Problems with UV unwrapping and texture stretching

So I’m working/learning on a character project that is meant to go through the entire game pipeline and I’m at the stage of UV unwrapping failing miserably. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and here it is:

Currently, I’m experimenting on the head out of the rest objects, which foolishly seemed to me that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Well, surprise, surprise - texture stretches exceptionally bad. You can basically see where I placed the seams. Head, neck and ears are separated now.

Also tried unwrapping the head without splitting it into smaller segments but the result was still the same.

Now, please note the goal at the end of this is project is to unwrap the entire character in one UV space (including his weapon).

I tried relaxing the UV islands, messed around with scaling etc but I still get this stretching especially on the chin.

What do I do wrong, guys? Any tips are welcome, so please :slight_smile:

When unwrapping/scaling for games, keep in mind where you need the detail to be - i.e. if there are parts of a mesh that are semi-hidden or contain less texture detail (like a plain color vs a recognizable pattern) you can scale those less detailed/important parts to use less texture space (within reason). It’s all a balancing act. With a solid color, you could drastically reduce your Albedo texel density, but if there are going to be other maps like Normals or Metallic, etc, too little texel density will seriously degrade their effects.

You will not be able to completely eliminate stretching unless you break apart every polygon into it’s own island, and relaxing the UV’s has never really worked that well for me (in Blender, at least). Faces, when using relax, invariably end up with LESS texel density which is not what you want. In the case of your unwrap, I would pick a point on the center of the nose and using the proportional editing (“O” on the keyboard) scale the UV’s of the face to be more uniform with the rest of the head. That unwrap you have going on gives a ton of texel density to the back of the head and much less in the face. Since you have “hair” on your model, I might suggest breaking that out into it’s own island and adding some cuts/seams to the under-ear area to allow the chin and neck area to pull in to allow more even texel density. Adding seams is usually a better way of evening out stretching - or cutting islands apart.

What software do you intend on using to do your texturing?


Thank you for the detailed response, @JoeW. Well, I’m planning to texture in Substance Painter.

PS: Not sure why but even when I pick a single point with proportional editing, all of the UV islands scale. Why is that, though?

You need to re-set the proportional editing circle of influence…by default it is large…use the scroll wheel to drop it down till you see the circle…


Tried it, even followed the official guidelines but if I scroll - it only zooms in and out; or when I use page up/down, nothing really happens. Anyway, I got a semi-satisfying result by resetting the tool.

Anyway, @JoeW, do you think the texture on the hair will be fine if the checker isn’t going straight?

The influence (like RSEhlers wrote) is too large - so - click on a point to highlight it, hit “s” to scale and drag a little - you will see all the points move - then you can scroll the mousewheel “away” from you to shrink the circle. You will see a message at the bottom of the window that shows how big the influence circle is - watch to see if you are growing or shrinking the circle. You can also select the type of drop-off you want in the dialog box that opens (bottom left in the window).

Substance Painter will “compensate” for most of the stretching and distortions you have. Your texture will end up looking kind of distorted, but it will go on your model just fine. Severely warped UV’s are more of an issue when you intend to hand-paint your textures in something like Photoshop (it’s pretty hard to compensate for those distortions)


The hair texture should be fine - if you paint on the model in SP or do some texture projections. Shouldn’t be a problem at all.

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The stretching you have will do what?.. having less detail on the chin… so what? Are there any special features you want to show there ?? You may try to select the bottom UVs and scale them on the X-axis… as @JoeW said: shouldn’t be a problem at all… Dif you tried to paint somethign on it? So what’s so awefull??

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Well, I guess it could be aweful if an art director see the finished piece and says that my UVs suck and that I should have put more effort into this stage I gues…

I wouldn’t worry about that too much. As long as your UV mapping allows for the correct texture size, no one will care what the UVs look like :slight_smile:

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If you are going to bake the model, then seams don’t matter as much as they would with some other texturing methods. If you feel there is too much stretching, you can add a few extra cuts to help relax the UVs, like you could add one that splits the chin. Try adding seams on the edges I have circled and see if you get less stretching: