View Full Version : speed Unwrapping any tips?
02-01-2005, 06:05 PM
Its no secret amoungst us all how frustrating and annoying unwrapping things is..'I just can't stop this object from stretching!!' or 'oh darn,not leaved enough space for that thing'...ya know the idea.
Anyway just wandering if you guys have any major tips on how to make this process less time consuming and dear I say it,boring?.
For most objects i find myself using the planar map auto unwrap function in the unwrap editor so at least it gets the pieces scaled to a point where theres no stretching and then you just have to figure out the puzzle and stitch it all back together before uniform scaling it all into its fine place.
Is this the quickest way or could you recommend any other tools for max or little tips that may help me speed the process up?
Also we arn't talking huge wall sections and flat planes...we are mainly talking about edges of things,that stick out just enough to be noticablly stretched.....over to you guys.
02-01-2005, 06:19 PM
I think it was bobo who was trying it but he unwrapped a certain area, then skinned it - which would take a bit of the boring aspect of it, as you can see the model come to life pretty much straight away- then move on.
02-01-2005, 06:38 PM
That could be fun,I guess you could also make indervidural files for each section you are mapping (talking mainly about assets and mechanical stuff as this wouldn't really work with organic stuff) if you happen to be unorgansied then this would make your work folders very messy and full of potential "crap"
Also the problem id have with both that idea and BoBo's is the inconsitency for the texture,and ovious appearance that it was done at a later time or date the another section....Bobo,Poop and the others im sure have the skill,confidence and ability and have a consistent way of working but for people like me who are pretty inconsistent with work flow and stuff im not sure how it would work.
might try on my next model that needs unwrapping though /images/graemlins/smile.gif
I dunno if what Thnom suggests is very wise. You might unwrap an area of your model, texture it, then discover later that the way you have unwrapped it means the rest of your layout suffers... what if you need to move, rotate, scale or even re-work the section of UV mapping you've just painted? Then, at best, you'll have to go over the texture and fix any issues arising from this situation...
I think it's a good idea to get a nice solid layout finalised before beginning texture painting. This will also help with consistency, as you can paint any area you choose at a given time, so you can see how different areas contrast against each other.
Basically, get used to using keyboard shortcuts for common functions ... if you're using Max, download Chuggnut's UV Unwrap tools and the UVHelp plugin from www.microcan.nl (http://www.microcan.nl) ... that will sort out a lot of distortion fast and help you get an idea of the best "shape" for a chunk of UV to be in.
Don't be afraid to allow distortion if it means easier texture painting - if you have a curving belt or something on your model, map it as a perfectly straight line, you will get some distortion, but not very noticeable, and it will be a hundred times easier to paint detail into it without having to worry about angle changes.
It's all about practise really... do lots of small, fast lowpoly models and unwrap them, paint them to check how easy the uv-maps are to work with, and ask others for input on what could be improved with each one.
Then try larger more complex models, bigger texture sizes, more complex layouts.
Always bear in mind:
- Simplicity of painting the flat texture.
- You should keep seams to a minimum (ties in with above statement)
- A little distortion is better than a lot of seams (unless you really really need PERFECT square pixels over the model).
- Mirror UV's where you can get away with it - ie. areas that are symmetrically designed, anywhere which isn't really looked at a lot, and so on.
- Asymmetry is more interesting in designs, so don't mirror everything
- Try to re-use texture space, if you want to be really conservative. Certain areas of armour, skin, cloth can have the same texture, even if they're on totally different parts of the body or object. As long as the shading and colours match up, it's fine. Gives you more pixel space to play with.
Ehh, I think I talk too much.
02-02-2005, 10:17 AM
I use a program called UVMapper Pro.
Have to use the Habware OBJ import and export utilities, but hey, it's worth it IMHO.
I would advise you learn to UV-map the "old fashioned" way in Max or Maya before resorting to third-party tools. This will give you a deeper knowledge of "good" uv-maps in general, and hey, you'd look pretty silly if you got a job somewhere and they didn't use your third-party tool of choice, so you ended up making poor quality UV-maps since you didn't really know how to use the UV tools in the 3d package the company used...
02-02-2005, 11:24 AM
I box map damn near everything except for things that are cylindrical in shape or characters. I then eliminate as many seams as possible by stitching the pieces back together in UV Unwrap. If when uv mapping you hit "Shrink Wrap" and then hit "Box" the box should be perfectly square so the texture won't be stretched. You may have to do some tweaking on surfaces that are angled but this is the quickiest/easiest way I have found. You also can map cylindrical surfaces with box mapping but you can save a lot of time stitching the UVs back together if you use a cylindrical map instead.
Basically a box map is 6 planar maps at once so this should save you some time.I Hope this helps.
02-02-2005, 12:32 PM
I like the Box mapping trick, good one.
I have to disagree with you MoP about the old-fashioned comment. If it gets the job done faster, that's a good thing. Even if you have to bring your own app to the table. Although I do agree it's important to understand what makes a UV set game-friendly.
I've found that for organic tiled surfaces (caves, landscapes, etc.) 3ds max's Unfold Mapping is very fast and fairly accurate. Can make a bunch of seams, but Stitch cleans those up quickly.
Sorry, yeah, Eric - you're right, in a production environment, anything that gets the same quality job done faster is a huge bonus.
I stand by my comment, however, because I feel that if you just go straight into using Deep UV or whatever, it might become a kind of crutch that you find it hard to manage without... better to know every aspect of the process rather than one "quick solution"... you never know when that solution will be unavailable, leaving you nothing to fall back on.
Would an employer poo poo on you bringing in your own UV mapping prog? Even if you owned your own copy.
I use Ultimate Unwrap3D. Cheap and worth every penny.
02-02-2005, 04:55 PM
Depends on how strict their system admins are. In my experience you just need to prove it works smoothly with the company's pipeline, doesn't mess anything up in the translation.
Getting the UVs back to a character can be tricky if the incoming UVs require triangles but the original is polygons or patches or whatever. Also can be troublesome if it's been rigged already.
I mostly use the flatten mapper to get most of the tricky spots, and use a cylindrical mapping for the usual arms, legs, penii, etc. I don't use box that much though, only when it's something that would only save my time from not using planar mapping. :-?
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