Can anybody give me any advice on texturing and uv unwrapping?

I’ve been looking at a lot of tutorials and seem to be really confused, my end goal is to Uv Unwrap everything and then apply some plastic looking textures to it.

Here I just selected each part of my scene and marked everything as a seam, not sure if I was supposed to do that.

Obviously making each face its own UV island is not the way to go :slight_smile: But before giving any advice, let me ask you, what is your plan? Will you be baking normal maps and other detail onto it, or do you just want to apply some basic color textures? What to do about UVs depends on what you’ll be using them for.

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Conclusion at bottom:

My teacher told me to unwrap them and put them into substance painter, he said we aren’t making game ready assets.

He said he’s going to put our models into unreal engine and make them look good, I think he’s going to display all our models on the pcs for the others in the college to take a look at.

Everybody in my class is using maya and substance painter, but I don’t like them because they are awkward to use, so I prefer to use Blender.

We have a poly limit of 30k, my current model is around 9k polys, my teacher said I can definitely add more polys to it but I don’t know what else I can add to it.

Our project was to take something from an iconic game and remaster it, so I just changed the light in the portal to green, I was thinking I could make some time dilation mechanics in unreal engine and maybe before a trap kills you, you have 2 seconds to shoot a portal anywhere and when you die, you come out of that portal.

I think our teacher wanted us to make something more simple, also I was really confused with exporting it into unreal engine, even with the send to unreal add on and following multiple tutorials.

In conclusion: I think I am supposed to apply textures to my model.

If this is just a school project you should discus it with your teacher or at least watch some youtube tutorials. Looks to me you want us to do your homework for you…

You most definitely aren’t supposed to unwrap every face separately because each island requires a margin, and that’s wasted texture space.
Speaking of which, your UV map has no margins. If you paint on that, it will have horrible artifacts because when the GPU samples a texel, it also catches the neighboring texels (and not by error, this is what texture filtering does and is highly desirable). And then there’s mipmaps to think about.
There’s lots of good tutorials on youtube for unwrapping, so I won’t try to repeat any of that here. Good luck.

P.S. If you’re super-lazy, at least use the smart unwrap operator. It’s generally bad, but better than what you have now by leaps and bounds.


Then your goal can be something like this:

(I used your model from the other thread, with a few tweaks).

Obviously this is just an example, you could do away with some distortion and achieve better packing of UVs as there’s a lot of wasted texture space (there’s a good add-on for that although it’s not free). The above you can achieve with 100% vanilla tools only.

Some basic concepts:

  • each principal surface is its own UV island - e.g. on a cylinder the sides is one island, the cap is another
  • more or less uniform texel density (look at the screenshot, squares and letters on the gun are all more or less the same size). Exceptions can be made for things that are rarely seen - those you can scale down.
  • texture seams go along shading breaks (e.g. sharp edges) - that one is not a hard rule, but games would be splitting vertices there anyway, so what the hell
  • as little distortion as possible on key areas
  • if you have to have seams through the surface, try hiding them where player won’t be looking (too much)
  • if possible, try keeping your seams straight - this helps avoid nasty aliasing artifacts

Some key tools:

  • for basic angular shapes like those pincers, use Smart UV Project with something like 45 degree angle; this would split 'em up nicely. Obviously you may have to then manually split some UV faces because there’s no perfect single split angle for everything
  • unwrap a strip of faces (just with Unwrap), then in UV editor edit the active quad so that it’s a rectangle or square, then re-unwrap with Follow Active Quads. This can make a nice square strip of UVs. Alternatively there are various quadification add-ons (I think TexTools has something)
  • Split and Stitch are your friends

General approach:

  • don’t waste UV space. On your mesh, delete all polygons that nobody will ever see.
  • don’t fixate on seams. A simple Unwrap can do wonders on its own: just select a piece of mesh and Unwrap it (maybe play with the settings a bit). You can always translate the seams back onto the mesh by using UV -> Seams From Islands
  • unwrap first, layout later
  • unwrap peacemeal. Take a mesh, work on it, use all of UV editor just for it (because layout later)
  • save work. Unwrap one pincer then transfer UVs onto the rest (or just link the meshes together). Unwrap one half then use mirror. Etc. etc.
  • don’t waste UV space (again). After you’re done, select everything, Average Islands Scale (or use an add-on that lets you set texel density) and pack the UVs. Again, Blender’s built-in packer is not the best, but may work well enough for your project.
  • reuse UV space. E.g. those wires - if you’re not going to be putting unique detail on each of them, just overlay their UVs on top of one another.

Stan gives good advice. Go with that.
One more little tip: When I first start unwrapping a hard surface model, I like to Select Hard Edges, mark those as seams, and then proceed to join and split islands where it makes sense. Just gives you a reasonable starting point. Note that this doesn’t really work for characters or organic models, or anything that has gentle, flowing shapes :slight_smile:

And another one, but it won’t be useful to you until your next model:
Unwrap repetitive forms as you go. See those pincers and those cables? Unwrap those immediately after you model the first one. Then, when you copy it, you’ll have saved two thirds of your time unwrapping them. If you have them that way you can even stack them to save space, but that’s sort of an advanced topic and you should probably stay away from it for now.


