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Waves of light
08-16-2013, 06:29 AM
Hi everyone,

Over in this thread Fotofashion is producing a wonderful render of a plane inside a hangar:

http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?137013-Vintage-aircraft-and-hangar

but has stated that it was a pain to UV using LW.

Rob Powers dropped in and said:


This looks very nice!

We are working on our UV tools in general but what are the main features that you would like to see added or improved?

So, instead of hijacking Fotofashions thread, I thought it would be a good idea to post ideas, suggestions for what you'd like to see improved in LWs UV mapping functions. Give examples of your current workflows (e.g. hard surface, organic/sub-d, lowres, etc).

So what do we have in LW at the moment:
Standard UV Unwrap - Planar, Cylindrical, Spherical, Atlas
ABF UV Unwrap - Uses Edges to create seems, so if you make a mistake or clear selection, can be a pain. Even if you save your Edge selection as a set, to reproduce the selections, you need to go to Points Statistics (W) and select your saved sets from the dropdown, but because this selects and displays the saved points, you then need to use Select Edges to get back to where you were. Also, undo whilst using Edge selection and Select Path (used to connect edges between two selected edges) doesn't undo correctly.

Third party plugins I know of and use:

PLG tools:
http://homepage2.nifty.com/nif-hp/index2_english.htm

I have used plg_Make_UV_Edit in the past
RMB and LMB are used to select edges or points (in PLGs point mode) middle mouse button is used to extend Edge/Point selection (same as Select Path in LW). You can save edge selections, but you have to do this manually, there is now incremental save function. I believe it uses LSCM for unwrapping.

plg_Straighten_UV has come in handy too, allowing you to align/straighten a selection of points in your map.


Other software I use:

3DCoat - It allows you to Mark Seams, Edge Loops, UV Path to create your seams/edges. It has Auto seams, Unwrap, Pack UVs, PackUV2, Auto Scale. An you can unwrap using ABF, Planar or LSCM. You can also select UV islands, scale, move and manipulate. You can copy one UV island and paste it over another (useful time saver if you have mirrored parts). It also has a tweak function, which is the same as LW Tweak function, but for UV maps (so Verts, Edges, Faces and Island can be manipulated). It also works directly with lwo files.

So, I suppose the list of improvements to LW UV mapping would be:


Easy Edge/Seam selection - with ability to incrementally save Edge/Seam selection data.
Edge loop and selection path functions.
Copy and paste islands between UV maps (yes, this is a current function, but it includes an extra step by which you have to type in which UV map, you want to copy the UVs too, or type in the name of a new map, should you wish to make a new one. Would be nicer if you could just CTRL+C, select another UV map and CTRL+V
Tweak UV maps by selecting Verts, Edges, Polys, Islands - similar to LW Tweak tool


Feel free to jump in with other suggestions.

lardbros
08-16-2013, 07:05 AM
For me real-time previewing of UV islands and UV-ing in general.
Not having to unweld an object in order to UV sections correctly, this always causes issues upon welding points where the points are almost coincident.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU69uLo-kq0

This 3d Coat vid shows it off really well.

Waves of light
08-16-2013, 07:46 AM
Oh, that reminds me. Live checkerboard in 3dcoat is nice too. you can choose simple, complex or upload your own and see it in live preview.

hrgiger
08-16-2013, 09:25 AM
Improvements to UV tools would be big for me so here's things that I wish I could do in LightWave.

1. A simple copy and paste of UV's. Currently to merge UV's you have to copy and then type in the exact name of the UV map you want to copy to. Works, but could be better.
2. Color guide to UV distortion- Green for optimal UV projection, red for stretched UV'd polys and blue for pinched UV'd polys.
3. UV stitching. Along with that a visual guide when you select edges to where its corresponding edges are in UV space among polygon islands.
4. UV packing. Getting your UV's packed in the most efficient way into your UV space.
5. An optomize or relax tool. A process that would run to try and get the least distortion from your object UV's.
6. Edge straightening. To straighten a loop of unwrapped polygon edges or points in UV space.
7. A built in UV "checker" projecting a checkered (either black and white or colored with number sequences) texture along your UV mapped object.

