Any good UV unwrapping tools?

Let me first state that I would consider myself a beginner when it comes to modelling. That being said, I think I grasp the concept and can create some pretty good AND clean models. Maybe it’s my experience, but I seem to be really having trouble with UV mapping. I know I should use seams and follow topology, but Blender’s UV mapping tools seem extremely difficult to use. I’d like to know some (preferably free) tools that you guys use for UV mapping, or even some tutorials would be nice.

Thank you guys!

some applications do it automatically, which is easier, but results in a bad unwrap, generally. I would recommend not using such programs. Maybe some one else knows of one that is a good medium though. Blenders UV unwrapping code is some of the best out there, so if you want a good job, stick with the good tools, imo.

I don’t necessarily need a tool to do it for me, just something that is a little bit easier to use. Again, maybe I just don’t understand it but I find it difficult.

Maybe if you post a specific problem you are having we can offer solutions that you may not be familiar with in Blender. The UV unwrapping in Blender is very solid (but the documentation is sparse) and if you are a beginner it’s unlikely that you are going to find its limitations right away.

Well I want to unwrap the model that I have posted below. I guess I just don’t know the best way to go about it. I want to export the layout into Photoshop so that I may texture it.

A tutorial would be helpful, or maybe a useful tool that I am missing.

heres a list of some tutorials i found to be very useful for uv unwrap. it helped me out so hopefully it will for you good luck

also if you type sebastian koenig vimeo on google he has an excellent video tips and tricks with uv unwrapping

Well, you didn’t actually post a model…
But anyway I cobbled a test model together based on your screenshot, and unwrapped it in the three ways I would use myself. In the attached blendfile they are stored as UVmap, Uvmap001, and UVmap002. Normally of course there would only be a single UVmap, this is just for instructional purposes.

The first method (UVMap) was to select all, deselect a nice even size and shape quad and reselect it, making it active. Then U for unwrap and choose follow active quads from the menu. Not great but usable… Some overlaps though so not great for painting.

Second method (UVMap001) was to select (face mode) from four axial views (front, top, bottom, back in this case) and choose ‘project from view’ from the unwrap menu for each time. Then go and select all the quads that did not get selected and go to right or left view and project from view for them. This works very well because relative sizes are well preserved. Not connected though - you can do that manually by dragging in the UV editor, or you can use the

Third method (UVMap002) was to mark seams around the edges where a cut would be most useful and choose ‘unwrap’. There is no substitute for experience here - sorry. It’s never practical to try to keep everything connected, the distortion is unacceptable. in this case by freeing up the little sticky out cubes I was able to keep everything else nicely low distortion. Choose live unwrap from the toolshelf or UV menu and you can see what the result of marking and clearing seams is as you go along.

Remember, you are only unwrapping what you have selected BUT all faces are unwrapped even if you don’t do them Blender will and it may not be the best choice. Select all from time to time to see what the whole unwrap looks like.

here the file…

A last hint - the ‘follow quads’ is unpredictable but if you take the time to play with it and try to adjust your geometry a little (I added some loopcuts below to make the quads more evenly sized) you can get some results that are quite impossible in any other way. there’s some overlap but the main body is very evenly unwrapped.

Lots of luck!


trebuchetarm.blend (928 KB)

If your going to use the procedural tools to do the unwrapping it’s best to devise seams before performing the unwraps, otherwise the best way to cut UV’s for a model like that is to do it manualy by selecting certain faces and unwrapping it section by section with some strategicly placed seams. Hope this helps.

ryken, I will be sure to view those tutorials. I really want to make UV unwrapping an easy and quick process for myself, because at this point it is what gets me burned out on modelling.

DruBan, The second or third method would be best for me because I can overlap the views to save time on painting. I need the items to be proportional on the unwrap so that the texture doesn’t look stretched on the model.

I thank you for taking the time to show me various ways to unwrap.

I’m interested in learning to mark seams but I seem to have trouble comprehending it, I guess. If I picked one of the edges and just marked a seam all the way down it (following the geometry of the raised bits,) how would I mark the bottom? A box around it?

Also, what is the note you made on the picture that I uploaded? I know I left a N-Gon on the cylinder. I’m not sure why blender does that.

CR8K, thank you for the input. It seems that I will need to get more practice with seams.

Note that you can switch to edge select rather than vertex select. This is often better for marking seams as this way you can select two edges that are on opposite sides of a face without also marking the edges connecting the two.

Awesome, I did not know that. I am going to try some of these methods out now and will let you guys know how it goes. Then I get to learn rigging :smiley:

Did you download the Blend file attached to my earlier post? The grease pencil note should be visible when you open the file but it says geometry here looks problematic.
One of the reasons I attached the file was for you to see how the seams are cut around the ends and the side boxes.
You can also use proportional editing in the UV editor to straighten the slight curve that happens when you seam-unwrap objects with a taper.

I took a look and it was really helpful. I finally finished unwrapping the entire trebuchet and it was much easier than expected. The example really cleared up the seam issue I was having. I was under the impression that all the seams had to be connected at some point, but now I see that they will form a separate object if they aren’t.

Thank you all for the help!