Thanks you guys were really helpful, I didn’t understand most of what you guys said, but I’ll re read them again a few times and perform some research, if I really struggle again, I’ll be sure to come back to ask for help.


I’ve been watching this guys tutorials:

How do my UVs look so far?

Also I tried doing some stuff with textures but got a bit confused.

So far, well, they could be better :slight_smile:

Assign a new material to your object. To the base color connect an Image Texture node. For that node, create a new image and set the type to ‘Color Grid’. Switch your viewport shading to Flat Texture like this:


This will help you see immediately in the viewport what your UVs are doing. You can unwrap without it, but as you’re learning it’s immensely helpful. You’ll just see straight away whether there’s distortion and how much.

Also, in the Overlays menu you may want to disable Faces. This will help with selection in 3D not obscuring the texture so much (you can still visually track selection by highlighted edges).

I don’t have time to check his other videos right now, but honestly that 3 minute segment about seams is… bollocks. I mean, seams have a utility, but that’s about it. IOTW, they’re just a means to an end, and it’s the “end” part that you need to focus on. There’s no point in “mastering” seams or whatever.

On your model, especially as you’re working on a half (which is great), you hardly need to manually mark any seams at all. For example, the first cylinder in the front (just the one, i.e. the round cap and the one strip of faces): the cap you can just select and Unwrap (no seams, no options, just unwrap). The side you can also just select with one alt-click and Unwrap. No seams required. If/when you do need a seam for something, you can just select the UV island(s) in the UV editor and do a UV -> Seams From Islands there.
Next pieces may need more involved work, depending on how you want them to look. For example, the very next part that looks like a C - you can either leave it like that with a simple Unwrap, or straighten it (by using Follow Active Quads method from my previous post). Personally, I’d straighten it, since as I mentioned keeping the UV edges straight helps avoid aliasing (jagged lines) along those edges. This will be at the cost of some small distortion inside the UV island, but this is hard surface, and your edges have to shine, literally and figuratively :wink:
Some parts like the back you may even want to unwrap in pieces and then stitch the edges in the UV editor. Otherwise you can spend a lot of time trying to figure out which unwrapping method to use on it.

Like I said before, don’t worry about layout for now, this comes after you’ve unwrapped everything.

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Thanks for the reply, I’ll definitely try this when I get on my pc tomorrow, however I am a bit confused about the parts that you are referring to, also looking at my uvs I’m not sure what parts what, how about tomorrow I’ll re arrange my uvs a bit so I’m not confused and ask you what parts you were referring to?

Appreciate the help bro, I’ll make sure your efforts won’t go to waste.

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I made it so I can understand my UVs more, do you think you could point out to me what parts you were referring to yesterday?

Sorry for being a bother.

You won’t understand them when you’re looking at a whole bunch at once :slight_smile: Unwrap piece by piece, or similar pieces together. They’ll overlap. They’ll be all over the place in size. Don’t worry about it. You’ll lay 'em out after you’re done unwrapping and editing them.

As for which pieces I meant, here is a more visual explanation (might need to click on image so it plays):

“Unwrap” is literally that - selecting those specific parts and doing an Unwrap. Nothing fancy, no seams, etc. It’s faster than hunting edges and cutting seams. When you get more experience, you’d be able to take a shortcut even here, as @Piotr_Adamowicz suggested.

“Edit” is whatever methods and tools you’d use to straighten those Cs. Be it manually via Follow Active Quads or automatically with TexTools.

“Layout” is setting texel density on everything (for example, UV -> Average Island Scale), marking seams (UVs -> Seams From Islands), and packing (UV -> Pack Islands).

But this is just one piece so layout can be whatever. When you finish all pieces, when you mirror and stitch the mirrored UVs, then you’ll need to properly lay everything out and try to use as much of that UV space as possible.

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I tried to create a colour grid but it did not work, I did manage to do it to a cube in another project though.

Deleting the materials that are already on except for the checkered one doesn’t help either, I think I have to ungroup but when I try to do that it messes stuff up.

It worked, it’s just that your object has a whole bunch of materials on it, probably because you’ve joined various pieces that had different materials on them. So that color grid is in there somewhere on some part of the mesh. Just delete the other material slots, it should then take over.

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I removed the slots and it still doesn’t work, did you mean to delete it from the blender file?

You didn’t delete the slots, you just removed materials from the slots. The slots are still there :slight_smile:
Those “+” and “-” buttons on the right add and remove slots.

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Oh yes it worked, thanks, now do I just follow what you said a few minutes ago?

I just unwrapped the parts you showed me, should I focus on the parts that I have highlighted and then move onto the others when I get more confident?

I’d say for sure. Don’t try to cover too much ground at once. Explore the tools. Try to make these pieces nice and tidy (and straight :wink: ). Once you’re more comfortable you’ll be able to unwrap more pieces at once, and much faster.

But just to reiterate about making them straight: this is not a universal rule. It’s important for hard-edged hard surface, to keep detail around the edges nice and clean and free of aliasing (jagged lines). For more free-form organic stuff this won’t be necessary, or even desirable.

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