Nicolas Jordan
08-16-2013, 09:26 AM
Copying and Pasting UVs is easy in LW. Just open the Vertex Maps Panel. Find the UV you want to copy, right click and select copy. You will get a dialog allowoing you to enter a map name. New Name creates a copy with a new name, existing name, copies the current UV into an existing one. Works fine and is quick to do.

It works fine but it's not how most users would expect to have to do it and it's not very intuitive. I realize Lightwave users are used to doing things the way they have always been done but some of these workflows can be streamlined even more. A user should not have to type the name of the UV map at all you should just be able to right click copy on the name in the list and right click paste on the name of the UV you would like to paste it to. These are little things but they all add up to make a smoother and faster user experience.

Waves of light
08-16-2013, 11:19 AM
Totally agree Nicolas. Extra processes that cannot be done with simple key presses are time consuming.

VonBon
08-16-2013, 12:15 PM
I just select the UV i want to copy from the list then select the object and unweld.
Then i copy UVs, select the UV from the list i want to place them in and then paste.
Lastly i reselect the object and merge points.

I use morphs to unwrap, and would be nice if i didn't have to clear the morph info
from the object in order for the Merge points operation to work correctly.

Spinland
08-16-2013, 12:42 PM
Pretty much what 3D Coat provides. I bought that software almost exclusively for the UV mapping tools, and to me it represents one of the best based on what I've used out there. If NT took their lead from 3D Coat I'd be one happy camper.

Waves of light
08-16-2013, 01:36 PM
All good points, keep them coming and hopefully this is the sort of feedback Rob was after.

PixelDust
08-16-2013, 05:21 PM
hrgiger pretty much covered my wish list. Here are a couple other ideas:

1. A match UV function to help overlap UV islands.
2. Mirror UV that lets you fold over a UV island in the middle for symmetric UVs.
3. A better heal UV function that works without having to unweld seams.
4. No more stray UV points all over the place when using discontinuous UVs.
5. Finally, I hope there will be some work on improved UV interpolation for Catmull-Clark meshes.

CaptainMarlowe
08-17-2013, 12:08 AM
Pretty much what 3D Coat provides. I bought that software almost exclusively for the UV mapping tools, and to me it represents one of the best based on what I've used out there.

Exactly. I can hardly think of a better toolset that the one of 3D-Coat. I use it extensively for UV editing (and also painting, ofc).

jwiede
08-17-2013, 02:50 AM
I just wonder if the UV tools they're working on will be integrated into LW? Or will they be sold separately? Perhaps added to Chronosculpt?

DogBoy
08-17-2013, 03:26 AM
I just wonder if the UV tools they're working on will be integrated into LW? Or will they be sold separately? Perhaps added to Chronosculpt?

C'mon, now you're just trolling. Why would they put them in Chronosculpt? It doesn't match the workflow; CS is for finessing animation, so UV/Texturing would already be completed. Also the main app of the CS user may already have excellent UV tools so it wouldn't add any value to non-LW users. If NT develop UV tools they will be for LW, and they aren't nearly as niche as NevronMotion, so unlikely to be sold as a plugin.

djwaterman
08-17-2013, 04:13 AM
That sort of nuanced editing you see in programs like Headus UV Layout, inflating areas of an unwrapped mesh with fall off and relaxing other areas. Also, since no one has yet mentioned it, exporting sub-D UV EPS templates, like Modo's. Also a built in tool that does what UV Creeper does.

Tobian
08-17-2013, 05:09 AM
Ok over and above what others have said...

Simple alignment tools... select an edge > align to U or V. essential for the abf unwrap as it often puts UV's at really weird angles.

Re-packing that respects the above. you don't want to re-pack a mesh, once you've corrected the angle, only for it to re-pack it at a weird angle again, because it's a good fit!

ABF unwrap respects polygon selections. It doesn't seem to right now, you have to unwell the geometry chunk, or it gets confused.

UV mode on basic transform tools. put a UV'S mode only for the transform tools, and flush the 'special' tools. I'd like the precise control of the transform tools, but in the UV workspace. Both de-cluttering and massively improving. the new 'transform' tool, with it's widget would be awesome to use in UV'S space for example!

