Texturing – UV unfolding

Last post I talked about how to texture a flat object, but in next lines I’m going to show you the steps to texturize a complex object with curves. The workflow used is called unfolding; the process is composed in cutting a seam through the mesh and unfolding the plane creating the UV map into a 2D surface.

First, I selected Persp/UV Texture Editor View. In order to organize me next steps I divided the body into a torso, arms and legs by selecting the corresponding faces and clicking on Mesh>Extract.

Next, my aim was to create a planar map, so I selected the torso in Object Mode and I clicked on Create UVs>Planar Mapping>, after Reset Settings I changed the project to Z axis, I clicked on Project and Maya created a new UV mapping for the torso.

As you can imagine there are some faces overlapping, I clicked on Image>Shade UVs and with only one look I noticed that red faces were overlapping, so I needed to unwrap the texture.

The way I could identify the place of the torso to start cutting is applying a checker pattern to the meshI created a Lamber surface and I applied to it a checker pattern. In the picture below we can see no distorsion in the front view of the torso but when we look at the sides we can see some warping.

To cut the UV edges, I selected all edges under arms of both sides, then I clicked on Polygons>Cut UV Edges into UV Texture Editor. Now I was ready to unfold the torso. For that purpose I changed selection mode to UV in the Persp view, I selected two points of each vest strap as we can see in the picture, then I clicked on Polygons>Unfold>, after resetting the settings and clicked on Apply and Close, I obtained the UV mesh into a plane surface.

In Texture Editor View I adjusted the UV map of the torso, and then I created a snapshot of it.

I continued with arms following the same steps as the body, I selected the left arm first and clicked on Create UVs>Planar Mapping to create the UV map in the 2D view, then I assigned the same body pattern, checker pattern; later I selected the edges on the bottom of the arm where distortion was located and clicked on Cut UV Edges, finally I rotated the UV map and I selected two points of the arm, one at the top of the arm’s bicep and another at the tip of the cuff. Later on, I clicked on Unfold selection with the Unfold constraint to Horizontal in order to create the UV map. I did the same on right arm and I only had to take one snapshot of one arm because the other uses the same texture.

At this point only the pants were remaining, so I did the same as before saving the snapshot.

Depending on the mapping we can detect strange effects as we can see in next picture at the top of the head. In that case we can sew edges affected, I selected both edges as picture shows and I clicked on Polygons>Sew UV Edges, after that, I selected the centre of the face and I clicked on Unfold with Pin option selected. As we can see the problem was fixed.

The head was not finished; I used the smoothing tool to partially unfold the mesh. I clicked on Tool>Smooth UV Tool> with all UVs selected. After setting the Space to UV Space I dragged the mouse to right over Unfold control trying to match the texture to the head.

By now, all zones except the head had been unfolded with no overlapping faces, I used the Smooth UV tool to fix zones such as eyes, nose and mouth, we select the correct edges of those areas, then I relaxed it with Relax Tool until I obtained circles shapes, I attach the pictures to see the results.

Well, I had finished the output of all the UV meshes and I was ready to start the final stage of this process, texturize. Normally at this moment I usually had to create the textures with all the files I exported before, but good file examples were provided by the tutorial.

To apply the textures, I assigned new Lambert materials for each part of the soldier, the corresponding .tif files were in sourceimages directory so I just had to pick the corresponding file for each part. I adjusted each texture in Texture Editor View by using Relax Tool.

In order to give soldier more realistic appearance I added normal maps to the textures, I clicked on Bumb Mapping into Attribute Editor as we see in the picture below. I had to click Renderer>High Quality Rendering to see changes.

Relating to head textures, I applied a Pre Filter Radius to the normal texture to give a skin appearance more softly to soldier.

Here are the final results.

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One thought on “Texturing – UV unfolding

  1. Pingback: Avatar character – Texturing « livyatan3D

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