View Full Version : Using Edit Mesh/Poly modifier when unwrapping
11-22-2004, 07:50 PM
I had an idea recently to use an edit mesh/poly modifier on top of the actual edit mesh/poly when mapping a model. I was hoping that using the second edit mesh that I could move the polys about to make them easier to map, practically break up the model and flatten it and then just use a planer map. Then by deleting the second edit mesh, all the alterations done to map it would be undone, and you'd be left with a nicely mapped model. Well, that's what I was hoping anyway. Any idea if it's possible to do this?
11-22-2004, 08:07 PM
It does work. Slight problem is you can't detach anything from the model after you've added the Edit Poly modifier to the stack.
(as detaching a face actually seems to detach a copy of the model...weird)...
This is how the stack should look to get it to work:
Edit Poly>Edit Poly modifier>UVW Mapping>UVW unwrap
when you're done unwrapping...delete the Epoly modifier and you'll be left with your UVW map... /images/graemlins/smile.gif
DO NOT COLLAPSE THE STACK! Just right click and delete just the Epoly modifier...then collapse the stack.
I tried this out on a simple cube and it works...
11-22-2004, 08:25 PM
Holy crap it works!! Wow, this is going to make things a whole lot easier. Wonder why it wasn't working before. :/ Yea, detach probably wouldn't work as it makes a new object, but break works.
Hmm, is there a way to break it up and keep the polys connected? Like with the box, if you select one vertex and hit break it breaks it up into each face, and then you have to move the verticies around and weld the verticies together so you have squares instead of triangles. Would be easier if it only broke up the polys and not every face. But this is with edit mesh, I tried to see if edit poly would behave differently, but I have Gmax and I'm not seeing an edit poly modifier. I can convert it to editable poly, but I'm not seeing an edit poly modifier, does Gmax have an edit poly modifier? If not, then does someone with Max know if edit poly, or maybe doing it differently with edit mesh allows you to keep the polys together and not have it broken up into individual faces?
11-22-2004, 09:05 PM
EditPoly modifier was introduced in Max 7. I don't know how often they update Gmax. Just detach the face to the object instead of breaking the verts.
Paul Steed wrote about this approach in his (older) book "Character Modeling in 3ds Max". Seems like a good approach, but I just got used to moving the verts around in the UVW Unwrap editor. Same thing in the end.
11-22-2004, 09:49 PM
huh, well I just tried using detach, moved the polys of a box around, reattached them all, mapped it, removed the edit mesh modifier, and it kept the mapping. So I guess even detaching polys still works.
11-22-2004, 10:34 PM
When you detach faces there's a dialogue box that pops up with the option "Detach to Element", check this and you won't have to reattach them. It detaches the faces, but keeps them in the object instead of making a new object out of them.
Steed's technique is much slower and more difficult than just using Unwrap UVW. Seriously, just get to know Unwrap, and you'll see that physically tearing apart your model is FAR to much of a pain in the ass. This is exactly the situation that Unwrap was designed for, so just try it.
use that technique, it's way faster, like Ryno says. learn it and love it - Steed's technique is about 3 years out of date now... there should be an addendum added to that book saying "btw this is old" /images/graemlins/wink.gif
11-23-2004, 03:01 PM
The updated version of Steed's method could be the Reactor Cloth method. You basically break the model apart like Steed does, but then turn the pieces into cloth and let them fall onto a flat surface, thereby flattening them out quickly. Then you apply a planar uv map and delete the cloth modifier.
I tried it once, but it has it's own issues. I can dig up the video tutorial on it if anyone's interested. I guess I'm just too old and set in my ways to try all these new fangled skinning techniques. The old fashioned UnwrapUVW editor still does it for me, especially with some of the new tools they added in 6 & 7.
3 years out of date? Moppy, you're being generous.
FarAssasin, did you get that technique from Mike Janov, the Discreet demo artist? I saw him demo that too, but must say that it looks like a real pain in the butt breaking all of those vertices, the way he was doing it. It looked like a neat trick, but unless I completely missed something, I'm sure that you could get results just as good in a lot less time just using Unwrap.
To me it just seems odd that people come up with these bizarre gimicky work-arounds for getting UVs laid out, when Unwrap was designed specifically to do this task.
