Saturday, 12 November 2011

UV Mapping (Part 1)

Now that the modelling has finished. It's time to start preping my characters to be textured. Before that can happen I first have to make a UV map so that maya can understand and place the textures in the right place.

So before officially beginning the process I go into the front camera view and select the whole model and go to create UV map> Plannar map. This projects a wireframe of the model onto the UV map to start editing.

1. From there I begin seperating the geometry by cutting along the joints and using the detach component and seperate tools. I do this to all the parts thats will be unwrapped. Essentially cutting the model into seperate pieces. Once all that's done it's time to start unwrapping the UV Maps.

2. For pieces like the hands and feet a method of cutting and re adjusting is used. First I cut the UV texture along an edge which could be considered the middle. In the Map editor I move one of the new halves now created to one side, flip it so that the faces that will be painted face towards me and join them along a seem using the sew uv seem tool. This method is best for hands and feet but can come in handy for other pieces when theres no other way.

3-4. Once the texture has been successfully unwrapped I scale and place it in a better position for the UV map. The great thing about Maya is that you essentially only have to do half the work as by simply selecting the item with the unwrapped UV map and then selecting the same shape on the opposite side of the axis and pressing the transfer attributes does all the work for you. Bare in mind that this only works on geometry that is exactly the same build as the one you've unwrappped.

5. With the Hands and Feet unwrapped I now move onto unwrapping the rest of the model. This is much easier than the cutting method. First I select and edge (preferably an inside seem, ie: under an arm) and cut the UV texture. I then select an edge on the opposite side and convert it to a UV edge. In the UV Map editor start finalising the unwrapped piece by first making sure the the edge selected in straight and then going to the unfold option in the Polygon menu (after adjusting directions for which way the uv texture will unfold) and selecting it.

6. Here you can see I've unwrapped and placed quite a few textures already. The process is going fairly well, with the llegs and arms done it's time to start moving on to some of the more trickier parts to unwrap.

Half way through the process for completing the Map for Barong I had a huge hiccup, after saving my work I had to restart my computer. Upon opening Maya back up I found all my geometry for the model gone. Luckily I had inadvertantly backed a previous save of the model on my HDD, without that I would have been completely screwed. Since that small incident earlier this afternnon I've been backing up my maya project file every 30 minutes.

With this much done so far all that's left is the fiddly sections like the hair and the face!

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