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joeloud
06-13-2007, 11:26 PM
Ok, how to explain this... First of all, I haven't done a whole lot of UV mapping at all, because I can never seem to get things to turn out nicely. So that's where my experience with UVs is, and why I'm asking.

What I want to make is basically a flat square with a bit of thickness to it, and then bend it a couple times, while keeping the surface area the same, so I could throw a UV map on it and have no (or at least very little) distortion.

Think of it like a poster, but with some curves to it. Not curling up at the bottom, more like if it were draped over a chair. The bottom is on the seat, and then it curves up on the back, and then curves again over the top of the chair. (This isn't actually what I'm trying to make, but it's faster than explaining precisely what I'm modeling) The only difference is that I want the "poster" to have thickness. I also don't want to use bones, and would rather have a static model.

One way I tried it involved using morph maps, starting with the flattened, UV'ed square, segmented horizontally, and then bending it into shape, but it seemed like the bending was distorting the lengths of the segments to each other. I wasn't paying attention and did it backwards--I edited the model in the morph map instead of the unmorphed model--and would have had to start all over anyway. Would this be the best way to do it? Any other suggestions or tips?

Edit: Here's a better example... you know those tickers in New York that curve around buildings, some newer ones even have a wave shape to them? How would you pull off something like that without distorting the image you're placing on the ticker? (I was going to say Fremont Street in Vegas, but that's pretty much a giant half-cylinder)

Sande
06-14-2007, 02:10 AM
I guess this would again be a perfect opportunity to use PLG's unwrapping plugin. With it you just model your shape, run the plugin, open some seams (if needed) and voilá - a perfect UV. Ok, it may require some practice to know which seams to open, but it is still quite easy. :)

Nowadays I use this even when I'm texturing something which wouldn't require pelt-mapping (cubes and such), because it is so much faster with this when you learn which seams to open...

PLG plugins can be found here (http://homepage2.nifty.com/nif-hp/index2_english.htm) - they are free. "UV Mapping (Unfolding, Unwrapping) Edit Plugin" is probably what you need most, although the others are useful too...

hrgiger
06-14-2007, 04:12 AM
One way I tried it involved using morph maps, starting with the flattened, UV'ed square, segmented horizontally, and then bending it into shape, but it seemed like the bending was distorting the lengths of the segments to each other. I wasn't paying attention and did it backwards--I edited the model in the morph map instead of the unmorphed model--and would have had to start all over anyway. Would this be the best way to do it? Any other suggestions or tips?



I think this is a fine way to go about it but you have to be more conscience when you are unfolding. When you unfold, use action center mouse and try to unfold from the point where it's flat so you can keep the dimensions about the same. Do a part at a time, don't try to flatten it all at once or you'll get your distortion. You can also smooth it out a bit with careful use of the smooth tool. If you do it fairly decent, it will just take some minor tweaks to the final UV map to get a fairly distortion free map. If you have an object you would like mapped as an example, let me know, and I'll take a stab at it. [email protected]

PLG UV unfolding is nice, but sometimes I just prefer to do it manually for some predictability.

Sande
06-14-2007, 06:47 AM
You have quite predictable results with PLG when you know which seams to open - and it is very fast to try different seams. When you have UV's laid out you can easily move and rotate them to wanted positions. It is of course nice to know how to do this manually, but lately I haven't felt the need for such tedious excercise... ;)

joeloud
06-14-2007, 12:33 PM
Hey, thanks for the ideas. LW9 should finally come next Monday (it was on backorder from the place I ordered it from), and I'll give it a whirl.