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The right UVW unwrap setup for a crocodile
show user profile  Eguintir

I am a fairly basic, untrained user, and have lived mostly off of tutorials. However I feel I have read up on UVW unwrap enough to use it, I am just not clear on how and why it reacts to my pelt modifications the way it does. I am trying to make a low-medium detail crocodile (for a game) and I have been struggling with these coordinates for weeks.

Originally I had 4 long body strips that were planar mapped; bottom, top, and each side. Once I put the 2d textures on (creation of which is something I think I am horrible at and have no idea where to learn that but I digress) the seams were showing and planar mapping didn't match the object. Cylindrical mapping definitely made more sense. However, as soon as I choose cylinder mapping for a pelt selection, rather than the nice uniform face selection you see above, it seems to randomly unselect some faces, so that instead of a uniform edge to the pelt it's jagged, which makes a horrible UVW template to paint. I should add that I chose kind of a 3/4s cylinder... I selected the top, and the sides all as 1 pelt, and left the underbelly as a flat planar pelt, so there should be 2 pieces in total, 1 cylinder mapped.


#1 How do I stop cylindrical mapping from changing my face selection as I had it?

#2 Do you think my idea of using a cylindrical map for head to toe, for the top, and sides all as one piece, with a planar bottom is a good way to go? I would do the arms a similar way as well, but separately (4 little cylinder maps with flat bottoms).

#3 How would you approach this if not?

Thank you for your time.

read 566 times
2/11/2012 12:43:36 AM (last edit: 2/11/2012 12:49:06 AM)
show user profile  digital3ds
If I were to use a projection style map for this, it would be planar. If you're new to this, it might be beneficial for you to "flatten UVWs" and, with both uv editor and viewport visible, re-map the uvs by hand. (assuming you don't have a dead line). This will get you comfortable with how uv's relax to different stitch methods, etc.
- Mike Sawicki

read 544 times
2/11/2012 1:19:02 AM (last edit: 2/11/2012 1:19:02 AM)
show user profile  Eguintir
I think I already did that. Flatten was useless, I did the entire pelt by hand.

It didnt look good. I used planar top, sides and bottom (4, in box like config) and it looked bad, unnaturaly, with texture stretching. Cylindrical looked right on, it just seems to create its own seams even tho I have already specified how I want them.
read 537 times
2/11/2012 1:48:04 AM (last edit: 2/11/2012 1:48:45 AM)
show user profile  nemac
#3. I would use a tool such as unfold 3D, Roadkill UV or xrayunwrap. I do have xrayunwrap myself. I like that you can use it within max, draw your own seams, save selections and have a live result while you use it. Too many nice features to go over but it has been super useful for me.

See below, this was about a 5min job before I lost interest, but you can get very quick results.

read 533 times
2/11/2012 1:53:34 AM (last edit: 2/11/2012 1:53:34 AM)
show user profile  K-tonne
you need to do the pelt mapping tutorial in the help files that came with your version of max

Website and Portfolio

read 532 times
2/11/2012 1:55:06 AM (last edit: 2/11/2012 1:55:06 AM)
show user profile  Eguintir
So you think the tutorial that came with 3ds will explain why cylinder mapping causes your seams to change? I have read many googled tutorials and not a single one mentions why it would do that.

This tool looks useful... but will it ad much to my learning time? As it is I am very bogged down in learning almost everything. Still dont know where I will get tutorials on 2d texture building to make effective maps, but I thought I would wait on that till I can get the actual UVW template and coordinates right.
read 518 times
2/11/2012 3:20:10 AM (last edit: 2/11/2012 3:20:10 AM)
show user profile  jareu
Id do it the same way you have, with seams down the side, then pelt mapping each part. if you mix up between pelt and relax you should get a decent result.

He who says it cannot be done is interrupting the man doing it.

read 508 times
2/11/2012 4:03:59 AM (last edit: 2/11/2012 4:03:59 AM)
show user profile  Eguintir
Ok well I am glad to have verified that my approach is at least not out to lunch.

I have reviewed tutorials but I have never seen a reason why the second I choose cylindrical mapping, it breaks the pelt lines I created into a jagged edge. It's very frustrating and is completely counter-productive. Can anyone solve this??
read 491 times
2/11/2012 4:36:16 PM (last edit: 2/11/2012 4:36:16 PM)
show user profile  jareu
not really. Max doesn't know exactly how you want to map your object, it just does its best to guess.
Best way is to choose a basic mapping type, then adjust using edit seams (FYI, click the edges to insert it as a seam, where it will turn blue, ALT+click to deselect and edge) then pelt map. Experimenting with settings is the best way to get proficient.

