Advice on neat UV maps for vehicles


I’d like some advice.

I struggle to produce nice neat UV Maps for anything, but find vehicles and buildings the worst. Tutorials are either too simple (I can manage a cube) or seem to skip the part that shows how you get a nicely ordered UV Map with straight lines. When you look at example UV maps on the internet, they are always so nicely arranged, and sensibly laid out so writing/logos/linear details can be added easily in photoshop/gimp.

Take a look at the my little space craft (ignore the pilot), the texture is going to have plenty of linear markings, so I need the UV mapping not to bend or warp, particularly on the engines. However even after I mark seams to separate out islands, the UV unwrapping rarely produces anything straight. I find the only way is to position each of he UV points by hand.

I am sure I am missing a trick here, any suggestions welcome.


Nothing wrong with positioning the UV points by hand. If you post the .blend with the textures packed I’m sure someone will help you out.

unwrapping is a very simple technique but needs a lot of thinking. I’ve tried to add up lines, where you should mark the seams and unwrap your model, not perfect, but what i thought as good.

dukejib, thanks that makes sense, I think you are right, it is a technique that needs thought. I think I need to use a greater number of UV Islands and unwrap with project from view more.

FoundationsOfPause; you say that there’s nothing wrong with positioning UVs by hand, I agree, its seems the way to go, but it feels so fiddly and inefficient. Is there any way to have a grid that UV points snap to? Or a way to set one co-ordinate of multiple points so they line up exactly?

Just like in 3dview window, by turning of snapping (Magnet Icon) , you can do the same in uv windows as well. (choose the icons next to Magnet for more options)

After unwrapping your model, you can pin the properly unwrapped pieces with “P” key (Alt+P to unpin) this way, if you accidently unwrap the model, your properly done pieces will retain its shape.

“L” key works for selection in uv window as well, so does Special Key “W” which gives your alignment options.

Texturing and UV mapping takes some time to understand. The best way to learn is to do it wrong. I’ve seen people lose interest in modeling once they start to see what UV mapping is. Don’t be afraid, Just keep modeling and applying textures to as many objects as you can. Sooner or later it starts making perfect sense. Blender’s UV editor is top notch.

Some others buttons you might not know about: Edge,vert and face select for your UV window. Use 'em.

Thanks for the tips. The Edge, Vert etc selection buttons are great, also I am finding the L for island select invaluable.

Getting there.