Relax selected. Nuf said. use the ABF magic elsewhere.

geo_n
08-17-2013, 05:30 AM
Multiple UV tiles support

Ptex suppport

Waves of light
08-17-2013, 05:32 AM
I just wonder if the UV tools they're working on will be integrated into LW? Or will they be sold separately? Perhaps added to Chronosculpt?

No, the way I see it is this is for updates to the current UV processes in general. So maybe part of the next paid for upgrade, LW12. Chronosculpt was new tech, not improvements to what was already available.


Relax selected. Nuf said. use the ABF magic elsewhere.

Agreed. Unwrap your clusters, choosing to use Planar, ABF, etc. and then a nice relax selection process to get rid of stretching or pinching.

That seems to be a

probiner
08-17-2013, 07:04 AM
We're talking of features to make it more manageable, not to be the best thing out there, right? :D Ok, let me cut my list here... there... ok:

- Consistent Map splits. UVs break quite easily on borders and if you don't uv the whole connected mesh you get problems. vid1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pwn0RuZwIwc&feature=c4-overview&list=UUsjPx76I1QJRJt8bBBsDE9Q) vid2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw5ZUd8mCxM&feature=c4-overview&list=UUsjPx76I1QJRJt8bBBsDE9Q)

- Have the Modeling tools to be used on UVs, many of the features asked would be solved.
If this is not possible you can still implement a simple existing workflow with Tom Speed's scripts (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?2491-UV-distortion-on-subdiv-surfaces-%28again-and-again-%29&p=17468&viewfull=1#post17468) UV to MorphMap & MorphMap to UV, in mind. With them one can bring the UV to the 3D space, use the common tools or even LWCad or Pictricx and then send it back to the UV Space. It's amazing. Just make them .p plugins so they run much faster and also automate the MorphMap to UV routines: A) One can choose a new uv map, B) The temp MorphMap is deleted, C) Points are merged. This way one doesn't end with a broken model.
And if someone wants to keep the same point order, then just needs to use Nitisara's Copy/Paste UV (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?40599-New-Copy-Paste-UV-plugin) on a backup of the model. Which could also be implemente as a .p plugin for all users.
One can't do everything in the 3D space because some operations rely on the model's 3D shape to deform the UV space, but this would still easily, for now, solve many many operations people wished they had on UV space.

- Have SubD-Compensation option, like 3D-Coat or UV Layout have. Interpolation is fine but being able to relax vertices to their subdivision positions while sticking with Linear is quite good (vid3a (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxiJo_nt5J0&t=5m2s)).
A simple SubD_Deform_to_MorphMap plugin would ease it up a lot. As for now I have to use Johan Steen's (vid3b (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxiJo_nt5J0&t=2m54s)) for this and it's not always as fast as it could be for this simple operation, especially on heavy meshes.

- More than faulty Edge Weight or OGL performance, it's the lack of UV Interpolation on Catmull-Clark the major reason for people to look away from it.

- PLG utilities: Relaxation, Packing, Unweld by UV (a gem), Align UV Islands, Straighten UV. Mac users are missing out.

The list goes on, but these ones would cover most of the issues.

Cheers

Kryslin
08-17-2013, 06:03 PM
Hmm...
Edge Selection Tools need to be improved; Headus' UV layout will advance a selection until it hits another selected edge. So, an Advance Edge Selection tool that performs similarly would be nice.

hrgiger
08-17-2013, 06:33 PM
The other thing that would be good would be something like the plug-in UV Imaginator which allows you to export a selectable resolution screen of your UV's for use in Photoshop for painting.

probiner
08-17-2013, 06:53 PM
I think you mean PLG, not UV Layout.

Yeah edge based operations, but that extends to the whole modeling package :S

jwiede
08-18-2013, 12:44 AM
Why would they put them in Chronosculpt? It doesn't match the workflow; CS is for finessing animation, so UV/Texturing would already be completed. Also the main app of the CS user may already have excellent UV tools so it wouldn't add any value to non-LW users.

