Digital Tutors: Getting Started with UV Mapping in Maya

As much as I want to get straight to the making part there’s still too much that I don’t know about! I went through the Digital Tutors tutorial today ‘Getting Started with UVs in Maya‘. We’re really going to have to learn a lot about texturing, rendering and lighting if we want our style to work.

These are my rough notes to remind myself of points:

  • each vertex has one UV. UVs need to be spaced well. Plan seams where they would occur naturally or somewhere hidden.
  • Planar mapping: Useful on an object with lots of flat surfaces. Planar mapping uses a flat plane to project the uvs. Select faces and then ‘create UVs’. Look directly down the axis that shows the texture flat and project the map down this axis e.g.the z axis.
  • Spherical and cylindrical mapping:
  • Using automatic mapping: e.g. for head make an automatic map with 6 planes and then assemble.
  • Editing uv layouts: put shells together. Select edges and ‘move and sew’. Select edge and ‘cut uv’ to create seam. Areas like back of head and inside of mouth can be good places for seams.
  • Using multiple UV projections. Projections are for giving a good starting point.
  • Use relax and unfold to even out mesh.
  • under mesh, ‘transfer attributes’ to transfer UV information onto another object.
  • Creating UV snapshots: Programs like Photoshop need a reference. In the UV texture editor under polygons, use ‘UV snapshot’. Mudbox and Zbrush only require UVs.
  • Working with multiple UV tiles. Select a section e.g. face and choose ‘layout’ to make it fill 0-1 space. Change the grid settings to be able to see more tiles in the u and v directions (change ‘length and width’ units to 5 and make tiles visible). Tiling dedicates more pixels to each area. Mudbox can recognise UV tiles.
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