creating textures for the front of the chest in this example.

Is it a matter of me not unwrapping the template correctly? Or is this really the only way to do it? I can't imagine there is not a better way, or there is something I'm not doing correctly, because this seems like a really complicated method to create textures. And this model is very basic. For a high poly model, this would be a nightmare.

I tried the Ultimate Unwrap3D demo, but I'm still having the same issues.

Any help or advice is appreciated! Thank you.

Pete Carter(Posted 2009) [#2]
I dont know how in 3d studio i gave it a go years ago and didnt get on with it.

Anyway you need to do projections in unwrap3d

Select the faces you want to unwrap, do it in sections. the click this option. (bellow)

it will ask you which side you want to project/view the faces from. once you have all the sides of your body mapped out flat its very easy to line them up. this is only one of the many tools unwrap has its a great program.

Psionic has a very good tutorial on this.


Ross C(Posted 2009) [#3]
Remember you can move the UV's around manually.

GfK(Posted 2009) [#4]
To do it in 3DS Max, select the faces (easier if you turn off backface selection) in the Unwrap UVW modifier, click "Planar", "Best fit", then click "Planar" again to turn off planar mode.

Next click on Edit, and move the selection to its own space in the UVW map. You'll need to do a uniform resize in there, too, as the selection will take up maximum space in the UVW map and you probably don't want that.

The other way is to select all the faces (CTRL+A), click Edit, Mapping, Flatten Mapping. That'll do most of the work quickly but will still need some general tidying up, as above.

D4NM4N(Posted 2009) [#5]
Blender has a very good unwrap tool (watch the how to video first though!)
After a fair bit of practice you can unwrap and texture complex models really quickly. Its been a while since i used UUWrap but when i tried it years ago it only had the usual unwrap procedures like planar cube sphere etc, no pinning or live unwrap system. Perhaps it is better now, as i say its been a while and after learning blender i have not looked back.

Ross C(Posted 2009) [#6]
Yeah, all the mapping modes can be rotated in the 3d view to line up angled surfaces, and it updates on the UV map. Must try blender again...

Cipher(Posted 2009) [#7]
Ross C:

So in the UV template I can move the faces and line them up accordingly and it won't mess up the mapping on the model? That seems easy enough.
(edit: speaking of max, if not I'll give blender a go)

Also I will give uunwrap another go around and check out that tutorial.

Thanks guys!

dawlane(Posted 2009) [#8]
If you did a bit of Google'n you should find plenty of tutorials on UV unwrapping for 3DSMAX ( heres one I found that was first in the list http://www.republicofcode.com/tutorials/3ds/unwrap_uvw_mapping/ ).

If youv'e got the money a program like Maxon's BodyPaint 3D (also has a very good UV Editor ( not sure but it also has limited modeling tools )) / Photoshop CS4 Extended / ZBrush ( very good for adding detail to organic models to make normal maps etc ) will allow you to paint/draw directly onto your model.

Blender is OK if you can stand using the interface. I almost took a hammer to the computer the last time I tried to learn it. Now if Blender only had an interface like Maxon's Cinema 4D (BodyPaint 3D is included with this) then all would be well........

Ross C(Posted 2009) [#9]
Yeah, as long as you don't distrub the distance and angle between each UV point (vertex). A think probably the biggest mistake people make when learning to UV map, is to not realise you can actually move the UV's yourself :o)

The automatic unwrapping is good to group pieces of a model together and unwrap as a piece. It's up to you after that to position this piece, or scale and rotate it.

AdrianT(Posted 2009) [#10]
you can drag them around weld parts together, or use things like pelt mapping, or drawing where you want the seams and letting max unwrap for you. There's a ton of options there, just takes time to learn. You only get so far with the auto unwrap tools in Max which aren't that great really. It's always best to finish up by hand.

jfk EO-11110(Posted 2009) [#11]
Yes you can move the UVs without to move the Vertices, but when you distort a quad (made of two triangles) too much, then the texture will be "cut" at the shared edge between them.
I still use the latest version of Lithunwrap, a freeware but its sequel UltimateUnwrap3D is better, of course, but not freeware anymore.

Good UV-mapping has a lot to do with experience. You can use those basic wrapping modes, line planar, cylindric etc., but you need to know what type of mesh needs what type of wrapping. EG you may want to flip and combine mirrored things like two legs, arms, or the left side of the characters face to the right side, or the 4 wheels of a vehicle... So you will do a lot of rotation, moving, scaling and welding of UV.

If the wrapping is done, you should export the UVs on a bitmap. This is going to help you a lot as a blended layer in your graphics app, where you paint the texture.

Kryzon(Posted 2009) [#12]
I didn't get your dilemma. You have all your chest faces selected. Simply click Planar map on Averaged Normals, for instance, and they are all going to be joined together in one chunk, mapped the best way there is.
Also, check out Psionic3D's tutorial on character mapping.

Before you say it, I know it's for Cinema4D but what matters is the technique (that tutorial shows with excellence how to map your separate body parts).
If you know well Max's mapping tools then you should have no trouble doing the same steps.