Consider that some of the best UV tools available are currently in 3DCoat. Also, Chronosculpt isn't just for the temporal sculpting you describe, that's just one of its potential usages. As for the presumption about other pkgs already having UV tools, that doesn't seem to stop Headus from thinking (and showing) UVLayout can do better externally. So no, I do not find the notion of them adding UV mapping tools as functionality in Chronosculpt so improbable. I can even picture some interesting potentials w.r.t. animated UV mapping possible if done in Chronosculpt, which would be difficult to do in a conventional environment.

Waves of light
08-18-2013, 03:15 AM
The other thing that would be good would be something like the plug-in UV Imaginator which allows you to export a selectable resolution screen of your UV's for use in Photoshop for painting.

I stopped using UV Imaginator as it was limited to 4k maps. Also, I found that exporting eps files and importing into PS worked better. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think either exported a sub-patched UV map.

DogBoy
08-18-2013, 04:13 AM
Also, Chronosculpt isn't just for the temporal sculpting you describe, that's just one of its potential usages. As for the presumption about other pkgs already having UV tools, that doesn't seem to stop Headus from thinking (and showing) UVLayout can do better externally. So no, I do not find the notion of them adding UV mapping tools as functionality in Chronosculpt so improbable. I can even picture some interesting potentials w.r.t. animated UV mapping possible if done in Chronosculpt, which would be difficult to do in a conventional environment.

Actually, jweide, I take that back. I do see where you are coming from. Hmmm.

dee
08-18-2013, 06:44 AM
Hmm...
Edge Selection Tools need to be improved; Headus' UV layout will advance a selection until it hits another selected edge. So, an Advance Edge Selection tool that performs similarly would be nice.

Have a look at Select Path.

dee
08-18-2013, 06:53 AM
An easy move-selected-polys-from-one-map-to-another command would be nice:
- select some polys from map 1
- click "move to uv" (or whatever name)
- select destination map 2 (or create a new one)
The polys should stay in their uv space and should be removed from map 1.

Dexter2999
08-18-2013, 10:40 AM
Hadn't looked at 3D Coat in a while. Was interesting to see a YouTube video come up demonstrating the UV use. I also thought it noteworthy that this person has/uses Zbrush and Maya, but prefers 3Dcoat's UV tools.

oh, vid here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjiIL81sjxA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjiIL81sjxA

Spinland
08-18-2013, 11:11 AM
Yeah, saw that one. I used Maya as a student and tried Zbrush and in the end I bought 3DCoat for the UV mapping.

Sekhar
08-18-2013, 11:14 AM
hrgiger pretty much covered my wish list. Here are a couple other ideas:
5. Finally, I hope there will be some work on improved UV interpolation for Catmull-Clark meshes.

Especially this, please. I think you can do a lot of the other stuff with plugins or other apps like 3DC, but I don't believe there's any other app that can map LW's CC meshes.

jwiede
08-18-2013, 11:17 AM
I also thought it noteworthy that this person has/uses Zbrush and Maya, but prefers 3Dcoat's UV tools.

I definitely prefer 3DCoat's UV toolset over ZBrush and others as well. I find 3DCoat's toolset and workflow the most efficient for UV mapping and adjustments. ZBrush is close, but when working with 3D pkgs, I find it easier to switch in/out of 3DCoat for UV work. Switching to ZBrush it always takes me a bit to adapt to its controls, etc. and the transition is more "jarring" than switching to/from 3DCoat.

Anyone know what the UV support is like in the latest Mudbox?

VonBon
08-19-2013, 03:18 PM
1. The current LW unwrap should be just a "tool" so you can unwrap a morph of an object.
2. "Align Selection" to the X, Y, or Z origin, to help for manual unwraps when using morphs
3. "Compare and Scale" tool to make all parts in the UV window proportionate to the actual parts of the model.

and i think Tobian said it but, +1 for UV specific "entered" transformation tools like rotation.