He who says it cannot be done is interrupting the man doing it.

read 485 times
2/11/2012 4:40:50 PM (last edit: 2/11/2012 4:40:50 PM)
show user profile  bonzepeet
The basic mapping types always override the pelt seams, which are only used when you actually pelt map something, and all the mapping types are based on your current selection. Bear in mind that the basic mapping is based on a projection onto your selected faces - the more closely the projection conforms to the shape of the object, the less weird seams and stretching you'll get.

When you select cylindrical projection mapping you're overriding the pelt map and the seam placement is based instead on the orientation of the cylinder, which you'll have to move and rotate if you want to change the seam position (you can see a green line on the cylinder gizmo to show where the seam is likely to end up).

It's best to treat stuff in big chunks based on shapes; select just the polys on a leg and cylindrically map that; select the head polys, pelt map that chunk, based on your blue pelt seams that you established; select large flattish surfaces and planar map and the stitch together. Mix and match to get the best fits for each part of the mesh.

If you have max 2012 also try using the new peel tools, they're much cleaner and more predictable.

read 478 times
2/11/2012 5:02:55 PM (last edit: 2/11/2012 5:02:55 PM)
show user profile  Eguintir
Here is how it looks when I click Planar and when I click cylindrical:

I just thought a visual aid might help what I am seeing. Based on the reply above Bonzepeet, I guess I can not stop it from ruining itself?

read 472 times
2/11/2012 5:29:49 PM (last edit: 2/11/2012 5:30:22 PM)
show user profile  bonzepeet
I can't see your pic, for some reason!

But yeah, if you're not pelt mapping then your seams are dictated by the green line on your cylindrical or sperical mapping gizmo and the borders of your planar/cubic mapping, as well as your currrently selected polygons. Depends, of course, on what your picture is showing?

read 462 times
2/11/2012 6:07:50 PM (last edit: 2/11/2012 6:07:50 PM)
show user profile  Eguintir
Try now

The green lines (pelt) just seem to never go straight like planar, or in other words, stay like I want them. They always choose a face above and below what would be a straight seem and I've rotated it it just moves the ugly jagged edge all over. Call me crazy but I would assume that would be nearly impossible to 2d texture with a seam broken up like that.
read 458 times
2/11/2012 6:11:38 PM (last edit: 2/11/2012 6:11:38 PM)
show user profile  bonzepeet
Yeah, in this case it's got a lot to do with what directions your polygons are pointing. On your inset image you can see that the green line (seam) is on the underside of the cylinder gizmo. The projection isn't clever enough to know what to do with polygons that are pointing outwards (the ones on the toes pointing towards the flat end of the cylinder gizmo, so it's trying to work out where the seam should go.

Cylindrical projections work best on tubular, open-ended stuff and make a royal mess of polys on the flat tops and bottoms, where it attempts to do a planar-ish map. In this case it might be easier for you to planar map the top half of the leg (if viewed from a side or front view) and then do the same with the bottom half.

read 452 times
2/11/2012 6:32:09 PM (last edit: 2/11/2012 6:32:09 PM)
show user profile  Eguintir

Originally I was doing all planar mapping. But it looked like crap, I had a 4 way box kind of (did the sides as 1 long one, top as one, bottom as one) and then the legs as just a 2 piece, as you suggested.

Here is a pic showing the diff between seams I planar and cylindrically mapped:

Although I suppose that is not needed anymore.

The problem when I did the whole crocodile planar mapped, is the he was too rounded for it to translate well. His back looked good, but as the texture rolled over his sides, obviously it was horribly stretched. Now I figure I could do a six way planar map (Im excluding legs here for this discussion, just the head to tail for the moment here), so that he would have a flat back, diagonal downward upper side, then diagonal inward to the underbelly, then a flat underbelly.

But that just seemed wrong... like is that not the point of cylindrical mapping, to not have to do tedious polygonal work just to get a rounded shape? Or should I be doing that. I just know with those jagged teeth edges theres no way I can make that word in 2d texture editing.

read 445 times
2/11/2012 6:46:35 PM (last edit: 2/11/2012 6:46:35 PM)
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