unwrapping advice

I’m relatively new to Blender and am currently modelling fairly complex architectural shapes for use in virtual worlds.

I’m using smart projections to generate the UV face layout, but I am finding adjacent faces in the model all over the place on the map, which makes texturing rather tricky.

I’ve looked at creating a seam, but can’t seem to generate it correctly as when unwrapping it doesn’t generate a UV layout in the UV/Image editor window. Also there doesn’t appear to be a clean way to generate the seam (though I’m possible not doing it correctly) across the complex shape.

Anyone have any advice on the best method for UV mapping complex cube shapes?

Thanks a heap!

While in Edit mode, go to Edge selection mode, select the edges you want, and hit CTRL+E, a dialog will pop up, select ¨MARK SEAM¨.

That´s the way to create the seams over the model.

I think that the Unwrap option isn´t generating any visible UV Layout because you have no seams in the model.

Then, notice that in the UVs menu inside the UV Image editor, there are some useful tools such as ¨minimize stretch¨ and ¨average islands scale¨. In the ¨View Properties¨ menu there some options such as UV Stretching visualization.

Hope it helps!

F9 - -> mesh tools more --> change dropdown box to Tag edges (seam)
After that you can Alt-Right mouse to place seams.

Ctrl-Alt-Shift-F (set to 179 for flat surfaces)
Ctrl-E > region to loop > Ctrl-E > Mark Seam

Use a checker texture. Unwrap a part. If it looks distorted sort the seams on it till it looks ok. Then move onto the next part.

thanks, I’ll try that… 2 questions though

1)do you think the UV layout using seams will be easier to use when it comes to uv mapping than that produced by the smart projector?

2)If I have a complex shape based on a cube, how do I go about selecting the edges for the seam. I’ve been through the simple cube and sphere tutorials on how to create a seam but these I’m working on have many hundreds to thousands of faces (after I have split them from the main model which has tens of thousands of faces…)

Thanks for your input, I’m going to try Waternz advice now :slight_smile:

Not too sure about this part… I have set things as you have suggested, but how do I unwrap a part?


Smart projection is fast. Unwrapping and laying out the uv bits is slow.

To unwrap a part, select only the faces needed in the 3d view, and unwrap.

If the model is too complex, (discombobulator - city type greebles) seams may not be the best option. Lightmap UVpack may be worth a try.

The last option is to change the way you texture it. For pieces with repeating patterns - seperate and do a proper unwrap -for the rest smart unwrap and procedurals. Without seeing an example I’m just guessing though.

Sorry if I’m asking the obvious, but do you mean separate physically from the model or do you mean when unwrapping.

Also, does this suggestion imply that you have multiple textures for the same model? How would I do that?

I can post the uv layout from the smart projection if it would help?

I appreciate your input!

Small tip. I find it far easier to unwrap when hiding the parts I’m not ready for yet. This hiding can also let you split your UVs without adding seams.

thanks! Do you mean deselect faces when unwrapping? Or am I not understanding ‘hiding’ correctly?


EDIT: Ah, I have found the insanely useful ‘h’ and ‘alt-h’ keys… how have I got this far with out it! Oh well… thanks, thats great…

Still though, used on a smart projection it just eliminates clutter, doesn’t help with adjacent faces appearing in non related positions, so I’m guessing seaming somehow is the easier mapping option…

Shift-h --hide evering except selected
Ctrl-L Select linked. Useful for meshes that are made of of discrete parts. Edit - face mode.

Yes, only have the faces you need to work with selescted for unwraping. Once you have all the parts unwrapped and undistorted, you can then do a full unwrap. If orientation of the uv’s is important then orientate them as you go, but instead of a full unwrap at the end just use the Average Island Scale tool so the texture resoloution will be even all over the mesh. But you will need to assemble everything back in the uv square (like packing boxes or a jigsaw)

A lot depends on the virtual world engine. Some handle multiple materials diferently. If it handles vertex colours, that can be a better option than unwrapping for some meshes.

A picture of the mesh would help. Just PM it (click on my name)