I have a starship model that I’m very happy with, but much of the texturing was done via decals (with the apply texture to object/empty method). I would like to be able to apply these directly to the ship all in a single map, so that the filesize will be smaller, simpler, and more easily used in other situations than simple renders. I have heard of a method that involved baking procedural textures and decals to UV coordinates, however, I do not know how to do this. One part that I’ve heard mentioned in some places is unwrapping/setting UV coordinates; I do not know what this means or how to do it, so if this is the only way to pull off what I’m trying to do, I would like some simple instructions on how to manage it. However, if there is a simpler way of baking to UV coordinates, I would find that very helpful. Please give instructions if you can.
the texure baker in the upcoming blender 2.43 allow you to bake textures, so it is capable of merging all your textures into one image map. However, you do need to unwrap the UV map. here are some tuturials to get you started
However, i recommend unwraping the model using the ArchiMap UV UnWrapper tool that comes wth blender. it is an automated way to unwrap an entire model, it should work well with your spaceship.
you can find a test-build of blender with texture baking support at www.blenderbuilds.com