UV unwrap workflow for a Blender newbie

Hi everyone,

Less than 1 year experience on 3D.Started with C4D and now coming (and staying) with Blender. The one thing I’ve always tracked behind is UV Unwrapping but I’m now determined to learn it proper!
So I’ve been modelling this vintage walkman. It’s split in different parts and many objects, this is meant to be sent to Substance Painter for texturing:

  • how would you go about UV Unwrapping this? Would you join all objects into one and then UV the entire thing or UV by object. How would you send to Painter then?
  • the bevels at the top section have been applied (stupidly) but most other bevels are still ‘alive’. How do you go about UV Unwrapping Bevels as ‘mark as seam’ becomes much more complex to do? do you Unwrap the ‘unbeveled’ corners first?
  • I have been taking a look at several add-ons and was considering ZenUV as it looks it could streamline the process?

Anyway, thanks for looking and your help in advance!

There are tons of tutorials,this is one of the good ones.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQeOEEI8FWE

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You don’t have to join, you can just use multi-object editing (though you have to be careful about which UV map is active in which object, but that shouldn’t be a concern if you only have the one).

As for bevels, if you want a good unwrap without overlapping and zero-area islands, then you need to apply the bevels. Otherwise they may mangle your UVs.

I’d suggest to make good friends with the Select menu in 3D view in edit mode, there’s a lot of stuff there that can help streamline the process. For example, it is sometimes much easier to select an area of faces, convert that selection to a boundary loop and mark that as seam, instead of having to manually select the boundary edges.

Also, hiding stuff (polygons) in 3D view can help focus on certain areas, and stop operators from affecting the rest of the mesh. This way you can also unwrap without marking seams at all. Select an area, unwrap, hide, rinse and repeat. Afterwards you can unhide everything and get your seams from the UV editor by doing UV → Seams From Islands. Though of course you’ll also need to further edit the UVs to redistribute texel density, because unwrapping each piece separately uses the whole UV square. But that’s easy to do with both built-in tools and add-ons such as TexTools.

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Thanks Stan!!!

That all sounds great.

I’m particularly interested in the hide/unhide workflow. i didn’t know you could do it like that, it sounds good. One of my problems being sometimes i don’t really know where (or how many) to place the seams, so this workflow might help with that. I’ll give a try tonight.
In regards to the bevels, I think applying the bevels before UVing sounds good but I never know where to place the seam? do you place it bang in the edge middle of the bevel? or do you have to place a seam on both edges on the bevel?

Thanks!!!

In the middle is probably not a good idea, but generally - you place it where you think best :slight_smile: How much distortion you’re willing to accept, etc. Usually one side of the bevel should work fine.

There’s no single right answer, it depends on what kind of bevels you have and, most importantly, what kind of texturing you’ll be doing.

thanks for this @pixelgrip I usually follow Josh tutorials but i hadn’t come across that one, pretty useful!