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DrStrik9
07-01-2009, 10:49 PM
I'm still exploring LW 9.6, after a long time with 8.5.

In all older versions of LW, making a UV map was different than it is in 9.6, and I'm frustrated with 9.6's UV maps, and am beginning to wonder if it works as it's supposed to, or whether it's just buggy.

Please see the attached screen shot.

This is a simple "fish model," one layer of many. Whenever I make a UV map, all I get is POINTS, with a front-view poly-thing in the lower-left corner, which I cannot move or make go away (it's in the way of some of the points). With only points, it's nearly IMPOSSIBLE to coordinate what goes where, and I can't seem to access the points underneath the arbitrary front-view poly thing. :-(

In the docs, UV maps look like they used to in earlier versions of LW: there were actual polys which you could select and see what part of your model they corresponded with ... Is this just broken in 9.6, or am I missing something major?

Thanks for any guidance.

IMI
07-02-2009, 04:41 AM
I think what you're seeing is OpenGL errors. Not that that does you any good.
What OS, what video card, what video drivers?
Have you tried the (free) PLG UV Tools (http://homepage2.nifty.com/nif-hp/index2_english.htm) instead of LW's cheesy, useless UV tools?
They're not really broken, just never worked that well to begin with, and not very useful for anything more complex than a box or a ball.

DrStrik9
07-02-2009, 06:10 AM
IMI: Thanks for your kind reply.

I've been thinking that it's OGL errors also. I'm using an Apple Cinema Display (30", 2560x1600), with the ATI Radeon HD 2600. OS X 10.5.7, with whatever video drivers that are included for it in 10.5.7.

I've had some strange Sliders problems too, also attributable to OGL errors. This leads me to wonder if I'm using an inferior monitor card for LW, or whether LW just isn't supporting this card properly? Can anyone else out there using the ATI Radeon HD 2600 comment on its performance, and can anyone suggest a better display card for the 30" Cinema Display and LW?

Thanks also for the link to the UV tools. These might be a little old (2006) to support the Intel quad core Xeon Mac, which of course is UB?? -- I really don't want to go back to using CFM LW at this point, if possible, or having to switch between the two ...

DrStrik9
07-02-2009, 07:22 AM
I downloaded those old plg UV plugins, and dusted off my CFM version of LW ... but LW CFM on a UB machine is far too unstable and SLOW to be worth messing with, seriously. Attempting to run plg_Make_UV crashed Modeler! :-( Too bad no one has updated these plugs to work under Universal Binary.

I searched Flay and found NOTHING newer that I recognized as decent ...

Are there any decent [UB] UV tools out there?

Thanks for any help ...

IMI
07-02-2009, 08:31 AM
You could try Headus UVLayout (http://www.uvlayout.com/), which comes in Mac OSX form as well as Windows, but I don't know if it's UB or not. I don't know really what the difference is between OSX and UB, to tell you the truth, but it has a limited demo you could try.
It's kinda pricey, but if you do alot of UV mapping, well worth it.

EDIT- that's not an LW plugin, but a full, standalone app.

DrStrik9
07-02-2009, 11:40 AM
Thanks I'll take a look at it.

CFM abd UB are both OS X. CFM is the programming format for the older Mac's (Power PC), and UB (Universal Binary) is the newer format for the Intel-based Macs. You can run LW in CFM format on an Intel Mac, but it's very slow and unstable. But if you're lucky, you can run older plugs on it. I just wasn't lucky with the plg set of plugs for working with UV's.

The plugins for CFM all end in .p while the UB plugins all end in .plugin.

DrStrik9
07-02-2009, 12:27 PM
UVLayout looks absolutely fantastic for making very flat and distortionless UV maps! Incredible. I've been watching their videos on the various procedures used in the process. -- I'm continually amazed at the brilliance of some of the programmers out there.

I'd also like to talk with Lightwave users who've used it, to understand any LW-specific issues, in exporting and importing in obj format, etc.

IMI
07-02-2009, 04:25 PM
Well, I could try to answer your questions. You have to use OBJ obviously, but I've not had any particular problems with any Headus OBJ exports used in LW.
Is there anything specific you wanted to know?