11-25-2004, 03:02 PM
the cloth method is obsolete now that the uvhelp script is out, it does the same thing but without all the retardation
11-26-2004, 02:28 AM
with uvhelp, max7's inbuilt stuff and chuggnut's tools, I don't think uvmapping is much of an issue anymore. Click a few buttons and you're done. There's also a uv-normalize script out there that's particularly useful when you're working with level architecture. I'm putting together a script that will let you indicate where you want the seams and everything is automated from there. Basically, uvmapping in max is a breeze these days. For my last 6k character I don't believe I touched a single uv-vertex by hand, all automated, and pretty much flawless. Tools are getting good.
11-26-2004, 01:05 PM
This is Steed's technique? Didn't know that. Usually when mapping something I would select the polys, hit UVW Map and either use planer or cylindrical depending on what fits best, then hit Unrwap UVW and try to sort things out a best as I can, which usually isn't very good. Most things are not perfectly flat or cylindrical so there's always some distortion going on and when I try to move one vert to fix an area, all the other polys connected to that vert get distorted. Not to mention the insane amount of time it takes me to do this, I mapped something last week and it took me 7 hours to do it.
So I was thinking that maybe modifying the mesh to better fit a plane or a cylinder would result in a better mapping by UVW Map and I wouldn't need to mess with Unwrap UVW as much. Although in some cases so far it hasn't been helping much as the modified mesh for mapping doesn't really match the original mesh to well and still requires quite a bit of work in Unwrap UVW.
Wow Per, "Click a few buttons and you're done"? How do you do that? I'm guessing that there's a lot of tools or scripts that I know nothing about, haven't even tried Max 7 yet. So if anyone has some suggestions on better methods or have some fancy tools I would REALLY appreciate it.
Soccerman: www.microcan.nl (http://www.microcan.nl) - get the UVHelp script from here. Insanely useful. Basically cut up your model into uv-segments, then run this script with them selected, it will un-distort them.
also www.chuggnut.com (http://www.chuggnut.com) - go to the Scripts section of that site, get the Unwrap UI script. It adds a load of useful buttons to the side of the Unwrap UVW window.
Per: Lemme know when you've finished that script, so I can BURGLE YOUR COMPUTER
11-27-2004, 03:19 AM
per which of chugnuts tools do you use in max 7?
11-27-2004, 03:29 PM
I tried that uvHelp scipt, but it kinda made things worse.
I made the model in Gmax, so I had to export it to get it into Max, which for some reason all the verticies became unwelded. So I welded all the verticies in both the model and the map, then ran the script. Somehow I don't think it's supposed to make it worse, but I can't think of what would have caused that.
The UV Help script will mess up like that if you have mirrored UV vertices welded to the original half. Always run it on only half the model, before you mirror anything.
anyway, the way you have that mapped at the moment is kinda weird, i'd separate off the horns to be mapped separately, it will make it easier to lay out without having to rotate other bits to fit around the strange shape of the head as it is mapped now.
the seams wouldn't really be a problem since they'd be at a place where the geometry goes through a 90degree angle change, so you probably wouldn't notice minor continuity errors on the texture.
just my thoughts there, you can uv-map however you want /images/graemlins/smile.gif
11-27-2004, 06:06 PM
Well, there is only half of the model there, I haven't mirrored anything yet. For some reason when I exported the 3ds file the whole model got mirrored, so I mirrored it to get it back to the original position, and then did the uvhelp.
Yea, I'm probably gonna go back and remap the head, I just did a real quick and dirty mapping just to see how well the uvHelp script would work.
11-28-2004, 01:15 AM
uvhelp isn't the be-all, end-all solution to unwrapping. It's gets confused with complex, organic models. Sorry to say, there's still some manual work involved. I'd also like to see a, "Click a few buttons and you're done", solution, but haven't found one.
You're best bet is to apply a planar map to smaller, seperate sections of the model and then see if uvhelp helps.
yeah, sometimes I've noticed it does mess up on some simple things too (like flip a row of faces halfway along a cylinder) for no apparent reason, but usually it sorts itself out if you run it 8-10 times /images/graemlins/smile.gif
it's been pretty good with organic objects for me ... you've just gotta be careful where you put your seams really. think about how it will unwrap the section. it's not the be-all and end-all, but it's getting close /images/graemlins/smile.gif
11-28-2004, 12:04 PM
I wish Discreet would just coopt DeepUV and stick it in Max. There were rumors that was going to happen with version 6, but never did. That's my favorite unwrapping solution, but uvhelp does get one step closer to that without having to buy an extra program.
very interesting read, thanks MoP
12-02-2004, 08:27 AM
[ QUOTE ]
[Per128] I'm putting together a script that will let you indicate where you want the seams and everything is automated from there.
[/ QUOTE ]
I'm interested in this. Do let us know when/if it's ready.
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