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13-07-2007, 01:42 AM   #1
gubar
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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UV mapping questions
Hi,

been working through UV mapping tutorials and think I'm getting there. The tutorials are not exhaustive though and leave some parts up to you, so I've got some questions.

1) So far, I have been automapping (generally), then moving and stitching pieces to together, leaving the seam on the inside or least seen area. I've then been relaxing the mesh, and unfolding it (with different parameters for best result) then doing some manual tweaking, using a grid texture as a guide.

Is this a sensible workflow?

2) Is there a way to have the UV textures of different objects on the same UV page (ie, displayed in the same window, so one texture to incorporate both can be created) without combining them into one object? The tutorial has one texture with various details on it (ie body, armour, weapons, ) though it does not instruct me to combine the objects. It does show all the UV maps on the one page though - the only way I can see of doing this is combining the objects.

3) Regarding automatic / planar / cylindrical mapping etc. I understand the difference, but it this only in the creation method? What I mean is, after tweaking and manipulating the mesh, is it applied any differently, or is the difference only in the lay out of the initial mapped mesh?

Any help here would be great, as would any advice or comments not directly related to the questions above.

regards,

gubar
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13-07-2007, 10:53 AM   #2
AlphaFlyte
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Hey Gubar it's an almost impossible question to answer. It needs a book or two, the tutorials you're reading, and a LOT of hands-on. I spent all my free time last month on the challenge and I still not got a command of UV'ing. See if you can pickup Michael McKinley's book The Game Artist Guide to Maya. I've ordered this one but it's not arrived yet.

1. It really depends on what you are mapping. Automap is great for non-organic objects. Automap is fine as a starting point for organic meshes too. The advantage is that it keeps the scale correct for the shells. The disadvantage is that is produces a bucketload of shells and much manual labour is needed to stitch everything up and avoid stretching. There are other methods for organics that work well too (cylindrical map for half a head comes to mind). ABF and LCSM are two algorithms for UV'ing on the move. I think it originates from the blender developers research (I might be wrong on this one) and you'll have to do some reading up on the subject.
Anyway here's more info and a nifty plugin called Roadkill: http://www.pullin-shapes.co.uk/
Usually auto anything is not so good for CG, and no matter what you use you'll have to do manual labour. So you will have to do a ton of testing and trying out things to arrive at a workflow that suits you.

2. You can have as many shells as you want within 0-1 space (the upper right quadrant in the UV editor). UV space can be shared with overlapping. Again too broad a topic for a forum post. Also I hear having as few shells as possible is better, but I am not exactly sure why. One aspect is for texture painting in other application like Bodypaint or Zbrush, but Zbrush handles all kinds of UV layouts. I simply don't have sufficient info on the matter.
Another aspect is the seams you mentioned. You want to have as few seems as possible to cover up come paint time.
For sharing texture space there is also a lot of trickery that can be used:
http://www.poopinmymouth.com/process/tips/thirding.jpg

3. Yes they do differ in how they project the texture onto the object. More reading is required.
You can use any projection you want for one area of a model, and a completely different projection method for another area and so forth.


Don't take my answers here as the ultimate guide to UV'ing in any way. These are just some thoughts on the matter and not anywhere near in-depth enough. Simply too broad a topic.
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Last edited by AlphaFlyte; 13-07-2007 at 11:02 AM.
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13-07-2007, 09:47 PM   #3
gubar
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"See if you can pickup Michael McKinley's book The Game Artist Guide to Maya. I've ordered this one but it's not arrived yet."

The very book I'm working through just now. Actually, just finished UV mapping the character after an all day session yesterday.

It is a very good book, though I've got to say there are one or two places where it is infuriating - he will sometimes take steps that he has not explained, but that you can see in the images - though generally, excellent.

Moving onto the skeleton next.

Re you comments on UV mapping - yeah, I figured it was beyond the scope of the forum. Good to hear that I'm not the only one who finds it difficult though. Thanks for the post.

Cheers,

gubar.
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