I’m still learning this, but this is a way that works for me.
Ok, I’ll first make a simple rectangle with a rounded top edge, then I’ll UV map it.
So, we start blender and we have the cube. That’s fine, because we can use it.
First, we need to make it narrower. Go to the top view (Num7) and select a side of verts.
And move them closer to the other side. You can grab and lock in the y axis to maintain the sides (G, Y).
Go to the front view (Num1).
Now, what we need to do is to divide the top face, so we can raise it up and give it the roundness. There are several ways to do this. You can use the Ctrl-R tool, but that requires you to individually place the verts/edges, and we’ll want them more uniform for this work. That makes me think of subdivide, but that will also make faces along the sides - too many polys (try it yourself, though, just to see).
So, we’ll look at the knife cut tool. This really works on edges, so it is best to be in edge select mode, so go ahead and choose that.
Select the top verts/edges.
Go to top view (Num7) and hit Shift-K which will bring up 2 choices - select the Midpoints.
Click one time on one side of the longer edges, then bring the “knife” across the longer edges, then click again. It doesn’t really matter where along the 2 edges you cut, because you selected “midpoints.” If you’d selected “Exact” then it would put the new verts wherever you cut.
Then hit enter.
Now, if you rotate the 3d image a little, you can tell that you’ve split the top face, without adding any additional faces on the sides.
Now, we’re going to repeat that step again, cutting across both of the new top faces. Shift-K, click once draw the line, etc. until we get this.
Then we’ll do it again to further subdivide the top.
You can do this as many times as you want, but I’ll stop there.
So, from the front (rotated a little), select the very middle edge and you should have something like this.
Now, we’re going to work with the Proportional tool. Click on this part here and select either “On” or “Connected” (for our purposes, I don’t think it makes much difference). Next to it is the button to select what shape you want the thing to conform to.
Pick any of them, then grab and lock in the z axis and move it until you like the shape. (I picked “smooth falloff”.)
There are some other tricks (like select all the top faces, then hit the “To Sphere” button and see what happens) but this is technically the UV Mapping tutorial.
So, let’s split the screen up a little to help the workflow. Put the cursor between the top and bottom panels, then hit the right mouse button and select split, then place the divider where you want it. Don’t worry, its like any other windows thing, you can move it around later if you want.
Then, on the left (or more narrow side) select the UV Image editor window like here:
And in the 3d window (the first window we had open) go to the UV Face Select mode here:
Hit A a couple times to make sure nothing is selected. Then, select all the faces on the “front.”
Then, in the UV window, click on UV>LSCM Unwrap:
It should give you some thing like this. Don’t worry if it isn’t exactly like that, we can manipulate it to make better use of the map space.
With the cursor in the UV window, hit A to select everything. Then G to grab, R to rotate and S to scale, just like in the 3d window until you have the front positioned in a way that makes sense. I did mine like this:
Now, go back to the UV Face Select window, hit A to deselect everything and rotate the model and select all the faces on the “back.” You may notice that when you hit A, it looks like it erases the mapping from the front. Don’t worry about that, it is still there (or should be). So select, then UV window UV>LSCM Unwrap and you get something like this:
So, grab, rotate and scale, trying to remember kinda where you’d put the front on the page.
When you have it close, go back to the UV Face Select window, and rotate and select the front faces again, and the previous mapping should show up.
Now, the cool thing is, you can use the box select to select individual or groups of verts and move them around (I don’t think the lasso works). So, you can get the two faces to be exactly the way you want them. And you can zoom or pan the view in the UV window just like you do in the 3d window.
Now, select the sides and top in the same way until you get something like this:
This is a good time to save your work.
Now is also a good time to save your face layout. UV>Save UV Face Layout
Now, with this, make sure of a few things. First, that the size is a multiple of 256. I’m using 512, but we could use 1024 or whatever. Just keep in mind that each multiple basically quadruples the filesize (or something like that). Also, make sure you’ve selected all the verts in the UV window, and then I “turn off” the “All faces” and “Obj” buttons. And make sure that the path is where you want it.
Then hit export.
Then navigate to your path and open up the file in your favorite image manipulator.
Then mark it up in whatever way you want.
I like using bmps, but we may move to dds. But, save it as whatever format you want - jpg works.
Now, go back to the buttons window.
Select the shading button.
Select the texture button, and go down to where it says Texture Type and select image.
Then go over to where it says load image, and navigate to your skin.
The bottom part should look something like this, with your skin shown on the right.
Then go to the 1) materials button, and select the 2) top button (kinda a cube thing), and 3) texface, and 4) shadeless.
Then in the UV window go to image… open and navigate to your skin.
Then, when you go to object mode, textured, you should see your skin.
If change your skin, you go back to the texture button and hit reload to refresh the skin.
Edit: oh and I forgot something. For it to properly render, you have to tell it to use the UV mapping, otherwise it uses something else, that is more for when you use materials. Hit the materials button and go to the far right and there is a tab for Map Input - select UV
This will probably take some practice - it is more complicated than it seems like it should be. But, after a couple times, it’ll click. :thumbs:
If you have any questions, post here.