Hello, this is my first post.

I´m trying to learn blender at the moment. All works out fairly good, just when it comes to uv-mapping, I am missing a ton of things. ( I know how to uv-map in general ). I have read almost all posts here about uv-mapping, but so far haven´t found an answer to my questions.

Okay. I mostly do guns and props and such, what I need are efficient, clean uv´s…

  1. If I use the unwrap function, say on a cylindrical object (based off a cylinder, then rounded off a bit diffrently, e.g. the rounded top of a handgun) I am dealing with edges that are perfectly aligned and parallel, my problem is the following: I use the unwrap, and blender seems to try to allocate as much space as possible on the map, putting it out rotated. Is there a way to have blender unwrap it perfectly straight?

I could do the following: Rotate what gives me, untill it´s as straight as possible, then select each individual row of verts to straighten them out (align/weld). This though is a) taking a lot of time and b) causing slight distortions, wich may become a problem, especially on small texture sizes. Second option would be to use cylindrical unwrap and fix distortions manually. (takes a lot of time too). Third option would be map it planar from view and fix the distortions manually.

This all takes so much time, so what I am essentially looking for is either a way to unwrap(preserving actual space) according to the edges alignment to the axises, or an option to align a whole chart to the y or x axis, using one particular edge of the mesh as a base. (wich would be even better, since it can be useful to control yourself wich faces will need to be layed out straight, so I can paint straigt pixel lines on it later).

Next thing I wonder about is: Is there any way I can have all my charts show, select one chart and get a visual feedback of wich faces I currently have selected on the model? I am working in a team, sometimes I need to adjust some uv-mapped models from others, and it´s very hard in blender to find out wich chart is what on a uv-layout I haven´t done myself, because if I select all faces to see the actual layout, there´s no chance for me to make out wich is wich.

All in all blender seems like a fine piece of software, but I have a feeling it´s more geared towards organic, high poly still renders than low poly game modelling (the absence of proper shading tools (hard edge/smooth groups)) is sort of startling me as well (though I learned the p->ctrl-j trick already).

I might be just overseeng the obvious here.
Thanks in advance.

I’m not exactly sure what your question is but you can choose from angle based unwrapping or conformal unwraping. One type is for unwrapping mechanical type meshes and the other is for organic types, though I’m not sure which is which. Viisit the games forum to find out how good Blender is in that area. I know there have been a lot of new features added to that dimension of the software recently.

I don’t have a link now but if you ask and or search there is a script that will align your unwrapped mesh. I will have a look and see if I can find it.
edit-- Its in this tread http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=70069&highlight=align

Oh, thank you, shr1k. That looks really helpful.
Rambobaby: Thanks I found those options and it does help a bit.

Cylindrical unwrap still does weird stuff though . Squishes the mesh, doesn´t seem to use seams you define, almost randomly unfolds… but I guess there´s a solution for it too. Gonna search for that.