UV Texturing Tutorial (Now updated for 2.46)
My grass tutorial got a lot of positive feedback so I decided to make another. UV texturing is actually quite easy and can be used to get some very good results.
- Add a cube (we’ll start simple)
- Materials button
- Add a new material
Now let’s get the UV texturing window open.
- Click the ‘TexFace’ button. This will put our UV texture on the object when we render.
- Right click on the dividing line, choose split area, move the cursor up and click where you want to divide it.
- Change the window to a ‘UV/Image Editor’ window.
Now take this texture and save it.
- Select the cube in the 3D view and press the ‘Tab’ key to enter UV Face Select mode or select it from the drop down menu.
- Change the view to ‘textured’ (bottom of the 3D view beside the mode select).
- Switch to ‘Face Select Mode’.
- If you’re using a newer version of blender (I don’t know the exact version they made the change in) hit ‘u’ and select ‘reset’.
- In the UV/Image Editor, click ‘Image’ then ‘open…’ and open the texture I just gave you.
Now your view should look something like this:
Now as you can see in my picture the texture on the front two faces is upside down. Yours may or may not be like this. If they are, select the face and press ‘ctrl + F’ and select ‘UV Rotate’ (if you hold shift while choosing this option the face will rotate counter clockwise as apposed to clockwise).
So why go through all this trouble just to put a texture on? Well, now you can move the vertex’s in the UV Image editor where ever you want and the image will change on the object. In the example below I’ve selected a face and moved the vertices around the number one. Now all the face shows is that part of the picture. Take some time and experiment.
Now let’s look at a more complex model.
Repeat all the steps above but this time add a UVsphere instead of a cube.
Now you should see the texture in every face on the mesh. This is not what we want. We want one texture to be applied over the whole mesh. Let’s fix it.
- Make sure you are in Edit mode and all the faces are selected.
- Press 1 or 7 on the numpad to get a side view of the sphere. Make sure the poles of the sphere are at the top and bottom of the screen, if they aren’t change to a view where they are.
- Press the ‘U’ key and a menu should pop up. Select ‘Sphere from view’.
Now if you did it right you should have something like this.
As you can see, our texture in now nicely stretched over the entire sphere. But that’s not all. Remember the menu that came up when you presses the ‘U’ key? If you read it there are many other options for unwrapping your object. The most powerful one is the ‘unwrap’ option. Let’s give it a try.
- Switch back to vertex select mode and select all the vertices along the equator of the sphere as shown below.
- Press ‘Ctrl + E’ keys and the edge specials menu should pop up. Select ‘Mark Seam’. A yellow highlight should appear on the sphere on the vertices you had selected.
- Switch back to vertex select mode. Now press the ‘U’ key and select ‘unwrap’.
Now if you look at you UV/Image editor window you should see two circles. Each one of these represents half of the sphere. In other words the sphere was cut into to halves along the seam and each half was unwrapped.
Now for the final step…
- Click the ‘UVs’ button at the bottom of the UV/Image editor window.
- Select ‘Scripts’ and then 'Save UV Face Layout…’. Select the size of the image you want to save and click ‘OK’. Save it wherever you want.
Now you have a picture of the unwrapped mesh. You can paint your texture on top of it and you’ll know exactly where it will end up on the final mesh. Painting details onto the mesh is now easy or you can use something like the clone stamp tool in Photoshop to clone elements from pictures and put them where you want.
This method of unwrapping and be used on very complex meshes (as long as the seems are placed correctly) and can make texturing a lot easier and more precise.
And that’s it! Start practicing and you’ll be making beautiful renders in no time.
Here is an example of a guitar I made:
If you have anymore questions or problems feel free to ask them on this thread or private message me.
And don’t be afraid to post your renders here. Half the fun of making a tutorial is seeing what people are able to create with what they have learned.