Is there a technique to UV unwrapping characters?

I have been struggling for a while trying to figure this out. I have just gotten to the point that I can take a front and side view and make an “organic” looking character and now I am trying to unwrap it to send the face map off to my roommate who has agreed to do texturing for it. While I can get a UV to unwrap so that all the faces are about equal in scale, I can not seem to get the UV to correspond to the model visually. It looks like a big blob of vertices which isn’t very much help for texturing.

Here are the seams and here is the resulting map.

I cannot figure out the appropriate places for the seams so that the model is both scaled properly and easy to texture. Is there a general technique to this? Somewhere that seams are usually placed? Google only gave me unwrapping heads which is no problem because I have seen it so much…nobody ever covers unwrapping humanoid bodies so if I ever get good at this I will write a tutorial (unless there is already one I missed).

yeah, that’s not that pretty. although mine isn’t much better, i unwrap things by side and area, so i’d have one section for the front side of the torso, then another side for the back, and yet another for the sides of the torso. so i end up with something like this.
This is a very messy version, but it works for me.

I don´t know if there´s any special technique, it all depends on the needs of your model.

Checkthisexample o f mine, just scroll down the page and you´ll see my UV maps.

Let´s see if I can remember a few ¨rules¨. Well, first of all, always leave some space between the UV islands, and between the UV islands and the borders of the UV map. That will prevent seams from showing up, as there always has to be some painting off the polygons areas in order to prevent seams from showing at certain distances. The same happens when baking maps, you´ll notice a value called ¨margin¨ in the baking parameters, well that will give you the necessary edge bleeding.

Then, if you want to prevent texture stretching, you should strategically divide the model in different UV islands. In your case, the geometry of your model doesn´t seem so complex, so the way you UV mapped it could deliver a good result. But, normally, when unwrapping humanoids, you will have to create more UV islands for the ¨Tube like¨ areas, such as the arms and the legs. Depending on what degree of detail you are aiming for, you may also need to have separate UV Islands for the hands, feet and face.

Again, depending on the level of detail you want, you may need to have your model mapped in more than one texture, or in a larger texture, as in the case of my model.

Mmm…well, always remember to use CTRL+V to minimize texture stretching, and to check the stretching visualization option in the veiw properties.

Finally, don´t be afraid of seams, as they are necessary, hehe, and check out the new projection painting features in the latest SVN, now it is possible to paint over seams like in Zbrush or Body Paint 3D.

Hope these helps!