VonBon
08-19-2013, 09:14 PM
4. The vertex panel should be object specific.
(currently it deletes maps of the same name, across all open objects in modeler)

Ztreem
08-20-2013, 04:59 PM
Small things I would like to see fixed. That grid snapping works in the UV viewport the same as it does in the other views. That you could use the numeric options for tools in the UV view so it's not affecting the model only the UV's.

octopus2000
09-05-2013, 03:46 PM
is it possible to apply texture maps onto catmull clark meshes right now? i haven't gotten around testing this yet.

geo_n
09-06-2013, 12:14 AM
related.
native lw texture update in real time or linked to ps like goz.

probiner
09-06-2013, 04:41 AM
is it possible to apply texture maps onto catmull clark meshes right now? i haven't gotten around testing this yet.

Yes but only Linear. Other interpolation methods are out.

Waves of light
09-09-2014, 03:57 AM
Just bumping an old thread to show a new unwrapper algorithm (Globally Uniform Unfolding) in 3DCoat:


http://youtu.be/yNxL7_LhNcs?list=UUkj0Q5hTgsyROJU4dlNu0Mg

tischbein3
09-09-2014, 07:43 AM
edit: didin't noticed the dates

erikals
09-09-2014, 08:51 AM
wondering, what about Headus UV Layout (https://www.uvlayout.com/), can 3DCoat do the same stuff ?
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=uv+layout+tutorial

anyone know if one of them better for e.g. Hard Surface UV mapping ?

probiner
09-09-2014, 09:13 AM
Nope. They are different tools though.

Waves of light
09-09-2014, 09:15 AM
wondering, what about Headus UV Layout (https://www.uvlayout.com/), can 3DCoat do the same stuff ?
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=uv+layout+tutorial

anyone know if one of them better for e.g. Hard Surface UV mapping ?

Hi Erikals,

I've just had a quick look through the 'about' page on Headus UV Layout site and IMO there doesn't seem to be anything on their that 3DCoat couldn't do. I've used 3DCoat for hard surface and organic UVs and the nice thing is, it works with LWO natively. Plus the UV stuff is only a small part of 3DCoat.

If there's anything in particular you want to see in action (inside 3DCoat) just give me a shout. Alternatively, you can download the 30 day free trial : http://3d-coat.com/download/stable-release/

erikals
09-09-2014, 10:28 AM
thank you Waves :]

sounds like 3DCoat can do a nice job, i'll have to check it out.
actually bought 3DCoat v3 some time ago, but just haven't had the time to learn it.

besides, it seems like the development of 3DC is very fast... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

so many things to try...

i guess what i'm wondering the most is how 3DCoat handle meshes with small details (like additional Nuts, Bolts, etc...)

jasonwestmas
09-09-2014, 11:01 AM
My favorite thing about 3dcoat is that the UV map just updates the unwrap (in a blink of an eye) every time I change the edges of the seams. I had to unwrap some animal heads which can be tedious some times. Soo much faster than other tools I've used though I have not used UV layout.

For most things I can use Zbrush UVmaster no problem but heads are far more complicated than most objects. Plus if I have to create normal maps then I have to be really picky where the seam goes.

Waves of light
09-09-2014, 11:37 AM
thank you Waves :]

sounds like 3DCoat can do a nice job, i'll have to check it out.
actually bought 3DCoat v3 some time ago, but just haven't had the time to learn it.

besides, it seems like the development of 3DC is very fast... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

so many things to try...

i guess what i'm wondering the most is how 3DCoat handle meshes with small details (like additional Nuts, Bolts, etc...)

You would be eligible for an upgrade then. I think I only paid 80 last time and still have instant access to all the updates, which as you stated, are very frequent.

I don't believe there are any issues with handling small details. You would just import the lwo, auto seams, create UV. You don't have to use the auto routines (auto seams, sharp seams) as the manual tools (add clusters, mark seems, edge loops and UV Path (similar to the MMB in PLG) work just as well. You can then select the UV islands in the UV Preview window and shrink, move, edit those too.

You've got ABF, LSCM, Planar and the new GU unwrap algorithms, along with flip U and V, Relax and Cloth Relax.


