Blender – Learning UV Unwrapping

I’m posting this bit of an update since I’m closer to know the basics of UV mapping in preparation for the leviathanic project of texturing my YF-19.

I found a bunch of cool free tutorials on Youtube on this process and so far I’ve been learning lots. It’s fairly easy once you know the basics. In very few words, UV unwrapping is like making a paper sculpture – in reverse. You start with the 3d model and you cut a few seams to indicate the program how to unfold it till it becomes a sheet of flat paper, which then can be painted.

First try at UV mapping

First try at UV mapping

uvtest_spaceshipgrid

You would normally make just one half of the mapping and let the mirror take care of the other one… but in my case, I need to have things like the no step labels on the wings and the warnings and all those texts around the plane, so I’ll do it with the full geo.

So I took the robot mecha I modelled for one of my first rigging tutorials, and made the whole UV map for it.

mecha_uvs

First it looked like it came straight out of an old PC game like Descent. I think it’s because the lighting is just plain and with no ambient occlusion or anything.

With Diffuse map

With Diffuse map

I didn’t want to spend too much time on the textures, after all, it’s just a test. But I did want to see how much resolution I would need for the YF-19, and how to make a bump map for the panels. So in this case, the map size is 2048×2048.

With subdivision surfaces and bump maps

With subdivision surfaces and bump maps

Bump map up close

Bump map up close

mecha_render4

Although I didn’t like the look of the bump map, I think it’s mostly because I haven’t fiddled up so much with the values and mixes. Materials is a new thing to me, so I’m going to be spending the rest of the week learning more about that. Also, the resolution of the robot stretches the textures a lot with the subdivision surface. That presents a small problem for my YF-19, since some parts are very low poly to reduce size, but have the subdiv for the render pass. I’ll have to make a new project to deal with this, plus a bit of sculpting to find the best way to make a normal map.

Notice the stretching of the "warning" label and the blurriness of the text on the feet. This probably means I'm going 4096x4096 for the YF-19

Notice the stretching of the “CAUTION” label and the blurriness of the text on the feet. This probably means I’m going 4096×4096 for the YF-19

mecha_render6

Still lots to learn! But overall a good beginning here.

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About Eduardo

I'm some dude with a huge love for animation and film. I've been working in TV animation for the past 6 years in New Zealand. I love dragons, pointy metal things that can cut dragons, and flight simulators.
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