Friday, 17 February 2012

UV Mapping

This is something that I haven't done since the second year, but I have needed to get back up to speed with.  James T has weighted the Cat model but one thing which had been neglected until now were the tasks of UV Mapping and Texturing.  We have decided on a toon shaded style, but I need to UV Map the character  in order for the texture to be painted on to the cat efficiently.

Initially, I was going to use the method of applying an Automatic map, in which all the UVs are organised into separate groups instantly.  However, as you can see, this is not an ideal as it arranges all the tiny stray UVs into small groups and it is up to you to figure out what belongs where.
Fortunately, Sam, another student showed me a less problematic way of creating a UV Map using Planar Mapping.  The requirement here was that the UVs would be arranged into Front, Left, Right, Bottom and Top views; therefore in order to create each set, I would move into the relevant view and select all of the faces that were visible.

For example, with the left right side view, I selected all of the faces within the tail, torso, neck, face and legs.  I would then apply a planar map to this set of faces only.

I would then scale my newly created planar map down so it fit within the shader in the UV Texture Editor.  I would then repeat this for the other side, the top, the front, the back and bottom until all the UVs had been mapped.  In order to check that I had not misplaced any UVs, I would go into face mode and in the UV Texture Editor, I would then select a group of UVs to make sure all of the UVs were mapped together correctly in order for texturing to be more efficient.
Eventually, when I had mapped all of the UVs, scaled them down and moved them into the shader area, this is how it looked.
This is now mapped in a way that all the texture artist will need to do is paint the texture directly onto these shapes.

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