My favorite thing about 3dcoat is that the UV map just updates the unwrap (in a blink of an eye) every time I change the edges of the seams. I had to unwrap some animal heads which can be tedious some times. Soo much faster than other tools I've used though I have not used UV layout.

For most things I can use Zbrush UVmaster no problem but heads are far more complicated than most objects. Plus if I have to create normal maps then I have to be really picky where the seam goes.

Yes, speed issues have been looked at by Andrew (the developer) and UV unwrapping is now rapid. I also like the way you can hover over your model, when adding seams and it gives you a preview of the unwrap.

EDIT: And let's not forget that if you create a UV map, unwrap, live paint and create colour, depth and spec maps... then decide you're not happy with the UV map, you can return to the UV tab, create a new UV and it will try to keep your textures intact when you use the new UV map.

probiner
09-09-2014, 12:43 PM
Hi Erikals,

I've just had a quick look through the 'about' page on Headus UV Layout site and IMO there doesn't seem to be anything on their that 3DCoat couldn't do. I've used 3DCoat for hard surface and organic UVs and the nice thing is, it works with LWO natively. Plus the UV stuff is only a small part of 3DCoat.

If there's anything in particular you want to see in action (inside 3DCoat) just give me a shout. Alternatively, you can download the 30 day free trial : http://3d-coat.com/download/stable-release/

They are very different. UVLayout is more like an interactive relaxing system where you can pin vertices constrain edges to be straight or orthogonal. Also has some unique packing options like making boxes and stacking mirrored shells.
That said... It is its own animal, and probably only justifiable if you do lots organic uvs with strict organization.

Never felt cornered enough to have to rely on 3D-Coat tomake UVs there. PLG all the way if you have PC.Though I admit that 3D-Coat out of the box UV'ing on the subD positions is nice. No need to make silly morphs in Modeler to compensate for SubD.

erikals
09-09-2014, 12:51 PM
anyone use the D-Storm > Edge Opener plugin btw ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUI_reeGeKE

probiner
09-09-2014, 12:56 PM
Select Edges > Unwrap temp UV > PLG Unweld By Seams. Workaround but at least it works with Edges and not points like Edge Opener.

erikals
09-09-2014, 01:17 PM
yep, EO works good for loops though, and partly loops.
select edgeloop, convert to points (alt-s on my keyboard) run EO

cutting / pasting polys also is good at times... at times... :]

Waves of light
09-09-2014, 01:29 PM
They are very different. UVLayout is more like an interactive relaxing system where you can pin vertices constrain edges to be straight or orthogonal. Also has some unique packing options like making boxes and stacking mirrored shells.
That said... It is its own animal, and probably only justifiable if you do lots organic uvs with strict organization.

Yer, too be honest, I should have had a closer look at the Headus UV videos. I know that 3DCoat has copy and paste stacking for mirror UV islands. So you select one UV island, CTRL+C select the other island, CTRL+V and it will stack and match the shells (where shells are mirrored). But I don't think it has some of the other features you mentioned.


Never felt cornered enough to have to rely on 3D-Coat to make UVs there. PLG all the way if you have PC.Though I admit that 3D-Coat out of the box UV'ing on the subD positions is nice. No need to make silly morphs in Modeler to compensate for SubD.

No, you're right. I don't think you'd purchase 3DCoat for just it's UV tools.

daforum
09-09-2014, 01:33 PM
anyone use the D-Storm > Edge Opener plugin btw ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUI_reeGeKE

I used to use it ( and loved it too ) but when on Mac OS9!!!
Your video bought back good memories :)

jasonwestmas
09-09-2014, 05:11 PM
anyone use the D-Storm > Edge Opener plugin btw ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUI_reeGeKE

yeah I used to use that all the time with plg except I got tired of waiting for a 64 bit version and started learning UV master in zbrush.

Edge opener though is so much better than having to convert your edges to points and creating a selection map. I loose my selection in modeler by accident some times so a permanent edge-marking is needed imo.

chikega
09-10-2014, 08:57 AM
I use 3dcoat and MODO for UV unwrapping. 3dcoat is really LW friendly and compliments it nicely. I can't remember the last time I tried to unwrap something in LW (sad I know).