View Full Version : Unwrapping UVs more efficiently

08 August 2010, 04:27 PM
for now what i do to unwrap UVs isung the unfold uv in the uv editor

any other efficient ways of unwrapping UVs?

08 August 2010, 11:21 PM
What program are you using? There are many work arounds that you can try.

In 3ds Max there is a process of selecting polygons that share normals, apply an UVWmap modifier to the polys, set the modifier to box, collapse the stack, reselect the polygons, apply an UnwrapUVW modifier to the reselected polygons, click the 'edit' button within the modify panel, adjust the polygons in the 2d window to match as closely as possible the polys in 3d space, collapse the stack, and repeat the process for all the polygons.

Or you could apply an UnwrapUVW modifier to the entire object, push the 'edit' button within the modify panel, select all the polygons in the 2d window (it will look like a mess), goto->normal map->box mapping and click ok, then weld polys together and arrange the polys within the texture outline (the blue box).

For Cinema 4d you can simply take your model to the Bodypaint layout, run the Paint Wizard Setup, Cinema 4d will then figure out a way to flatten your polys, then reweld the polys together and lay them out how you feel they should fit.

Not sure about Maya or the other 3d apps out there...

Hope that helps in some way. Sorry if its confusing. Unwrapping is a tough process but spend time with it and you will learn to love it!! Kind of like broccoli...

08 August 2010, 10:11 AM
i am using autodesk maya and currently doing some research on a more faster and more efficient way of unwrapping UVs for my next personal 3d artwork

well i have another question how can i tell if the UVs are unwrapped efficiently
so far these are things that i should keep in mind to make sure the UVs are unwrapped efficiently

1. keep it symetrical as much as possible
2. always remember to give more importance to what will be shown in the final render
3. dont forget to fix those seams

anything else i should remember when unwrapping UVs?

08 August 2010, 11:36 AM

When unwrapping you should normalize the uv chunks that you plan to map with a same texture pattern.For example if you want to map two different areas of your mesh with the same grid mesh pattern for your bump map,pay attention to the dimensions(normalization) of the uvs that get this map.Make them receive the same relative texture space.Cause if you have different uv dimensions(relative) you will need to have extra work in a painting program to rescale and match the actual texture.
I am working with 3ds max and there is not an easy automatic way to unwrap the uvs with enough quality.
Here is important to visualize the mesh as a collection of flat pieces even before you start to uv map the mesh,at least this helps me.
Dont make the chunks too close together on the texture page.
Share the uv space on the chunks that applies the same map.
Also,if you are working with a symmetrical model uv map only the half of the mesh and then after you connect the pieces together flip one half of the uvs also and weld them.This way you effectively half the amount of work when uv mapping.
And the uvs are laid out efficiently if there is no or minimal texture stretching of the map,you can see that by using a checkered square map or a map with the actual uv coordinates on it.
The better the checkered map looks the better the uvs are laid out.
Also the efficient uvs are the one with a minimal number of seams and the ones where the seams have been strategically placed on the areas of the model that are not too much exposed.

08 August 2010, 05:03 PM
True there is no easy way to do it but as you work with it you will become faster and better at breaking down your objects and you will find that it is not as complicated as you might have thought when you first started.

As far as unwrapping efficiently it all comes down to how you layout your UVs on your texture page. Objects that will be the most visible should get the largest space on the texture page and your UVs should match your 3d polys as close as possible. You never want to have a 'square' shaped polygon stretched into a 'rectangular' or 'Parallelogram' shape. This will cause stretching or artifacts to appear within your object.

Hope that helps.

08 August 2010, 05:21 PM
When unwrapping you should normalize the uv chunks that you plan to map with a same texture pattern.Never ever use the normalize function in 3ds Max, it will screw up unwrap proportions. Before you flatten or unfold anything, be sure to uncheck the normalize function.

08 August 2010, 07:29 PM
As a fellow Maya user. I too feel your UV pains. I can give you a few ideas, but I am fairly green myself.

"UV Unfold" once you cut your UV edges this tool can "flatten" the UVs in a more uniform way. I usually use this tool.

However there are some nice .Mel scripts that use UVs and I believe Spring Constraints. It will create a rig and attach the constraints to each UV. From there it will pull and stretch the "mesh" until it is laid flat.

It's been some time since even getting into the UV Editor tool in Maya, I think we were using Maya 2007 in School to put it in a time frame.

There very well could be better tools out now in Maya 2011 or whatever you are using.

08 August 2010, 10:03 PM
Never ever use the normalize function in 3ds Max, it will screw up unwrap proportions. Before you flatten or unfold anything, be sure to uncheck the normalize function.
Well,maybe I didnt mentioned not to use the automatic one,but it is clear what I meant.Not an automatic normalization,but a user defined normalization that is hand made.
Normalization refers to the relative dimensions of the uv chunks on the texture space to the spatial 3d space of the mesh.That is what I meant,to scale the uvs to recive the same texel dimensions when mapped with a same pattern.

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