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Thread: Feature request - How would you like UV mapping to work inside LW?

  1. #1
    Stuck in a very big cube Waves of light's Avatar
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    Feature request - How would you like UV mapping to work inside LW?

    Hi everyone,

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

    http://forums.newtek.com/showthread....aft-and-hangar

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

    Rob Powers dropped in and said:

    Quote Originally Posted by robpowers3d View Post
    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:

    1. Easy Edge/Seam selection - with ability to incrementally save Edge/Seam selection data.
    2. Edge loop and selection path functions.
    3. 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
    4. Tweak UV maps by selecting Verts, Edges, Polys, Islands - similar to LW Tweak tool


    Feel free to jump in with other suggestions.


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  2. #2
    Not so newbie member lardbros's Avatar
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    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.
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  3. #3
    Stuck in a very big cube Waves of light's Avatar
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    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.


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  4. #4
    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.
    Last edited by hrgiger; 08-16-2013 at 09:28 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by gordonrobb View Post
    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.
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  6. #6
    Stuck in a very big cube Waves of light's Avatar
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    Totally agree Nicolas. Extra processes that cannot be done with simple key presses are time consuming.


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  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
    Spinny Spinland's Avatar
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    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.
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  9. #9
    Stuck in a very big cube Waves of light's Avatar
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    All good points, keep them coming and hopefully this is the sort of feedback Rob was after.


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  10. #10
    Super Member PixelDust's Avatar
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    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.

  11. #11
    Super Member CaptainMarlowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinland View Post
    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).

  12. #12
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    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?
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  13. #13
    Grumpy Faux-Waver DogBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    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.
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  14. #14
    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.

  15. #15
    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.

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