UV mapping a subsurf mesh

Hi all,

I have a model of a sort of an aircraft that is pretty much a low poly model. It has a subsurf modifier on it. I’ve marked seams and unwrapped it saving the uv layout. When the uv layout is used as a texture image on the mesh, edges near the seams are stretched.

I’ve tried a few approaches to solve this. I tried just unwrapping the mesh. I’ve tried selecting the faces on the side of the mesh, viewing the mesh from the side and using the Project from View option, then repeated this with the faces on top. I’ve tried applying all the modifiers, including subsurf to the mesh, then unwrapping the mesh, saving the uv layout and reloading the layout into the mesh as it was before I applied the modifiers. This solves the problem of bent edges along seams, but creates a new problem, the uv layout now has 3x the lines in it. (subsurf was turned up to 2 levels before applying it, cause that’s what the rendered output will be using)

You see, I’m using the uv layout in gimp, removing all the lines I don’t want, then using the image with what lines remaining as a bump map to simulate what would be joints in panels that where used when the aircraft was assembled.

So while this last method gives me the straightest lines for the panels, it requires more work in gimp. There are now 3x as many lines to sort through and remove from the bump map in gimp.

Is there any easier way to achieve the look I’m going for??? Attached is a pic using the first method, just unwrapping the mesh to show what I mean. The yellow lines are seams, and the red circles indicate the stretching of edges.

Oh, and I did try the ‘limit stretch’ option in the uv editor, very limited results. And using the View Properties UV Stretch option shows me where the stretches are the worst at, but the only way I see to fix the stretching is adding more seams.

Any help would be appreciated,