Split model (or materials) automatically based on UVs

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  12 December 2013
Question Split model (or materials) automatically based on UVs


I have a very large model consisting of a number of very large, single piece meshes. I would like to produce a light map for use in a realtime engine. The model is too large to have a single map cover all of any one of its components.

Is there a feature/plugin/script for 3DS Max that will split up the model based on the UV mapping?

By that I mean, if I produce a UV map of the model so that each surface segment is proportional to the model/real world size of the segment, I would like to split up the mesh so that each surface segment had a specific texel density, and its own area of the map. This would of course require new maps to be generated, and different polys assigned to them, either by splitting the mesh, or duplicating the materials and assigning materials per poly.

Does something like this exist?
  01 January 2014
The built in tools are quite limited and not really suited to real time lightmapping.

There's a plugin called FlatIron for baking lightmaps.


I've never used it, but that might do what you want.

Otherwise, some game engines will handle it automatically for you. Unity and UE both do.
  01 January 2014
Thanks robinb,

I will try FlatIron. I know Unity does generate UVs but when I tried light mapping with Beast it returned errors about exceeding the atlas size, so I don't think it can handle larger single-piece meshes.

I've been splitting the model into sensible sized chunks and actually its not that bad to do manually - but of course this doesn't help UV unwrapping or matching texel densities so hopefully FlatIron can do that for me!
  01 January 2014
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