UV for Complete Newbie?

I am an absolute newbie to Blender.
I have made a model of a kart for a game (TORCS), and it works fine in the game.
I now need to know how to UV unwrap it so that I can make it look like a kart rather than a white plastic moulding.

I understand how to unwrap a cube, I think:
You select a closed loop, then coming out of the sides you select a nearly closed loop (one edge away from being closed), then the same nearly closed loop on the other side. Then you press Ctrl-E, Mark Seam, and unwrap it in the image window.

What I don’t understand is how to unwrap a complex shape (e.g. a kart) in to a flat plane.

Can anyone help?


Unwrapping is as much an art as a skill. It might help if you showed a picture of the kart, so people could have a better idea of what you’re up against.

In general, you can do partial unwraps: select parts of the model in edit mode, switch to
face select mode and unwrap. Then you can work with fewer verts in the UV Image Editor window. Be sure to pin all verts there when you’re done tweaking, or you’ll loose the tweaks when you unwrap more of the model.

You can also unwrap using project from view. This is another partial unwrapping technique, which works well with models that have strong side, front, top planes.

In the UV Image Editor itself, the scale, rotate and proportional editor tools are active. Also there is a mode called Live Unwrap, which will allow you to move pinned vertices and see how the rest of the mesh will unwrap to accomodate the pinned verts.

Putting in seams then unwrapping everything works fairly well for simple geometries, but fails miserably when done on more complex meshes. To get a decent unwrapped mesh for complex models, you need to “model” the unwrapped vertices in the UV Image Editor. Sometimes seams can help with this, but partial unwraps, tweaking and pinning can give you a better unwrap, although it is more time consuming.

Hey, I don’t know how to unwrap a mesh (and I’ve been using Blender longer than you have :smiley: ) , but here are some links to a couple of tuts on the subject. I don’t know how to do it simply because I haven’t gotten around to it yet :o .

I know this is off-topic, but would you like to help with a game project? I’m pretty new to Blender, too ( per above statement). Its mostly for newbies like us to gain experience and get learn Blender. The thread is in my signature.

~God bless

That’s a shame. I was rather hoping I could just hit a button and it would do it. :smiley:
I’ll have a go at some of those partial unwrapping things.
I think I have to do partial unwraps actually, because it’s composed of more than one mesh.

Thanks for the links, but they’re both for really simple things. I can unwrap quite a few fairly complex shapes (I did a van once), I just need advice on how to do really complex shapes.
Thanks for the offer to join the project, but I shall decline.

Blender file of my kart is at http://stanley.homelinux.org/kart.blend
It doesn’t have wheels because they’re supplied by the game.
I know it sucks, but meh.