View Full Version : UV map confusion.

08-07-2006, 06:46 AM
Well, this might have more to do with photoshop but here goes. I'm useing a UV map in LightWave8.0 to apply some panel lines on an aircraft, but i'm finding that even at 1 pixel in size the lines are to thick? I created the panel lines in photoshop while useing a screen print of my object for the backround. The texture I'm useing is 1480x580. The reason i'm useing a large size is that my final renders will at around 1280x720. But does anyone know why the lines appear thick even at the lowest pixel size?

08-07-2006, 07:13 AM
What you should do is take a screenshot of your UV map and use that for painting the lines.
Make sure the map fills the whole UV grid. If the lines are tilable, then size up the UV map and the lines will get smaller on the image. If it is not tilable, then you will need to use a bigger image.

08-07-2006, 07:33 AM
Thanks for the reply. The screenshot I used was from the side view, and the UV map is set as planer. For the Uv map window I sized up the map untill it was filled.
The lines though are not tileable since it's a unique shape. But I have tried making the texture map larger. While it does seem to help with pixelation or chunkiness of the lines, they still look to thick. But when you say to size up the UVmap, do you mean making it larger then the UV grid?

08-07-2006, 07:59 AM
You can also export the UV viewport as an EPS/PS file and import that into PS. The import dialogue will allow you to set a resolution to rster the vector data to, and the lines will always be a 1 pixel wide.


08-07-2006, 08:23 AM
Cool, I completly forgot about this option. Thanks, Ill give this a shot. I suppose the only drawback is that since the UV map has been scaled to fit the grid, my background image will be distorted? Here's a snapshot of the grid to show you what I mean.

08-07-2006, 08:38 AM
Well, you can still scale the image in PS until you have the right proportions. When mapping, LW will always fit your image into the texture coordinates you choose.


08-08-2006, 10:41 PM
Well, I tried exporting in the eps format and testing it out with a few lines. But still, there still to thick... I've been racking my brain all day going through my books on photoshop, the LightWave manuel and even NewTek support but i'm still at a loss as to why this is happening.

08-09-2006, 07:32 PM
You need to bump up that resolution. If your map is 1480x580 and you bump it up to 2960x1160 then draw a 1px line, then it will come out half as thick in Lightwave. The smaller the line is in relation to the entire map, the smaller it will look in Lightwave, since you can't go smaller than 1px, then you need to make the entire map larger.

08-10-2006, 01:22 AM
Thanks. I tried this with the size you suggested and it does work. But without croping the image to fit my background screen shot, the placement is off. I've tried useing a new object to see if maybe it had somthing to do with the model itself, but I had the same problem...

08-10-2006, 12:32 PM
Is it something as simple as

1_ The map you are applying not being square(1480x580) Lighwave's UV space is square so even though your map is irregular it still must be placed in it's background space just as it appears in the Lightwave UV edit window( by this I mean the square grid behind the UV's}, and what you output from PS must be trimmed square to that outside grid accordingly.

2_ You have set up the UV space to Edge to Edge mode

08-10-2006, 03:46 PM
I'm doing exactly the same as you (painting lines on an aircraft) and I'm using a 4k (4096x4096) map. I keep the lines in their own layer in my PSD file so I can fiddle with the opacity to darken or lighten them...to make them more pronounced or subtle. This way, I have a lot of control over the final appearance. Results look like this:


Note how some lines appear darker while most ( and there are a LOT of lines painted on this airplane) are very faint.

Hope this helps!


08-10-2006, 06:14 PM
Hey Gerry. I think that might be it. I tried exporting the UV viewport as an eps file so I'd be working directly on the UV map. But I found that the resolution when you export it only increases the image border. Not the image itself. So when I zoom in, I lose a lot of detail in the map. Also the UV is scaled so it fills the grid. Unfortuantly this means it's difficult to work with since it appears squashed..
So I used the regular side view and made a screen print. And after croping that to match the backround, I'm left with a much wider res. So my texture map has to be the same aspect ratio as the UV grid?
By edge to edge mode, do you mean scaleing the map so it fills the grid?

Hey DonS, thats one **** of a job you did on that f-18. The textureing looks top notch. I guess when it comes to panel lines you really do need to bump up the size of the image? By the way, what file format did you use for them?
With this mig-21 i'm, "trying ;)" to work on, i'm going for that old soviet look. Kinda like it was put together from spare parts so the panels will have differnt levels of wear and tear. Ill post a few renders tonight :)

08-10-2006, 08:11 PM
Here's three renders after finishing the modeling.

08-11-2006, 12:19 PM

I used 32-bit Targas for mine, as specified by the customer.

If you haven't tried them, there are plenty of plug-ins out there that will export UV maps into an image you can paint over. I use UV Imaginator which works perfectly...and you can specify the output resolution which really helps.

Nice job on the MiG! Hope you post pics of the final.


08-11-2006, 01:13 PM
The model looks great ludenwulf, glad you sorted out your uv problems, as a far as the resolution thing goes, whether you screen grab or eps export you are free to up the resolution of your uv template in Photoshop to whatever you like before you start painting, I've often cranked it up to 300dpi ( the manual says it should be strict multiples of something like one thousand and something pixels squared by two) the only important thing is that it remains square and you stick to the template.

08-11-2006, 01:15 PM
Thanks. This plugin is just what I needed. One thing though. Do my UVmaps HAVE to fill the grid? Is there any way of retaining the original proportion so it's not so squashed on the x and stretched on the y?
If it wasn't so extreme it wouldn't be such a problem. I'm sure you had the same problem with your fusalage Don?