EDIT-
Thanks for the UB and OSX Info.
Ha-Ha, I just realized this was the LW Mac forum this thread is in. ;)
I had seen the title of this thread in the main page and UV mapping questions tend to jump out and grab my attention since I do alot of it. But I hadn't noticed this was a Mac forum.
You were probably wondering why I was in this forum if I have to ask what's the difference between UB and OSX. ;)

DrStrik9
07-02-2009, 05:44 PM
EDIT-
Thanks for the UB and OSX Info.
Ha-Ha, I just realized this was the LW Mac forum this thread is in. ;)
I had seen the title of this thread in the main page and UV mapping questions tend to jump out and grab my attention since I do alot of it. But I hadn't noticed this was a Mac forum.
You were probably wondering why I was in this forum if I have to ask what's the difference between UB and OSX. ;)

Ha ha! That's the beauty of forums for ya! :-) No problem on the OS question.

On the UVLayout journey, I downloaded the demo and have been watching the videos, and experimenting with a simple sub-d mesh I exported from and imported back into Modeler with no problems ...

... but I have encountered one very odd issue in UVLayout itself, where two points of my simple mesh refuse to separate, even though the edges are clearly marked all way around, and even though they turn green when "separated," but in fact, two points remain connected, and the two halves cannot be moved apart.

But I've placed a query in their forum, and hope to get a response soon.

Thanks for all your help on this! I've always struggled to varying degrees with LW's UV maps, and UVLayout will hopefully be a real God-send, once I get it to work properly, that is. :-)

Best,

IMI
07-03-2009, 03:27 AM
... but I have encountered one very odd issue in UVLayout itself, where two points of my simple mesh refuse to separate, even though the edges are clearly marked all way around, and even though they turn green when "separated," but in fact, two points remain connected, and the two halves cannot be moved apart.


Could be unwelded vertices. UVLayout doesn't like objects with any of those. I suppose it would see a pair of points atop one another and not be able to split them, since they're not actually connected to begin with. Just a guess, really.



Thanks for all your help on this! I've always struggled to varying degrees with LW's UV maps, and UVLayout will hopefully be a real God-send, once I get it to work properly, that is. :-)



Oh you're welcome, glad I could help. :)
I had the same problem. I used to struggle big time with LW's UV tools, then along came the PLG tools and everything got easier. Then I was introduced to UVLayout and UV mapping has not been the same ever since. What used to be a tedious, nightmarish chore has actually become fun!

DrStrik9
07-03-2009, 03:41 AM
Well, I bit the bullet and bought the Pro version. It is sweet. Those guys also really jumped through the hoops to get me a temporary license until the dongle arrives.

One thing I'm struggling with is various OGL errors though (Apple Cinema Display, ATI Radeon HD 2600), so I haven't seen the UV checkerboard or the numbers on screen yet ...

And on that model with the un-cuttable points, I found that the obj format (apparently) doesn't like "four-point triangles" (where the fourth point is in perfect line with two corner points, and specifically if it stretches out beyond the triangle poly). It reads it as an "open edge" or something like that, and UVLayout won't divide against it ... Weird, but easy to fix. Thankfully, LW Modeler is very flexible.

Man, today I went from a nightmare to UV easy street! lol :-)

IMI
07-03-2009, 03:45 AM
Cool!

One thing I forgot to mention is that UVLayout will remove your point and poly groupings and surfaces/materials if you have any assigned in your OBJ file. There may be a way to avoid that, but I don't know and haven't checked, since I save that stuff for later anyway, after the UV mapping has been done and I'm back in LW for good. A habit I picked up from using Zbrush, which also discards all that "irrelevant" information in an OBJ file. ;)

DrStrik9
07-03-2009, 03:51 AM
Yeah, in Modeler 9.6, there's also a warning that any nodal info will be lost when exporting to obj. So I just save all surfaces and nodes, and go forth. I was impressed that the surface groups survived intact, albeit renamed, heh ...

I was really happy to prove that a sub-d object survives the entire process REALLY well. :-) I've only had time to acquire and learn the software enough to make a difficult bump map so far, but this will open entirely new doors ...