The Basics of Steve Cox's UV Mapper
by Nak Muay (Muaythaiboxer@aol.com)
1) All buttons used in this tutorial will be listed in quotes "Like this".
2) All menu items used in this tutorial will be listed as follows, If I wanted you to do a save, I would show it as follows, "File>Save".
3) You can download the model file used for this tutorial here (save file to desktop and unzip it): Model (192 KB .obj)
Launch UV Mapper. The default state should look like this:
Load the model by clicking File>Load Model...
The window should now look like this:
Upon loading the model we are greeted with some statistics about our model. For right now all you need to know about this is the facet number which is the "polygon count". The polygon count is simply the number of triangles needed to make the model.
Click "OK" and the model should appear muddled and confusing. The state that the map is in is called being stacked. It doesn't have any UV data. That's what we are here to do.
Go ahead and maximize the window to give us a better working space.
Steve's Mapper comes with 5 mapping modes. They can be found by clicking Edit>New UV Map
A mapping mode is simply a geometric way of laying out the 3D model in 2D space for texturing.
Here is a brief explanation of each mapping mode:
Planar- This mode takes the model and flattens it along one axis (X, Y, or Z).
Box- This mode is very useful because it maps out the model from six sides.
Cylindrical- This produces a map that wraps around the model like a label around a can. This is generally used for organic models.
Cylindrical Cap- Similiar to cylindrical but maps from more than one side. For example in the case of a can it would map the model as like a label, top, and bottom.
Spherical- This mode lays out the model and wraps the texture like the skin of an orange.
We want the model to be broken up into individual groups for easy painting. Click Edit>Tile>by Group
Make sure the "Gaps in Texture" box is checked.
Click "OK" and the your map should look like the one below.
We want to pull out each group and place themselves in their own self contained area on the map. Then we will choose a mapping mode for each group. First we seperate them.
Click Edit>Select>by Group... or the hotkeys are Ctrl + G
Select the first group in the list and hit "OK" Your screen should look like the one below.
Now all the groups (in this case the individual letters) are seperated and the first group is selected. For the group in red click Edit>New UV Map>Box
It split the letter L into its respective six sides (like a box). Go ahead and repeat the process for the rest of the groups. The final product is shown below:
The mapping of the model is not complete yet. Before finishing you need to save the new model with its new UV coordinates. The original model will not work with the map. Click File>Save Model or hotkeys Ctrl + S
Click File>Save Texture Map... or the hotkeys Ctrl + T to save a texture template. This is what you will paint upon later with your texture maps. The dialogue window gives you an option to save the size of the texture map. Choose the size that suits your needs.
Notes: Sometimes a model is mapped unproportionally, you can easily remedy this. Click Ctrl + A to select the whole model.
Use the selection nodes to resize it appropriately.
Bryce Users: To apply your map in Bryce, you must use the parametric mode for mapping. This applies the map exactly as how it was made to be. You can find this option in the materials editor.