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# 1 11-01-2006 , 10:19 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Texturing and UV Mapping Apps

I am getting close to UV mapping and texturing my first model.

I have spent a bit of time browsing around the internet and I read that UV mapping in Maya is a real pain and also that distortions in the 2D map and hence the texture can have serious effects on the final look of your object.

So are there any plugins / programs / tricks and tips to simplify this process?

I don't want to have to dump excessive amounts of time into UV mapping and countless hours of frustration in trying to get rid of distortions etc

I read that zbrush has tools that greatly ease the task of texturing. Has anybody tried it?

Also I came across some talk about BodyPaint 3D. Has anyone got experience in that?


# 2 11-01-2006 , 11:02 PM
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There are a few apps that claim to ease UV mapping , but in truth there is no way round spending the time to unwrap the UV's properly, Unwrapping in Maya can be a little awkward at first to get to grips with but the real skill in getting the texture maps to look good and not stretch is practice and learing the best angles to map from and where to hide any seams (joins) to avoid stretches and mismatches.
In short yes UV mapping and unwrapping can be a pain but we all have to suffer it ..sorry .

# 3 11-01-2006 , 11:04 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: stuck in the 90's boston, USA
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actually UV'ing in maya is very simple and straight foward....
im not sure where u got your information from...
but uv'ing is a very methodical process, nothing to it.

and ZB's UV'ing is probably the worst way to UV a model.

bodypaint3d has some UV tools, but not very indepth tools. but great for painting textures.

# 4 12-01-2006 , 03:24 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 203

There are a few apps that claim to ease UV mapping , but in truth there is no way round spending the time to unwrap the UV's properly

Actually DeepUV I hear is better. I have searched arround and found that some say that in DeepUV you can select all of the faces of your object at once and then click on planar map. Then, you click on unfold, which unfolds the uv's into a flat tinfoil like way, and the rest is minor tweeking after that.

I have placed an order to this product with a sofware distributer, called Journey ED, that gives college students a discount but they are being real jerks, and giving me the run arround saying that my order is still on hold because it is not in stock eventhough they have already billed my credit card. I am not saying that they are a take your money and run kind of business, but what I am saying is that they are just being jerks. I have delt with them for 4 years and only the last two orders they have just started doing this. It seems like however, they are the kind of business what George Carlin would say "let me stick this big brown you know what up this customer's you know what a little bit deeper and a little bit deeper. :lmao: Then once they suck you in, they start treating you like you get what you paid for. :headbang: Anywho, enough of my complaining, the only problem is if your not a college student, and you don't have DeepPaint 3.0 then you need to buy the bundle package which cost about $1300 compaired to $140 for being a student.

As far as which 3d app has a better uv mapper, I would have to say Maya. I use to work in Plasma, and their unwrapper is unbelievably hard because there is no way of knowing which uv's connects to what when you need to sew the UV's together.user added image On the other hand, Maya doesn't have the unfold UV's which I think is really cool. If anyone doesn't know what this does, then your missing out. What this does is this...

lets say you have a cube which has 6 faces (also known as 6 planes). Normally, in Maya, you need to do a planar map on each plane one at a time and then re-sew them so that it becomes one UV shell and none of the UV's are underneath another. However, unfold UV's will allow you to planar map the entire 6 planes at once and then all you do is use the unfold UV tool and the overlaying uv's will unfold themselves. Furthermore, you don't need to sew the uv's because you projected the 6 planes all at once. And don't forget, like I said before the DeepUV Plug-in has this feature.

# 5 12-01-2006 , 09:50 AM
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Thanks for the info guys.

I'll have a fiddle and see what happens.

To junkyBob:

I am a college student so I can get the student deals.
I'll probably still try to learn to do it right in maya first then see what happens.

It all seems very subjective so I guess its more a matter of preference.

# 6 12-01-2006 , 02:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 203

I have 2 more suggestion.

1. As to learning UV mapping, I should of told you no program will do everything for you. In conclusion to that, I would agree that you should learn the basics because you will have to learn how the uv's should look like after they have been unwrapped. For example, if you were unwrapping a character, the end result should look like how a bear rug is layed out flat on the floor. Nevertheless, before you do any unwrapping, you should apply a checker map to your object. This will guide you towards how your texture will look. At the end result you will want your checker map to have perfect squares as much as possible. In addition, you should also understand about seems and distortion.

Seems will look like the same thing as the stitching of a shirt. In other words you will notice that unstitched uv's will create seems, and they can not be helped, but they can be minimized and hidden. A good example of what seems would look like with your checker map applied to your object would be where you see the checkers will not line-up with each other. Furthermore, a person that has good knowledge about unwrapping will also know where the best areas to hide the seems. As for distortion, this is where you see parts of the checker map don't have perfect little squares. This mostly happens to areas where there are a lot of curves such as the head of a character.

Eventhough you should know about these 2 major keys to unwrapping, programs such as DeepUV, will help you. However, just remember that these types of programs are made only for speed and sometimes you have to unstich and restitch the uv's to a different area that these programs made a mistake on.

Also, here are two helpful links.

video tutorial. You need to scroll down to character modeling and you will see two links: Laying out UV's part 1, Laying out UV's part 2. Also, the guy uses 3D Studio Max, but why I give you this link is because 1. it is a video which IMO you learn faster, 2. it gives you the background of unwrapping the UV's, and 3. he gives examples of why you should use DeepUV. The only thing is you want to ignore the "Show vertex connections", and "weld vertex". Maya doesn't use "weld vertex", it uses "sew uv's", and Maya also does not have the "show vertex connection" feature.

2. Text version, but it is in Maya.

My second suggestion is considering you are a college student, don't use Journey ED. If you have somebody else then great, but if not, then see if you can directly go through the software company. Also if your courious about DeepUV, their website is...

I hope this gives you some help.

# 7 12-01-2006 , 02:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: canada
Posts: 140
thanks .. i'll also try to uv tutorials to see if they help me

# 8 12-01-2006 , 09:50 PM
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Thanks for the help junkyBob

I have made myself a nice simple poly garage building so I'll have a fiddle and see if I can get it to look good. Maybe post pics later.

As its is boxy and doesn't have rounded bits I think I can avoid stretching problems.

Seams will probably be annoying though. I want to make it brick so getting the corners right will probably take a while.

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