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